Back to the United States

I'm back in Maine and wanted to let you all know I made it safe and my bike did as well.  I will post more on that later with some photos.  It was quite a feat getting it all in and under the size restrictions, but I managed and 0$ in extra fees and over 24 hours later I was back home.  I did get a few suspicious looks (the box was very odd shaped) but I wasn't questioned further after telling them in was aluminum tubing.  Even customs got me through quickly and easily.
I did have to dissemble one wheel and just take the rim with me.  The extra width of the hub would have put me over size.
Merry Christmas all and Happy Newyear.
Ride safe



Chiba Bike Polo ありがとう!

 You guys have been great!
Take care, and I'll see you at the Worlds in Seattle if you're up for it!
My final days in Japan have been great!
Ride safe.



Green Night Ride 楽しかった!

Green Night Ride Illumi-Meguri Ride 楽しかった!

Green Night Ride's Illumi-Meguri Ride was excellent!
Thanks to all the great guys I rode with and Wada for organizing!
Send me your photos friends!



Taiwan Hardcourt Bike Polo

Some of the guys from Tokyo went to play in Taiwan a few weeks back and here's a great video of all the fun they had!
Way to represent Tokyo!

I hope december is treating you well,


Rainy City and a New Blog

Greenbikelove has evolved slowly into a blog mostly about my experiences and how they relate to bicycles.  On occasion, a post of several sketches shows up as well, which is fine, but not wanting to bore anyone looking for bike posts, and wanting to post more art myself, I dug up an old hardly used blog from a long while back and I'm attempting to restart it as a place for sketches and cool art links I stumble across.
Here it is! and tell your friends



The Helmet Debate and How

A few weeks ago I watched a short TEDxCopenhagen presentation by Mikael Colville-Anderson, in which he talks about how bicycle helmet safety laws and pressure are tools in a fear campaign to keep cars dominant.  I was ready to agree with him, but found his presentation to be less than interesting and poorly argued. (I do think I agree with his thesis but not really any of the data or arguments he presented)

In any case, I began reflecting on the 'helmet debate' and here are my thoughts from the past few weeks

1: mandatory helmet laws are not the best way to increase bike safety.
2: wearing or not wearing a helmet is a personal choice. (and should be respected)
3: helmets are not the most important part of bicycle safety.
4: People in cars and on bikes must cooperate to improve safety for everyone.
5: both personal safety techniques and policy improve safety for road users.

I have become a bit frustrated with how helmet issues are debated as well.  I think the debate needs to continue but more civilly and more carefully.
Here are a few tips when dealing with heated helmet debates:

1:don't take it personally
   All cyclists want to ride safely and have fun, and just because someone disagrees with you about helmets doesn't mean you're not pushing in the same direction.
2: read the argument carefully and identify the point.
   This one can be tough because most helmet discussions I've seen are ambiguous about this.  Realize that statistics, scientific studies and even personal experiences are all flawed in representing 'the one truth' about bike helmets.  There are almost innumerable angles from which to observe helmet safety, and just as many ways to misconstrue data.  For example: A study may conclude that just as many accident fatalities wore helmets as didn't, so helmets don't increase your chances of surviving a crash.  A good question to ask would be 'of the fatalities how many died of head injuries?'  Realize that a study that shows that helmets don't improve survival rates, says nothing whatsoever about minor collisions or solo accidents involving train tracks or bike malfunction.  Wearing a helmet in a head on collision with a car traveling 100mph won't save your life, but it may save you from a concussion if you get a stick caught in your wheels or if you eat it on a corner in the rain.
3:attempting to refute statistics by citing your personal 'thank god I had a helmet' story is not productive (and neither is disregarding personal experience when looking at statistics)
   A study that says wearing a helmet increases your risk of injury while cycling is not refuted by the fact that you once were in a terrible accident and 'thanks to the helmet' made it out alive.  Your experience is important, and often is worth mentioning in a discussion, but be aware that you don't necessarily know the parameters of the study or what the researchers were looking for.  Were they studying only head injuries?  All injuries?  Deaths?  Vehicular collisions only? etc.
4: remember that a bicycle helmet is no substitute for safe riding techniques.
    It doesn't matter how safe your equipment is, if you ride dangerously, your chances of being injured or killed increase.  Step back and look at the bigger picture here.

