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New School BMX 2004 - Now => New School Racing => Topic started by: Mikku on January 08, 2019, 01:19 PM

Title: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 08, 2019, 01:19 PM
Happy New Year Radsters! Itís January which can only mean one thing - yes, the start of another season of trials and tribulations on the race tracks of Japan. My summer move across the country has mixed things up a bit, with my nearest track now a 3 and a half hour drive from home rather than 30 minutes!! Thumbs down On the plus side that will force me out of my comfort zone to try some other tracks. The plan is to make the occasional trip back to Midoriyama and possibly Kawaguchi, interspersed with visits to the tracks in Niigata and Osaka. Niigataís season doesnít kick off ítil April (as its based up at a ski resort in the mountains) but both Midoriyama and Osaka have their opening races on January 27th, so hopefully I can make it to one of those, winter weather (and post-Christmas lethargy) permitting. :daumenhoch:

Bikewise, the Crupi is unchanged from last year though Iíve recently been offered a set of carbon forks (Answer Daggers), so may possibly give those a try. Maybe. The same seller has also offered me a Chase RSP 3.0 but as nice it is, I have neither the skills or spare cash to justify replacing the Crupi, so will most probably give that a miss unless the deal is too good to refuse!! ::)

So thatís it for this first post of the year. As previously, I will try to update the thread with developments, pics and race reports. Comments, advice and suggestions are always welcome! fistblump
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 10, 2019, 02:08 PM
A couple of updates. Firstly, I've received my new JOSF race number, 52, as per the list below. That means changing the number on my UGP plate or busting out another plate for this year! I have one waiting in the wings, or rather, buried in a box somewhere, so may give that a whirl if I can find it. :daumenhoch:

Secondly, I've found another bmx track. It's not much nearer than the others, at over 3 hours by car, but looks quite good. Here's a link to a few races:-

Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 12, 2019, 02:41 AM
New year - new shoes! Well, secondhand actually but what the hell, you can't go wrong with Vans! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on January 13, 2019, 06:36 AM
Interesting that your race number changes.
Taking a guess that's the way they run it in Japan? Goes on a regional ranking or similar?
Would be pretty stuffed if that was the case down here, have a few too many Jerseys and Plates with numbers on them  :-\

Hopefully you get out to a few races this year.
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: oldtired on January 14, 2019, 04:48 PM
top stuff Mick  :daumenhoch: i like these reports,  keep us posted on your exploits throughout the year :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 15, 2019, 12:19 AM
Thanks guys! I'm not sure about the numbering (as all the rules and regs are written in Japanese!!) but from what I can gather, if you register in time it's based on your ranking from the previous season, though if you miss the cut-off date then you lose your slot. So in my case, I placed 66th out of the 156 registered Novice class riders last year, but got bumped up to 52 because some of those who finished above me didn't register in time. At least I think that's what happened! ::)

We've had some unseasonally good weather here recently, so I've been hitting the quiet, rice paddy roads for some training. Not sure what the locals make of a foreigner guy sprinting back and forth on a strange-looking bike (no-one rides BMX around these parts) but it's good to be blowing away the cobwebs! ;D
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: in2bmx on January 15, 2019, 10:50 AM
Love these . Keep them coming  :4_17_5:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 25, 2019, 10:12 AM
Thanks Carl! Am all set for the first race of the season on Sunday. Report to follow next week! Hopefully!! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on January 31, 2019, 11:24 AM
Last Sunday saw my first race of the year and also the first in 4 months. Needless to say I was rusty as hell but it was a nice, sunny day, so a perfect way to get back into the swing of things. There were also a couple of practice sessions before the racing started, so I could brush up on my gate technique, which was woefully poor to begin with but I gradually got back into the groove. The track was super hard, having received little rain for a number of weeks. It was therefore running really fast, so I pumped up my tyres and got ready for some fun in the sun. The fine weather also meant there was a good turn out, with 11 riders registered for my class which was therefore split into 2 heats, with yours truly in the first heat of six. There were quite a few new faces, which was good to see as well.

