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New School BMX 2004 - Now => New School Racing => Topic started by: Mikku on January 02, 2018, 12:47 PM

Title: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 02, 2018, 12:47 PM
Happy New Year Radsters! So here we are again. Itís the beginning of January and Iím back for more fun and games on the race tracks of Japan, though hopefully a bit wiser, if not faster, after the trials and tribulations of last year!! :daumenhoch:

The Crupiís had a few changes over the Christmas break including a new seat, seat post clamp, wheelset and drivechain. Iím also probably going to run with a different number plate this season but whilst I wait on my new race number, I need to sort out my back, which is giving me a shedload of jip at the moment. What seems to have happened is that, either consciously or subconsciously, Iíve been protecting my shoulder when riding and in doing so, have put additional stress on my back. I've literally just finished having physio on my shoulder, so am going to continue with a few sessions on my back. Hopefully that can fix things in time for the first race of the season on 28th Jan. ;)

Anyway, injuries and ailments aside, this year my plan is not only to get more races under my belt at the Midoriyama and Kawaguchi tracks but if the chance presents itself, to also try out another track or two, at least for a practice session if not a race. Thatís the plan anyway, though as I found out last year, anything can and probably will happen!! Hopefully youíll join me for the ride! :slayer:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: HUTCHMAN on January 02, 2018, 02:22 PM
Hope you have great success this year bud... love the image !

大成功をお祈りします
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: hotdog on January 02, 2018, 02:28 PM
Keep the posts coming  :daumenhoch: I really enjoy reading about your racing exploits and the japanese scene.
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 03, 2018, 01:44 AM
Thanks guys! Dave, that pic is to do with the first dream you have in the new year - called hatsuyume in Japanese. What you dream about will determine how lucky your year will be. A dream including Mount Fuji is the luckiest, followed by ones including a hawk and an aubergine! Needless to say before I go to bed I've been imagining a hawk flying around Mount Fuji with an aubergine in its mouth!!! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 06, 2018, 02:51 PM
New year, new look bike (with new wheels, drivetrain, seat and seat post clamp) and now a new race number! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: steve on January 11, 2018, 12:26 AM
sweet hubs
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 11, 2018, 01:10 PM
sweet hubs

Yeah, I love Ďem. They remind me a bit of the old Son-lite hubs though a little chunkier and a lot cheaper. They also spin like the proverbial butter and the rear cassette purrs like a pedigree cat!! :D
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on January 12, 2018, 05:44 AM
A Mates son has them. Very tidy and also reasonably quiet.

Looking forward to this years blog, will be great to see more progress.
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: in2bmx on January 12, 2018, 09:03 AM
 :coolsmiley: :daumenhoch:  . yeah keep the photos coming .
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 21, 2018, 11:54 AM
Thanks gents! No more photos for the time being, just a bit of an update. There was an official practice session at Midoriyama today in readiness for next Sunday's opening race, but unfortunately I couldn't go due to my ongoing back problem. That's now been diagnosed as a herniated disc which is quite literally a pain in the arse, with nerve pain radiating down from there to my right calf!!! However, the good news is that it's responding to the twice-weekly physio that I'm squeezing in to my schedule, so whilst next weekend is out of the question, hopefully I can make the February race, failing which the March one. Not the best start to the season but the positive thing I'm taking from all this is to take more care of my body, and to put in more off-the-bike training than I did last year. Hopefully that will make me a fitter and stronger rider, as well as a little more resistant to injury!! Good fun this racing in your 40s lark, eh! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on January 22, 2018, 07:04 AM
Sometimes these things happen and you just have to go with it.
Hopefully you heal up soon and can get back out there quickly.

Best recommendation though if you still want to and can get involved is to see about helping out at club days.
Seeing you like to take photos, maybe ask if you can photograph and then put them up online for the people to view.
We are lucky down here to have a few of them and people love seeing pics from the events.
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 22, 2018, 10:34 PM
Yeah, that's a good idea about the photos. I might sound them out this weekend, failing which I'll keep snapping away and posting on here! :daumenhoch:

