bicycles

Kyoto’s amazing mechanized underground bike parking system is even more awesome in motion 【Video】

Compared to Tokyo, Japan’s former capital, Kyoto, is fairly compact. Most of the commercial development is clustered around Kyoto Station, with a ring of temples, gardens, and other historical sites surrounding the more modern parts of the city.

Kyoto is also relatively flat, and the grid pattern its major streets are laid out on makes it an easy town to get around by bicycle. Of course, Kyoto doesn’t want an unsightly mass of parked bikes marring the scenery and cluttering pedestrian walkways, which is why at one of the city’s major transportation hubs there’s a subterranean, automated bicycle parking lot, and if that sounds awesomely high-tech, wait until you see it in action.

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The greatest “no parking” sign ever made

To many environmentalists, a city where most people get around by public transportation and bicycles may seem like a dream, but it’s also not without its share of daily nuisances.

The person who originally tweeted the above photo had said, “The area around this building is very tight due to illegally parked bikes… After I open shop I put out this sign and bikes don’t park here any more.” Over 15,000 Twitter users have agreed and called this the greatest “no parking” sign ever made.

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High school cyclist gets a hard lesson in looking both ways before crossing the street【Video】

Depending on how you commute, you might have very strong feelings about cyclists. If you’re a regular cyclist, you might think that bicycles are the greatest thing since sliced bread and wish all those obnoxious, dangerous drivers would just get off the road. On the other hand, if you’re a motorist, you might think that bikes are a constant annoyance and cyclists are all obnoxious, dangerous jerks who should just get off the road. Meanwhile, everyone getting packed into a Tokyo subway is just wondering who–or what–is getting shoved in their butt crack.

But regardless of how you feel about cyclists or drivers, I think we can all agree that nothing is more important that safety on the road–as this heart-stopping video proves in a matter of seconds.

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Walking Bicycle Club looks to change the way we ride, angers internet with promotional video

Not a whole lot has changed since the development of the bicycle around two centuries ago. Near the end of the 19th century we moved away from those bicycles with the absurdly large front wheel and that seemed to be enough.

Sure there have been massive strides in performance technology and certain novel variations such as the recumbent and tandem bikes, but the fundamentals were pretty much kept intact. Now, a Japanese group has come up with a revolutionary redesign of the bicycle which they hope brings joy to riders and all who are around them. Unfortunately many who saw the commercial for it felt the opposite.

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Tokyo’s new rentable bikes are a great start, but the city is still far from bike-friendly…

Close your eyes and throw a stick in pretty much any Tokyo neighbourhood, and there’s a good chance that you’ll hit someone riding a bicycle. With roughly 72 million bikes on the streets of Japan, they’re an essential part of daily life for many, especially in urban areas where space for motor vehicle parking is both limited and expensive.

Last weekend, though, we stumbled upon a fleet of sparkling new bicycles that couldn’t be more different to the typical mamachari shopping bikes that everyone from junior high schoolers to worryingly wobbly grandmothers pedal around town. Sleek, compact, and with”Suicle” stamped on their crossbars, these lime-green lightweights are available for anyone with a prepaid IC bus or rail card and a half-decent sense of balance to rent.

Eager to know if the ride, and the process of renting and returning, was as smooth as a nearby sign purported it to be, we took a couple of the mini bikes out for a spin.

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Cyclist in Tokyo ordered to pay $459,000 after collision leaves 74-year-old woman dead

A Tokyo court has ruled that a cyclist must pay 47 million yen (US$459,000) to the family of a 75-year-old women he collided with and killed in 2010.

The pensioner, one Mrs. Mitsuhiro Azuma, was struck by the cyclist on a pedestrian crossing in Tokyo’s Ota Ward after he ignored a red light. The court heard that Mrs. Azuma suffered a head wound when she was knocked to the ground, from which she died five days later.

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Overload on overloading! 66 photos of vehicles and people carrying way too much

As someone who’s never owned a car with a back seat, I’ve had to get creative when packing for a weekend trip or doing an especially extensive round of Christmas shopping. Between some Tetris-like loading of packages into the trunk (and occasionally having my passenger hold something on his or her lap), I’ve been able to haul some impressive loads. But I’ve got nothing on the crazy carrying capacity of these vehicles.

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