25 February 2011

The gear

People seem to enjoy talking not so much about where I go or what I see but how I do it.

My camera of choice is my Nikon D40. I like to shoot manually when it's practical, i.e. most of the time. It's lightweight and easy to handle. I do however look forward to upgrading to something a bit more hardcore when I leave Japan and I am so investing in a wide-angle lens at that time too.

My new small camera, which this and the last post's pictures were done on, is the Canon PowerShot A3100 IS. I finally gave up on my old PowerShot that still used AA batteries because it just kept sucking power without doing anything. I mostly use this camera for small video clips—you'll see, one of these days I'll compile all my Japanese clips of water trickling over mossy rocks—but also for quick snaps or when there's no space for the bigger one.

So there's the Specialized helmet, but more impressively there's the yellow Specialized bicycle. The thin tyres are kind of new to me, but other than that I'm loving this bike. I was never going to be a road bike person, and I'm beginning to think this robust frame with very roady tyres looks like a great touring bike.

My Sugoi winter gear in the form of gloves, sleeves, leggings and a rain and wind jacket have worked well. The combination of sleeves under the jacket is exceptionally warm. I had some trouble with cold feet, but this can be solved with small kairo in your shoes.

I really dig my two-way Shimano pedals. The flat side is great for using the bike with normal shoes, or if I'm in the city where I have to stop all the time. I've got used to the clipping in and out and only did a proper slow motion keel-over once.

My little mont-bell front bag that I ordered online has served me well so far. It's nice to have things like your wallet, phone, snacks, or a small camera on hand.

The second light I bought, the "meccha akarui" Cateye, was also totally worth it. I'm really not too afraid of nightfall, because not only will I be seen, but I'll also be able to see where I'm going.

The last major addition has been part of my foray into touring. My favourite cycling shop guy pulled out his catalogue and we got this rack and this bag to go on it. The sides of the bag can fold up and zip into the panels if they're not being used. So far I'm really enjoying how easy it is to use and not having to use my backpack, or only using it for lightweight things. The stability of the bicycle is also still good.

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