After a brief rest, he pulled up a map and pointed to me 2 spots which we will be going. One is Level bikes- by S Matsuda san and the other is Wada bicycle shop (a shop that specialises in small wheel and foldies). Riding along the streets, feeling the cool breeze, we went on a steady pace for a bout 30 mins and reached Level bike shop. It was hidden in a maze of small roads. I know that if Maki san did not bring me there.. I would not have found the place. We went in the shop and saw a few people going about their work quietly. Matsuda san was deep in concentration brazing a customer bike.
It was amazing as I saw real time how he controlled the flame temperature and made the brazing material flow nicely around the lugs. Talking to him via Maki san, Matsuda san have been building handcrafted bikes for at least 40 years and continues to make bikes, one at a time. I really respect the passion and single mindedness of his endeavour. Here are some photos of the ride and of course the super cool Level bike shop....
More images can be found at my flickr site.
Lastly I want thank Cycle Tokyo and Maki san for making this ride so memorable! Riding in Japan is definitely fun and doable!
|have a drink first|
|Are u ready to go?|
|door handle in front of Level bike shop. You can tell they love bikes.|
|Matsuda san workshop|
|look at the intergrated brake inside the fork!|
|The Man at work...|
|Forks by Level bikes|
|all eyeball and precison|
|Pity Wada bikeshop was closed that day..still enjoyable ride though|