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Old 09-08-13, 01:30 PM
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Hello there cyclists,

By way of introduction, I would share this story about my experiences with Zunow bicycles, their builder, Mr Kageyama and my life.

With recent interest in the Zunow brand, I thought I would share this history. I am a Canadian, born and raised in BC. In 1982, during an economic downturn here, I was working as a tree planter. The crew I was on had several members who spent their Winters teaching English in Japan. As I had no immediate job prospects in Canada, I decided to liquidate everything and travel to Japan to work for a year.

I was racing and training a lot, so I set off with a bike and very little else. I travelled by bicycle from Tokyo to the North Coast and then down to Kobe, where I had some contact info from my friends in Canada. After two months of cycling Japan, I was nearly broke and needed to get to work. I started teaching and moved to Uji, between Osaka and Kyoto. Most of my work was in Osaka. My youngest students were kindergaerten age and my oldest was 80. I taught business men and house wives. It was a great experience.

When I wasn't teaching, I was riding. I met other cyclists on the road and found great rides through the surrounding mountains. A couple of my friends rode Zunow frames and I asked where I could find one. On a National Holiday, I took the train into Osaka to search for the bike store they told me about.In old areas of Japan, addresses are not laid out in order, but rather, in order of when they were built. I got pretty much hopelessly lost and headed back to the train station. On my way back, I happened across the original Zunow frame building factory (actually a small shop with a chaotic mess of parts, frames and bikes upstairs and production downstairs on metal jig tables, built on the uneven rock floor, custom built to the terrain)

There, I met Mr. Kageyama, the builder and originator of Zunow. I returned many times to visit Mr. Kageyama, eventually becoming English teacher to him, his wife and his two children. We had many lovely nights at his home. I would come and teach them and we would have dinner together. Mr. Kageyama was a wonderful host and we spent many hours discussing cycling, politics, history and philosophy.

Mr. Kageyama was an outstanding math student who had quailfied to a prestigious university. He became fascinated by bicycles, primarily as a simple, elegant machine. He believed in new ideas based on natural structures. He spent time studying birds and the physical mechanics of their skeletons. He made the hummingbird the symbol of Zunow bicycles. The word Zunow, is an adaptation of a Japanese word for the concept of new age ideas and art.

Mr Kageyama paid me for my teaching duties with two Zunow Z1R bicycles with Dura Ace components. When I returned to Canada, it was Mr. Kageyama who delivered me to the airport and saw me off. He gave me the rights to his products for Canada and most of the US. Torrelli was importing some frames already to Florida. I opened a retail store in Vancouver BC, called Katana. I warehoused Zunows in Vancouver, Toronto and Davis CA.

To this day, I ride a Zunow Z1R with Dura Ace 9sp, as well as a new Cannondale SuperSix with Dura Ace 10sp, a Cannondale Capo on the track and a Norco Threshold CX bike. My partner also has a Zunow Z1R and a SuperSix DA bike and my step-son rides a Zunow Z1R with DA.

They are beautiful frames that are enlivened with the lovely spirit of a wonderful man.

I am now an elected politician, a Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. My life has had many chapters, logger, tree planter, construction, courier, school custodian, English teacher in Japan, union rep, school trustee and now MLA. I count my days in Japan and particularly my time with Mr. Kageyama as some of the best.
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Old 09-08-13, 07:50 PM
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