Sunday, March 22, 2009

Not your avg Sunday...

*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.

祈る!健闘~って・・・熱いな

そして、一郎さんが交渉に入ってた間、ある選手が「ちょっとロッカールーム見る?」って聞かれて・・

選手のロッカールームをお邪魔することできた~!
中々一般人が見えない風景を見させていただきました!
4-5台ぐらい盗みたかった・・・笑





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.
ある選手が自慢のカラビンカを出してくれた~
トップチューブ+シートステー+フォークがマット黒で、他は普通のグロス入り黒だった。
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.
この日は残念ながらバンクを走ることできなかった~TT
Rare lettering for a Baramon.
ちょっと珍しい文字のバラモン。なんかマキノっぽくない?!(言っちゃった・・)
An "upper rank" racer helps a younger racer change out his cranks. Man check out those thighs...
クランク交換(?)してた先輩と後輩。太もも半端なかった・・・
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.
ある選手の「イルージョン」っていうモデルのサムソン。
サムソンのなかで最もランクの高いモデル。
ラグの溶接が「段差がなくなる」ぐらい薄くする、まさにGOD HANDの原田さん。
写真より生で見たらすぐ分かると思う・・
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.
これでサムソンを乗りたくなってきた。
Another rare photo. A racer (the dude who races the "illusion" above) prepares his bicycle to be shipped to another Keirin stadium.
選手が自分の自転車を他の競輪場に送るために準備してた。
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.
箱の中を覗いたらこんな感じだった。
Cases and more cases...
箱だらけ・・・
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.
今日はいい買い物できたと思う!
残念ながら自分に合うサイズのフレームがなかったので、3台目はもうちょっと時間がかかりそう。
15台?20台?ぐらい買ったので、今度お店に行ったらパシャパシャ写真を撮ろうと思ってる。
また次回!

5 comments:

Yoshihiro said...

Damn, nice documentary!
Those keirin bike racers are crazy fast, they got thighs built like Velociraptors! haha
Hope all is good in Japan homie.
peace
44

Thomas said...

Looks like bicycle heaven!

T_M said...

Great photos!

Someday I hope to get my hands on a Kalavinka, but I'm not holding my breath.

yetimartin said...

nice blogg and nice bikes! I thought I recognized the place..I've also visited the Kurume Keirin track, but last year. I also had a chance to ride on the track but had to take it easy since it was quite wet also at that time : http://www.fixedgear.se/forum/viewtopic.php?t=191

Neville said...

Are you able to get that Red Sparkle Nagasawa for me? I realize this request is a bit off the wall but I'm in love. Do you know if that Keiren racer is selling the frame or if you have any info on it.