Taking points 2 and 3 into consideration, I think cyclists should each identify why they personally ride with or without a helmet.  Do you wear a helmet so people will think you're a 'safe cyclist'? To save your life in that 'big crash' that may come any day? maybe you've had a bad experience, or know someone you trust who advocates helmet use.  Regardless of your reasons, recognize the limitations of the bicycle helmet and that we are all striving for safer more livable streets.

Here are a few links to check out:
And a graph that I like: http://cyclehelmets.org/1079.html
Ride safe my friends,



Hit by a Pedestrian

So today I experienced the closest thing I've had to a 'bike accident', but it was a bit different than I would have ever expected.
I've been fortunate and blessed to have never been hit by a car, gone over the handlebars, or been doored. The last time I can remember falling from by bike to the ground was when I was 10 years old and got the handlebars flipped around landing me quickly on the pavement.
To day I was riding through Tokyo, and I was at one of it's busiest intersections, a massive one in Shibuya where pedestrians cross en mass diagonally when the signal goes on. I was slowly navigating my way through the huge crowd, riding slow, when the green walk lights began to flash, the traffic cops began blowing their whistles and everyone out on the street begins running to clear the road, I pulled out of the crowd and was halfway through the intersection when a businessman carrying a briefcase collided with me broadside at a good run. I fell, hit the pavement and rolled free of my bicycle. The man helped me up, apologizing profusely and then ran off to avoid the flow of cars that was now inching around me and my bike. I hopped back on in a daze and headed for the closest sidewalk.
I banged up my elbow and my ankle was a bit sore from trying to catch myself as I fell, but no real injuries.
It made me really appreciate my good track record.
I have had several close calls with cars in which quick thinking on my part as pulled me through shaken but unharmed, and I always assumed (despite knowing logically that this was not the case) that as long as I was smart, riding safe and had my eyes open and my wits about me, I was pretty much safe.
I didn't see this guy coming at all, and he was moving at only a fraction of the speed of the automobiles I share the road with on a daily basis. Granted he was smaller than a car and wearing all black, but I know that in a different situation it could have been a car pulling out of an unseen alley, leaving me with more than a bruised elbow to show for it.
Have you been in a collision while riding? I hope not, but if you have feel free to share your experience and how/if it changed the way you ride.

Be safe, ride with lights and keep your eyes open!


Bikes AND Comics!

Here's a great comic I found today ABOUT BIKES!!
Here's my favorite so far, but all of them are great!

Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery
by Rick Smith

Check it out and keep riding!


Legs, Ginger Chai and Becoming a Beautiful Woman

I've been 'train sketching' like mad recently in my new smaller paperback sketchbook, and recently I've been tackling legs. (not really, I actually just draw them) This may sound slightly perverted, but Japan is a GREAT place to draw legs.
I've also been trying to peg boots recently and I've done quite a few combination 'boot-leg' drawings.
It's hard to draw while standing up in the train...
So highschool girls, if they're really popular of course, wear their skirts really high, which I don't endorse... and some dudes
Sweet sneakers, socks and jacket all in one!
A girl surrounded by legs
This guy had some SWEET legs and thin pants.
If she had woken up it would have been awkward
A cool girl
A Guy and his PSP and a Guy and some boots. Not his boots tho.
So, I endulged in a piping hot vending machine beverage this morning (It was cold on the 5:32am train :-( which I gathered to be a ginger tea chai. It was delicious, and feeling envigorated afterword, I decided to read as much of the label as possible with help from my trusty dictionary. I learned the words for 'ginger' 生姜 , 'to shake' 振る, 'burn' 火傷 and 'let's become cozy beautiful women!' ポカポカ美人になろう!

Apparently I chose a gender specific beverage.

Have a happy week!