Saturday, 26 June 2010

1938 " Cycling " magazine article

First of all I'd like to say sorry for not posting any ride reports recently but due to work comments and the extremely hot humid weather I have not been out since pottering about the city. Also now is rain season which from a cyclists point of view is not so nice as coupled with high humidity it makes cycling any distance rather unpleasant, remember this if you ever plan to come to Japan cycling. Anyway a long time ago I purchased from E bay UK some fantastic copies of the old British magazine " Cycling " these old magazines offer a fantastic insight into cycling during the early years in the UK. The magazines are packed with all sorts articles for events, ride reports from the CTC and various adds for the latest offerings in cycle accessories. Pictured above is a rather interesting article from May 4th 1938 which I have scanned so everyone can enjoy it. If you click the image above you will get the larger version which should be easy to read. From time to time I'll pick out a period article from my magazine collection and add it to the blog. Enjoy

Keeps your hubs greased

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Pottering about the city - part 5

After watching the photographers taking photos of the model we rode off towards a local supermarkets that sells reasonably priced beer, this supermarket is often frequented on Petanque club days for supplies. After leaving the supermarket loaded up with a few cold cans of beer we made our way back to the park. On the way I stopped to take a photo of the only adult porn theater located in the city that I have ever seen. I guess it caters to the older generation who haven't discovered that free porn is available on the Internet !. On arriving back at the park there was no sign of the camera club or their models so we sat in the shade and consumed our beers while chatting. It just proves you don't have to cycle far to have an interesting day out, so next time you feel like a spin go for a potter around your local town or city - you might be surprised at what you discover.

Keeps your hubs greased

Pottering about the city - part 4

On our way towards a local supermarket for more beer we decided to stop by the local park " Nishi Ohata " were our club plays petanque twice a month. To my surprise there were two large groups of men with high tech cameras taking huddled around something , on closer inspection I discovered the camera men were part of a local camera club who had hired at least two models for a outdoor photo shoot in the park. The were asking the model to pose in different positions while the shutters of their cameras went into over drive. It was rather bizarre as in all my years of living in Niigata city I had never seen anything like this at all. The cameramen were of various ages and there must have been millions of dollars of camera equipment stored in their large camera bags. I'm sure they would have rather have photographed her wearing a lot less clothing but as this was a public park this was the best they were going to get.

Pictured above are photos I took of the other photographers and the model who was posing for them.

Pottering about the city - part 3

Further along the sea side bike path we investigated a remodeled beach house that has just been taken over by a long term foreign resident who owns several other eating/dining establishments. As it was a sunny day a few people where enjoying a BBQ and a few beers outside. I'm sure it will be nice on a summers evening watching the sun set on distant Sado Island. Just around the corner from the beach house we again re joined the cycle path the skirted around the side of the park, it was so nice cycling in the shade under the trees that we stopped for a few photos before pressing on.

Pottering about the city - part 2

After viewing the festival Brian decided to switch bicycles to his classic single speed Bridgestone so as he lives close by we back tracked a little to Brian's apartment for him to switch bicycles before proceeding towards the cycle path along side the Shinano river the runs through the center of Niigata city. This cycle/walking path is very popular with everyone living in the city and well used with several toilets and drink fountains located alongside the path. This afternoon there were a lot of people out on the river training from the local rowing club which you can see in the background of one of the above photos. After crossing another river we stopped of at a shopping center to raid the bakery and stock up on cold cans of beer for a riverside lunch. It was rather pleasant sitting by the river chatting over lunch and after we had finished we headed back towards the city along the coastal cycle path stopping in a nearby park before Brian located some single track through the trees which was a short cut back to the main road.

Pottering about the city

Well as today was a fine day my mate Brian dropped by my place around mid morning and we decided to do some inner city pottering. Niigata is a rather large city and you can easily fill in the entire day just cycling around the inner city area. so after my late breakfast we headed towards the coast and took the tunnel under the shinano river which leads along the beaches that border the city center. Along the top of the cycle path we stopped for a short rest to take a drink and nearby the local kids were practicing baseball, Which you can see in the background of one of the above photos. After that we headed to one of the older neighborhoods in Niigata city , Gako Cho where I heard one of my customers was selling homemade pizza at a local festival. Most of these local festivals follow the same format with local shops and residents selling everything from food, beer, recycled clothing , antiques, fishing rods etc and you never know what kind of bargain you are likely to find. As I have almost finished restoring my 1981 Vespa 50s I've been looking at helmets and while walking among the street stalls I spied a jet style helmet with a visor that looked pretty good. After trying the helmet on and find out it fitted me perfectly I asked how much the chap wanted for it and to my surprise he only wanted 2000 yen which is about US $ 20 . The helmet was only purchased last year and in perfect condition so I quickly handed over the cash and luckily my mates wife owns a hair salon in the neighborhood so I gave her the helmet for safe keeping so I can collect it later.

Pictured above is a photo of me along the cycle path above Hiryori beach and the other two photos we taken at the festival in Gako cho.