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Bicycles are popular

Date Posted: 2002-08-31

Bicycle riding is experiencing a boom in Okinawa, and it’s a trend that has been going for some years, according to Okinawa Prefecture Bicycle Association. Bicycle Association Chairman Kiyoshi Uezu says that although the association has no statistics how many bicycles are actually sold “The trend has been going up at least four or five years, and this year has seen a significant jump in the number.”

Merchants selling bicycles say that one of the reasons for their popularity is the large selection now available for consumers. “Bicycles are now relatively cheap as they are imported from overseas, they are colorful and come in all shapes. Folding designs are easy to store anywhere,” Uezu says.

Colorful bicycles appeal to young female buyers, according to Heiji Mori, of Okinawa Cycling Union. “Young ladies buy a bicycle as a fashion statement. The most popular colors are silver, metallic gray, orange and bright red,” Mori says.

Unlike mainland Japan Okinawan cyclist use their bikes almost entirely for recreation. “Okinawa is too hot to use a bicycle for commuting to work or school,” Mori says and explains “People use them for exercise and leisure, to have a good time.”

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