When I lived in Japan, it was impossible not to notice what a major role bikes play in day-to-day life. They aren’t at all seen as ‘toys’ or a way to stay-fit, like we see them here. I didn’t see any roadies in skin suits out on training rides. I didn’t see hipsters on single-speeds hangin’ at the coffee shops, or BMX-ers in the parks building dirt jumps. In fact, oddly enough, single-speeds may actually have banned there – though I’m not sure about that. Instead it seemed to me that the Japanese see bikes as purely a practiacal means of transportation –  you see the Japanese wearing business suits as they ride to work, or balancing their kid in a bike seat as they also carry groceries home from the local markets. Near almost every train/subway station in Tokyo, you’ll find a massive bike-rack/lot, just PACKED with bikes (see photo – it’s nuts!). In a city like Tokyo, with a daytime population of more than 27 million, bikes free people from the extraordinary costs of owning, parking and operating a vehicle in such a space-starved metropolis. Even with the amazing public transportation system that they have, and believe me, it is amazing – bikes are still a common choice for transportation. – Read More –