It was only here in Kyoto that I reacquainted myself with biking. Prior to Kyoto, I could not remember the last time I rode a bicycle.
Biking was one of those things that you just had to do when you were a kid. It was part of childhood (my childhood, at least). This is why I am astonished every time I discover people my age (or older) who do not know how to ride a bike. The feeling is almost synonymous to the feeling of not knowing how to spell your name. Once you can spell it, you just never forget for the rest of your sane life. Same goes for biking.
And then Formula 1 happened. Top Gear took over my teenage life. The Fast and The Furious made me dream. When I got my student driving permit (2nd year HS) and finished driving school, the dream was no longer a dream. The feeling of punching the accelerator was the greatest feeling ever. The high school and college years were all about cars, from a hobby perspective.
All good things come to an end and I had to say goodbye to Big Berta.
Once I got here, the first thing I had to buy was a set of wheels. 2 wheels. A bike! Everybody seems to bike here in Kyoto. In other parts of Japan, people bike but not as much as they do here.
My only non-negotiable was that my bike had to have gears. I’m a speed freak and a fixed-gear bike would not be able to deliver that. Having a bike with gears isn’t only for speed. It also comes in handy when tackling hills and crested roads. So whenever you find yourself in Japan or in any foreign city where a bike is necessary, do yourself a favor and get one with gears. You will never regret paying the extra bucks. It doesn’t have to be a 21-speed monster, 3-6 gears should be enough for daily commute.
I tried to compile all my biking videos so far into one video. Maybe I could turn this into another set on its own.