Thursday, May 12, 2016

Night biking through Yokohama backstreets

The best way to explore a city is by bike, and perhaps the best time for riding around a city is late at night.

While some places, like shopping centers etc have closed, it seems like a whole big part of the city opens up.  When I first, came to Japan I remember thinking how different everything looks at night - to the point where I would often get lost among streets that would have looked familiar in daylight.

It would be very difficult to not come upon something new and interesting while out on a slow bike cruise through the old backstreets and alleyways of Yokohama.

Yokohama Rides and Rentals has 24 hour bike rentals available - lights included!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Who needs taxis?

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending a bit of time with Bikes vs Cars director Fredrik Gertten.

Over a cup of coffee at Uplink Factory, he told me about why he decided to make the film and how bike advocacy groups in cities around the world are helping to bring about a "paradigm shift" away from car-centric city planning.  I also learned about some, maybe not so surprising, challenges he has faced in getting the film shown and distributed in Japan. For example, one very large and well-known media company here, who has bought his films in the past, turned "Bikes vs Cars" down with a simple "..but bikes are bad too."  Huh?

Anyway, it quickly became obvious to me that Director Gertten is incredibly passionate in his belief that the bicycle can be a great tool for bringing about positive change in our cities.

And he is a man who practices what he preaches!  Since he arrived on Tuesday, he has been making the most of the bike Dahon Bikes very generously offered him to use during his stay.  Here is a shot of him managing his very hectic PR schedule, with the assistance of a Dahon folding bike and the Tokyo subway system - two good things that go great together!
The Japan premiere of his award winning film "Bikes vs Cars" is this Sunday at Uplink Factory in Shibuya.

Tickets can be purchased here.
@uplink_jp @dahonbikes @Dahon_jp@cycleembassyJP @bikes_vs_cars

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Announcing the Japan Premiere of "Bikes vs Cars"


With all the power vested in me, as a proud member of the seemingly illustrious Cycling Embassy of Japan, I am incredibly delighted to announce our success in (finally) securing a Tokyo screening date for the Japanese premiere of director Fredrik Gertten`s documentary film "Bikes vs Cars".

From the press kit - 

SYNOPSIS: Bikes vs Cars depicts a global crisis that we all deep down know we need to talk about: climate, earth's resources, cities where the entire surface is consumed by the car. An ever-growing, dirty, noisy traffic chaos. The bike is a great tool for change, but the powerful interests who gain from the private car invest billions each year on lobbying and advertising to protect their business. In the film we meet activists and thinkers who are fighting for better cities, who refuse to stop riding despite the increasing number killed in traffic.

There will be two screenings, first, the premiere at 16:00, then again at 18:45 on Sunday, January 31st at Uplink Factory in Shibuya.  Tickets are expected to go on sale on Thursday and can be bought through their website.

The embassy's own Chad Feyen has been working at a frantic pace with his wife to translate the subtitles into Japanese and we do believe they will be ready.

As a bonus, embassy members Byron Kidd of Tokyo By Bike fame, and journalist Yasuyuki Saito, will be participating in a 30-45 minute, post-screening Q & A along with the director Fredrik Gertten.

We are also thinking of organizing a pre-screening ride with the director - probably for the night before.

Obviously, we feel that this is a very important film.  It will certainly be interesting to see how it is received here in Japan - in the "belly of the auto industry beast" - if you will.

So, our task now is to promote the film, create a lot of word-of-mouth, and to hopefully sell-out the theater. If anyone has any ideas, please let us know. If you have contacts in the media, or are on twitter or facebook or any SNS spread the word!
May the bike be with you. Forza!


Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects. - Dalai Lama