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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rockin a Granny Bike Ain't Cool

Rockin a Granny Bike Ain't Cool

I wish I could have done that. Instead I kept my head down in embarrassment.
Rocking a granny bike under any conditions is not cool. I can assure you because I did it for three years. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone not under the age of 40 using one back in Canada. That being said about it not being cool, well the basket part on the front part is very useful. I carried just about everything in it. Groceries, jerry cans of petrol, laptops (even desktops), children (well maybe not that). I think in China they carry children and dogs in it, usually together.
In Asia and in my case, Japan. Everyone with an arm and a leg rocks a granny bike. Yes its very uncool, but they don’t look at it that way. They see is as a convenience machine. Little work and big payoff. For small roads its very trustworthy (unless there are large ditches and you drink).

Rocking a granny bike under any conditions is not cool. I can assure you because I did it for three years. I felt like the Wicked Witch of the West. Only not as cool.

My school assigned me a super rusty granny bike to get around. I thanked them, but thought, I hope I can get rid of this ASAP and get something better. My wish came true when one of my Australian friends left after a year. I rocked that new Wicked Witch of the West bike for one full year (my pretties). His bike was a little more manly than the one I had and newer. The tires were bigger and the basket didn't bend and break when I put stuff in it. Plus it wasn't rusty, which was sweet. Half decent, kind of.
All bikes in Japan come with a built in lock system. Its a tiny little key that pops out and prevents the bike from moving, if you leave it in, or lose the key. You are toast though. I occasionally forget it in.
I had also bought a trusty lock from the dollar store. I figured it’d be like be murder she wrote, only I wrote it and no murder involved (this time). I had double locks so on top of having a somewhat cooler but still granny bike, I figured no one would try and steal it. I thought wrong.
There is a saying about Japan. That Japanese are very honest except for when it comes to two items “bicycles and umbrellas”. They go missing like you wouldn't believe. More than once I contemplated informing the local police station “MY DOLLAR STORE UMBRELLA IS MISSING AGAIN I NEED IMMEDIATE ACTION”. I also considered calling the SDF (Self Defense Force) in the name of my missing umbrella. My other friend just grabbed someone else's nicer umbrella in retaliation.
One night I locked my bike near a Heiwado Department Store. The sign said “Don’t lock your bike here”. I ignored the sign and parked my bike (a bit of a rebel you could say). I figured with the double lock what’s the worse that could happen.
I didn't come back till the next day. To my astonishment all the other bikes that were around mine were still there except for mine. It occurred to me, I should have brought the rusty bike the school had lent me so they wouldn't have zeroed in on a somewhat cooler non rusty granny bike. I just lost my Mustang. I could no longer go from zero to hero, I was now going from 0mph - 2mph in under one minute with a rusty "Creek, creek, creek" sound.
I rocked the rusty blue piece of crap for the remaining two years.

Don't worry if you fall your helmet will protect you. Oh wait, no helmet. Uhhhh...

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Other funny stories from this blog

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