Saturday, March 21, 2009

Starting to get some air!

Came back from motocross today, today was my fifth time. No spills. I'm getting the hang of the course. Since they remade the course this jan, it has been faster and easier as there are less straight up and down jumps, just a run of tabletops and mogul like straights. Today was the second time I brought my KTM 450 onto the track and I'm starting to get used to it's handling characteristics now. Riding bikes is like learning a new sport, you have to get to the point where you are comfortable enough not to be afraid but you only get that way by falling a couple of times. Sort of like iceskating or snowboarding. I started getting the hang of the sliding turn now, which is imperative to offroad biking. For those who ride in the street. Losing the rear end ( losing either end for that matter) can be scary and usually ends in a lot of hurt. On dirt though, losing the rear us the best way to navigate a turn at speed. The other key skill is keeping you weight on the pegs and not on the seat whenever you are running straight over bumps or going over jumps. Sitting is bad as it puts your weight rearward and if going up a jump, will probably result in you fliping backwards and losing the bike. I was surprised how much like jumping a snowboard it was. You have to use your legs to absorb the initial uphill climb and then stand up when you lift off. It's a great feeling. And easie to do than on a snowboard, because on snow, fear during the approach usually makes you check off too much speed. Anyway ridingbback on the highest was no gun on my KTM. The wind was gusty and I felt like I was going to be blown over. After riding the tall enduro all day, getting back on the smr was weird. I noticed that it has a tendancy to oversteer quite a bit and I felt a lot less control than than on the dirt bike. Not to mention the smr has a very weak low rpm torque and has the tendancy to stall unless I give it plenty of initial gas off the clutch. Completely the opposite with the grunty dirt bike. Time to nap now way too tired Djc out

Monday, March 09, 2009

With 60,000円, I'd be happy too

This is a $600 stamp. Yep. Why would you need a $600 stamp you ask? Well, in Japan, administrative fees for the government are paid via stamps. Aptly named stamp fees. Any of you who have had to deal with the DMV in japan will be familiar with the system. Basically, in order to make things efficient, in government offices, you go from counter to counter, each counter fulfilling a part of the bureaucratic process, very much like a assembly line. Inevitably, part of the process will be a visit to the cashier window, where you buy the stamps that will cover the fees for the bureaucratic service for which you are applying to. This particular process, is a apartment purchase. (not mine, but a friends) for that particular process, taking ownership of property requires a ¥60000 stamp. Would really really suck if you lost this stamp.