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rainy days

July 9, 2010

Well, today wasn’t the most exciting of days… It’s pouring rain with lighting warnings still in effect. And on top of that, I am still convalescing from bronchitis and laryngitis.

I made one lunchtime ride on Beaute to a bike store in Shinanomachi called Tokyo Bike where I bought a lock. I found it on this great web site I came across today called cycling map. It shows you routes and bike stores and parking spots and all sorts of things across the city. I’ve never been to Shinanomachi before (so I think I can count this towards the bicycle summer games for exploring a new area), although I used to pass by the front of it on the bus and I always wondered what was in there. It’s actually really lovely with lots of older style buildings and cute little lanes. I should have stopped and taken more pictures. It also seemed to have rather a large concentration of Sokagakkai buildings. Sokagakkai is something between a religion and a cult but I dare not try and explain something I have little understanding of. All I really know of them is that they own the $2 dollar store/100 yen store Daiso among many other companies. Apparently it’s so cheap because as a religious organization they avoid some kind of taxes but I only know this anecdotally.

On the way home, I saw that there is a bianchi velo lepre at the bike store next to my house. It’s not for sale, it’s there for a tune up. That is just cruel, having it right outside my door teasing me.

I managed to get home just before the rain started. At first it was just a plop-plop kind of rain, but by evening it was absolutely violent. Of course, there is no food in the house and I was hankering for a brownie but it was raining too hard to go out. Fine, brownies are not good convalescing food but I’m happy to have any appetite back at all, so I shamelessly am giving in.

While I waited for the rain to pass, I watched a great pseudo-documentary about elephants in Japan (a particular and strange side interest of mine). It followed the elephants that were starved to death during the war, and then the children’s assembly efforts to (successfully) get a new elephant for Ueno after the war. In 1949, under the cover of night, Indira, the gift elephant from India, was walked through the streets of Tokyo from the port to the Zoo. I guess there isn’t really another way to move an elephant around easily….
While I watched I looked for bike lights on Amazon.jp. I’m thinking of getting a solar powered LED for the back that fits where my back reflector is now. And I also am thinking of a rear view mirror but I am not sure if that is over the top mary poppins, and a compass to give me a better sense when I get on some of the back roads that curve and dead end.

So I finally found a break in the rain and took Beaute out to the Peacock looking for some form of brownie substitute. I gave in to chocolate mousse and roll cake (and a bottle of CC Lemon, because, come on, it has the vitamin C of 60 lemons! Who can’t turn that down when sick?) Beaute is such a smooth ride, I’m still in awe of how well she goes. This morning I was in a dress and this evening a skirt, and both were a cinch to ride in with her upright frame. And the basket on the front is huge… much bigger than it looks. I felt like I was coasting all the time, barely peddling at all, and the hills, even quite steep ones didn’t seem hard

at all even with just the three gears. I’ve been riding my brother’s bike till now, and even though it’s the same brand and the same number of gears, it wasn’t as easy on the hills.

I didn’t see any really cool bikes today on my very short ride, (although I tried and failed to take a picture of a salary man on a fold up bike with a spare tire bungied to the back rack) but I did see this great delivery truck at the florist on the way home. It’s a bit hard to see, but it is completely covered in grass…

I’m still very much enchanted by her, although one of the handle grips isn’t on quite right. I fell a little bit more in love with her when I saw this colour contrast on her saddle.

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