So onto the racing, apart from some pre-race nerves, the first moto was ok. I was a bit slow out of the gate and went into the first berm in 5th, which I held to the end. At least I wasn't last! The 2nd moto was a bit more exciting with a new guy to my left getting squeezed, leaning into me and then falling, thankfully without taking me down with him. I continued and again finished in 5th. The final moto was an interesting one. I had 2 faster guys either side of me on the gate but managed to beat them to the bottom of the start hill but they then nudged ahead of me over the first set of jumps and began dicing in front of me. At this point I made the mistake of backing off, fearing that they were going to take each other out. Sadly that didnít happen and the speed Iíd scrubbed off allowed the guy behind to beat me into the berm. I went high to get back some speed for the straight and started to catch up with both him and the 4th place guy but couldnít get close enough to them to challenge. I therefore rolled in 6th, which was a bit disappointing given my good start but once again, highlighted my lack of racecraft. Or at least the need to keep racing as much as possible. I have all these ideas about what to do in this or that situation, which I often think about up on the start hill, but it all goes out the window when the gate drops!! Iím therefore keen to get back out there again, which I hope to do at the next scheduled race on 17th Feb, in 3 weeks time. :daumenhoch:

In other news, Iíve bought the forks mentioned above. I donít need them but man theyíre a lovely-looking set and are quite a bit lighter than the Sinz, so itíll be interesting to see if they make a difference to the feel of the bike. Iím also on the look out for a smaller stem, as I think the 53mm Iíve got on there at the moment makes the front end a little too roomy. The forks might make the bike more agile, so Iíll see how I get on with those first then may pick up a 48mm stem. Weíll see.
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: oldtired on February 02, 2019, 02:37 PM
 :daumenhoch:  top stuff Mick, nibbling away at the places, soon be in the  top 3 every race   :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 07, 2019, 12:04 PM
Thanks Jim! :daumenhoch:

A few bike upgrades to report. Swapped out the Sinz alloy forks for those carbon Daggers! Also changed the grips and brake lever. Took the bike for a spin today and it feels great, but we'll see what that translates to on the track, with the next race scheduled for the 17th. :D
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 19, 2019, 08:58 AM
Was back out at Midoriyama on Sunday for the second race of the season, and keen to see how the Crupi felt with the carbon Daggers. In short, the bike felt great! & surprisingly, so did the rider!! I could definitely notice the lighter front end, as the bike just felt more nimble aka chuckable than before. Not sure how much of a factor this was, but I had a great day's racing. The over-30s was once again a popular class, with a full gate of riders. Some of the regulars were missing and there were a couple of new faces, so I had no expectation of how Iíd do. In view of past experiences, where Iíve lost out in the first berm, Iíve now got into the start hill routine of visualising the lines I want to take based on my lane position and whose riding either side of me. Basically trying to predict where Iím going to be and whoíll be around me. Anyway, I got away quite well in the first moto and was 4th going into and more importantly coming out of the first berm but got overtaken on the 2nd straight. I therefore finished 5th but was happy to be mixing it in the middle of the pack. Moto 2 saw a similar start but this time I held onto 4th until the finish. The 3rd moto was a cracker, with a race-long battle with a guy whoíd finished ahead of me in the previous two motos. I beat him to the first berm but could hear him just behind me all along the 2nd straight, then he draw level on the 3rd and tried to pass me on the fourth. However, I held my line and managed to keep him at bay Ďtil the finish. With 5th, 4th and 4th-placed finishes, I qualified into the main as of right, which I was well-chuffed with. Sadly (thereís always a sadly!), I couldnít replicate those results in the main. I got away a little late out of the gate and ended up having a race-long battle for 5th, which I just missed out on in the lunge for the line. So a 6th place final finish was a little disappointing given the motos but overall, it was my most competitive race meeting to date. Yes, some of my regular (and faster) rivals were absent but I really enjoyed the battles with not one but a number of different riders and although I ran out of steam at the end, I couldnít have done much more than I did on the day. Onwards and upwards! :daumenhoch:

