- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Bicycle Repair Man

Here is the next installment. I see this little van around the place a bit. As bicycle usage has decreased in Japan over the years (although it may be increasing again lately), local bike shops have been closing down, and your local bike shop may not be so local any more. Still one every 2km or so, so not such an issue really, but these kinds of mobile bicycle repair services are still quite popular. I guess it is just the convenience of them coming to you. Particularly handy if your bike is so busted you can't easily get it to the shop.

Just program the emergency number into your mobile phone and if you ever find yourself in a pickle with a broken chain or puncture you don't want to fix yourself for fear of breaking a finger nail - never fear - just call the man and he will come and sort you out ASAP. The bicycle equivalent of your motor associations emergency vehicle. These guys are fantastic. I imagine these guys could lower overheads even more if they used a trailer like our Chariot to carry their gear.

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