Friday, February 2, 2018

New kicks

Super excited about these new shoes from Lake. In doing some research for new shoes, I found that I have unusually wide feet. My foot length is equivalent to a US size 8 1/2 or 9, but my foot width doesn't get accommodated until around size 11 in standard shoes lasts. That normally means custom, and waaaay outside my budget. But I found that Lake offers a wide and extra-wide last in select models, like these super track-looking CX1-Carbons. And the price was right- around US $200 which is relatively cheap for racing shoes. After trying these on, I realized I had never had a pair of cycling shoes that were not way too tight across the ball of my foot. Excited to try these beauties out in anger in a couple of months!



Thursday, December 28, 2017

Izu Velodrome





Just found unposted blog entry from 2010...


This is by far the most exciting result I’ve ever had as a bike racer. And it was pretty unexpected. Somehow I managed to go nearly 2 seconds faster in this race than ever before. Divine Wind? Maybe. In any case, now I’m to represent Kanagawa Prefecture in the one-kilometer time trial at the 45th All-Japan Districts and Metropolis race in Yamaguchi prefecture in August. Damn! And I get to wear a special Kanagawa team skinsuit. Sweet! It will be my distinct honor to do my best to uphold the honor of my beloved Kanagawa!
We call it the kilo. It’s a pretty strange race. It’s just the rider and the clock, and a rather short distance to cover as fast as possible. Generally it takes a little bit over a minute. My time last weekend was 1 minute 10.957 seconds. It’s all relative, but it’s a “respectable” time. The world record, however, set in 2001 in La Paz, Bolivia by a Frenchman named Arnaud Tournant, is 58.875. To the uninitiated this 12 second difference might seem trifling, but to those who know, it is an eternity.
From the spectators point of view, the race can be pretty entertaining to watch, as riders often come in like a lion and out like a lamb, sometimes to a tragicomic extent. This is a sprint race, so you have to start it with everything you’ve got, whip it up to speed and then hang on. But the last half of the race is always a losing battle against the lactic acid screaming through your thighs, increasingly labored breathing, difficulty handling the bike and tunnel vision –some riders even report blackouts- and for some the end of the race more closely resembles a death-crawl than anything that can rightly be called a “sprint”. Basically, this is not a race that the rider can “enjoy”. More like you get through it, and hope it turned out ok.

Keirin School Renshu







Toyama Keirinjo