Wednesday, 4 September 2013

R.I.P Kas Kobori

It is with great sadness that I make this blog posting , but I feel it is the right thing to do under the circumstances. a week or so ago I received a phone call at my bicycle shop from one of Kas Korbori work mates to say that on Sunday August 18th , Kas was out cycling with some friends when he felt some chest pains and was rushed to hospital, unfortunately he did not make it and passed away in hospital that day.

Kas Kobori contacted me almost 3 years ago with a desire to get a hand made replica high wheel bicycle built and some how he manage to track me down and came to visit me in Niigata, at that time I was selling traditional NZ style meat pies in front of a friends shop and was very surprised to see Kas appear wearing a T shirt with a image of Thomas Stevens ( every high wheel bicycle riders hero ) . Later we retired to a nearby coffee shop where he asked me to build him a replica high wheel bicycle. At first I said no as it was too difficult to construct such a bicycle here compared to my home country of New Zealand. But how can you really say no to someone who is so passionate about high wheel bicycles that he had already imported a RBR replica from the USA and often rode it along the Tamagawa cycle road in Tokyo.

So after many e mails with some overseas contacts in the high wheel bicycle world, I found I could obtain the necessary parts to construct a fantastic replica high wheel bike.  Those people who have followed my other blog highwheelinginjapan will know I have spent countless hours making Kas Kobori the perfect bike, the last thing Kas was doing was working on the handle bar and spoon brake lever as he had found an engineer in Tokyo to make the required parts. So now everything is on hold while I contact his family to ask them what they would like to do re the bicycle he was getting built. although Kas will never get to ride it , I will somehow finish it as that is what he would have wanted. My main thoughts from all this is that sometimes life is very short so we must find a good balance between family, work and leisure.

Pictured in this posting is a You Tube clip of Kas riding his first replica high wheel bicycle along the Tamagawa cycle road.  R.I.P Kas


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