As for the ol' back, I was gutted about the "no racing (or snowboarding) for a month or 2" news, I think because I was just starting to get back into the swing of things following my shoulder mishap! However, I'm now quite philosophical about it and as you say, sometimes you just have to roll with it, if not ride with it! ;)
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 27, 2018, 09:52 AM
It snowed quite heavily in and around Tokyo on Monday, which in itself was not too unusual but the subsequent cold snap has been, with temperatures hovering around zero all week. The upshot is the photo below, which was taken on Friday, and the message is self-explanatory! From a personal point of view I'm not too disappointed since I couldn't race anyway but it's still a shame not to get the season underway, plus I always enjoy watching the racing even if not competing. What's more, the next race scheduled for Feb 18th is also under threat, as there's filming going on at Midoriyama, which is part of a tv studio facility, so the land around the track is often used for tv and film sets. There is another race at Kawaguchi at the beginning of Feb but I'm not available then, and it's too soon for my back in any case. A more likely return for me is the Kanto Open, which is a regional race held at Midoriyama on March 18th. That should give me plenty of time to get (my) back into shape, get back on the Crupi, and get back on track! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 07, 2018, 02:20 PM
Another weekend, another race cancellation, though this time at Kawaguchi's Gorilla Park. I was busy anyway, so it didn't affect my plans but that means this season's calendar has still to get under way. There's another race scheduled at Kawaguchi on 4th March, though I don't think I can go, so I'm keeping to Plan A which is to go to the practice sessions at Midoriyama on Feb 25th and March 11th in preparation for the regional race on 18th March. That's subject to my back, which is as reliable as the weather! That said, it's slowly getting better and I'm now riding again albeit just around my local roads to keep the ol' legs going! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on February 08, 2018, 08:31 AM
It would almost be easier to fly to the Oceanias in Bunbury for your first race of the season.
Atleast itll be warm haha
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 11, 2018, 12:43 AM
Looks like a fun track! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 26, 2018, 10:27 AM
After an 11-week break and for the first time this year, I hit the race track again yesterday. That gave me a chance to give the new parts on the Crupi and my back a good workout. Thankfully both passed the test! Although I didnít notice the slightly longer wheelbase and higher gearing, I really appreciated the extra points of engagement of the Bullitt hubs when I was up on the gate. A few riders run Bombshell and Alienation rims but no-one has any Bullitts, so some of the locals were also asking what they were. :daumenhoch:

Less impressive was my fitness, which has definitely suffered over the break, so I stuck to my normal routine of breaking the track into sections, and concentrated on one section at a time. I also managed a couple of dozen gates and for the first time, tried to watch the lights rather than my front wheel. The idea is to maintain a better posture and therefore relieve the stress on my lower back. Whether it works or not I don't know but it was certainly a different experience, both from a balancing and timing point of view, so Iíll continue to work on it at the next practice session on 11th March. That will hopefully be followed by my first race of the season, the Kanto Open, on the 18th. :slayer:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on March 11, 2018, 12:51 PM
No nootropics in this thread!! Wish I could say the same about cancellations, with today's official practice session at Midoriyama being rained off, or rather, cancelled because of recent heavy rainfall despite being a lovely sunny day. I therefore took the Crupi out for a spin instead, comprising a 40-minute ride followed by 20 minutes of uphill sprint training. The Kanto Open is this coming weekend, so I'm planning to get out on the bike as much as possible this week in order to get my legs and lungs up to speed, or at least in better condition than they were the other week. Must admit to feeling nervous about my first race of the year!!! :D
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on March 21, 2018, 10:05 AM
After a 3-month break, I finally got my 2018 season under way on Sunday with the Kanto Open, which is one of the biggest races in the JOSF calendar and much like a regional race, so attracts a few riders from further afield. Due to the cancellation of the previous weekís official practice (the track is on private land, so is only available on official days), there was a 30 minute free practice before registration, so I was able to get a few laps in and my legs warmed up. Following race registration (and receipt of the free towel shown below), there was an official practice with the gate in operation, so I got a bit of gate practice in as well.

Onto the racing, there were 6 other riders in my class, so a fairly full gate. In the first moto I got away ok and was vying for 5th going into the first berm, though came out in 6th, which I held to the next berm but then the 7th placed guy slipped inside me and to the back of the pack I went. So not the best start but it was a good dice and I enjoyed the race. The 2nd moto was interesting one, even though I ended up in the same place! In lane 7, I got away ok albeit slightly behind the riders in 6 and 8. The guy in lane 8 is a regular podium-finisher (and went onto to win the main) and with his front wheel in front, started to move across into me. With the guy in lane 6 still in attendance, I suddenly found myself being squeezed!! Iím fairly sure if I had held my ground someone would have hit the deck, most probably me, so with the first jump fast-approaching I decided that discretion was called for and backed off. This meant I lost momentum and ended up going into the first berm in 7th, where I stayed to the finish. I was therefore determined to do better in the 3rd moto and ended up 5th, though this was the result of a mid-race tangle between 2 riders ahead of me. One fell and the other lost speed, so I was able to slip by. So final scores on the doors, 7th, 7th and 5th. Not enough to qualify for the main which I was disappointed not to make, but the positive thing I took from the day was that I was mixing it with other riders albeit at the back of the pack. Plus my back held up to all the excitement! :daumenhoch:

