31 August 2013

The New Kids in Setagaya (and across the river)

Today was very hot -- 36 degrees celsius in Tokyo.  Too hot for me to want to ride.  A day to grumble about what a miserable place Tokyo can be at times.

Then again, maybe it is not so miserable.  I was looking online for a place in Japan that I could get Chris King Ringdrive grease to do annual maintenance on my Chris King Classic rear hub, since World Cycle mail order shop did not have any in stock.  ... and I came across the website for SimWorks, the import business of Shinya Tanaka (Circles shop in Nagoya) that sells in Japan bikes by Mike DeSalvo, Rick Hunter, Cielo (Chris King) and others.

I started to drool as I looked at the list of products.  Everything is aesthetically pleasing, authentic and interesting.  It all shows a love of bicycles.  And the blog was fun too, with a post from yesterday about a DeSalvo belt drive bike, a look at some beautiful Sykes wood fenders and a post reporting on CharRie's Cafe, a Japanese woman (Rie Sawada -- with "char" or "chari" slang for bicycle in Japanese, hence "Char Rie") riding across Europe this summer and beyond on her Rick Hunter-built "coffee bicycle" -- serving coffee to thousands of cyclists around the globe from a moving cafe.  Simworks has a strong connection with Portland -- my hometown.

Then, it was on to the page listing dealers carrying Simworks brands. Not surprisingly, there were lots of them within 10 or 20 minutes' ride of my house.  I will stop by Above Bike Store -- just across the river in Kawasaki -- to see if they have the Ringdrive grease.  They have some beautiful bikes in the gallery.  Maybe I should get a custom paint job for a frame, or stop by the "wheel bar" for a new pair while I am there:

Or maybe I should make an appointment to visit Rew10, a Setagaya-based framebuilder.  Or stop by Blue Lug in Kamiuma.  Or visit one of the several CyPara (Cycle Paradise) shops in Setagaya.
I have been living here for 9 years, and thought I was following what was going on nearby at least when there was something interesting related to bicycles.  But I have never been to any of these places.

Some people think there is no future Tokyo ... but I am not so sure.  I resolve to get out and roam around a bit more.  It was just such a stroll looking for good bike shops that first led me to Positivo ... and eventually to Positivo Espresso.  Who knows what the future holds?

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