Bicycles in Kyoto

October 27th, 2005 by smoop

Bicycles in Kyoto

Originally uploaded by Monatopia.

One thing that no one mentioned to me during my inquiries into Kyoto were the bicycles. Most of Japan seemed to be suited to bicycles but Kyoto seemed more suited than most. For about $10 a day you can rent a bike and get to nearly every corner of Kyoto, if you are up for the distance (it’s a flat easy ride), and battling the traffic of cars, bicycles, and pedestrians whose natural inclination is to go left when yours is to go right.

As we peddled through traffic chanting to ourselves, keep to the left, keep to the left, simply trying not to die or cause any major accidents, we watched as teenagers cruised by texting their friends on their cell phones, with their girlfriends riding on the back, balanced precariously, wearing high heels boots and a mini skirt looking as cool and collected as if they were sitting on a bar stool. While texting.

* Grandmothers, baskets on the front and back of their bikes piled high with shopping.

* Parents with children riding in seats on the front and/or back of their bikes.

All this weaving through traffic that involved trucks, cars, scooters as well as oncoming bicycles and pedestrians. Sometimes it was required that you pass an oncoming bicycle when there seemed to be exactly enough room for you to pass with .. oh, and inch or two between you. They of course did that while continuing to text. I did it while shitting my pants.

After awhile, Scott did figure out that there was somewhat of a loosely followed structure, but even following that, while chanting “stay to the left”, my part in it as a white person seemed to be to mess it all up.

Even when I did stay to the left, they would see an oncoming whitey and assume I was going to go to the right. So then they head to the right as I’m heading to the left, there’s a near collision and I wobble, heart pounding and nearly run into someone.

Rinse and repeat.

Yeah, when you go to Kyoto, rent a bike! It’s Fun!

One Response to “Bicycles in Kyoto”

  1. Tonyfubar Says:

    Nothing like a little adrenaline to clear the fog of hangovers!

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