Friday, April 25, 2014

Branden's bike for junior high school...

Buying a bike for Branden to use back and forth to the local junior high school. Most kids unless they live right near the junior high seem to ride a bike back and forth to Junior high where we live. We received a pamphlet/booklet from the junior high school back in January saying what was allowed as far as bikes go for our school. Each school might have different requirements as far as what they want in bikes, so of course check with your own school. Our school's main bike rule... said it could not have anything more than 3 gears. Meaning no 10 speeds, hahaha. Up to 3 speeds only for our school. Also another rule for our particular school was they wanted either the gears or bike chain partially covered. Something like that, I don't remember exactly what it was, but it was something. So with the phamplet we also found this website online from a nationwide chain bicycle shop. This online website helped narrow the bike search down based on the criteria of what we were looking for. The website is in Japanese, but my computer automatically translates Japanese websites into English so that's why the pics are in English, however it translating into English helped me understand what we were looking for, a whole lot better. Shifting,  do you want exterior or interior or a no speed. Click which one, so we did. 

Handles, do you want straight handles or bent. The little explanation in blue. Again it is a translation so not 100% totally perfect translation. And Noboru read it in Japanese. 

Again, what kind of kick stand do you want, again we clicked the one we wanted. 

Silver, black or white. Our school allows any color bike, however 90% of all bikes at Branden's junior high are all silver. The mother's and phamplet says it is because silver rusts less? @.@ Is this true, is it not? You know...I don't know. We put Branden's bike in a shed anyway, when it's at home, so rust wise, I think we're okay. Again, though all February and March we had a whole bunch of stuff to think about. : )

Do you want a carrier? Clearly yes! Because our school doesn't allow school bags in the front basket, so the bag must go here. 

Yes we want the basket, but when can he use it? Hahaha, since school bags aren't allowed in there. Well, we will see. I'll update about this, if I ever see anyone using their basket around here. Maybe he can use it for weekends, or I don't know. : )

Lights, do we pick an auto light or a dynamo light? An auto light automatically goes on and off which is cool, but the not cool thing is the battery will need changing. The dynamo light, lights up by the power of your kids legs, lol, so the good point is, no battery to change. Again, we clicked which one we wanted. 

Gee, the words in blue here were smooshed with the websites sidebar, but still understandable. After clicking all our choices all the bikes that best suited us popped out on another page. We printed that out and then we went to the bike shop. I also want to add here, Right around the time we went to Guam, so first week of March. Genki's mom told us to search for a bike called HR something or other. She said she thinks we should get that bike for Branden and she was thinking about getting it for Genki too. She also was bummed that it wasn't available when her daughter started junior high. So we did go online and checked out their website too. The bike looked wicked! However it is sold out... online everywhere. And not for sale online anymore, they were very limited edition...only a certain number of the bikes were to be sold. Anyway to the bike shop we Narita city.
Hmm, this bike has a bigger than usual basket...

Junior high school bikes aren't cheap! The one on the left is about $299 US and the one on the right is about $250 US. This bike shop also sold some beautiful used junior high school bikes for about $150 US, that looked just as good as new! : )

This basket on this bike, that's almost $300 US is pretty small. Also, the website about the difference of features helped us a lot... before going to the bike shop. : )  

And then we saw it! The bike Genki's mom told us about and suggested we get, if we could track it down, they had 2 left with zero chance of getting anymore! We called her in the actual shop! She said they got theirs a day before at a different shop! Looking at their website, apparently a teacher said to his class.... anything you'd love to change and a group of kids said, "yeah the bikes they sell in Japan don't fit our needs." "The baskets are too small, the chains rust." They had a lot of things they disliked about the common Japanese bike that most students were required to buy, so the teacher challenged them... to make a proto-type bike of their dream bike...that fixes all the things that's wrong with typical bikes here in Japan. And so they did make a proto type and they collaborated with a major bike manufacturer and they only made a super tiny amount of them...not sure how many bikes nationwide, but for example let's just say 2,000 sold Japan wide. There could be a bit more but their website said very limited numbers. Anyway this is THAT bike! And the one we bought for Branden. About $350 US.

Has a tiny mesh basket inside a bigger mesh basket. Smart that the kids thought of this. 

Apparently the kids of today... prefer the dynamo light, the peddle it yourself, to turn on the light. a very nice and big bright one too, I might add.

The back carrier is *really big* compared to the normal average typical bike. Also the kids wanted it 1 solid metal piece. Again a student knows what's wrong with a bike, after using it for a few years. Apparently that group of kids all agreed. This carrier is long enough to hold Branden's large size sports bag on the back no problem, so this back carrier is the perfect size!

You can see here, how teeny tiny a normal back carrier is and look again at the one on Branden and Genki's bike. 

And again, there were way way more expensive junior high school approved type bikes, say this one for over $600 US @.@. That bike directly next to it with the 34,980 price tag is the exact one, we picked for Branden and put into the mini mini van...and took back to our town that very day! And it did have the bent handle bars like we wanted, versus the straight handle bar and the basket is ginormous, this was the biggest basket in the whole section, lol, but very useful. 

It has a belt versus a chain. You know, I think this group of kids who made this bike made an absolutely wicked bike! We just couldn't find a better bike and we did do a lot of research online beforehand too. 

The bike shop was packed with so many parents and new junior high school students, we ran into 1 family from our town at the bike shop too! We did walk around really well though to double make sure we found THE bike. And when we were sure, Noboru went and bought it. Registered it to Branden, filled out all the paperwork. They put some "slime" in his tires as a service, also serviced the bike before we left. 

His bike being serviced before we left. 

There are only 2 of these bikes at the local junior high school. Genki's and Branden's. Branden enjoys riding his bike to school back and forth. It's good exercise. He meets a group of his friends at the tennis courts at a set time and they ride to school together every morning. He rides down the country roads and past many rice fields along the way to school. 
All his friends have name stickers on their bikes and so does Branden. Awww. : )

I wish, I could tell you, that when your child hits the 7th grade you stop worrying, but the truth is, you don't! You worry just as much. : )  A-chan who is in the 9th grade, this year, who lives across the street anyway, her mom walks her out every morning and makes sure her bag is safely bungeed. And now...the boy next door (fellow 7th grader) and his mom do the same and Branden and I do the same, Monday through Friday. Everyone seems to have black bungee cords. Ours are bright orange (we had them beforehand, so didn't plan it on purpose or anything) and the bright side is...he'll always know... those are his and easy to find! : ) Plus they came from Home Depot and the tag is in English and says Home Depot, lol, so he'll really know those are his (but I did write his name on the tag anyway). Hahaha. : ) I help make sure his bag is on safely and tightly each morning. And I stand there for just 30 seconds-1 minute until he rides his bike down the foot/bike path.

Be safe kiddo, and we'll be waiting for your safe return every day after school! You are doing it Branden and we are so proud of you kiddo! : )