Monday, September 15, 2008
Keirin Racing in Tokyo Japan at KEIOKAKU
Ive been a Track Bike rider for a long time roughly 20 years and Ive been going to Japan for almost 10 years but until my son got involved in Bike Racing I didnt really know about Japanese Keirin Bike Races. Keirin is like Horse Racing in America but with Humans on Bikes instead of Horses. A Keirin Race Track is the type of place where old guys goto spend their hard earned money. It is 6-9 bike riders in a Velodrome with the Riders wearing different colors to identify themselves. My son showed me some links and I could not believe how hardcore these guys are. They have a special school for the riders that has them training for 15 hours a day. This is a nation wide sport that spends annually ¥1.5 trillion on according to a Wiki page so Im probably off with that huge number.
Anyways enough facts. This sport is pretty sick. These guys are all muscle and when they go down its not pretty. Go to youtube.com and check some races out if you dont believe me. My next trip to Japan I will revisit a track and do a story on a rider. Thanks to Bebe, Hue and Yopi for taking me there and making me feel loved.
Photographed at KEIOKAKU by Shadi