Thereís a race a Kawaguchi in a fortnight but realistically, the next race for me is back at Midoriyama in 4 weeksí time. Canít wait!!! :D
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: oldschoolace on March 21, 2018, 10:48 AM
Cool towel Mick, given you injury last year and the undoubted age gap with some of the riders id say that was a decent first outing.  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on March 21, 2018, 11:53 AM
Cheers mate! I wish I could use age as an excuse but Iím regularly beaten by a guy in his 50s!!! :'( Heís the guy with the chrome Daylight Iíve posted elsewhere, and has now bought a Daylight cruiser to go with it! :bow:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: in2bmx on March 21, 2018, 01:17 PM
Mick . We need vidoes  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 08, 2018, 12:29 PM
Not sure my ego could take that! ;D

Went to an official practice at Midoriyama today and had a good workout, including 20-odd gates. Having had a go at watching the lights, I've decided that I much prefer looking down and listening to the start cadence. I think that allows me to focus more on my start technique. That said, I'm still not particularly good at the snap but do feel that I'm getting the power down much better than I was. :daumenhoch:

As well as gates, I also spent some time practising the berms. There was quite a lot of dust on the track, so the entrance to all the berms was a bit sketchy. I was therefore going easy in but really starting to crank up the speed mid-berm and get a fast exit for the straight. No rocket science there I know but it was good to practice.

Finally, I bought a new laptop a few weeks ago. Nothing fancy, just a replacement of my old, asthmatic netbook but what it does have is a 15" screen. This means that I can now save my tired old eyes from watching youtube clips on my iPhone! The result is that I've been watching shedloads of bmxing including lots of race stuff. Not sure if anything I watch filters into my own riding but it's certainly upped my motivation. With that in mind, I'm super excited about next weekend's race, though the long-range forecast says rain, so I'm hoping that changes otherwise there'll be tears! :'(
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 16, 2018, 01:41 PM
Well the forecasters were right and strong winds and heavy rain caused yesterday's race to be postponed by a week to this Sunday! Thumbs down

More rain's due tomorrow and Weds but the forecast's looking good for the rest of the week, so fingers crossed the track dries out and we have a sunny weekend! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 22, 2018, 12:19 PM
In complete contrast to the typhoon-like weather that caused last weekend's postponement, today's race saw scorching heat at Midoriyama. Scorching as in the high 20s, and it's still April!! Unbelievable, though at least we were racing again! 8)

Whether it was the heat or some other reason, the turnout was not great, with less classes and only 4 riders in my class. However, my initial thoughts of fighting for a podium finish were soon dashed when I realised that the other 3 are usually at the front of the pack. That proved to be the case throughout the day, as I would be behind by the first or second set of jumps and thereafter was simply unable to make up ground. I think they each took a win and qualified for the main but due to the small turnout, everyone went through, so I had another bite at the cherry. Sadly my legs weren't up to the challenge, and I finished further back than I had in the motos. Tbh, I was a bit gutted to be bringing up the rear in all four races but such is life. On the positive side, I got some more experience of racing in a main and I didn't crash or injure myself, which is always a bonus. However, I've reached the point now where I really want to up my game. I know I need better fitness and more power, but I would love to have some coaching. Options over here are few and far between but I may see what I can find. In the meantime, I'll keep hammering away at the ol' fitness and sprint training. I also have a couple of days off work the week after next, so plan to head up to Kawaguchi to get some practice in at Gorilla Park. :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on April 23, 2018, 09:34 AM
Good to see you finally got back out on the bike, appears the weather might finally start playing nice.
The new plate is pretty cool, always enjoy seeing something different to the norm being run.

Don't forget, any questions in regards to skills just ask.
Might be a bit hard to get an easy answer back to you but will definately try (ie find pictures to give you an example).
The best advice i can give you though is, if you can get video of yourself it will help you analyse what you re doing and what you need to change. It might not give you the 1 on 1 tuition of having a coach there but itll be a step for you to see what you are doing.

