I was able to spend an entire weekend at the last Shonan Airinkai training camp. Two days of pain, what fun!
Two of my teammates showed up with some sweet new machinery-- brand new BT's! Same as used by the Australian national team. The Edge model belongs to young professional keirin racer Wada Makuru, while the Stealth belongs to the teams top amateur sprinter, Kameyama-san.
I got to play with the team's world-class Mavic wheelset for a while. I must win the lottery, soon!
It wasn't all business, though. After the first day's training, we headed for the hotel and hit the onsen (hot springs), then copious food and drink were consumed.
The next day, my training menu included work on the last lap of a kilo or team sprint. Coach Wada had me do three flying 500 meter time trials, with a three minute pause between. First one wasn't bad at all, second one definitely hurt, but the third one was enough to send me to the port-a-potties anticipating a second appearance of my breakfast. Ouch, and ouch.
After lunch (I managed to keep down my breakfast), it was time to work on the standing start. Here's a video comparison of Maruru, Kameyama-san and myself:
Clearly I need some work, especially on the first few strokes. Makuru is a very serious badass, and is about one second faster than me and Kameyama-san, who are actually pretty close, on a standing lap time.
Some cadets from the neighboring Keirin Academy came to hang out with Makuru, who most expect to be a future star of pro keirin. He's already got several wins in his first season, which just started in January. The real deal! Note how the guy on the left is, perhaps unwittingly (perhaps not...), giving me the "fuck off" sign.
Beautiful indoor 250 and a ghostly Fuji-san. The roof is now closed, perhaps they've begun the woodwork inside.