Garmin, TomTom navigation apps and K&N air filter

Today's topics:
TomTom Western Europe app
K&N "performance" air filter
Amazon (Germany) shopping
Dash cams
Smart Mazda Player 7

TomTom Western Europe app

A an app update came. TomTom Western Europe has been on one of my Apple devices for some time. I think I purchased it in 2009. At that time Garmin app was also available and the reason why I chose TomTom app over it was the difference of software distribution at that time.

TomTom app came in one chunk but Garmin app came in pieces (need to download basis). I had an iPod so downloading pieces of map segments on demand was not a convenient option and that was why I opted for TomTom even though I had used Garmin navigation device and also used Garmin software on my PC since 2005 and had been more familiar with Garmin.

Now, as of 2017, the situations have turned around. The latest update for TomTom Western Europe app on Apple devices tells me or reiterate that the support for this app will end after this coming September. What does that mean? Simply put, TomTom is asking all the users of their old software to switch to their new app and pay (and keep paying).

TomTom Go Mobile is replacing those old regional map apps. They realized that charging customers by the map usage (more area downloaded, more payment) will make money at the same time lower initial payment for the maps will encourage the innocent unsuspecting customers to pay. When a customer pay anually the seemingly low fees for three years, the sum will be comparable to the former one time payment for the app.

I think I have paid €59.99 and enjoyed the free updates for the last 6 or 7 years.

I assume that I can keep using this old Western Europe app after this ultimate last update in September but there will be no major updates anymore and after a couple years, I may encounter minor problems finding my way as there can be major changes in routes as new highway constructions or anything sizeable to those.

On the other hand, my TomTom on my (now disused) iPhone 4 has been a backup in case my Garmin device stopped working. It did happen once in 2010 or 2011 (I can check it by searching for the related blog entry). I had used my iPod touch with the TomTom cradle and followed the stages of the Tour de France zigzagging through France. Chance favors the prepared mind, so they say.

Now my Mazda MX-5 does have a navigation system built-in. So I have a kind of backup system.

Let me see!

K&N "performance" air filter

I bought this filter a long time ago soon after I signed the paper (to buy a Mazda MX-5). So long I kept in my room that it has been collecting some dust (You got it?).

Amazon (Germany) shopping

So I bought three items. 1. A jack (scissors jack with a ratchet wrench to hoist) 2. A 17 mm wrench to loosen and tighten the lug nuts. 3. A bottle of waterproof and UV protection chemical for the soft top.

The bottle contains 500 ml and I will see if it is enough for a year or 6 months.

Dash cams

There are many dash cams available on the market. I will do extensive research before deciding which to buy. YouTube videos are helpful. I will pay about up to €200 or so.

Smart Mazda Player 7

I will try to install the app on Mazda Connect and see if I will like it. If I do, I will pay for the Android app. The author of the app distribute a demo version to let us (someone like me) to see if it works satisfying ways before the potential users decide to upgrade to the paid version.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Garmin, TomTom navigation apps and K&N air filter]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/07/30(日) 23:23:45|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Monthly payment and shopping

For the next * years (* stands for an unspecified number) I will keep paying for my MX-5. I paid some downpayment and my former Ford Ka was also part of the payment but still I owe some amount to the loan company.

I have to be careful not to spend too much for the next * years.

Having said that, I still want to buy things for my MX-5. Here are the items on the shopping list:
1. Canvas top protectant chemical
2. A jack
3. A lug nut wrench

These are the ones with high priority.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Monthly payment and shopping]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/07/29(土) 00:08:37|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Mazda MX-5 2017 and a space saver spare tire in the boot

A really close shave

I had time to test out the fitting of the space saver tire in the rear boot of my beloved Mazda MX-5 2017.

Let me get to the point. It was a tight fit, so tight that you might call it almost a close shave or navigating through the Strait of Gibraltar. I have to push the rubber material that seals the boot upward quite forcibly to make the tire pass through the choking point.

Here is the image of the space saver lying conspicuously uncomfortably in the boot.

It fits but this occupant leaves not much room in the boot.travelling with this object requires extremely light packing or another device for loading more luggage on the boot rid (www.boot-rack.co.uk, perhaps?).

I was happy to see it fit. My choice was prompted by some comments left on a forum discussing the Mazda Miata (the former name) topics. I don't remember anybody warning this tight fit.

Let me repeat what I have already written before on this blog. It is a space saver originally sold as a spare tire for the Toyota MR2 2005. Its size is 125 / 70 / 16. It came with a nice covering to protect the boot room as shown in the image above.

