I Want to Ride My Bicycle...

I want to ride my bike.

I promised myself that I'd try not to blog at work, but I'm in the middle of marking over 400 exams and was watching this video while doing so (thus I've made an exception.) Ages ago, I made a top-ten list of bicycle mishaps and joys and this little documentary encapsulates everything wrong about bike-riders in Japan. I've never seen anyone signal, begrudgingly licence their bike out of necessity, rarely tune or brighten their bike, often seen double riders, always watch people riding every which way on a street, only ride on sidewalks and seldom does anyone wear a helmet (though that particular oversight is not mentioned in the clip.) (I also must admit that I, your hypocritical narrator, bend pretty much all of these transgressions as well.

Warning: this video is over 14 minutes, so only view if you've got some time on your hands or if you can multi-task and do something else at the same time. Don't watch this while riding a bike!

I love it that nobody stops for their fallen comrades and I adore the cute little tails on the otherwise ugly monkeys.

This video is from around 1963 and was shown to school children as an instructional guide to bicycle safety. When we grew up in Southern Ontario, we got "Elmer the Safety Elephant." He was never as morbid as the narrator of this tape (Edward Everett Horton of Fractured Fairy Tales fame) though I wish he had been. He's much cuter in this link, but for a more recent safety lesson go here:

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