High speed chase
I just had my first high speed chase with the bicycle police in Tokyo. :)
I'd been cruising the tamagawa (Tama River) bike path & enjoying carving through the wet soccer fields (super fun especially when the tire glides / hydroplanes during a turn), so I was feeling pretty pumped - and down to less than 10% battery.
I flew across a busy intersection as the light was turning red, bumped up onto the sidewalk, and made a quick heel turn around 2 surprised police officers. I met eyes with one of them, nodded hello, and whizzed right by.
Riding a OneWheel isn't actually legal in Japan (I asked the police several times when I got my Japanese drivers liscense), but it doesn't seem to be a problem most of the time. They just ask you to get off, look the other way, or look dumbfounded like most first time OneWheel sightseers.
Given my speed and demeanor however, I decided not to slow down to find out if I could actually get a ticket. Instead I sped up, rode top speed for a quarter mile, ducked into a bus station and conveniently hopped on a bus which goes my way.
As I slid into a bus seat, I looked out the window in time to see the same police ride around the corner looking for me.
Close call... so glad I don't have to explain to my teenage daughter why I've reverted to a delinquent teenager myself! Lol
@jeff8v7 Haha! Awesome.
Aaron Broward FL
Sounds like a movie
Just curious...Why isn't the OneWheel legal in Japan?
@KeithVlk - There is no special rule against OneWheels, but they are considered skateboards in Japan.
I'm guessing there were some incidents of bystanders getting injured by skateboards, because they are not allowed on streets or sidewalks, only in parks - unless the park says no skateboards.
In practice, most police don't seem to notice or care, but like anywhere, I occasionally have an officer get "official" about it - Daddy issues perhaps.
Nice job jeff.
Based on my conversations with Japanese police, most see it as an electric unicycle, not an omocha. The only people who insisted I get off and walk were cops in kōban around busy/wealthy areas, who rightfully argued that someone could get hurt.
They were right- in odaiba an infant ran directly at the onewheel laughing and completely wrecked herself despite my best efforts to avoid her, she kept changing course to hit me. Cried her eyes out while her parents apologized for not watching her. Poor thing will probably never leave the house again because of crazy foreigners on high speed death machines.
Aaron Broward FL
Because that wouldn't happen with a bike, or big wheel, or an shopping cart... Better take all those off the street. You can't legislate away stupidity.....
@utsu Feels more like an electric bike to me too, but people definitely respond differently because it's unfamiliar.
No one notices a bike driving by quickly - they feel comfortable and assume it's under control - even though Japanese laws recently changed regarding where bikes can ride - due to too many pedestrians being hit by bikes on the sidewalk.
With the OW, some people - especially older - actually look frightened as I approach, like they are afraid I'm out of control or will crash into them. I've learned to ride at pedestrian speeds instead of bike speeds when I'm near pedestrians.
Of course the biggest reaction is still SUGOI (cool!) and gawking - lol
I think we have to be a little patient being early adopters of a technology. Why would the laws consider something so new & different?
Aaron Broward FL
As a lawyer... And lobbyist... My view is a bit different
This is. People who are ignorant of the technology, reacting to oh that's dangerous. Outlaw it. Just like someone from before the invention of the bicycle would have or the invention. Of the car, would have in favor of the horse drawn carriage. I know how these people think. They are afraid of what they don't understand. And they don't trust those new fangled machines. Insert bike, car, onewheel.. Whatever era your in. It's the stupid hover boards that is causing the problems for us. The cheap Chinese crap causing fires and lots of idiots buying them and falling and us getting bundled in with them. FM is making a mistake by not aggressively going out right now and making a distinction for their owners because it restricts the products use if you can't easily travel with it...
They need to hire someone, like me, or ME, to go fix this stuff, now, and it can serve multiple purposes, both to fix the travel issues and PR. :)
Yeah - it would be nice if someone were handling that :-) Really a bummer about the cheap knock offs of a completely different product affecting OW shipping.
@jeff8v7 - hey your living in Tokyo ?
I'm moving to Kobe Japan in August
If you ever make your way down lets wheely it up !
Ps. These are illegal there ? Is it a Big problem? Like should I leave it home even though I was planning on using this instead of a folding bike ? Total bummer, had I known before I bought one yesterday
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I'm sure you'll be fine. I've been riding my OW around Tokyo for almost a year with no problems. I've only been stopped and asked to get off about 5 times - which is nothing. I just carry it around the corner, and get back on. It's really not a big deal.
If you're look dangerous or are being an obvious pain in the ass (like I was), then you might have a problem. Unless you can find a nearby bus station :-)
"Illegal" makes it sound like there is a law against OneWheels - which isn't true. You're just not allowed to ride skateboards most places, and a OW is sometimes considered a skateboard by police.