Goodbye Sweet Indicator!

By Donnie | Articles

We’ve been through a lot together, sweetie. We’ve ridden through the rain and snow together, gone through the depths of hell together, and even saved the world a couple times…remember (as a tear glistens in Donald’s left eye)? You have always been there for me whenever I needed you. But I know this can’t go on any longer. I hope that someday you will find someone who can take better care of you. Farewell my dear…

Sigh...goodbye my dear...

Random person:“Hey Donald what’cha writin…wait…are you crying?”
Donald: “Nah, man, I got something in my eye (as Donald’s lip begins to quiver…followed by his voice). I’m just typing a report for work.”
Random person: “Oh…okay, good luck.”
Donald: “Thanks.”

Today, unfortunately, I had to take my bike out to pasture. That was the second bike I bought since I’ve been in Japan. I guess when you ride them everyday, the wear and tear is going to happen. The funny thing is that this bike was the exact color and model of my previous one. The first time, though, I bought my bike directly from a Japanese bike shop. The second time I just happened to find the exact same model at a second hand store near my house.

The second-hand store bike was super-cheap (maybe four or five-thousand yen), but it was actually several sizes too small. I knew that, but I just wanted something that I could use to get around quickly, easily, and cheaply . When I would ride, my knees would sometimes hit the handlebars (see? I told you it was small), but that was part of the bike’s…”charm.” I thought riding in extreme discomfort was normal, but I guess it isn’t.

I got a brand new bike, that cost me ¥33,000** (which includes insurance 2700 yen insurance). To some, that price may sound expensive, but when you have to ride your bike almost everywhere you go, it’s nice to be comfortable. Being that I am a taller person. I’d say it’s worth going to your local bike store to buy a quality bike that will last you. At my local shop, I was told by one of the clerks that the Chevaux bicycle was largest in stock.
**If you ever get confused on how to gauge the value of yen, just remove two zeroes, and that’s a ball park of what the dollar value will be. It’s changed significantly though, because the yen has been so strong against the dollar lately.**

He let me do a test run in the ASAHI parking lot…


A new set of wheels. No, not a car, unfortunately, a bicycle.

I was so amazed!! This is the first time, since I I’ve been here, that I’ve been able to get, nearly, full leg extension while riding. It’s incredible!! Riding around should be a whole lot easier now. If you’re taller, and cant’ find a bike your size, have the store order. It makes a tremendous difference.

See you next time,

Donald Ash

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  • Nice ride Don! Which Asahi did you buy that at? Im in a similar conundrum, can’t find a bike large enough (I’m only 6’1″). The Asahi in Moriya had slim pickings of 28″ commuter-style bikes. Is that why you opted for a mountain bike?

    • Donald Ash

      Thanks Scott!! I bought this one at an Asahi in Tsukuba. With you being 6’1″ and all, I’m sure you’re having a tough time with bikes, too. Honestly I don’t know why I got the mountain bike. Even the first one I had was too small. I just didn’t want the Mama Cherry style. But now, I just want anything that’s big enough. Asahi will call the manufacturer and place an order if you need them to. IF the manufacturer makes larger sizes they can have it at the shop in one week.

      Thanks for stopping by to post, and to share my pain 🙂

      • Scott Greenwald

        Thanks for the advice! I ended buying a mountain bike “style” as well. With a basket, thin tires and fenders, the new ride is a little different to American style mountain bikes.. but perfect for getting my tall ass around town!

  • Anthony

    Nice bike! It definitely looks like a much smoother ride than your old one just by looking at the tires. What’s the ¥2700 insurance about?

    • Donald Ash

      I’m not exactly sure, but the insurance was optional, but I figured “why not?” And yes, the ride is SOOO much smoother.

      • Scott Greenwald

        That ¥2700 insurance plan is actually a good deal. Asahi reimburses you up to ¥5400 if your bike is stolen or destroyed. It also includes 2 years worth of anytime maintenance (Usually ¥ 1500 per visit), and the ¥500 prefecture registration fee is waived.

  • Paul Loyd

    You are so right! Finally, bikes that fit! Bridgestone and Panasonic etc need to get it in gear if they want to survive.

    • Donald Ash

      Heh heh, I know, right?

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