And lastly, Keep having fun.
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 25, 2018, 05:01 AM
Thanks mate! Appreciate the offer too. You're right though, a video would definitely enable me to see what I'm doing (wrong), though the thought reminds me of my snowboard instructor's course when they film you riding down the slope then take apart your riding style! :'(

& I need to keep everything in perspective too. I want to get better results but need to balance that desire with the whole idea of having fun, which I still am despite the slightly negative tone of my last post! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 05, 2018, 04:29 PM
Have had a few days off work this week, so after a couple of long bike rides, I put the Crupi in its bike bag today and went to the Kawaguchi track for a practice session. It was the first time there this year and I had quite a productive day, spending a lot of time practising the big doubles just after the start hill (my favourite part of the track) and also the final rhythm section, where I managed to manual a couple of the smaller jumps. Well, I think that was what I was doing as I can't manual for toffee on a flat surface but was somehow able to keep the front wheel up between the rollers. Kind of!! Anyway, it was good to get back on track and a useful workout as I plan to enter the next race there at the beginning of June. I'll therefore head back there before then for another practice but in the meantime I'm racing again at Midoriyama on the 20th, with an official practice session there next Sunday. :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 14, 2018, 11:11 AM
Didnít make it to the Midoriyama practice session yesterday. I planned to but rain was forecast, so I decided that it wasnít worth all the hassle of getting there and back for what was likely to be an hour or so of practice before the rain arrived. Bloody annoying as I could really do with the track time before this Sundayís race but such is life. Or at least life without a car, which would have solved the transport difficulties. On that note the rental carís booked for this weekend but Iím also on the lookout for something more permanent, so hopefully track access will become easier in the near future! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 21, 2018, 02:34 PM
Had a fun race day back at Midoriyama on Sunday. There were 7 of us on the gate, which I think was the largest class of the day. First moto I was drawn in lane 1 and managed to get away in front of the guy in 2 and held my line through the first berm, as shown in the sequence of three pics below. He squeezed past me later then fell, as did another rider, so I ended up in fifth. The second moto I didn't get away so well and finished 7th. The final moto was much more interesting! I got away ok but was squeezed from either side and had to back off going into the first berm. Those 2 riders then tangled with each other and another in front of me. With nowhere else to go I headed high and wide to avoid (and hopefully overtake) them but soon ran out of space and tagged one of the bikes. None of us fell but we'd all lost speed, so it was then a sprint back up to race speed which I lost! It was bloody good fun though!! :daumenhoch:

Next race will hopefully in a fortnight's time at Kawaguchi. Before then I really need to do some stamina training as my performance noticeably deteriorates moto by moto!! ::)
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 02, 2018, 01:08 AM
The weather's been a bit iffy this week but it's looking like tomorrow's race at Kawaguchi is on! :daumenhoch:

I haven't been out on the bike much since last my last post, but plan to do some sprint training this afternoon before I get the Crupi bagged up ready for it's 90-minute, early morning train ride! I normally hire a car for Midoriyama races but there's a decent-enough rail connection up to Kawaguchi, so I always let the train (and my back) take the strain! Race report to follow in due course! :slayer:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: factory pilot on June 02, 2018, 08:41 AM
Love this mate ... keep it coming bro fistblump
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 03, 2018, 01:05 PM
Cheers Ant! Had another fun day at the races today. Got an earlier-than-planned train, which made things a bit more relaxing when I arrived at Kawaguchi and I managed to squeeze in a good 20 minutes worth of track time before the 9am registration. After signing up I also did about half a dozen gates during official practice. :daumenhoch:

The over-30s class tuned out to be the most popular of the day, with 8 riders. Since Kawaguchi has a 6-man gate, that meant 2 separate groups of 4, with the first 3 from each going through to the main. I had a day long battle for 3rd place in my half of the class. In the first moto I got away third but ran wide and slipped down to fourth, which I couldn't get back. Bloody annoying as I felt I had the legs of the 3rd-placed guy. In the second moto I was in lane 6 and entered the first turn side-by-side with the same guy but he had the inside line and I couldn't pass him. One of the good things about the Kawaguchi track is that it's small and fast but that means that there's not a lot of space or time to do much overtaking.

Starting the final moto from lane 2, I got away ok but just got squeezed out of third going through the first turn. I was determined not to give up without a fight and gave it some wellie, starting to gain on the two ahead of me. I had the speed but couldn't pass them, and had to back off at one stage to avoid hitting the 3rd-placed guy.  So I ended up finishing fourth in all 3 motos and therefore missed out on the main. Disappointing but still bloody good fun, since unlike Midoriyama where I always run out of steam well before the finish line, my body just about holds out for the whole of the Kawaguchi track, meaning that I'm more in with a shout of getting a result there. It's also bloody fast! :slayer:

Reflecting on the day during the 90-minute train ride home, I know that half of my problem is that flippin' first turn. I call it a turn rather than a berm as only the outer part is banked. It's not a very good view but you can see it in the 4th pic below, in the background behind the gorilla! This is the turn where I has my first fall on the Crupi last year and is often a bit damp there. The entry is also just after the big doubles, so you're carrying quite a bit of speed into it and because it's not very banked it's easy to slide out. As a result, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not so confident going through it and, being a left-hander, I don't want to go down and aggravate my left shoulder. It's definitely (yet) another case of mind over matter, so I just need to man up and deal with it! I also chose to watch the mains from just after the doubles, which gave me a good view of the lines being taken by riders going through turn one, and I could definitely see people taking putting the power down earlier than me. The next Kawaguchi race is not until September, so I'll try to work on improving both my confidence and speed though that corner during some practice sessions.

