Radio Dreams and Bike Safety: Sunday 5th July

Today I decided to be adventurous, and to give Japanese local radio a bit of a listen. Enticed by the tag line ‘Easy story on dreadful disease’, I decided that FM West Tokyo was the station for me, and tuned in to hear what the scoop was. The words ‘hints’ and ‘advice’ kept popping up over and over again, but the only piece of information that I actually ‘understood’ was some old guy telling me ‘not to read any European newspapers’. Now that was either a really good piece of advice, or a horrific translation on my behalf. I’m inclined towards the later.

Because who wouldn't want to be attacked by bears during a facial.

My current pet peeve is Japanese people and their bikes, specifically the way in which they insist on riding them on the pavements. For some unknown reason this is perfectly legal over here, providing that you are not using a mobile phone or carrying an umbrella. I am glad that at least this law exists; as If I were to see someone riding a bike and carrying an umbrella I believe that I would spontaneously combust, showering any passer-by in a stream of vitriol and rage. Recently things have come to a head, and I have been forced into carrying out a silent yet effective protest: if I see a cycle lane, I walk in it.



About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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4 Responses to Radio Dreams and Bike Safety: Sunday 5th July

  1. Rabbit says:

    In Kyoto, people ride on the sidewalks with their umbrellas open.

    Technically, it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk. The law states that you must ride on the rode, unless you are a child, or over 75 and “don’t feel safe”. However, you will notice that the bike crossings at intersections connect to the sidewalks, not to the area where bikes are supposed to ride.

    As a bike rider in Japan, I will tell you that there are times when sidewalk riding is necessary, because cars do not treat you like another vehicle. For instance: making right-hand turns generally gets you angrily honked at. Also, with all the illegal parking that goes on here, sometimes your choices are sidewalk or getting scrunched by cars who don’t shoulder check while changing lanes after passing a parked car. Or getting doored by said parked cars, since it’s impossible to get a meter out from them without getting honked or hit.

    But yes, I too hate the “Queen of the Road” syndrome that cyclists have here. “Ding ding! It’s a crowded sidewalk, but get out of my way because I am QUEEN OF THE ROAD!”. Of course, I also hate idiots who can’t walk in a straight line so that I can pass them safetly…

    • truehamlet says:

      Points we made, but I am yet to come across a single person riding on a bike who I have the remotest bit of sympathy for. Now if I were to see someone actually attempt to avoid me then that opinion might change…

  2. Rabbit says:

    “Road”, not “Rode”, goddamn it!

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