The next race at Midoriyama is the Kanto Open in March, but unfortunately I canít make it, so my next outing will probably be in April and possibly at one of the other tracks in Niigata or Osaka, which should be fun! In the meantime I can concentrate on some fitness training and am also still toying with the idea of trying a shorter reach stem, so may pull the trigger on one of those soon. ::)
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: bmxmatt1974 on February 19, 2019, 09:43 AM
Great reading cheers. Got my first race in about 8 years this Saturday at Bristol club race. Should be fun as I'm no where near fit enough  ;D
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 19, 2019, 10:37 AM
Nice one! What you riding? In any case, good luck with it and let us know how you get on! fistblump
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: griff on February 19, 2019, 01:33 PM
Great progress Mick - thanks for keeping us up to date  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: bmxmatt1974 on February 19, 2019, 02:36 PM
Nice one! What you riding? In any case, good luck with it and let us know how you get on! fistblump
Picked up an ssquared complete for £150 few weeks back. Mainly to ride with my 5 year old who has just started racing. Will post pic later  :daumenhoch:


Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 19, 2019, 11:45 PM
150 squid for an SSquared complete sounds like a deal to me!! Look forward to seeing some pics! :daumenhoch:

Great progress Mick - thanks for keeping us up to date  :daumenhoch:

Thanks mate! 8)
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: bmxmatt1974 on February 20, 2019, 07:20 AM
[attachment=1]
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 20, 2019, 07:45 AM
That's a sweet-looking rig!! :coolsmiley:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: bmxmatt1974 on February 20, 2019, 08:50 AM
That's a sweet-looking rig!! :coolsmiley:

 :daumenhoch: it rides nice too
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on February 26, 2019, 10:44 PM
So.... how did you get on with Saturday's return to the track??? Get that race report posted!! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: bmxmatt1974 on March 01, 2019, 10:08 PM
So.... how did you get on with Saturday's return to the track??? Get that race report posted!! :daumenhoch:

Ha ha sorry I forgot. I ended up getting 6th out of 10 riders. Had 2 thirds and a fourth in motos then into A final. Decent enough gate but not the power to keep up with guys who have done lots of racing while I haven't done any. Main thing though I didn't crash and I didn't come last either  :)

Pic with my lad who got a 4th in his A final, his best race yet.. Only his 5th ever race.
[attachment=1][attachment=2]
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on March 02, 2019, 01:05 PM
Nice one Matt!! Sounds (and looks) like you've done this before. When's the next outing?

Back to Japan, it looks like I'm heading to Osaka for my next fix. Osaka has not 1 but 2 bmx tracks, which means I have twice the chance of racing there! This week Iíve been in touch with the track organisers and they both have classes I can enter, with a race coming up on March 24th. I was intending to visit Osaka this month anyway, so am now planning to drive there instead, putting my bike in the back of the Forester and having a quick butchers at and possibly a spin around both of the tracks. If they look ok, then Iíll try and make that race on the 24th. Otherwise there's another on 14th April. Hopefully by that time the Niigata track's season will have started, increasing my "local" track choice to three. :daumenhoch:

Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: bmxmatt1974 on March 04, 2019, 09:40 PM
Nice one Matt!! Sounds (and looks) like you've done this before. When's the next outing?

Back to Japan, it looks like I'm heading to Osaka for my next fix. Osaka has not 1 but 2 bmx tracks, which means I have twice the chance of racing there! This week Iíve been in touch with the track organisers and they both have classes I can enter, with a race coming up on March 24th. I was intending to visit Osaka this month anyway, so am now planning to drive there instead, putting my bike in the back of the Forester and having a quick butchers at and possibly a spin around both of the tracks. If they look ok, then Iíll try and make that race on the 24th. Otherwise there's another on 14th April. Hopefully by that time the Niigata track's season will have started, increasing my "local" track choice to three. :daumenhoch:

Ha ha yeah done it before about 10 years ago. Never stopped riding just stopped racing. I may race again in summer series, not yet ready to race any regionals.

Keep up the good reports from your racing, I'm enjoying reading about it and look forward to see how you get on 👍
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on March 16, 2019, 01:32 AM
Made the 3 and half hour drive down to Osaka on Wednesday to check out those 2 tracks. Unfortunately I couldn't ride on either of them due to unsafe conditions at Oizumi (overnight rain, though it didn't look so bad to me) and lack of insurance at Kishiwada (you need to buy their insurance before riding there) but I was able to have a good wander around them. You can see some pics in my "Osaka Calling" thread but both tracks look super fun to ride. More challenging than either Midoriyama or Kawaguchi, with some big jumps, a huge start hill at Kishiwada (they used to hold UCI races there) and asphalt berms. I'm definitely going to need some practice sessions there before racing, so with that in mind I've decided not to race there next weekend but will instead travel down to Osaka again early next month and try to ride at both tracks in one day. I'll then enter the Oizumi race on 14th April. To that end, I've joined the Kansai Bicycle Motorcross Racing Union (which runs Oizumi track) and paid for next year's insurance policy at Kishiwada! :daumenhoch:

