First ride of the year with Lin

We had unseasonably warm weather today, and Lin insisted that we take a ride. I’m always looking for an excuse to fire up the machine, and Lin’s been a good girl recently, so I decided to let her pick the route and we went on our first ride of the year.

We fueled up the bike and headed over to a park she had wanted to visit.

Mostly because she wanted to show off her monkey bar skillz.

After leaving that park, I let her pick the route out by whim, letting the road take us wherever it wanted. We ended up visiting four different parks, mostly at random, and got a spectacular view of Tokyo from a cemetery we passed through on top of Tsudayama hill.

Despite being January, it was warm enough that Lin insisted on an ice cream treat before heading home. I think my little girl’s ready for some real long-distance riding this year.

9 thoughts on “First ride of the year with Lin”

    i would love to ask you question about riding in Japan. I got my bike licence from Canada last july but i havent touch a motorcycle since. What shoud i do or where should i go for a refresher? (OH! I now live in Gero onsen , Gifu-ken) I want to buy a bike soon since I will be moving to Tokyo or Nagoya but I do not know which to pick (money is a criteria. I also think that 250cc might be enough to start off. I am a 24 yo woman, 5 foot2, 135 pounds.) Let me know what you think.

  2. Hi Dominique,

    Thanks for visiting the site. I would definitely recommend starting out on a smaller bike, especially for someone with a smaller body. Something light like a Suzuki Big Boy would be easy to park and easy to learn balance and such on. I think you’ll enjoy bigger bikes more later if you learn the ropes on a lighter bike first.

    If at all possible, I’d suggest getting the bike before moving, because it would be a pity to waste all those great Gifu roads, and of course it’s easier to learn when there’s less traffic to deal with.

    Many kyoushuusho offer practice courses for people planning to take the rider test, but they may be expensive.

    If you decide to take the test rather than use an international license, check out the tips in this post and its comments:

    Good luck!

  3. Hi!

    Thanx for the reply :o)
    I already have my international licence and as a canadian, I do not need to pass a test whatsoever in Japan for driving (we are one of the blessed countries lol). I am just concerned that since i havent ride a bike since last july i might be rusty; that is why i was thinking about a refresher. But do you think i might need need or that i will be fine without it? And where would you advise me to get the gear (helmet, jacket etc…)?

    Thank you for your suggestions, i will look into it.

    When it comes to enjoy gifu, i will definately. My friends willl still live up here so I will come visit Hida often.

    Again thank you.


    By the way your site is very fun to check out :o)…i KNOW im making the right decision to sell my car for a bike here :oD

  4. Hello there Dominique. Sounds like you’re ready for some fun. From your post I have to guess some things about your riding experience, so forgive me if I’m mistaken. Based on your question, I’m going on the assumption that you are a complete beginner.

    If that is the case, I would buy a anything from 125cc to 350cc. If you don’t feel comfortable riding a brand new bike, get a used one. But what is most important is that you ride every day. Especially while you are still living in a smaller town. Less danger and all that. If you are near country roads, go out there and ride as much as you can. The point really is to ride, ride, ride. I was living in the city (Seattle) when I got my first bike and there were no country roads around. So I rode around the neighborhood a lot. Tried to do it during the times of day when people weren’t around much. When I lived 3 blocks from the store, I still rode there.

    First thing is when you get your new bike, spend as much time as you can with it. It’s your best friend. Knowing as much as you can about it, the feel of the weight, the responsiveness of your brakes and accelerator and all will be of the most help. Taking a refresher course in THIS country will make you feel like you aren’t qualified to ride, and should forget the whole thing.

    I took the motorcycle license test here after riding a 750cc bike DAILY for many years and felt “Maybe I’m not a good rider after all.” That isn’t the case. Screw the class, just ride.
    I would however make sure you have insurance. And don’t let any time go between you getting your bike and buying a big, FAT lock!

    Allow me to ramble a bit more. Scout out the local bike shops. Visit all of them and ask about where good places to ride are, with little traffic (if you don’t know). Compare prices on gear, all that. If there is a place where bikers go, or owned by bikers, ask them questions too. If you even see bikers hanging out at a coffee shop ask them questions too. My local Harley rider told me the scoop on where to get gear, where to get Sha-ken (vehicle licensing) and some good places to ride.

    Last, about gear. Full face, good gloves, leather. Leather pants. Ben rides with out his leathers in the summer time because it is really ridiculously hot here. But, I’ve been in more wrecks than him, so I keep the leathers on, and say “God damn it’s hot out here Ben!” When buying gear, even on a budget it is a good idea to think to yourself, what are my head and hands worth? Sorry to put it like that, but really. If some jerkoff opens his car door when you’re driving between cars, and you fall on your hands, what kind of gloves are best to have for that?

    Check out Nankai Buhin for gear.
    Stay away from Red Baron used bike$.


    P.S. Making friends with Splendor, Ben, Owen and other bikers and clubs is a grand idea too.

  5. Hi Papa Kaze!

    Thanx for all the advices…they are very helpful!…I am currently looking and asking questions to different people. So I should be able to ride im thinking around may or june (things are just slower in Japan).

  6. The point really is to ride, ride, ride. I was living in the city (Seattle) when I got my first bike and there were no country roads around. So I rode around the neighborhood a lot. Tried to do it during the times of day when people weren’t around much. When I lived 3 blocks from the store, I still rode there.

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