We’re back in Lincoln now, but we spent a week in Japan on the way home. I loved watching the bike paths from our hotel window in Tokyo. In that area many people ride basketed commuter bikes, locked only with a mounted wheel lock.
Two child carriers, front and back, were common fixtures. I noticed those bikes often had an e-assist boost.
Our hosts did not ride bikes, so we did not ride around ourselves, unfortunately. They drive on the left though anyway, which freaked me out somewhat riding in Thailand. Maybe some other time I’ll manage to ride there.
After so long at bike share ground zero in China, it seemed odd not to see any bike shares in Tokyo, though there were rental bikes in Kamakura.
We spent half of our week an hour north of Tokyo, which though lacking shoulders and hilly, wasn’t busy and would have made good riding. It was beautiful, sandwiched between the sea and mountains.
Here in Lincoln I hadn’t even unpacked before I was back to work, and I’m pleased there seem to be more bicycle commuters than ever! I’ve seen many friends on the trails already. I haven’t been everywhere yet, but already I’ve noticed changes. New buildings have gone up and the North 10th Street bridge has been re-opened. I do admit that it’s been a struggle to re-adjust from the traffic lawlessness of Zhoukou, where regulations seem merely a suggestion. I’m reveling in the clean air, though I still find myself reaching for a mask when I go for a ride.
The lower density of people here is striking. In Zhoukou and the surrounding area it was rare not to see people out and about always, even in the countryside. Where there is a farm here, there would be an entire village there, the land divided into long, narrow plots, often growing different crops.
There are many other differences as well, such as the speed of the average commuter, which seems faster here than either China or Japan, as well as the type of bikes most ridden. In these cultures there is less bike thievery too, though it still can happen.
I’m looking forward to seeing what else is new here and re-visiting my favorite rides around Lincoln.