Next weekend it's back to Midoriyama for an official practice day ahead of the following weekend's race there. My back's feeling bloody sore after today's fun and games (including a post race meeting practice session where I did another dozen or so gates), so hopefully it has loosened up a little bit by then! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: oldschoolace on June 03, 2018, 06:16 PM
Grest stuff Mick, keep it up  :daumenhoch:
Interested to know how much difference you think your race bike makes to some more old school like your green free agent?

(love the idea of you progressing through the ranks on something a little older  ;) )
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 04, 2018, 12:58 AM
Thanks Clint! Ignoring the fact that the Free Agent is no longer on my side of the world, Iíd say the bikes are like chalk and cheese! The Crupiís so light and roomy that when I get back on an old school bike, like I did with Dan for our Tokyo night ride, it feels like a world apart. Which I guess it is in terms of technology. That said, I took another new school Pro XL bike (albeit with a 21Ē tt compared to the Crupiís 21.5Ē) around Midoriyama and it felt so short and less confidence-inspiring than mine, so maybe itís a size/geo issue rather than a technological one. Perhaps I should give the Laserlite itís Japanese race debut one day!! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on June 04, 2018, 08:35 AM
Nice work out there.
Sounds like your training and practicing is starting to pay off by being up with the others on the track, which is awesome.

There is a certainly a difference with the old school to new school bikes.
Brakes being one haha (its great to be able to stop).
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 04, 2018, 01:51 PM
Thanks man! Yeah, it's great to be mixing it with the other riders, albeit at the back of the pack. The only downside is that instead of focussing on technique, when I'm on track all I'm thinking about is how to overtake the bugger in front or keep ahead of the guy breathing down my neck! ;D

I love my old school bikes, as they're the bikes I grew up riding and dreaming about as a kid but I have to say that I flippin' love riding the Crupi! On or off track it just feels great! :smitten:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: oldtired on June 04, 2018, 01:57 PM
 :4_17_5:  top stuff Mick ,  sounds like you'll soon be  banging elbows in the pack ,   great report that.
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 09, 2018, 02:32 PM
Cheers Jim! Hopefully my elbow pads will give me some extra clout in the pack! :daumenhoch:

So this week saw the official start of the rainy season, which means a few weeks of hot and humid weather interspersed with heavy downpours. This is already having an effect with tomorrow's practice session being cancelled due to an approaching typhoon!! Tbh, I'm not too disappointed as my back's been giving me jip all week, so I could do with not riding tomorrow. However, hopefully both the weather and my back will improve in time for next Sunday's race. :D
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 16, 2018, 09:58 AM
We've had a couple of damp days, with on and off rain and colder temps, but it's now 6pm on Saturday evening here and I haven't received one of those "Sorry! Event Cancelled!" emails, so I guess I'm racing tomorrow!! Time to dust down the bike and start packing! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 17, 2018, 02:13 AM
Morning from a muddy Midoriyama!! Am definitely riding with the Maxxis Holy Roller on the front today! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 20, 2018, 03:24 PM
Glad I ran with the Holy Roller on Sunday because a couple of days worth of rain had made track conditions fairly sketchy early on, and I had a big moment during a practice run despite the extra grip up front! The warm weather improved things as the day wore on, with a dry, smoother line appearing on the straights, though the berms remained damp throughout the day. More on that below!

So there were 5 riders in my class, with the other 4 being regular Midoriyama riders and unfortunately, all regularly faster than me! That ultimately proved to be the case, though I gave it a bloody good shot. In 2 motos I was battling for 4th place going into the first berm but lost out both times. I had the inside line but wasnít far enough in front to cut them off. With the inside line still damp, nor could I turn in sharply, therefore I had to back off to avoid t-boning the other guy. That meant they were able to keep their speed and overtake me around the outside, with me slotting in behind them. This happened twice (with different riders) and tbh, Iím not sure what I could have done differently! Any advice would be gratefully received!!

In the meantime, here are some photos from what Iíve just realised was my 5th race of the season. Doesnít time fly!! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 22, 2018, 02:00 AM
With apologies for the quality of my diagram, below is what I was referring to above, if you follow my drift! ::)
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on June 22, 2018, 10:42 PM
couple of options you have.
-go full old school foot out flat out (they wont be expecting it)
-get a bit of mongrel into you and stand your ground, elbows out etc and force the right of way.
-change the way you might approach the corners and the lines you may want to take.

