# 13-126

Bike3It is so interesting to find pockets in Japanese society where chaos reigns. With such a registration system, you would imagine bikes parked in their slots, but this is the third time I’ve been here, looking for a bike that is supposed to be mine to use. It has a small parking registration number sticker stuck to it somewhere. I’ve come twice now with one of the receptionists; he had to come back the second time, because the building is a giant maze and I couldn’t remember how to get here. Oh, it will be very difficult, he kept repeating.

When I arrived here, the Delegation gave me a photocopy handout with colour photographs of each object belonging to the apartment, right down to the dustpan. I’ve come better prepared this time, after consulting the list,  I know it is a black bridgestone bike with a front carrier. This  basement parking lot is jammed full of bikes; this picture only shows one section.

I was determined to find it this time. And as I was getting ready to leave yet another time without locating it, I suddenly re-heard Antoine (the previous occupant that I met in Montreal just before I left to come here) say something about the bike being parked against a far wall. So, another round checking more closely and there it was – the furthest corner possible. The front tire was a bit soft, but otherwise it looked ready to go.Bike4

I dragged the tire pump from the closet upstairs down to fill the tire before heading off to my Japanese class, but this is the kind of thing that often confounds me. A simple task and I can’t figure out what goes where and the nozzle of the pump was certainly not fitting the nozzle of the tire. So, of course I ended up completely emptying the tire of its air. Absolutely determined to bike to class this time, I had already had to give up twice now and run madly to the subway to get to my class on time, I was not going to let this defeat me. I had given myself one hour and fifteen minutes to get to a place that would take only 15. I now had 45 minutes. I abandoned the pump and headed to a bike shop I remembered seeing that was on the way.

I got there! My first biking experience – remember to keep to the left and watch your right. Driving here is in the opposite lane for us. Most bikers keep to the sidewalks which are either quite wide or extremely narrow. Beware – the fastest most daringly reckless are the young mothers with babies in tow.  Now to just figure out how that pump works.