While looks may not kill, a woman in Dalian City, China found out last month that some guy’s ugly mug can scare you enough to make you to lose your balance and break four teeth. Although the beauty-deficient man said he was merely asking directions, the woman was apparently so frightened by his visage that after falling off her bike and hurting herself, she rushed to the police where she pressed charges.
On 29 September, the Third Maebashi Mt. Akagi Hill Climb was held in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture. It’s a grueling 20.8km (12.9mi) bicycle course climbing Mt. Akagi for a vertical difference of 1.3km (0.8mi) from start to finish.
This year 2,811 people participated and the fastest time was set by Kenichi Miyamoto, completing the course in an impressive 56 minutes and 23 seconds. However, the attention of many locals was grabbed by a rider bearing an uncanny resemblance to the virtual songstress Hatsune Miku. So just who was this turquoise-locked ita-bike rider?
It’s been nearly three days since we last reported on the arrest of a sexual deviant inventing a new way to get himself arrested by throwing pee at young women. So we’re clearly long overdue for another guy pushing the envelope of creepy crime.
On 24 August, Kanagawa Prefectural Police picked up Joji Kondo for stealing three seats from women’s electric bicycles in a housing complex at around 4:00 in the morning. After searching Kondo’s home they uncovered a further 200 seats.
Bicycle theft is no laughing matter, especially in Japan where bikes are widely relied upon for daily transportation. Luckily, a cheap and effective means of protecting your ride has surfaced on the internet, and it’s sure to send any would-be thieves packing.
On 4 July, Kobe District Court ruled against the 40-year-old single mother of a 15-year-old boy after his bike struck an elderly woman while he was riding too fast down a hill.
Judge Tomoko Tanaka ordered that the mother pay a total of 95 million yen (US$950,000) because she “provided insufficient guidance to the child that may have prevented this accident.”
Westerners who come to Japan may be taken aback by the sheer numbers of bicycles in use in cities. Equally impressive is the degree to which people load their bicycles with shopping bags, children, boyfriends, and/or garbage bags full of aluminum cans for recycling. And yet, with all this, it’s a rare sight to see anyone besides tiny kids wearing a helmet.
Ehime Prefecture, known for its scenic bike paths and wide use of bicycles for commuting, is hoping to change that by enacting a law instructing cyclists of all ages to wear a helmet, or else.
Since the early days of the Internet, online shopping has been fraught with deceit. And, despite the hard work of many companies, there’s still a lot of trepidation when bidding in Internet auctions. Inevitably, anyone is bound to wonder: “Will they really send the goods?” “Are the pictures accurate?” “Are these beautiful bicycles actually soon-to-be stolen items?”
That’s right, we said “soon-to-be-stolen,” not “stolen!”
Some of you may remember our report on Shigenobu Matsuzawa’s visit to Gunma Cycle Sports Center a few months back. It’s the amusement park where everything has pedals including the roller coaster. While Shigenobu ultimately gave the place four out of five stars in his reviews, the photos he took looked kind of depressing. However, now a video released on YouTube seems to have captured a totally new angle of Gunma Cycle Sports Center which gives it a much needed image boost.
Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office officially announced that it intends to prosecute cyclists who repeatedly violate road traffic laws in Japan. Ignoring a red light or not stopping when necessary may also become subject to penalty, with a three-month jail sentence or a fine of up to 50,000 yen. In addition, riding parallel with other cyclists or failure to make use of one’s light under conditions of poor visibility could carry fines of up to 20,000 yen and 50,000 yen, respectively.
On 21 February, reports of a loud “Phfffft” sound were heard around the world. Experts traced the source of this sound back to the anal sphincters of millions of Chinese netizens simultaneously shuddering upon hearing this tale of a bike ride gone terribly, terribly wrong.
Back in my day, kids used to put little plastic beads on their bicycle wheel spokes to make them “flashy.” Now it looks as if these kids grew up and got training in optics.
Plastic beads have been replaced with synchronized LED lights which generate colorful animations as an ordinary bike wheel spins away. Not only that, you will be able to create your own animation to be displayed on your computer and upload it to your bike with ANIPOV when it goes on sale at the end of January 2013.
The Gunma Cycle Sports Center in Japan may be the most eco-friendly amusement park in the world. As you may be able to guess from the name, every attraction in the park, from the roller coaster to the “steam” locomotive, is human-powered.
Japan has the robot market covered pretty well, with a robot for almost every occasion. We’ve already seen a restaurant filled with fembots, a 24-fingered hair washing robot, and a $1.25 million boardable mecha.
This time, Japan brings the world a tiny bipedal robot that can ride a bike and balance all by itself.
Since the invention of chain-driven transmission in the 1890s, the bicycle really hasn’t undergone any major structural changes.
And what could you possibly want to change? You’ve got two wheels for movement, handlebars for direction, a seat to hold your body weight and pedals to…
“Wait, pedals?”, thought the Germans. We don’t need no stinkin’ pedals.
Zambikes, a company that sells bamboo fame bicycles handcrafted in Zambia internationally and reinvests the profits locally, has finally set up shop in Japan!
Zambikes employs “uneducated and underprivileged” Zambians who would normally have a difficult time finding work in a country with unemployment at over 50%. The bicycles use a frame composed of 95% bamboo and other natural materials that are all grown in Zambia near the Zambikes production facility.
In other words, those who purchase these bicycles are supporting economic development in Africa AND getting a quality, environmentally-sustainable product.
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- Parents create amazing Studio Ghibli mural for daughter’s nursery before she’s even born
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