Bike swap to benefit tsunami victims
Cyclepistols asked me to get word out about the Sekido Bridge Bike Swap on Saturday April 16. The popular bike flea market is held under the Sekido Bridge along the Tama River bike path near Sumiyoshi chome Fuchu, Tokyo (You can paste in 東京都府中市住吉二丁目 as your destination address on the international bike map to find the route to the bike swap.
The bike swap is not an organized event, but a number of vendors have pledged proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross. Full details at Crossbiker’s Diary (in Japanese, but you can use an online translation tool to get the gist of things).
Personal note: I lived about a mile from the Tama River in my youth and about 10 miles upstream of this Sekido Bridge, but this was in the late 70s / early 80s before this biannual bike swap started up in the 90s. If the Tama River bike path existed then I didn’t notice it. My friends and I rode our BMX bikes to a hill park somewhere to the northeast of where we lived.
Spiegel published a photo of a Red Cross worker in Japan on a “Diablow” mountain bike that he’s using because of fuel shortages there. Everybody is focused on the general infrastructure damage and the horrendous situation with the Fukushima nuclear power plant, but the general fuel shortage is also impacting day to day activities for many Japanese. The tsunami damaged nine refineries (out of 29 total), knocking Japan’s oil production down by about 30%.
The Japanese are mostly able to get around on what we in the U.S. call “alternative” transportation. Smashed infrastructure, recovery efforts and refugee movement, however, increase fuel and power needs dramatically.
Finally, Robin Low of Relief 2.0 is in country doing what he can to help tsunami victims. You can see photos of the damage at his Flickr photoset.