About 3 years ago now (my how time flies) I was a young impressionable car/computer geek living and working in Tokyo. When I went for my company’s teacher certification training, I met a young woman from Madison, Wisconsin. The trainees affectionately referred to her as “Wisconsin” because of her accent. She was hip, outspoken and had this strange fetish for bicycles.
As we’d head out for a few post lesson beers, she’d stop constantly admiring bicycles. “Fixies” or “Fixed gear/Track bikes.” At first it was just some kind of weird fetish, but I noticed that the bikes were actually quite cool looking. I thought nothing of it at first.
Fast forward to a few months later, I went out an bought myself a cheap folding bicycle (Chinese made) to avoid the crowded commutes filled with drunk salarymen on the way home. The train often smelled like puke from one guy who had just happened to drink a few too many Kirins.
Then I decided to drag myself and my girlfriend at the time on a 30km bike ride. We folded up bikes onto the train and headed into town for a scenic ride. I was a pretty fit guy, but as I was giving it all I had, a lanky Japanese fellow dressed in superhero tights (which I would normally have scoffed at) burned me like I was standing still. Not only did he drop me like it was hot, but his pedal stroke looked like a gazelle gracefully and smoothly pulling away from me.
I was hooked.
Fast forward to a few months later, I was draped up in colorful camo cutoff shorts, my BAPE Tshirt, riding an old panasonic frame around AOYAMA and HARAJUKU where I picked up this DVD from a thrift store. Suddenly this whole track racing thing seemed pretty neat to me.
Enjoy the vid.