Mazda Connect Navigation tidbits

Some pictures and comments. Click on the images to magnify (if you ever have to see them)!
I noticed that the fire extinguisher has a MAZDA logo on it. It seems that it was deliberately prepared by Mazda Europe (or Mazda Belgium/Luxembourg distributor). The address below the logo suggests that it was prepared by a Belgian company tasked by one of the agents above-mentioned. How neat and considerate of Mazda Europe to do so!

This inclusion of the fire extinguisher may have something to do with the discovery I made while I was fiddling with the navigation system.

This is the "about" information screen (only the top part and there are more credits scroll below) of the navigation system.

This is the country information of Norway. It tells you about the speed limits, blood alcohol limits and some more important things.

I know that in those Scandinavian countries you have to have the head lights on all the time, in other words, day or night.

There isn't too much to talk about Luxembourg.

While scanning two or three other European countries I noticed that some countries require a fire extinguisher on board the vehicle (Romania or Poland for example). These regulations may have been the reason for the fire extinguisher on my MX-5.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mazda MX-5 2017 and a space saver spare tire in the boot]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/07/28(金) 12:21:36|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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I may sell the leftover tire/wheel set on ebay

I have been buying thing on ebay for several years but never sold a thing.

This time I am thinking of selling those winter tires (with steel wheels) for the first time on ebay.

As you may have already know, I have sold my Ford Ka (2010) and purchased Mazda MX-5. I have a set of winter tires left in my room. I don't need them at all.

First, I have to take pictures of them. The guide says "at least 4 images." So I will take 1. overall picture (4 tire/wheel sets), 2. detailed picture of the tread with a scale indicating the wear, 3. detailed picture of the steel wheel to show that it is a bit rusty and 4. maybe repeated 2. from another angle on another tire.

If someone should be interested, the most important factor that this potential buyer wants must be the wear on them. "How much rubber is left?"

I will sell them as is and specify the delivery as "local pick-up only." They are heavy (14 kg each?) and I don't want to send them out to the buyer.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [I may sell the leftover tire/wheel set on ebay]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/07/28(金) 00:05:17|
  2. Ford Ka
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Mazda MX-5 and Mazda Connect

Here are some pictures that I took.

Here you can see a fire extinguisher installed on the passenger side (left driver seat and right passenger seat) on the Opel Corsa that I rented a while ago. This fire extinguisher and its holder cage look almost exactly the same as the ones that I have in my MX-5. I don't want to screw the cage on the flower of my MX-5. I have not decided how to fix the extinguisher on my MX-5. A velcro tape, maybe?


This is the odometer image when I first filled it up.


My MX-5's Mazda Connect OS shows this version number. I don't know if it's the latest. I will have to read some documents how to update the OS or check if there's any updates available.


Main menu -> Settings -> Vehicle

Here the system is up with the accessory on position (in other words, the engine is not running). This way, I can not get into the settings any further. The joystick does not do anything. When the engine is on, I can manipulate these settings. Why is it so?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mazda MX-5 and Mazda Connect]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/07/25(火) 15:16:22|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Yokohma ADVAN vs Bridgestone POTENZA

I thought or assumed that my Mazda MX-5 would come with Bridgestone tires, namely Potenza tires. In the end, it came with Yokohama Advan tires.

I was not shocked nor surprised because it often happens (it = changing of makes or brands of tires). I think they (they = distributor of Mazda in Belgium and Luxembourg) used to have Potenza on MX-5 but changed obviously.

I have seen some people in several YouTube videos (who drive more enthusiastically than I do) testify that Potenza tires lack grippiness on the wet surfaces. This may contributed to Mazda's (at least Mazda Europe) changing mind about their choice of stock tires. Yokohama Advan tires seem to be grippy on wet roads according to some reviews that I found on the net.

The other day, I saw an MX-5 (registered in Luxembourg) with a RECARO seat set. They (ditto) stopped offering this option to customers because they were so much in demand and Recaro could not (did not want?) to catch up with the demand.

These things change in time.

Today, July 25 2017, finally the license plates are correctly installed. The number (two alphabet letters followed by 4-digit number) is the same one as my former car (Ford Ka) had.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Yokohma ADVAN vs Bridgestone POTENZA]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/07/25(火) 00:04:46|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Mazda MX-5 has arrived

Today is Saturday, July 22nd 2017. This day will be remembered!


I finally picked up my MX-5 but the license plate is not the one I will have in a few days. Today the dealer was open but only sales staff were there but no service staff. I did not get the place but will have it by next Tuesday when I visit them again. I will also have to pick up a bill to pay there.

