Me and the small group of fellow vintage cycle fans I've posted about before met up today for our first ride of the year. I wanted to check a few things on my 1975 Peugeot PX60 before taking it touring so I rode that.
It's a pretty straight ride from where I live to the meeting point, some 15 miles away, a short distance from Sekidobashi, the site by the Tama River of the twice-yearly vintage bicycle flea market http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ura-Silk/page8 I posted about back in April last year (1/3 of the way down the page). On the way there I passed a shop I'd visited a couple of times beforebut which was closed today so I just stopped to take a couple of photos of the De Rosa, Colnago and Legnano for sale in the window:
IMG_7465 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
Yes, that's right, US$4,680. You wouldn't believe the prices here, although bikes are usually in excellent condition for that kind of money.
The 1988 De Rosa Professional, for US$4,940:
IMG_7477 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
There's a cycle path alongside the Tama River which runs for several miles either side of Sekidobashi, a favourite place for Tokyoites to ride and probably why they hold the market there. On a quiet day like today the traffic on Route 20, which runs almost parallel to the Tama for some miles, is quite light so it's far quicker than joining the cycle path at Futakotamagawa, for example, some 12 miles to the south, and pottering along the river. With heavy traffic, the 20 is a nightmare as the 2 lanes each way are too narrow in many places for a car and a bicycle together, resulting in lots of stop-and-start riding, close shaves and irritated car drivers. This a comparatively wide part of the 20:
IMG_7478 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
Today I took the 20. Even so, with all the traffic lights, it still took an hour and a half and was dead boring so I ducked down to the river about 5 miles from where we'd arranged to meet and continued along the river.
Among the different C&V groups here in Japan the biggest single, and easily the longest established, must be those fans of Randonneur bikes, with Herse and Singer machines being favourites. Not for nothing does Japan host their own home grown and well-regarded Randonneur makers ALP and Toei. However, they do have a 'reputation' for being 'serious' and riding always pristine machines. Put another, very un-Japanese way, they tend to be dour and obsessive. They also tend to be older and neatly dressed. I passed a bunch of around 8 of them coming the other way and despite smiling and saying 'bonjour' a couple of times not one of them even cast me a glance as they shone past. The other thing I noticed today was that almost every single 'serious' sports bike rider I passed coming the other way, the ones in full lycra, team jersey, helmet and wrap-around glasses, lowered their eyes to the path immediately in front of them and looked even more serious as they approached and rode past.
There were 6 of us today and when I got to the meeting point I found the others had brought a 1938 Hetchins:
IMG_7482 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
A stunning 1939 Baines 'Flying Gate':
IMG_7500 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
A 1930s FW Evans:
IMG_7501 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
An early 1980s and rather unusual National:
IMG_7484 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]
And a sparkling 1984 Toei:
IMG_7515 by Dawes-man, on Flickr[/IMG]