Apologies for the lack of updates recently, ive been busy packing for my move. Sakura trees are officially in full bloom here in Fukuoka (each region of japan has full bloom at slightly different times of the month) and i took a stroll in the park to take some shots. Definitely gotta be one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. Anywho, ive got some pictures i want to upload but theyll have to wait until i get back from my 2 day trip to the hot bathes with the fambam. Ride safe everyone!
is right around the corner and both the tires on my cannondale and kalavinka are about to go. the kevlars just started to peek, so theyve still got some fight left in em but ill change em out before i move to nagoya just to begin on a "fresh" start.
...has fricken laser beams attached to its head...
ok i know lame. but my new mini bull horn looks like somethings gonna shoot outta its ends. seriously. it almost takes a little while to get used to looking at it from the side.
my first time riding a bull horn, and i must say, its quite comfortable. very recommendable for city use. relatively easy to get power to your pedals, and enough width to keep a comfy stance while cruising (or mashing for that case). although im enjoying this set-up, i have to admit i still prefer drops rather than bulls.
*For those of you keirin maniacs, you'll enjoy this update
I tagged along with the bike shop owner Ichirou-san on one of his monthly visits to go buy keirin frames off of some racers in our local keirin dome. I thought it was going to be the usual routine where a racer brings out about 5-6 frames, some fully built, some just the frames alone, for us to inspect and bid on...
昨日は衝撃的の日曜日だった～ オーナーさんの一郎さんと一緒に競輪フレームの買い付けに行って来た。 いつも通り、５－６台ぐらいを見て、買って、すぐ帰ってくる予定だったけど、この日はいつもとちょっと違う日になった。 So once we get there, negotiations start, and surprisingly, one racer after another start bringing in their frames for us to look at. One of the racers asks us:
racer: hey do you wanna check out the locker room? we've got some cool frames (of course not for sale) just hanging out in there. its pretty cool...
us: are u kidding... this is what racers see on the way to their locker room, or out to the velo. "inoru!! kentou", which translated, means "Hope!! For a good fight".
And following are the shots i was able to take in the locker room. So much keirin porn it almost blew my mind. Next to this room where all these frames are hung is a room with about 3-4 rollers where there were 2 racers warming up their legs. Room smelled of mad body odor...but wut do u expect right.
And being the Kalavinka whore that i am, this particular (and very nice) racer brought out his newly built Kalavinka to show me. If you look closely, the top tube, seat stay, and fork are matt black, while the rest of the frame is gloss black. He was telling me that he was testing it out for a couple of races and if he doesnt get good results, hes gonna get rid of it. *Raising hand.
To continue my Kalivinka fetish...the stickers on the seat tube look somewhat old school...
The bank. Sucks for all the rain...one racer said they wouldve let me run the bank if the conditions werent so poor. SUCKS.
Rare lettering for a Baramon.
An "upper rank" racer helps a younger racer change out his cranks. Man check out those thighs...
This was another racers build. An "illusion" model by Samson.
The "illusion" is Samsons top model, costing anywhere from around $2500-$3000 for a frame.
Reasons for the high cost are the intricate welding of the lugs.
Kinda hard to see with my shitty photographing, but the lugs are welded so clean to the tubes, that when you touch it with your hand, you dont feel an edge. Its somewhat hard to describe, but if you ever see an "illusion" model in person, youll definitely know what im talking about.
The racer was telling me that Samson builder Harada-san might be one of the best welders of today.
Another rare photo. A racer (the dude who races the "illusion" above) prepares his bicycle to be shipped to another Keirin stadium.
A look into the bike case. They look custom made, with hooks for your fork and ends to make sure the bike doesnt shift and get damaged while being delivered.
Cases and more cases...
We came out with...15-20 frames? and a buncha rims and extra parts.
It was a tiring, but exciting day. I think ill go bum around the shop after work today and try to find some hidden gems among the parts. Ill also try to take some pictures of some of the frames we were able to get our grubby hands on.
Weathers been SUPER nice lately. Sakura's are beginning to bloom, and you can pretty much ride at night with just a hoodie. It's crazy how the weather can change so fast. I mean, it was literally snowing in parts of Fukuoka LAST WEEK! I remember...bc i was freezing my ass off. Anyway, so the weathers been on the up and up, and Japans been holding their own in the WBC so im in high spirits. Next games against Korea again...
Took some pictures the last time we sessioned at our local spot. Rode with some heads that i havent seen in a while so it was real refreshing. Good times...
I posted about this frame not too long ago wondering who and where this "Narahara" maker is from, but upon closer examination, its simply just a GanWell custom made for a keirin racer named Narahara. Apologies for the "unthoroughness", haha, but i just had that picture layin around in my comp and posted it for the hell of it. With all that aside, check out the rare coloring and beautiful craftsmanship. So here she is in all her beauty...a GanWell named Narahara...
Japan pretty much sucks at every sport except baseball (yes im japanese so i can say this).
We've practically thrown in the towel in judo (one of the only things we had going for us) and dont even get me started on soccer.
So i stayed up till the butt crack of dawn to catch this mornings game vs Cuba. I had a gut feeling that our starting pitcher Matsuzaka was gonna fold under the pressure but he held out like a champ. Im not the biggest baseball nut, but i think its safe to say that he held his own. Japans batting seemed pretty solid as well, not giving up easy outs to Cuba.
Next games gonna be against Korea, which is gonna be madness...again. Its really a toss up whos going to win. All i know is im gonna be coming home early on wednesday night to catch it!
Onto bike stuff...here are todays rides...and...stuff...
Yasuo's Paul crank set. Very durable, thick, and strong. In other words very american.
やすお君のポールのクランクセット。まだ福岡で付けてる人いないのかな？ 丈夫そうで、さすがアメリカ製って感じ。 ミックの新しいチャリスタイル。バスから降りてきた綺麗なお姉さんを追っかける前の映像。 怪しい。 スーパースターの一郎さん。いつもお世話になってます～ 箱に「内田輪業様...へ」って書いてある・笑。 My good friend Masayoshi came into get his BB overhauled. One of my favorite bikes out here in Fukuoka. Very simple yet pays close attention to detail.
Last but not least i went in to get my Araya Super Aero "re-done".
Itll look a bit different after its laced in a couple days.