My chain (standard Izumi) was feeling a bit wonky so I changed it out with an NJS ‘Super Toughness’. Wow – there is a difference! Not sure if its just that the links seem smoother or that the chain overall has more consistency (link to link tolerance) or I’m just psyched out by a new chain, but – it definitely rides better. Smoother, quieter and less pedal effort. I’m sold, I’ll be sticking to this for the foreseeable future.
They aren’t too expensive, either – can get them at my LBS for under 6000yen!
A ride was announced for a 6am call. This was a nice to the river and back again ride and I wanted to shake out some dust from a pretty hard week so I was up for it. The only condition was that if it rained hard, it would be cancelled. Got up at 5 and saw some rain – but nothing too big. So I decided to kit up and see how the weather turned – around 5.30 it was slacking so I hit the road. At the rendevous point only 1 other rider had shown and the ride leader was not there. We dug up his phone and roused him outta bed. ‘HEY’ What’s up!?’ he said ‘Its raining’ , we said ‘No its not’ , he said ‘It was’ ,’so people cancelled.’
Charig and I didn’t cancel – he being a performance driven soggy Londoner and myself just being marginly certifiably insane. Call it what you want, but you gotta respect THE RULES.
Pete and I were just on the incline driveway that drops down to the Arakawa river trail when this idiot lays on his horn behind us. WTF? Its like less than 50m to the parking areas but yet this complete IDIOT can’t seem to keep his dick in his pants long enough to wait like 5 SECONDS. And – we were going faster than him anyway! I refused to give way for such a stupid diipshit and this really PISSED HIM OFF – he tried to swerve around us on the 1 LANE drive and smacked his bazillion dollar rims against the kerb! HAHAHA , but then he actually tried to HIT US! Not really wishing to end up as Porsche bumper cream, I jumped into the grass and let him speed down the ramp to his destination – now less than 15m away! So – naturally I followed him to his parking space clearly ready (and able) to thrash the living shit out of him , Pete yelled to me CAMERA! And that seemed much better deal than mixing it up – and longer lasting. So – here you go! ASSHOLE PORSCHE DRIVER IN TOKYO. Can’t be too hard to trace this one – not many left hand drive of this model in Japan. And I’m sure its driven by a very very important person – who I will find everything about.
This post is a little out of order, but I’ll fix that in the subsequent posts. What I want to cover is how someone finds, enters and pays for cycling events in Japan. Since all the communication needs to be in Japanese and the payment methods are somewhat foreign as well, there are some unique challenges to foreign participants in Japanese events.
The overall process goes something like this:
1) Find an event(s) you wish to participate in. This can be by flyers at bike shops, info from your friends, websites, etc. Almost every event will then have a correpsonding web site to check out for more info on how to register.
2) Registration. Events will either have direct registration on their website by downloading a form then faxing it in, or they’ll send you to one of the major event portals where can register and pay. The most common portal for cycling events is call Sports Entry. (http://www.sportsentry.ne.jp/search.php?ct=c) And there’s the URL which allows you to search by types of events (hillclimb, road, etc)
3) After you’ve registered, then you need to pay. This is where things get a little tricky. You may have choice of either bank transfer or convenience store payment. And in some cases credit card – though, thats not as popular or used in Japan. For this demo, we’ll be using the convenience store method since it is widely used, and also available by foreign person in Japan.
Paying By Convenience Store:
To use the convenience store system, you would have checked that payment choice in your application then the payment information instructions will be emailed or sent to you. They will look something like this:
You take the instructions to the convenience store and then choose the payment method on the screen of the special Multi Pay KIOSK. The Kiosk will print you a receipt which you take to the cashier, who scans it and then you pay. After the payment is received, the system will automatically register your payment, and if everything is fine, you will be registered as a Paid Entrant!
I’ve made a simple video showing the payment process, live and in action, for an upcoming Hillclimb.