Here's the Osaka Calling thread:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,194754.0.html

& here's a bike pic showing the new forks and stem:-
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 05, 2019, 10:52 PM
Instead of preparing for a new job that starts on Monday, I made the trek back down to Osaka yesterday for my first practice session at Oizumi Park. Itís a bloody challenging track with not much respite between the jumps - a bit like a roller-coaster (or jet-coaster as the Japanese say)! In any case I liked it! Thereís definitely a few spots that I havenít figured out well yet but Iím glad that I made the effort ahead of next Sundayís race. Also got a few good pics of me in action for a change. The bike also felt good with the new front end set-up - carbon forks/mtb stem - so Iím going to see how it performs in the race. Am looking forward to it - just wish the bloody place was closer!! :D
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 18, 2019, 11:56 PM
No race results to report as last Sunday's meeting was annoyingly rained off! :tickedoff: That means the next race in the Osaka series that I've signed up for is at the Kishiwada track next month. With that and a sunny weekend forecast in mind, I plan to head back down to Osaka on Saturday to have a practice session there. Am looking forward to it, though that big ol' start hill is going to take some getting used to! ::)

In other news, the schedule for the Niigata track has been published. They're running a 7-race series, with basically one race a month starting at the end of April. There are a couple of schedule clashes with Osaka and I've already plans for the opening race day, but intend to make at least a few of their races. I therefore need to head up there at some point to check out the track. :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 20, 2019, 01:42 PM
Made it back down to Osaka today as planned. Nearly didn't go but I'm glad I did because man, Kishiwada is a difficult track and I need as much time on it as possible! I have tbh here and say that I simply don't have the technique to tackle some of the jumps. That's not to say that I didn't give it a good go but it's a hair-raising ride!!! :D

The main difference between Kishiwada and the other tracks I've ridden is that many of the jumps have lips on them so you can't roll/pump them. Instead they chuck you up, which is great for jumpers but not for 49 year old novices!! Or at least this one!! Coupled with the biggest start hill in Japan, it makes for an "entertaining" track which explains why it has been the venue for UCI-sanctioned events. I spoke to one of the guys who works there and he said that not many of the older guys (ie, my age) race there because it's too difficult, which made me feel better. There's a race there on 15th May, so I want to have another practice session there before I think about entering. ;)

Some start hill pics below! What the pics don't show is me not pedalling! ::)
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 20, 2019, 01:46 PM
More pics! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 20, 2019, 01:54 PM
[attachment=2]I really couldn't get to grips with this triple at the end of the first straight. Ignoring the fact that you physically can't see the 3rd jump until you're on top of the 2nd, I couldn't take the 1st jump at full speed because I couldn't keep the front wheel down. In other words, I would end up taking off and landing on the run up to the 2nd. It was a bit like a bucking bronco!! "nono"
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on April 22, 2019, 07:22 AM
Looks different and a lot bigger that what you've ridden over there so far.
Guessing they have a lot of smaller and more friendly tracks?

Just came across something from a Japanese rider and saw the same step up jump you had put a picture up of. Except hitting it backwards
Which then lead to understanding that you do a left hand corner, then 2 rights with that tunnel going back under to the start, which is pretty awesome.
The rider in question was Yuichu Masuda, i've seen him come down here a few times to race so you might see him out on his Formula.

