*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Japanese: Bike Metaphor

Saw on the way to work this morning.  If you know much about cycling, you know the rider's a twat, and most certainly a Japanese 'man'.  The idiot doesn't know what he wants in a bike.  This isn't even a mullet.  It's a mullet with a french-braid and frosting.

I am shocked to see the saddle above the bars.  Not because it's too uncomfortable a position for me to ride, but because the short-legged locals usually lower the seat too low even for such legs, so they can stay on the saddle flat-footed at stops.  A working light at the rear, the scruffiness of a bike that's not a mamachari, and the U-lock*, might make you think it belonged to a Gaijin, but I am sure it does not.  It's tiny, no Gaijin cyclist would lock that stupidly, and it has a kickstand.

What the hell is that bike trying to be?  It's not an urban fixie for the cool kids, because of the gears and the kickstand - kickstands as common as dirt here, even on fixed-gears and road bikes (twats!).

I've seen what real Tokyo messengers ride: much like in Toronto and New York, but with gears.  It's a hilly city on the west side, and lights are frequent.  But this one?  Kickstand!  Besides, you only run stupid narrow bars like that for dangerous traffic-filtering, which would be twice as dangerous without fixed gearing.

No, this is owned by a Japanese 'man': tries to be cool, but misses the mark by a fucking mile because he doesn't have a clue about the purpose of what he's trying to copy, or his own opinions about the bike best suited for him.  Not just a sheep, but a witless sheep.

*It isn't really: some kind of cable involved.


  1. I note that the handlebars and seat are different colours. Is that significant?

    Clearly I have nothing sensible to contribute as per the actual bike, I will however fully support your observations regarding the "All the gear, no idea" attitude in Japan.

    It's kind of understandable, if we're being charitable (because I know you're all about being charitable). After all, time is money, and if you've got no free time to invest in your 'hobby' due to all the unpaid overtime you're putting in at the office, you may as well go for the closet equivalent. Even if it's to much to actually learn about things properly, we can all enjoy the feeling of wasting money on unnecessary flim-flam...

    1. Why don't they research at work? Not like they have any work to do. Or on the train, instead of looking at junior high school girl anime tentacle rape, with the fun bits fuzzed out? They can't even do porn right!

  2. OK, you have me worried now, as I evidently didn't get the memo. What's the problem with a kickstand?

    1. Nothing, on a city bike for toddling about the neighbourhood. It's noisy and it's deadweight for a whippet of a bike that a messenger would use, or for a road bike, or for a fashion bike - all of which this bike approaches but fails at.

    2. Okaaay... So I have this bike which I use for anything from toddling around the neighbourhood through to epic cross-Tokyo trecks. I can't tell you any more about the bike because a) apart from it having two wheels I can't remember much about it, except it cost something like 60,000 yen and I regularly zip past lycra-clad hipsters on it (my cycling clothes of choice consist of moth-eaten t-shirts and chinos retired due to hole-in-the-crotch-itis), and b) if I could tell you the salient details you'd probably snigger knowingly at my uncoolness, but it's mine and I do find the kickstand very light and not at all noisy and mightily convenient for keeping it upright when I'm not actually riding it.

    3. You don't need my approval, of course.

      Much of not having a kickstand on a performance bike is fashion. I can be counted guilty of that too. I've no doubt you've passed people 'better' kitted out. I have too, both in Toronto, and so often in Tokyo. Btw: hipsters don't wear lycra. They wear denim and tweed. The lycra-tribe are all salarymen of one type or another.

      However, in N. America I would never leave a bike outside, that was worth any money, where it might need a kickstand: it'd be stolen forthwith. In Japan I have and would. Even so, I do not like kickstands for the following:
      - some ass will tip it over
      - some ass will damage it if I park it with all the other bikes
      - as I use both a U- and cable-lock to secure a decent bike to something solid, a kickstand is besides the point to keep it upright

  3. Nothing surprises me with J-guys and two-wheelers... I mean, the way guys ride around on shitty little scooters as if they were Harley Davidson's and thinking they're hot shit just shows how uncool some of these guys can really be.

    1. Good comparison. If you have to take the muffler off your scooter to get attention, you've got nothing else.