Monday, August 07, 2006

Tokyo Cycle Messenger Championships.


Its not just for messengers!

I lot of people might recognize my bike, but how many people would recognize it with an official TCMC spoke card? all..of..them? Probably. So, I woke up, prepped, got on my bike, and rode all the way across town to the park at the base of Tokyo Tower, and got there really early because I didnt know how long it would take. Found the place, met the people, and chatted a little. Got signed up, got stoked! Anyway, I met a bunch of really cool new people, met a bunch of really cool people I had met before, met at least two people who had been messengers in the states (Boston and Seattle, both perfect English: "17? Damn! howd you get to be so tall?!"). The first event was the oval skid. Not riding a fixie, I couldnt compete, but it was amazing to watch these guys just haul ass up to this line of tape on the ground, and just start skidding around this large concrete circle. The winner skidded for about 15 seconds. I dont really know how far that was, but thats about how long the movie I took of it is. Then, the race! This was the only event I could do, and I was really nervous, becasue I had never done an alley cat before.

Race Report!:We were allowed to start anywhere in the park, and I lined up with a bunch of people near an exit. The horn went off and all hell broke lose. We bottlenecked trying to squeeze through a bus stop onto the street, and I used my mad cross skills to hope the barrier and get in front of a bunch of people, but a large group from a different exit were way ahead. Those guys made bats out of hell look slow! I followed a group of people to the first check point (not knowing the way, more on that later), and at the entrance to Ebisu Skywalk, I picked 'Manifest B' What was on this little sheet of paper were 6 questions. you had to go to the 6 places and answer the questions. Here is where things stated to suck. I had only ever heard of 2 of places, and couldnt read 2 others. I had a map (but I will get a better one, the Tokyo city cycle map) but I didnt really ever have time to use it. I raced around, the streets, having an amazing time, and made it to the goal before time was up. I got 3 of the six, including the 2 required ones, which was worse the 2 other people wearing helmets (yes, only 3 of us, out of about 80) but better than both other Americans. (my Japanese was better too!) I chatted for a while at the goal, got a free tshirt which was cool, made some friends, and found my love again.

Excuses: why I lost: It wasnt leg strength, I could keep up with any of them, and passed them with no problem; it wasnt lung strength, most of them smoke; it was because I didnt know where I was going! oh well, it was rad

And now I dont think there is anything I wil become other and a messenger in Tokyo. I said some goodbyes, and hauled ass home, to go to fireworks with my family.

Peter

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