Monday, September 17, 2007

The Perfect Bicycle

I went mountain biking yesterday. The ride to the trail was a torturous 45-minute granny gear slog straight up hill. My sleeveless American flag/guitar motif t-shirt, while awesome, proved to be a horrible choice, as it left my arms bare to the mosquitoes and my torso constricted in a soggy cold cotton mess. I would have worn something made of wicking fabric, but that would make me a traitor.

I finally made it to the top of the road, sweating like a rented mule and covered in mosquito bites. I located the trail and started to descend. Just as the road up was a near-vertical incline, the ride down was a frighteningly steep decline, but it was also composed of loose gravel, skull-sized rocks and exposed roots. If I let the brakes off and just tried to coast I would have been going about 40MPH in five seconds. I went down going about 2MPH, my mid-90s cantilever brakes shrieking at the cruel twist of fate that transferred them from their quiet garage life into this pitiful existence. I'm actually surprised that my descent at speeds roughly equivalent to "kindly grandmother riding home from the grocery store" didn't warp the wheels or something.

So I think to myself, what kind of bike would excel at this type of ride? Something that climbs easily, but somehow also has tons of suspension and slack angles for going straight downhill. And that's when it hit me. This is the perfect bike for Japan:


I'm one international driver's license and a simple road test away from being a menace to myself and others, both on and off-road. Depending, of course, how much these things cost used.


The mighty Yamaha TW200. It seems to be a fairly popular choice in these parts, and yes, that is a really gigantic rear tire with tread the entire way around.

12 comments:

d said...

If you bought one of those and stopped riding your bicycles everywhere, you could start eating less. 3x500 kcal or so?

Then you could eat a butter-flavored roll for lunch and say "I'm too full to finish it" in a high-pitched sing-song voice.

Lisa said...

Don't do it.

Nate said...

Nah, that bike would make me switch to raw wolverine meat that I killed myself with a rusty spoon.

Nate said...

Don't worry Lisa--my quest for a motorcycle is locked in a mortal struggle with my quest to not have to jump through the bureaucratic hoops to get the license here, so we shall see...

David said...

def leppard t-shirt + crotch rocket + pasty white guy = american badass

i am totally in support of this decision.

Andrea said...

Hey Nate! Loving your blog. Nihongo de mo-o kaiwa shiteru? Teyuka, nihongo gakou de narata? Im a big fan, chuli!

Andrea said...

MOS Burger.

Nate said...

Andrea- I'm totally with you on MOS burger. Although I am slightly suspicious of a perfect looking burger...a proper burger should be a big disgusting sloppy cheesy mass of beef and vegetables.

d said...

Dunno about the MOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor?) burger, but the greatest burger in the world can actually be found in Portland, at Stanich's:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/p-r-b/13714961/in/set-334106/

Also, don't forget the infamous Camp 18 Bucksaw. I bet there are thousands of pictures of that floating around in Japan (and they all have two or three people looking queasy when they realize that they have to eat at least a kilo of beef and assorted condiments stuffed in a big roll that is being held together with two steak knives).

Sam said...

You are mistaken sir. The best burger in the world is at some unknown restaurant in the midwest where I found myself famished one mid-summer evening.

Said restaurant brought me what they referred to as "The Hindenburger". Among other things, this burger contained two half-pound all-beef patties, ham, bacon and a fried egg.

I see your inferior Stanich Burger has a fried egg and there may be bacon in there but there is no ham and the single patty looks like a measly quarter pounder at best.

Furthermore, the hindenburger does not squash down for easier eating like the stanich burger. It towers above everything else on the plate like a defending champion ready to defeat it's next challenger. Such an accomplishment is surmountable only by the most devout of hamburger lovers.

Viva La Hindenburger!

d said...

Sam, no matter what you may have heard in the past, size is not everything when it comes to hamburgers. I think it is essential to get a fatty patty, butter and toast the bun and put on plenty of ancillary condiment lipids to bind all of that lip-smacking cholesterol into an integrated whole. The next time you are in PDX, do yourself a favor and try the Stanichburger. You will discard the Hindenburger (did they name it because of the flammable gas it generates?) like a hot potato.

Anonymous said...

Come on guys, keep on topic. The topic is MOS Burger (Which means "Mountains Ocean Sea" or "Mos' delicious burger" depending on who you choose to believe), and everyone knows the champ is the Spicy Mos Cheese Burger, with real jalepeno and sloppy. Now, you will need "Oni-Potay" to scrape up the excess sloppy and a coffee shake to cool your throat, but hey, what's not to like about that?