Wow! The car is cool!

It had only 3km on its odometer when I first got in. The tires turned out to be Yokohama ADVAN Sport tires instead of Bridgestone brand ones.

I will keep writing about the car time after time but here's what I felt first.

I could not turn FM radio off. WTF? I could not simply turn it off. How do I do it? I could mute the volume but I did not know if the navigation voice would be also shut down.

Later I found out the navigation voice was not shut down when the music volume is muted. Good grief!

So I have to keep the music volume down when I don't want to listen to FM stations. I can choose other sources for music other than FM stations. According to Mazda Connect menu, AM, DAB, Bluetooth, USB to name.

I don't think DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) radio is widely available in Luxembourg (at least not yet).

Refer to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_audio_broadcasting)

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Mazda MX-5 has arrived]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/07/23(日) 00:17:30|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Learning Luxembourgish, Mazda MX-5 and

Learning Luxembourgish

One week (almost) later since the order, I got this notification that (Today is Monday) the book had been shipped (presumably from a town not far from my place in Luxembourg). It won't take more than a couple of days before it eventually arrives at my humble residence.

It is written in English. There were (are currently) books available in French but I hesitated to purchase them.

I will scan it and write a short review of it here on my blog later when it does arrive. I know not too many people are interested in learning Luxembourgish. Considering the fact that even in Luxembourg Luxembourgish is not so useful in everyday life (shopping, socializing and reading the documents sent from bank, government offices or similar places), learning Luxembourgish is not too popular among people who are not considering their nationalities.

There were talks of anxiety accumulating among the British nationals living outside the UK in one of EU countries as EU citizens that Brexit would take away their (some of their) privileges and might have difficulties in continuing to enjoy their life outside the UK. Some of the (possible) remedies for their plight was to take the nationality of their current resident counties (like retired UK citizens living in Spain, Italy or other Southern EU countries where the climate is much more hospitable than that of the UK).

I also read that marriage (to the local nationals) could also amend the situations and this might motivate them to seek partners locally.

I don't know if Brexit had any effect on the sales of this particular book. As I had already written (or at least mentioned) here before that there is a state funded (aided) program that help foreign nationals learn Luxembourgish and the attending fees for the language courses would be refunded if the participants successfully acquired the nationality.

If one has much free time (as a retired person), he/she can attend the language school. They offer morning courses and evening courses.

Some like me who works and does not have so much free time, has to rely on something else other than those language schools.

Mazda MX-5

I will visit the dealership Tomorrow (Tuesday) and will talk about finalizing the deal. I have already transferred the downpayment in their bank account. I have to finalize the paperwork (monthly payment for the next 4 years).
After these tedious paperwork, I think I can drive away with the car.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Learning Luxembourgish, Mazda MX-5 and ]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/07/17(月) 16:44:22|
  2. Bike Races
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I know where my Mazda MX-5 is now!

I had a message from the sales representative at the Mazda dealer (also a Ford dealer) saying that the car is ready to go.

I have to make a bank transfer to their bank account (the downpayment) before picking it up, of course.

Yay! It is finally here! I don't know everything will be ready by the end of Friday but I will be definitely driving my car by next Monday.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [I know where my Mazda MX-5 is now!]の続きを読む

テーマ:愛車と日常 - ジャンル:車・バイク

  1. 2017/07/13(木) 16:13:06|
  2. Mazda MX-5
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Lëtzebuerger Déiereschutzliga


Lëtzebuerger Déiereschutzliga a.s.b.l.

I am a cat lover. I have been thinking about having a cat (or cats but realistically only one) as a companion for a long time.

There's a animal rescue home in Luxembourg (at least one as I know of). This rescue home happens to be located near my humble residence. A twenty-minute walk will cover the distance.

There are cats and dogs waiting to be adopted. I will visit the facility and ask if I am eligible for adoption.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Lëtzebuerger Déiereschutzliga]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/07/12(水) 01:21:49|
  2. Cats
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National Kit Car Motor Show in Stoneleigh UK


This is the official site.

I have repeatedly written about my love for the Lancia Stratos HF. It is one of the automobiles that I can not easily forget. My first encounter was (not a physical contact but only in pictures or photos) back in late 1970s. I think I was 11 to 13 years old when I first got to know about this car.

According to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancia_Stratos/), It was made between 1973 and 1978 and won the World Rally Championship in consecutive 1974, 1975 and 1976.

If I had the money, or more realistically if I won a lottery (like Euromillions), I will definitely buy a replica from Lister Bell Automobile company. It seems to be the last (or latest) kit car company who produces Lancia Stratos replica cars.