The last one does require faith in your equipment and to over time learn corners and how you can carve them, along with speeds you need to be able to carry in and out to either benefit or know what youll have to implement on the next straigthts (eg less speed youll have to know where you can get on the cranks as much as possible).

Ill give an example in your scenario. In practice youve hit that 1st corner from a whole range of angles and sides of the track to know the conditions. You are side by side with the other guy, you have the inside but he is just creeping away a little bit near the end of straight #1. You know from his style he generally will want to rail the berm to maintain speed. you can either try tuck in behind him and follow with the same speed or you could always lean over a bit more and take a tighter line in the first berm to be able to come up under him about 3/4 the way round. In such a situation the outside rider will normally take a bit of evasive action and loose a bit of speed and if you've done it right you can keep going hopefully in front.

Or for example, youve got a great gate start and are infront for half the 1st straight, dont be affraid to move over in their direction and squeeze them out thus you having the advantage going into the first corner.
If you watched worlds you may have seen a few younger riders going from say gate 1 to lane 4 by the bottom of the hill for that exact reason.

Its all a bit of racecraft in the end. I missed making it to the national titles semi final on countback because the last corner i didnt manage to hold out the one guy i needed to be infront of. Carved in super tight and took a foot off (more due to now being a habit, and can very easily get it back on). Only thing i left the outside of the track with just enough for him to squeeze through and he took the win by 0.021 seconds. (0.01s and it would go to a camera review)
Learnt from it and put that into the memory bank for next time.
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 23, 2018, 01:14 PM
Mate, thanks so much for that. I've already had a go at the first of those 3 options and so far at least, it hasn't worked as I lose too much momentum. Since I'm not really an elbows kind of guy, that leaves option 3! Interestingly, when I was in staging on Sunday I watched a quick young kid starting from lane 7. He got the holeshot then cut right across about 3 lanes to get a better line into the first berm. I'm not that fast out of the gate but could definitely try to think more strategically about where I am in relation to my rivals as I approach the berm. :daumenhoch:


I have to admit that I'm enjoying the challenge of improving my racecraft. Every race throws up something new to add to the list of things to work on! The problem is trying to keep all those plates spinning without letting one fall! :D
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on July 21, 2018, 07:58 AM
The Midoriyama race calendar has been chopped and changed recently due to filming near the track, but the next race is tomorrow! :daumenhoch: The only problem with that is weíre now smack, bang in the middle of a bloody gert heatwave. Itís been around 35 degrees every day this week, with stifling humidity to boot, and tomorrowís forecast is 36-37 degrees!! I was sweating like a pig after just 5 minutes on the bike this morning, when I went out for a gentle ride wearing shorts and t-shirt. In full racegear and a full-face helmet Iím going to fry, and thatís before I think about racing! Avoiding dehydration and heatstroke rather than honing my racecraft will therefore take precedence tomorrow! :D
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on July 22, 2018, 02:01 AM
Good morning from an already sweltering Midoriyama where the race has just been cancelled on safety grounds. Itís already 34 degrees and with it set to get hotter through the day, the organisers and site owners decided that itís too risky to race today. Given that Japan has already seen a number of fatalities this week due to heatstroke, thatís fair enough. I think thereís going to be a practice session instead, so since Iím already here, I may as well stay to work on my gates! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on July 26, 2018, 02:41 AM
Well that was an interesting Sunday! Following the race cancellation the organisers ran a practice session but man, was it hot. After a couple of slow, sighting laps to warm me up, literally, I had a blast round the track and nearly collapsed! The energy just sapped from my legs. I stopped, rehydrated then had another go, doing my normal routine of practising one part of the track at a time but again, simply didn't have the energy to keep going. The gate practice didn't go much better. I managed three gates before my body cried enough, and by the time I got back to my car, I was feeling light-headed and had to sit down and guzzle my way through a litre of water. Thumbs down

Although I was initially disappointed by the race cancellation, man it was the right call, otherwise the medical staff would have had a busy day for sure, if only to deal with me!! :D On the bright side, I did manage to take some cool pics of the gate session, so will post those later. In the meantime, here are a few miscellaneous ones.
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on July 29, 2018, 06:33 AM
Whilst I was rehydrating from my aborted practice session, I took some gate footage including some shots of one of the elite riders. Bloody good he is too! :bow:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on August 20, 2018, 11:06 PM
It's been a while since I reported in, mainly because there's been no racing but also because I'm in the middle of moving. This is not only a move of house but a move of prefecture (county), which is going to take me far away from Midoriyama! All is not lost because my other half has ongoing work and family commitments in Tokyo, so I can just about justify/squeeze in a monthly visit and therefore race at Midoriyama or Kawaguchi, at least for the rest of the season. I will also need to find tracks nearer to my new place in time for next year!! :daumenhoch:

Back to the here and now, this Sunday sees the rescheduled Midoriyama race, so yesterday I dusted down the Crupi and went out for a gentle ride to blow away the cobwebs. The plan is to ramp up the riding/training routine this week and hopefully be in some sort of race shape for Sunday. This is all subject to the weather, with Japan now in the middle of the typhoon season! Never a dull day here! :D
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on September 01, 2018, 10:18 PM
Due to ďunforeseen circumstancesĒ I missed last Sundayís race!! From page 658 of the BMX Book of Excuses, on Friday I stubbed my toe and ripped half the nail off! :loser:  I could possibly have ridden around that but following a 13-hour round trip drive on Saturday, the thought of racing in the mid-30 degree temperatures forecast for Sunday was not an attractive one. I felt bad not going but looking at the race results, there was a low turnout all round, with my class being merged with the younger (& much faster) over 14s, so that wouldnít have been much fun anyway.

So Iím now sat here in my new home, some 300-odd miles from Midoriyama, looking forward to the next race there in 2 weeks time! This is the JOSF Night Race, which is the biggest event of the year. Fortunately, Iím going to be in Tokyo for just over a week around that time, so should be able to make both the race and the practice day on the 9th. Further ďunforeseen circumstancesĒ permitting of course! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on September 10, 2018, 04:34 AM
Am now back in Tokyo, so yesterday made the much more palatable, 50-odd mile trip down to Midoriyama for the official practice session. Unfortunately I didn't check the JOSF home page before I left and therefore failed to see that the 10am to 3pm session had been changed to 9 to noon, due to filming at the site. I was therefore somewhat surprised when I rocked up at half eleven to find a full-on film set in what is normally the car park/paddock area! :wtf:

Having made the 1-hour drive to get there, I was bloody well not going to miss the opportunity to ride, so quickly got kitted up and onto the track. Despite the session being continually interrupted by filming (we had to stop riding when they were filming scenes), I managed to practice the various sections of the track a few times. As well as enjoying being back on track again, I was really concentrating on being smooth, focusing on riding position and posture. Then when the filming stopped for lunch, we were able to have a 20-minute gate session, which was a bonus, as I need as much practice as possible before this coming Sunday's Night Race. Hopefully the filmset will have gone by then! :2gunsfiring_v1:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on September 15, 2018, 01:29 PM
Race day/night tomorrow! Have been out in the local park a few times this week doing both sprint and stamina training, so am feeling in better shape than last Sunday but am still bloody nervous! Race report and pics to follow! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on September 24, 2018, 04:12 AM
I enjoyed (and survived) my 2nd Night Race last weekend, though as previously, the results were nothing much to write home about. ::)

There were 6 of us in my class and only 5 made it through to the main. Sadly that didn't include me but on the plus side, I was battling the others for the first straight at least. In the first moto I entered the first berm in 4th but was overtaken soon thereafter. In the 2nd moto I encountered the same problem as mentioned in an earlier post, namely being on the inside and in this case, muddy line into the first berm and then being unable to hold off the others on a faster, drier line. In the 3rd moto I surprised myself by being 3rd or 4th out of the gate and managed to keep the riders either side of me at bay until the first berm, then again lost out, though was able to keep on their tails until the finish. Lessons learnt:- I still need to be more aggressive or at least more race savvy going into, through and out of that first berm plus I need to work on my power and/or stamina because the others leave me behind in the second straight! To that end the 4th pic shows my new training bike! It needs a new front wheel but I'm hoping it will get me out more, and more importantly, fitter! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on September 24, 2018, 08:45 AM
You're getting there Mick. The more you spend out there the better your craft will become.

If it makes you feel better, someone got 5th in the Semi on the weekend.  :(
Last to the bottom of the hill each time (we have transponders for timing), yet hauled past beyond that.

Something to learn, which does take courage at first is, don't be afraid to move across if you are in front of the people next to you. Squeeze them out.
But also you have to consider the track and how to get around the corners if you are going to make such a move.
Prime example, this weekends first berm we had to hit it no lower than about the middle, to carry top speed out for a stupid fast 2nd straight.
They may also be gaining speed purely from getting backside on jumps, from things such as pumping. Or if they are manualling they could be getting "backside" on the front of the jump by using the face to pick up speed.

Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on September 25, 2018, 08:26 AM
Thanks mate! Out of the gate in the 3rd moto I actually (I think for the first time) moved across to block the rider to my right and it worked until he got me back going through the first berm. Typing this, I realise that I donít often practise the berm itself, concentrating instead on the straights either side. Iím therefore going to rectify that at the next practice session, hopefully next month, though I think Iím going to miss the actual October race. Weíll see.

The other thing that constantly surprises me is that despite my back of the pack exploits, Iím still loving the racing. 35 years ago I would have given up by now! Wait a minute, thatís what I did!! ::) But now Iím just enjoying the whole racing experience. Of course it would be nice to be more competitive but I donít do anywhere near enough training to warrant that, so I canít complain! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: oldtired on October 04, 2018, 06:37 PM
 :daumenhoch:  nice one , tis all about the smiles  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on October 09, 2018, 10:34 AM
Smiling works for me! :daumenhoch:

Found this pic from the practice session:-

Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on October 24, 2018, 12:15 AM
Sunday was race day at Midoriyama but as anticipated, I couldn't make the trip down. In fact, the Crupi is still in Tokyo, so I haven't ridden it for over a month now, though the other day I did go for a spin around the rice fields on the Laserlite! :slayer:

Although I haven't been doing much riding, I have been researching alternative tracks for next season. The nearest is a 2 and a half hour drive away but they don't have a regular race calendar. I may check it out though at some point as it looks quite fun. There are two other options but both are 3 and a half hours away - not ideal but do-able in a day and certainly easier than the trip to Midoriyama! The first is down in Osaka, which is quite a modern-looking track, and the other is up the coast in Niigata, and looks similar-ish to Midoriyama. The latter's final race of the season is this coming Sunday, so I'm going to drive up there and have a nose around. Pics to follow! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on October 28, 2018, 10:58 PM
I aborted yesterday's planned trip to Niigata due to crappy weather, so here's a vid of the track to give you an idea:-

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It looks quite good, albeit long, so I'm definitely going to check it out next season. I may also get down to the Osaka track before the year's out, just to see how that compares. In the meantime there are 2 more races at Midoriyama, at least one of which I plan to go to. :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: in2bmx on October 29, 2018, 08:45 AM
cool vid  8) :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on November 16, 2018, 12:16 PM
Yeah, just wish I had those riding skills! :bow:

Next race at Midoriyama is this Sunday, but I can't make it. Annoyingly, I'm going back to Tokyo next weekend, so am hoping that it rains and there's a 1-week postponement! On a brighter note, my training bike is now back on the road, so I've no excuse to be unfit! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on November 27, 2018, 12:41 PM
Popped back to Tokyo at the weekend and was reacquainted with my Crupi - love this bike!! First took it for a spin in the local park then the following day popped it in the back of the Scooby and went up to Kawaguchi race track for a couple of hours! It was great to blow away the cobwebs! :daumenhoch:

Next race is on Sunday 9th and is the season's final race at Midoriyama! If I can make it back down there, I will, as I really want to get back out there again before the season's end! There's also a race at the Osaka track this coming weekend, so had been thinking about heading down there for that as well, if only to have a look, but now have other plans. That means it's Midoriyama or bust!!
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on December 22, 2018, 12:51 PM
The Sunday before last saw the Final Race of the JOSF season but unfortunately I didnít see it, let alone participate in it, as I didnít make the planned trip back to Tokyo. I could have gone but for various reasons decided against it - it would have cost me a good 200 quid for a start!! I did, however, spend some of the money I saved on next yearís JOSF membership! Iím not sure how many races Iíll be able to make but Iím hoping to go to at least a few and get my full race fix at one or both of the other tracks in Niigata and Osaka. But thatís next year, what about this one?

As with last year, itís been a steep learning curve but Iím still enjoying the challenge of it all. Missing the final three races of the season has been disappointing but looking back, it wasnít too bad a year. Six races in total and although I often ended up at the back of the pack, I was generally more competitive than last year. Baby steps and all that. Plus on the bright side, I didnít end up in hospital. Ignoring the physiotherapy treatment for a herniated disc! ::)

Thanks again to all of you who have read, commented on or followed this yearís blog, plus those who have messaged me with advice and suggestions. As always, much appreciated! :daumenhoch:

So that was my 2018 Race Blog. Now based on the other side of Japan, 2019 will mix things up a bit and hopefully see me check out a few other tracks. Until then, Merry Christmas from the Land of the Rising Sun and Godzilla Christmas trees!
Title: Re: 2018 Race Blog - Keeping it RAD in Japan!
Post by: Taipan on March 23, 2019, 10:05 PM
Love the look of that night race track! I wish I was 30 years youger lol ....notice on the moto sheets your down as team 0  tell em next time you 'Team Rad!'  :daumenhoch: