This the last insertion into our blog covering the ripping bike scene in Tokyo. Like LA, New York, London and Melbourne, the gravitation towards the bike as a general means of transport (not to mention the road bike/fixie/single speed/the sport as a whole) is going totally spaz.
Having an insider escorting me around the best bike shops in Tokyo was truly a spiritual experience (like church but better, even though I’ve never been). It’s difficult to use any one superlative for the places that I was fortunate enough to be shown as they were all different, and all worth a visit if you are in Tokyo and are a bike nut, or just interested, or maybe you want to buy some cool new shit. One very important thing stands out above all else though; these shops are run by people who LOVE bikes and riding, and most of them aren’t thinking about the cash.
Don’t even bother trying to find this one. You’d have to speak Japanese, and need a human street directory to get you there, and pull you away from the fried and baked goods (and ladeez) on display in the alleys leading up to the shop. Uehara is the king pin of Minato Cycling Club which is Tokyo’s (therefore Japans oldest cycling club). Uehara was also the one who encouraged his best mate’s old man to put their ladies knicker manufacturing plant to better use and begin making riding shorts- enter Pearl Izumi. Believe.
Go to Cycles Yokoo for the most extreme road racing sexiness. This guy’s been involved since I was in nappies just wishing I had a decent set of calves and some vastis action to boot. Call him on 3843-4484. Total legend. Check out the pornography below.
Impromptu underpant change needed after spending 5 minutes shooting the Cinelli above. Maybe Yokoo-san won’t care if I tax it… but then I’d have to get it home.
Blue Lug gets massive props for having a mind bending selection of wallet burning gear. Call them on 6662-5042. I was actually happy that the Amex, Visa and Master Card were totally spanked by this point in the trip or I would be begging somewhere near Shinjuku (or working as a male host which I hear is well paid). Wicked store, go there!
The brake lever is to circumvent the JP fixie law.
Tom and I visited Punch Cycles late on a Friday (I was drunk so don’t quote me, and definitely don’t quote Tom) to find a random corner shop magnetizing the funkiest riders in Tokyo to it’s bright lights like moths. Go here if you have a steel or street steed that needs funkification.
We’ve talked about these guys before…… buy 90’s Oakley Razor Blades (you wish you’d looked after them better) or some sick BMX’s or just tasty street gear. Close to Harajuku stn, but you can get off a station earlier and perve on the sexy babes for 5 more minutes and save yourself 20 Yen which is a total bargain in our book.
The owner of Y’s Road is a marketing genius, he’s doing a ball tearing job and if you want a discounted Cervelo R3 frame for some casual Japanese road racing assassination, then go here. Wicked shop, mind bending array of lightweight parts… ummm…. stop me… I’m getting carried away.
Go to Level (Matsuda Cycle Factory) and pick up your custom built ride. Apparently plenty of international customers trickling through which is no wonder as the build quality is mega. Call Shikou-san on 5692-6531. Could have walked out of here with 3 very nice bikes!
It’s tough to wrap up a post like this, especially when it holds so many memories…. I worked it out that I have spent over a year and a half in total in Japan, and there’s a reason for it. I’m fussy, been labelled as a ‘serial complainer’. Maybe if the rest of the world got their shit together like the Japanese have in most (not all) areas then I wouldn’t complain so much. Readers…. let me know in what other capital city I can get icy cold beer at A$3 a pop and some tasty food at the same per plate with faultless service and I’ll shut my trap. In the mean time, I’ll continue to get to Japan every year to plot, plan and scheme on how I can make this place my home.