I also wish to own a Porsche Spyder (Porsche 550) replica one day (if this one day should ever come). I can not find a replica maker who is still active. A hope getting a replica in good conditions is getting slimmer nowadays.

Back to the topic.

Lister Bell is of course one of the exhibitors at this show. It seems that this show takes place in days including May 1st or so. I want to get there and see with my own eyes those kit cars.

The venue is in Stoneleigh near Birmingham, UK. It is not too faraway from Luxembourg. It might be a good idea to get there before the UK departs from EU.

It will take almost two days to get there by road and ferry. It might be easier or quicker to get there by means of train (putting the car on board a train through the Eurotunnel) and road.

If I decide to get there, I will plan a 2-week itinerary trip. I will take some side trip to other places in the UK.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [National Kit Car Motor Show in Stoneleigh UK]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/07/11(火) 23:32:14|
  2. Diary
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Learning to speak Luxembourgish

This topic has been well neglected for a long long time.

I always wanted to learn Luxembourgish for a reason. The motive behind this has been clear; if one can reach a certain level of Luxembourgish fluency (not too high, thank God!) and has legally living (and working and paying taxes) for more than 7 years, he/she may get the Luxembourg nationality.

For certain nationals, this may not mean a great deal (for those who own EU nationality, for example) but for those (someone like me) who don't own EU nationality and want to live in Luxembourg it means a lot.

As a side note, I may add that for those who don't own Luxembourg nationality but are married to a Luxembourger it (having the Luxembourg passport) won't mean too much.

I am by now qualified to take the language fluency test for this purpose. I have been lazy and did not take time to learn Luxembourgish. I know bare bone German as I had live there for about 5 years.

Now I have decided to take it seriously. I have purchased a book (ordered it online) to learn Luxembourgish. It will be delivered to me within a week (I guess as it comes from a place in Luxembourg).

I am serious. I will self-teach this language.

Luxembourgish is (by me) considered a dialect of German (heavily localized). It also features a tons of vocabulary from French. The language level required by the law (to get the nationality) is said to be not too high.

When and if I get the nationality (of Luxembourg), I will be free of renewing my VISA status. This is not the only benefits. I am free to live and work in any EU countries if I wish to. For the moment, I have no wish moving to another EU country.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Learning to speak Luxembourgish]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/07/11(火) 22:28:59|
  2. Info Luxembourg
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Various topics


1. My Mazda MX-5?
2. My vacation or my staycation
3. Kickstarter / Indiegogo "espresso machines"
4. Fasting
5. EU - Japan EPA (Economic Partnership Agreements) and their side effects

1. My Mazda MX-5?

I don't know when it is arriving. Please somebody tell me!

2. My vacation or my staycation

I don't know what is going to happen to my vacation (paid holidays).

3. Kickstarter / Indiegogo "espresso machines"

I have noticed that there are some espresso machines campaigning on those sites. There's a hand-operated machine called "Simpresso." There's an electrically operated machine on Indiegogo site. I have scanned them and decided not to opt for them.

I have already bought (on the way to me for the moment) the nanopresso from Wacaco. I am expecting it to be here by me in two weeks or so.

4. Fasting

I have found some interesting "fast, fasting or water fasting" videos on YouTube. While watching these videos, I recalled a piece of news which was on the Net a while ago (one or two months ago) reporting that a man survived more than a month (while his girlfriend did not) when they were forced to live on only water when they lost their way while hiking in the Himalayas. The news piece that I read did not supply me with details of what had happened but only the fact that a man was rescued.

I thought at that time when I knew about these young couple that what they had been doing in the mountains where they were forced to endure such an ordeal. Hiking in the remotest part of the world?

Anyway, fasting got my attentions. Back in February I accidentally (because of the flu that I caught) went into fasting for days. I could function well while not eating almost nothing. I wondered why and now I know why.

5. EU - Japan EPA (Economic Partnership Agreements) and their side effects

I am not discussing the economic effects that these agreements will have on me who is living in Europe (Luxembourg) but their strange side shows that pretty much affected someone like me who is living in Luxembourg.

Before I departed from Japan in 2004, I went to the local city hall and did some required paper work. Basically, I told them that I was leaving and stop paying some taxes, social obligation fees and others. Then I realized that just before I left, Germany and Japan had inked agreements concerning their social systems.

In essence, a Japanese national can stop social security premium and then can start doing the same in Germany and in the end this person can retire in either country.

I had lived for 5 years in Germany before I moved to Luxembourg. I like Luxembourg over Germany but one thing I did not like was the lack of these reciprocal social security agreements between the two governments.

I have non-periodical email news in my mailbox from the Embassy of Japan in Luxembourg. Most of them are not so exciting or should I say that they are boring and I hastily delete them. I am not saying that the subscription is not worth the hassle on my part but that they (the news and information) are good.

I had one in the mailbox and I did not expect it to be so much interesting. It was I think July 6th, 2017 (I can check the mailbox to be sure but it is not too important, anyway) that I had this piece of news that now Luxembourg decided to let Japanese nationals milk their social system, oops milking is not a nice term so I rephrase, joyride their social system, hahaha.

Actually Japanese economy is way bigger than that of Luxembourg and since the agreements are reciprocal, of course, any Luxembourger can also do the same in Japan. Japan can swallow the entire population of Luxembourg easily, the benefits are likely to lie on Luxembourgers. No offence, Luxembourgers!

The timing of this totally unexpected piece of news was a mystery for me for several hours that day until later that day when I read some headlines on the Net. Our Prime Minister, Mr Abe was here in Europe, Brussel to be specific, to have some political show before the world. This main event of the show was these EPA (details have to be worked out before they are really in place in 2009).

They announced that they had reached the common grounds because the biggest issues had been cleared away from the negotiating table, namely EU car import taxes and Japanese dairy products import taxes.

Japan, according to some news that I have read, has been having a shortage of butter. This may or may not helped (probably not but even so I thought it would be appropriate to mention the fact) the negotiation.

Germany (German car manufacturers) won't be too happy about the agreements but on the other hand German farmers won't be complaining too much.

The thing I really wanted to write is this: It is a common practice for any occasions like this (political shows) that they want to have some side shows to make the main events look even more dramatic.

For me this side show was the bigger show than the main show.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Various topics]の続きを読む
  1. 2017/07/11(火) 21:00:02|
  2. Diary
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nanopresso, TdF 2017, Neo repair and my vacation

Today's topics are these. Not yet finished; only 60 % done.

1. nanopresso
2. TdF 2017
3. Neo (by Reelight) repair
4. My vacation (or staycation)

1. nanopresso
The site (http://www.wacaco.com) has been updated. I noticed that on July 1st. The nanopresso product line has been added; 1. nanopresso with a neat case, 2. NS adapter (to use an Nespresso compatible capsule) and 3. Barista kit (to make a double espresso?). They are currently in "out of stock" status. The first batch of nanopresso machines have been sent to their Hong Kong warehouse destined to the pre-order customers. They will gradually make them available for others.

The nanopresso is comparable to its predecessor minipresso GR. A fine ground roasted coffee beans should be tamped into the small perforated cup.

I own a minipresso NS but now I regret a bit not having chosen minipresso GR. I like a bitter strong cup of espresso but it is hard (or not too easy) to get one with Nespresso compatible capsules.

Naturally, I have no intention of getting the NS adapter for nanopresso. The specifications for this Barista kit, supposed to be a double espresso kit, should be detailed soon.

I find this "GR type to other (for example, NS) types conversion kits" idea brilliant. I should have purchased mnipresso GR in the first place.

2. TdF 2017

I will keep closer eyes on these guys. Manuele Mori (UAE Team Emirates), Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team), Haimar Zubeldia / Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo), Lars Ytting Bak / Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) and Yukiya Arashiro (Bahrain-Merida). I like other riders but these are the riders who are most likely recognize my old face.

3. Neo (by Reelight) repair

I used a small dose of acrylic powder and its solution. I purchased this mini kit from Germany. It was sold as nail art kit or something similarly called. I am not sure how solidly I fixed it. It will do for a while, I believe.

I have used (supported some projects on) Indiegogo and Kickstarter, crowdfunding sites, for several times.

Dynamo bike lights, espresso machines (hand-operated or non-electric powered) and an Electric longboard (Blink S2) are my participation instances. Two dynamo bike lights (successful "original" Magniclight and successfully funded but failed Neo) and unsuccessful Sippy.

After seeing Sippy to fail to materialize (my contribution was not enough, sigh!), I decided to get a minipresso.

The image below shows a hand-operated tool used for making holes in various wood materials. These things are getting rarer after the advent of cheap electric tools. This image is here to explain my idea of hand-operated water heating gadgets that I wish to own.
(image of a hand-operated drill)

4. My vacation (or staycation)

When do I get it? Where is my Mazda MX-5, anyway?

In Japanese: つづきをどうぞ [nanopresso, TdF 2017, Neo repair and my vacation]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車(スポーツ用) - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2017/07/02(日) 16:30:04|
  2. Diary
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