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Bike talk

bike talkWhile not many of us are likely to embark on a mammoth, Kyushu-to-Hokkaido-sized cycling trip while we’re in Japan (see feature), living or holidaying in Kansai means there’s still a good chance we’ll spend a fair bit of time on a bike.

Perhaps you’ve been spotted by the cops giving someone a ride home on the back of your mamachari (granny bike) and heard them utter, or if you’re unlucky, blare through a megaphone from a police car Futarinori wa yamenasai! (Don’t ride two people on one bicycle). Or maybe they’ve pulled you over to ask Gaikokujin tourokusho o misete kudasai (Can I see your foreign resident card?). If they check your bike’s registration it’s easier if you’re riding one that’s registered in your own name. So once you buy one (or adopt a hand-me-down) you may want go to your local bike shop, say Jitensha o touroku shitain desu ga (I’d like to register my bicycle), and pay the ¥500 or so to have it done.

It could be that one of your tires has a panku (puncture), perhaps you need to buy a laito (light) for your ride, or maybe you just need to ask, Kono hen ni churinjou ga arimasuka? (Is there bicycle parking around here?). Whatever your predicament we’ve pledged to prepare you. So go on, get on your bike!

Useful expressions

I’m getting a flat tire. タイヤの くうきが ぬけて います。 Taiya no kuuki ga nukete imasu.
I think I have a puncture. パンク した みたい です。 Panku shita mitai desu.
Where is the nearest bike shop? いちばん ちかくの じてんしゃやは ど こ ですか。 Ichiban chikaku no jitenshaya wa doko desuka?
Can I get some air in my tires? くうきを いれ て くれますか。 Kuuki o ire te kuremasuka.
About how many kilometers is _____from here? ここ から _____ まで なんキロ です か。 Koko kara _____ made nan kiro desuka?
How long does it take to get to _____ from here? ここ から _____ まで  じてんしゃで  どの ぐらい かかりますか。 Koko kara _____ made jitensha de dono gurai kakarimasuka?
Where does this path/road go? この みちは どこ に いきますか。 Kono michi wa doko ni ikimasuka?
Is it ok if I park my bicycle here? ここに じてんしゃを とめて も いい ですか。 Koko ni jitensha o tomete mo ii desuka?
Do you need to pay to park here? ちゅりんじょうは おかねが かかりま すか。 Churinjou wa okane ga kakarimasuka?
I think my bicycle was taken. じてんしゃが てっきょ された みたい です。 Jitensha ga tekkyo sareta mitai desu.
My bicycle was stolen. じてんしゃが ぬすまれました。 Jitensha ga nusumaremashita.
Is this your bicycle? あなたの じてんしゃ ですか。 Anata no jitensha desu ka?
Please turn on the light on your bicycle. じてんしゃの ライトを つけて ください。 Jitensha no laito o tsukete kudasai.
Slow down! / Faster! ゆっくり! / はやく! Yukkuri / Hayaku!
My legs are tired. あしが つかれた。 Ashi ga tsukareta.
Watch out! あぶない! Abunai!
Ouch! いたい! Itai!
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