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My Beaute

July 8, 2010

This is a blog about me and my bike and the adventures we will have toodling around the streets of Tokyo.

She just arrived today all boxed up. I ordered her about a week ago after agonizing through catalogues and websites trying to find the perfect bike for me. Now, of course, after I did all that, I kept looking, and I started to fall for Dutch bikes, but that would kind of defeat the purpose of getting a bike while in Japan, and plus, on further research, I realized the really cool things about the Dutch bikes are almost all included on my Bridgestone Beaute for much less cost.
To give you a run down, my Beaute has 3 gears (hub gears), step over frame, skirt guard, hub dynamo for the front light, chain case, and can carry 25kg on the back and about the same on the front (it was designed to carry 2 child seats, one front and one back). The information assures me the wide seat will be kind to my bum. Something it has that I don’t believe most bikes have is a front handle bar lock which keeps the front wheel from turning when you are parked. Essentially this is designed to stop bikes falling over with kids on them, but I think it will come in handy for those days I overpack my bike with library books or heavy groceries. All told, shipping, taxes and everything included, I got her online on Rakuten for 37900 (which is I figure going to come in at around $450 Canadian). That is considerably less than anything comparable I can find online back home.
I really really wanted her in black, but it was sold out everywhere, and the new one coming out only comes in navy (ick) or brown as a dark colour. There were some colour choices, but really, if not black, then why not cream?
I think she could have slightly nicer tires, and already I’m wondering about upgrading her seat, but overall I’m pretty smitten. (look how she glitters in the sun!)

I’m going to take her out tomorrow, maybe over to Daikanyama, and get her a pretty back basket, and I think I would like to install a Velo Orange Retro Cage for a coffee cup or water bottle. Since I began the search for the perfect bike, I started to spend a lot of time on other people’s blogs and sites and now am starting to covet a wicker front and back basket for her, but I think I might wait till I get back to N. America as it rains too much here.
In Koenji there is an Arrow bike store. Arrow is a bike I have also started to covet. They are handmade by some guy in the mountains to the west, and they are gorgeous. My brother has one and it taunts me with its beautiful form from the basement whenever I do laundry (while all the other bikes live in the garage, the arrow seems to have nestled itself nicely into a warm indoor space. Mind you this is partly because it almost never gets ridden. It has become a thing of beauty, not functionality). Arrow bikes don’t have gears, and I find it a bit hard to justify getting one when it wouldn’t really be a good counter to my city bike, and I already have a gearless bike back home in my tiny fold up “Paris” bike.

I really wish I could take her out today, and maybe I will for an evening ride after the daytime heat breaks, but having spent the last almost two weeks home with laryngitis and bronchitis, I don’t think I am quite up to a ride in the muggy air right now. Plus, I have my brother’s wee midget for the day, and no seat to put her in.

I think this may be one of the best cities in the world for cycling, looking at others cycling, and finding amazing little surprises along the ride.

What do you think? Would a leather seat be too much on this lovely thing?

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