The Village Velodrome Appreciation Society

A blog about jitensha and jogging

Monday, July 31, 2006

Velodrome game

They love cartoons here in Japan, and they love track racing. So it was only a matter of time before they combined the two... enjoy:

Sunday, July 30, 2006

More keirin bikes

This one's a Vivalo - a pretty rare breed, although you might be able to pick one up at:

Monday, July 24, 2006

Still finding things from the bubble economy

I had a great find today. I was out for a run along the Sumida river and I saw a pile of bikes and bike parts that some council workers have dragged out of bushes as they were trimming them back.

I was going to run past, but some grey rims caught my eye - not the colour you'd associate with your average 'ladies' bike. So I stopped, had a look, and couldn't believe my eyes...

...the wheels I that had been found were Shimano Dura Ace hubs laced to Campagnolo rims with Hoshi spokes. Granted, these are old (circa 1994) but they've never been used - no scuff marks on the rim. I ripped some vines and twigs off them and ran home with them. I've polished up the front and it looks great.

In the late 80s you could find this sort of thing on the streets a lot. I've heard of people picking up an entire house worth of furniture - including working TV and fridge from the side of the street. Of course, by the mid 90s the economy had nose-dived and consumerism on such a grand (and wasteful) scale ended.

Anyway, here's the wheels I found...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Run for Africa

On Sunday I managed to drag myself out of bed for the Run for Africa 5km around Imperial Palace (it was actually a little shorter than 5km). I really enjoy the course, downhill to start and quite a long climb to the finish. I managed to hang on to the lead group until about 3km, but the heat and speed got to me and I had to let them go. I finished 5th though - my best result, and my time was OK too - 18.19 (which probably works out to about 18.35 for a proper 5km).

Today, two days later, I did a 2 hour training run. I felt really good - didn't start 'staggering' until about 5 mins to go.

But getting back to the Imperial Palace, more correctly known as Kokyo. If you're only in Tokyo for a short while and you want to go for a run there's no better place to go. Also, take the time to check out the gardens inside the walls - entrance is free and you can spend a whole afternoon exploring the gardens and trails.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kobe calling

A lot of shops in Japan use bicycles as props to attract attention. On a trip to Kobe I took not so long ago I spotted this fine "Indian" bicycle.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Two wheels in Tokyo

Because the houses are smaller in Toyko there's often not enough room for full sized bicycles - but that means you often see interesting hybrid bikes on the streets. I love the choice of parts on this Bianchi (or what claims to be a Bianchi) - it could be ridden just about anywhere. It's got a Shimano Dura-Ace rear mech, a Flite titanium railed saddle, a Thompson seatpost, the longest headstem I think I've ever seen - and that must-have item, a kickstand.

Of course, you could opt for a more laidback approach to your riding...