Alps is rather old shop and famous for its French type touring bikes. I
think Toei has been making Alps frames. Late 1970s it became popular among
some Japanese cyclists to go into mountains on touring bikes with canti
brakes, all-rounder bar and quick seat binder. Alps was also famous for this
kind of bikes called " Pass Hunter". In Kyoto we immitated this bike and did
"pass hunting" some times in winter but I could not find it interesting.In
mountains I could scarcely ride and the bike on shoulder gave me much pain.
After that I went only on pavements.
Hachioji Tokyo Japan
A week or two back I had the opportunity to travel to Japan again. First week was on business, then I took a second week as holiday. Joined the newly formed Randonneurs Japan club on their 400km brevet, riding my Olmo with Gran Sport triple group. I had a wonderful time, and made some firm new friends. You share a lot when riding nearly 24 hours together non-stop! After the brevet, I spent another 4 days touring through the Japanese alps in both Nagano and Gifu prefectures. A lovely trip.
Our office in Tokyo is located in Kanda. Just a stones throw from the office is the Alps bicycle shop. These are apparently custom made bikes in the French tradition - many with racks and fenders mimicing the nice Herse hanging in the shop. Do any of our Japanese Classic Rendezvous members know much about this brand?
On yet another note, Jan Heine is in town from Seattle and tomorrow we are planning to ride our local 300km brevet. It will be a nice chance to do back-to-back comparisons between my old Peugeot PF-40 rando bike and my new Mariposa. Jan is also interested in comparing the ride of the Peugeot to his own Singer and Herse models.... They're predicting rain, but I hope they're wrong.