Author - Natsuko

Performance is Important for Slow Riders, too!

Adapted from Natsuko's article published in Bicycle Quarterly 58. During the Fun Ride before the Otaki Mountain Bike Race, the other participants were surprised when they noticed that my bike is equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace derailleurs. But for me, the performance of my bike is very important. That doesn’t mean that...

Stop Asian Hate

I never thought of myself as Asian, because I lived in Japan most of my life, where I was just like everybody else. Only when I came to Seattle did I notice that I may look like a stereotypical Asian woman: I'm not very tall; I tend to smile when...

Design & Innovation Award for Fleecer Ridge

We're excited that our Fleecer Ridge tires won the 2021 Design & Innovation Award in the Category Off-Road Components. This prestigious European prize is based on real-world testing. The 30-strong, international jury consists of journalists, test riders and engineers who are amongst the most renowned experts in their respective fields....

Handlebar Width Matters

When I got my new C. S. Hirose, I was excited to have a bike with wide tires for the gravel roads of the Cascade Mountains. I love my other Hirose, and so I asked the builder to make the new one as similar as possible. Some parts we brought...

Covid-19 Experiences: Donalrey in New York City

The first Covid-19 case in the United States was detected near us here in Seattle in mid-January. Back then, we didn't imagine that this would turn into such a difficult situation. The entire world has been affected. As we've stayed in touch with our friends and Bicycle Quarterly contributors in...

Jikkoku Pass in Autumn: Day 2

In the last post, I talked about riding on the old road across Jikkoku Pass. Where to go on the second day? We haven’t quite decided yet. The typhoon is getting closer, and we don’t know what the weather will be like. If it’s just raining, it’s OK, but this time,...

Jikkoku Pass in Autumn

Usually, October in Japan is a month of good weather, with an occasional typhoon that needs to be considered when planning a cyclotouring trip. But when I visited Japan this autumn, October saw so many typhoons and rain. It’s very unusual. We did not want to miss the short window of...

Natsuko’s Trip to Rishiri Island

Mount Rishiri-Dake (1721 m) is a popular hiking destination. Bicycle Quarterly editor Natsuko Hirose takes you to Rishiri Island, off Hokkaido's coast in northern Japan. From the northernmost town in Hokkaido, Wakkanai, there is a ferry that goes to Rishiri and Rebun Islands. These small islands are the northernmost inhabited parts of...

Natsuko’s Cyclotouring Reunion in Hokkaido

I like bicycles and cyclotouring, but I especially like traveling. When I think about where I want to go next, my heart skips a beat with excitement. Passhunting, visiting Onsen hot springs, eating good meals... During my busy life, it's easy to forget the small things that make this world...

Ride to the Tulips

by Natsuko Hirose, Bicycle Quarterly. On a rainy Sunday, I visited a farmers' market in Seattle, instead of going cyclotouring. I saw many tulips for sale. Often, I forget about the seasons, because I am so busy. I wondered why there were so many tulips. Jan explained: "It's the season of...