July 15, 2010
Jul 15, 2010 | Issue: 851 | No Comments | 959 views

RIDING ROUND IN CIRCLES

Regarding “Pedal Policy” (Cars & Bikes, July 2): Personally, I find cyclists a pain in the teeth, and it’s precisely because of the lack of clear rules. Some cyclists will give a hand signal before they turn, while others won’t and will just pull out in front of your car, secure in the knowledge that regardless of how stupid they’ve just been, the car driver will take the blame if there’s an accident. As a result, a lot of the motorists in my area (myself included) give cyclists a very wide berth, but that still doesn’t stop them from doing stupid things like talking on their cell phones, while holding an umbrella, while cycling in the middle of a one-lane country road.

If bicycles are indeed regarded as light vehicles, then the cops need to stop yelling and start handing out tickets for this sort of dangerous and inconsistent behavior, just like they’d ticket a driver who didn’t indicate or drove dangerously.—Frungy

Bicycles are classed as light vehicles, so the policeman was correct to shout “Dame.” He didn’t mean “use the pedestrian crossing” but that you should do a two-point right-hand turn, as 50cc scooters also have to do.—Champon

I ride about 1,200km a month here in Japan. If you ride properly in Japan, and at the same speed as cars (through the cities), you will have no problems. By properly, I mean: not down the side of the road, but in the middle, going the right way, at the same speed as the traffic, wearing super bright clothes, giving the correct hand signals, and demanding the right of way, while at the same time assuming a defensive stance (don’t bolt across an amber-light crossing: you will eventually get hammered).

Also, feel free to spit at/shout at/slap anybody riding the wrong way up the road. They are putting you at serious risk: having to swerve out to avoid someone riding the wrong way could get your rear wheel hit by a truck attempting to overtake, and that will be game over.

Take care out there, but know that if you ride properly and like a bad-man, you will be OK.—DuraAce

YOU AND YOUR FILTHY HABIT

Regarding the “guidebook of restaurants where you’re allowed to smoke” (Dining Out, July 2): Absurd book. Life “tough for smokers”? Absolute and utter nonsense. You can smoke nearly everywhere still. Just try to escape the poisonous fumes from these suicidal people in central Tokyo—you may as well wish for gold to fall from the sky. Sure, some places have decided that poisoning the nonsmoking customers is a bad idea, but painfully few have done so. Some cancer-intent smoke monster will still be blowing his or her gray haze at you over the “smoking” dividers that would hardly keep toddlers out, let alone smoke.

Someone should instead be publishing a photo book with companion video that shows just what it is like to die of lung cancer. Then maybe some of these brain-dead addicts will stop poisoning their children, other people’s children, friends, family members and the general public with their filthy habit.—tkoind2

One of the beneficial side effects to this book will be that I will be able to find restaurants that are not full of other people’s noisy kids. I just hate this melodramatic and emotive rubbish people come up with about their children. If the nonsmokers take this book as a warning of where not to go, that leaves people who want to smoke free to do so without having some nanny-like creature telling us about how we are harming their child. The result of my pleasure might be an early grave, but then might the same not be said of their pleasure? They are your children: you be responsible and protect them. Take them where I can’t harm them, please.—grafton

From the Japan Today comment threads

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