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Old 08-20-08, 01:21 AM   #1
wrenchy54110
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Greetings from Okinawa, Japan

Hi All,
I am new hear and thought I would drop a line to introduce myself. I am James and I live in Japan. I am a former U.S. Marine and still work around the Marines as a civilian.

I am trying to get into biking. My weight has always been a problem and my current job requires most of my time at a desk. I am really tired of being tired....and fat. My commute to work is 15 miles one way and I plan to do this twice at week to start. I am also wanting to save a little money and just be more productive and happier. I know biking can do this for me. I just need to take that proverbial first step. I have done a lot of web searches over the last few weeks and there is a ton of support and encouragement out here.

I look forward to connecting with many of the members here.

Thanks,

James
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Old 08-20-08, 10:59 AM   #2
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Hello James, many people would think you are in an ideal place in the world--at least, if you enjoyed track racing.

What kind of bike are you looking at?

Welcome to BikeForums, and don't hesitate to send me a PM if you have any questions .

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Old 08-20-08, 12:10 PM   #3
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Hi James. You live in a great place for bicycling. Lot's of fun places to bicycle in Japan.

I think 15 miles for a commute is going to be a tough one in Okinawa. FIrst, Japan is generally not a good fast-distance place to bicycle. You may find it difficult to average more than 8 mph in most Japanese cities. Second, of course, is that Okinawa is hot and humid as hell, so you will probably arrive at your destination dripping wet with sweat.

Man alive, if you are in Japan, you might think of taking up martial arts. Judo is a good sport for big boys. Of course, there are a lot of martial arts in Okinawa including the many forms of Karate and kobudo.

Like I mentioned, bicycle commuting 15 miles each way in Japan might be a big goal for a newbie, but Japan is a great place to bicycle and you could have a lot of fun in the evenings and weekends bicycling around Okinawa - and the other major islands like Kyushu, Honshu, Shikoku, and far away Hokkaido.

Have fun. Tell us how it is over there.
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Old 08-20-08, 12:16 PM   #4
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... oh and by the way, be careful for Gozilla because I am pretty sure he lives around Okinawa.

Some people say that he only attacks pedestrians and motor vehicles, but I dunno... I still think Gozilla is one very dangerous creature and it will not be any fun to be the first bicyclist that takes the brunt of his flame thrower or foot stomping or tail bashing.

So, be careful out there in Okinawa.

And, by the way, I think the Japanese are still upset that it was the USA military who created all that nuclear toxic waste that made Gozilla in the first place, so be careful for angry Japanese people too.
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Old 08-25-08, 01:51 AM   #5
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Thanks. I already have a bike. I pieced together a road bike with a Felt F85 frame and some other choice components. A little dura-ace here and some 105 there and a set off Kysyrium Race wheels and I am on the rode.

James
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Old 08-27-08, 12:02 AM   #6
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Mike,
You are right, Okinawa is mostly hot and humid but the winter months are quite pleasant. Fortunately, the place I work has a locker room and showers. I can keep a change of clothes there too, so I don't need to carry anything. I have been thinking about this for about a month and have done a lot of research/planning. My commute has no real cities in it. A few small towns but nothing like Tokyo at all. Thankfully, Godzilla seems to frequent those urban areas more than where I live.

I should be able to average about 12-15 mph. I am assuming I can do one way in an hour or slightly more. My only problem at the moment is sometimes I need a vehicle at work, and it is hard to predict that need everytime. I am trying to organize things to start anyday. Hopefully I can stick with it.

Thanks for the concerns.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by wrenchy54110 View Post
Hi All,
I am new hear and thought I would drop a line to introduce myself. I am James and I live in Japan. I am a former U.S. Marine and still work around the Marines as a civilian.

I am trying to get into biking. My weight has always been a problem and my current job requires most of my time at a desk. I am really tired of being tired....and fat. My commute to work is 15 miles one way and I plan to do this twice at week to start. I am also wanting to save a little money and just be more productive and happier. I know biking can do this for me. I just need to take that proverbial first step. I have done a lot of web searches over the last few weeks and there is a ton of support and encouragement out here.

I look forward to connecting with many of the members here.

Thanks,

James
Which base are you commuting to? Get out and start riding parts of the route for recreation and let your body get accustomed to both riding and the traffic patterns. Experiment with different routes until you find one you are the most comfortable with.

The Japanese drivers are not bad when it comes to bikes (especially if you don't look like a gaijin) ...they are used to them...it's the military and dependents you gotta watch out for.

If you browse through the commuting forums you'll find a lot of great advice concerning equipment and logistics. Good luck, and welcome!
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Old 08-27-08, 06:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by wrenchy54110 View Post
My only problem at the moment is sometimes I need a vehicle at work, and it is hard to predict that need everytime.
If possible, split up your commute...drive in with the bike, ride home, leaving the car at work for as many days as you can, then drive home with the bike when you need to. Repeat as needed.

For my old route, my wife used to drive my truck up with her bike on it to ride home with me sometimes, leaving my truck at work until I decided I needed to drive home....of course she has her own car for getting around, YMMV.

Semper Fi, jughead.
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Old 09-01-08, 04:32 PM   #9
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Chipcom,
Thanks for the advice. I work at Hansen. A friend of mine gave me the same advice about leaving the car at work. I started doing that last week. It takes me an hour and five minutes to do the 16 miles one way. That doesn't bother me. I will get used to it. I like being able to get a good nights sleep before riding back to work. It helps a lot. I am anticipating getting caught in the rain at some point so I will be looking at getting some fenders for the bike I guess.

Everyone, thanks for the advice.

Later,

James
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