Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Into the Thunder Dragon - uni cycle Documentary

Into the Thunder Dragon - Watch the Documentary Film for Free | Watch Free Documentaries Online | SnagFilms

Fantastic movie from Kris Holm owner of the world famous brand Kris Holm unicycles from Canada, he and his mate Nathan Hoover uni cycle in Butan. Even if you are not a uni cyclist you'll enjoy it

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Danny Macaskill - Industrial Revolutions

A new video by Scottish trials legend " Danny Macaskill " , check it out as it shows some fantastic riding

Friday, 19 August 2011

My regular ride - 1947 Humber Sports

Well for many years I have owned several bicycles and when I was living in New Zealand I once amassed a large collection of vintage bicycles in various states of disrepair. But one bike has been my favorite all along which is now my regular ride, it's not light in fact it's made out of high tensile steel tubing and has a transfer on the down tube to prove it. The bike I'm talking about is my Fathers 1947 Humber Sports 3 speed and was the main reason for starting this blog many years ago. Unlike every other bike I have owned I have never had to repair the Humber apart from restoring it a few years ago. As a regular bike it's perfect for the ride into work and if you want to go for a 100km ride into the mountains it can handle that easily as well. The 26 inch x 1 3/8 tyres are the prefect size for Japan's bumpy footpaths and I haven't had one puncture in the last four years. The Sturmey Archer hub gear is the prefect combination and allows for a nice low gear for hill climbs ( Although I did fit larger cog to the rear hub for that purpose ) and the middle gear is the perfect commuting gear for around town. If you are in need of speed just flick the trigger shifter into 3rd and you can fly along at a decent pace. The Humber is kitted out with a Lucas Cyclometer with keeps a record of your overall travels. And with a Carridice Nelson longflap saddle bag there is plenty of room for a tool kit, rain jacket and anything else you may wish to carry. Most of my customers are surprised when they see my regular ride as most likely that would have imagined me to be riding one of the latest alloy road bikes with carbon forks. My father purchased the bike at age 18 in the year of 1947 and every day as a kid I watched him cycle to work and home for lunch no matter what the weather, when my father retired from his job as a motor mechanic the staff at his retirement party had calculated that the Humber sports had circumnavigated the globe in distance. I'm sure the Humber will serve me well for the rest of my life as well.

Pictured above is the Humber parked outside my bicycle shop here in Niigata City and a scan from the 1947 Humber catalog.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Sado Island - one day tour

Recently I discovered from one of my customers that the Sado ferry company is running a campaign where you can take your bicycle across to Sado Island free of charge , this offer is running until Nov of 2011 so my cycling pal Brian & I are planning a one day tour of Sado Island. Almost 11 years ago when I was teaching English I rode around the larger part of the Island on my Golden week holiday on my 50 inch replica high wheel bicycle & Brian rode his GT mountain bike. It was great fun and ever since completing that tour I've been meaning to return to complete the other half of the Island. This time I won't be on the high wheel bicycle but taking my trusty 1947 Humber sports 3 speed as it has a Carradice Nelson longflap saddle bag in which to store my cooker for a brew up , jacket , tobacco pipe, camera etc . At present I have mapped the course we will take on the picture above but we haven't confirmed a date as yet as that will be decided over a beer or two one evening. I can wait to return to Sado Island as it's such a fantastic place to explore. If you ever get to Japan or are already living here make sure Sado Island is on your list of places to visit as I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Keep your cotters tight !

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The CR - 7

Many years ago while living NZ I had a the chance to buy a used but in good condition 1989 Gary Fisher CR-7 MTB. This bike was fantastic for racing, hill climbing and even fully loaded with touring bags made a great touring bike for my tours of the South Island of NZ & Northern Thailand. After my Thailand adventure I returned to my job at Ayres Rock resort in the outback of Australia to save enough money to come to Japan on a working holiday , just before I was about to leave my room mate offered to buy my Fisher CR - 7 and in need of extra cash at the time I foolishly sold it to him, never to see another one again for 10 years. Since managing Furumachi Bicycle here in Niigata city I have had the opportunity to purchase two from the US, the 1st one was a 1989 model but once I started restoring it I discovered that the head tube was cracked and unsafe to ride. I did salvage all the parts off it I could but the main front alloy triangle was thrown out in the rubbish. But recently I restored a fantastic 1st model 1987 Gary Fisher CR - 7 with full Suntour XC Comp components which is now for sale in my shop and about a month ago an old guy brought in a Japanese made 1989 Kuwahara XR -7 which is direct copy of Gary Fisher's design. Pictured above are the two bikes and the Kuwahara XR - 7 was only an export model according to a recent phone call with the Kuwahara factory in Osaka.