06 December 2011

Don't Forget Japan

For all the talk of Denmark and the Netherlands, many German cities and the rising stars of Bicycle Culture 2.0 like France, Japan is so often left out of the equation.

It is quite amazing to me how many aren't aware that Japan is the third great cycling nation after DK and NL. Even urban mobility colleagues often say, "really?" when I highlight this fact.

This film is a long series of clips that show what kind of bicycle nation Japan is. It's all there. Sorry. Yet another country (and it's an automobile powerhouse, a rich country, a country with cities that have narrow streets, etc etc) to either make other cities feel hopelessly insecure or... further empowered to catch up.

Be sure to click over to the Vimeo page to read the text from the guy who made it. He's had enough of sub-cultural bicycle niches. He wants Bicycle Society.

Here's an excerpt:

"According to my crude interpretation/analogy a society that cycles is more equal to the one that doesn’t.
Here in Japan grannies do it, kids do it, salary men do it, so do Yankees, the yakuza, teachers, nurses, office ladies, students, fashionistas, moms carrying an entire family, farmers, delivery men, chefs, the police, old men do it slowly with their knees sticking out, fixies, hipsters, local councilors, udon deliverers, students and anime characters do it too.

And they do it on the footpath and without fancy lyrca, fancy bikes and helmets too. They just do it. People cycle because it makes sense.

And it’s not that they don’t like their cars in Japan. It’s just that cycling makes sense.