Merry Run 2006

Last night we once again had our seventh annual Christmas Eve Merry Run through Tokyo, filling the night with smiles and sleighbells and V-twin thunder.

Lin & Mai Santas
This reindeer had a mission to fulfill on Christmas eve, so I had to leave my own cute little Santas at home to go out and bring smiles to the other children of Tokyo.

My run got off to a bit of a shaky start this year. My engine refused to turn over, and I had to do a running start down a nearby hill to get going. Little did I know this was just foreshadowing for our adventures later in the evening.

Gaijin Reindeer
I met up with the Stinger and Yuka, and we headed off toward Harajuku to meet up with the rest of the parade.

The Gaijin Reindeer stand out enough on our own that we had a bit of a mini-parade of our own going on, especially after we bumped into Andy the yellow-sleighed Santa Claus around Ikejiri.

Yuka and the Stinger at the meetup

Bambi just recently earned her wings, and was participating in her first Merry Run on her TW250.

Macha, one of the smallest Santas I’ve ever seen at under 150cm, was also joining us for the first time on her Virago.

Old hand Mizuki the bad cop reindeer.

That reindeer looks like he’d rather be pushing the sleigh than pulling it.

Shiho, on the right, spent the night jumping out of the convertible to hand lollipops to children, often having to dive back in Dukes of Hazzard-style when the traffic light turned green.

Jiro, the lead reindeer, with his bag of toys. Unfortunately Jiro had to drive the lead convertible rather than riding a bike like most years, but his flashing nose led the way just fine.

Nao, who was one of the models in one of my favorite Merry Run pictures from a few years back, brought another miniature Santa’s helper with her.

GB from Riding Sun discussing X4 stuff with Tatsu.

And we’re off!

I wasn’t able to get any good pictures during the run, as I was too busy making everybody in the city smile and wave. I lost my voice halfway through, but even at half volume I’m still twice as loud as most people. So while my “Merry Christmas” lost some of its striking range, the smiles on the faces of the people we passed showed that most people still got the message.

A quick break to let the bikes cool down.

As we neared Roppongi Hills, we got stuck in traffic on an uphill slope, and the air-cooled Harleys started having a pretty tough time of it. My bike stalled at the top of a hill and Stinger’s stopped halfway down, while Mizuki’s Dyna had been sputtering and restarting all night. My bike cooled down enough on the way down the hill that I was able to restart, but Stinger and Yuka’s Merry Run ended there.

After a spin through Ginza, we finished up the Run near Tokyo station.
Woochee, who had by far the most impressive bike last year, had apparently made it even more impressive this year, only to be unable to get it to start. He ended up changing into a reindeer costume and joining us late on a scooter. Chell the Snowman, who also joined later had even deflated a bit compared to last year.

Santa group picture. I forgot to get someone to take the reindeer group picture with my camera.

Merry Run bikes
Angel group picture. I know they mean to be showing off their wings, but somehow I think that’s not what most of us were looking at.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Stinger’s bike rode home on the back of a truck. (It’s rare to see a repair truck look so festive.)

After delivering my condolences over the phone, I hopped on my bike to head home…and found that I was in the same situation. We tried pushing it to a running start, but it was feeling uncooperative, even with three reindeer and a snowman pushing it. I ended up waiting around for the JAF guy to come give my battery a jump, but I managed to ride it home once it was started. This wasn’t exactly a stellar run for HD’s, but it was worth it to see all those smiles.

Related links:
Yuka’s Run Report
GB’s Run Report at Riding Sun
Merry Run 2005
Merry Run 2004

7 thoughts on “Merry Run 2006”

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  2. Shiho and Bambi certainly had very nice… wings. Uh, yeah, wings! That’s the ticket!

    Not to be a snarkmeister or anything, but this year’s run was not exactly a ringing endorsement for H-D reliability.

  3. GB,
    We HD riders are crazy enough to think this sort of thing is part of the fun. Granted, the timing can be inconvenient sometimes, though.

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  5. I was waiting all year to do a Christmas Run here in Pusan, Korea…. But thanks to some road debris and a concrete power pole, I and my shattered femur were discharged from the hospital on the 23rd and my bike is still at least two months away from being fully repaired .

    Although HD’s are, shall we say… unreliable…at times, the beauty of them is that they are virtually indestructable. Unless they catch on fire and melt to a slag heap, you can always rebuild them, which is what I am doing… Between the power pole and the subsequent flipping, rolling, and sliding, I was left with an undamaged frame, seat and engine (except for one push rod, air filter, and oil cap).

    We can rebuild it. We have the technology. We can make it better, stronger, faster. Santa will ride again next year!

  6. Hi Jeff,

    Glad to hear you’re ready to get back in the saddle, even if the saddle isn’t yet ready for you.

    I got a kick out of your HD-merchandise-rant-riding-around-Seoul video, and have been hoping for news of a recovery.

    I look forward to seeing pictures of Christmas in Korea next year.

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