Would be interesting to give it a go that's for sure.
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 22, 2019, 01:57 PM
There aren't many tracks in Japan (which explains why I'm now having to drive 3 and a half hours to my nearest one!!) but Kishiwada is definitely on the gnarlier end of the scale. Here are a couple of vids I've found. The first shows an insanely talented kid who jumps the double part of the triple. The majority of the better riders seem to do this:-

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As cool as it looks, I'm not up to that. "nono" However, this next vid (taken after the track was first built) gives me the answer I've been looking for. At 0:56 the rider manuals over the first part of the triple, which I reckon I might be able to do after some more practice. Maybe! :D

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On Saturday morning there was a beginner's clinic with another Pro Elite rider, Taichi Ikegami, who was on the Kuwahara factory team last year but is also now with Formula. I missed the clinic but afterwards we got talking and I jokingly suggested that I'd help him with his English if he helped me with my BMXing! Here's hoping!! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Drawn on April 23, 2019, 12:58 AM
Yeah he did a bit of a pick up manual, if done right you use the front side to gain speed and then depending on the downside get extra momentum from pushing down the backside. A very good skill to be able to implement.
Its one of those things I guess the more you ride (even on the street) the more you begin to play around and look for different lines or ways to toy around.

Its pretty amazing, that for you, the nearest is 3.5hrs or so to get there, makes you more determined when you are there.
The people down here that whinge when its more than 45 minutes is mind boggling. For some they can have 4 tracks within 20 minutes of home for them.
In my case my nearest is a 4 minute drive with traffic (10 minute ride), and within about an hour is about 12 other tracks.

That track does look like fun though and should certainly test and build your skills.
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 23, 2019, 04:57 AM
Ah, a pick-up manual! I knew there had to be a fancier name than wheelie-ing over the jump! ;)

As for track choice, itís definitely a case of if the mountain wonít come to Mohammed! Plus I was quite lucky before with only a 30-minute drive to Midoriyama, so canít complain too much. :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on April 27, 2019, 10:17 AM
I'm usually pissed off when a race is cancelled but the postponement of tomorrow's season opener in Niigata means that I may be able to make it to the rescheduled race next Sunday! What's more, there's a week's worth of national holidays next week (called "Golden Week"), so I'm off work and should be able to drive up there to check out the track in advance. :daumenhoch:

This is all subject to the vagaries of the weather at this time of year! ::)
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 03, 2019, 03:34 PM
So today I checked out my 3rd new track in a month - Kanayasan up in Niigata prefecture. Itís in a lovely setting, nestled in the foothills of a mountain range but donít let the good views fool you as man, itís a bloody long track - definitely the longest Iíve ridden on so far. Being blessed with the stamina of an asthmatic hedgehog, I was flippiní knackered well before the final straight, which actually isnít straight, as it curves round to the finish line just to keep you on your toes. Pics attached below.

Despite its length, I like Kanayasan. After the hair-raising ride at Kishiwada (and for that matter, Oizumi), it was good to be able to tackle jumps at full speed again without fear of killing myself. The proof will be in the pudding though, as I plan to make the 8-hour round trip again on Sunday for the postponed race from last weekend. Race report to follow!! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 03, 2019, 03:37 PM
A few more "action" shots! ::)
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Taipan on May 03, 2019, 06:27 PM
Rads on Flying Kamakazi!  :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 05, 2019, 01:44 AM
I like it, except I pose more of a threat to myself than anyone else!! ;D

Have just arrived at a very sunny and not very busy Kanayasan! I fear that my class will be combined with other classes and therefore younger and faster riders!! "nono"
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 06, 2019, 12:18 AM
So I was back up in Niigata yesterday for my Kanayasan race debut. Despite the lovely weather, the postponement from last weekend meant that numbers were down and I was the only entrant in the over 30 class! In fact, several classes were combined so I ended up in the over 15s class with expert and elite riders!! The result was inevitable even when they decided to ďno pedalĒ the 2nd moto to give me a chance!! You can check out the difference in skill level in the photos below, taken from the main which I obviously didnít qualify for! ::)

Despite the result, I really enjoyed the day. Both the track and the venue are great and everyone was very friendly but I have to say that unless thereís a better turnout in my class, itís not worth the 8-hour/550km/£100 round trip. Whilst I could always do with more track time (I spent an extra hour practising after the racing had finished), what I really want to improve is my racecraft. In the last few races at Midoriyama Iíd been mixing it with other riders and that puts a whole different perspective on riding, as well as being more exciting than racing yourself at the back of the pack. Another older guy did turn up in the afternoon for some practice (on a sweet-looking, new school, baby blue PK Ripper) and the people I spoke to said that there were other riders in my class, so Iíll give it another chance at the next race (scheduled for May 26th) then see where we are. :daumenhoch:

On the bike front, I really enjoying the feel of the shorter/lighter front end set-up with one unexpected exception. During the pre-race, gate practice session I couldnít hold my balance for more than a few seconds! I know itís been a few months since my last race but I had been getting more and more confident with my starts, so was really surprised by the sudden change. Thinking about it afterwards, not only is the Funn stem 8mm shorter than the Promax, itís also lower, so the combination of the two has definitely had an affect on my balance point. Iím therefore going to have to work on that at home before my next race this coming weekend back at Kishiwada. The plan is to head down there on Saturday to get in some extra practice on that difficult triple jump, not to mention that flippin' gert start hill, then stay with friends overnight and go to the race on Sunday. :D
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 11, 2019, 02:32 PM
Am now back in Osaka! Had a couple of hours at the Kishiwada track this afternoon and my first impressions havenít changed - itís bloody difficult!! I tried and failed to execute a pick-up manual over that first straight triple, twice nearly wiping out for my efforts. As an alternative,  Iím going to try backing off or maybe even dabbing the brake just before the first jump, with a view to scrubbing off a bit of speed and smoothing out the transition. Thatís the plan anyway, though whether I actually have the presence of mind to that when racing remains to be seen! ::)

More tomorrow! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 12, 2019, 01:38 PM
Just got back from a bloody knackering weekend in Osaka. Full race report to follow but hot off the press are some race pics! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 12, 2019, 11:45 PM
So a week after my Niigata race debut, I lost my Osaka cherry on Sunday. As expected, it was a roller coaster ride  - thrilling but scary! & thatís just the start hill!!! :D

There were 4 riders in the over-30 class but the 2-man cruiser class was amalgamated with ours making a total of 6 on the gate. Talking of gates, I had none of the balancing problems I had up in Niigata, which leads me to think that the Niigata start hill is not as steep as others Iíve ridden on. In any case it was a bit of a relief to be able to focus on the start cadence instead of worrying about putting a foot down. However, I still didnít have the courage to pedal all the way down that hill!! :-[

So how was the racing? Well not too bad. The cruiser guys were literally a class apart but the rest of us were not too far apart from each other. I couldnít quite keep up with the 3rd-placed guy but managed to keep the other two behind me. Thatís how we finished in the motos and main. I therefore finished 4th overall, which would have been a podium without the cruisers. No worries though as I was  relieved just to be mixing it with other riders again after my lonely outing in Niigata. Plus I didnít crash, which is always a bonus, especially with a 3 and a half drive home! That said, I nearly came a cropper on that flippiní triple jump, which I still canít get the hang of. I tried backing off in one of the motos but it feels so unnatural to do that, so Iím going to have to rethink that strategy. Hopefully I can make it back to Kishiwada for a decent practice session some time as thatís definitely a weak point for me, and I do plan to race there again later in the year.

However, after 2 race weekends in a row, I deserve a bit of break, as do my aching limbs, so will just do a bit of light riding/training and bike maintenance over the coming fortnight before my next scheduled outing back in Niigata on Sunday 26th. Looking forward to it! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 17, 2019, 11:06 PM
My body wouldnít agree but I feel like a kid again!! More specifically, Iím really enjoying both my BMXing and racing at the moment. I think itís a combination of learning new tracks and meeting new people but also racing on two consecutive weekends has really made me want to keep riding and racing, so much so that I've been getting up at 5.30 this week to take the Crupi for an early morning spin around the rice paddies. Love it! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Taipan on May 20, 2019, 08:53 AM
 :daumenhoch: :4_17_5:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 24, 2019, 12:42 PM
Am due back out on track this weekend up in Niigata. Am hoping for a better turn out than last time though the combination of record-high temperatures (33 degrees is forecast for Sunday) and this weekend being a busy one for school sports days means that I'm not expecting a full car park! I'm still going to make the effort though because I like the track and tbh, just want to ride! :daumenhoch:

Race report to follow next week but in the meantime, here's another pic from this morning's early morning ride:-
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 25, 2019, 09:29 AM
Have given the Crupi a spanner check, bought provisions and packed the car in readiness's for tomorrow's 4.30am departure! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 27, 2019, 01:19 PM
Had a fun time at Kanayasan on Sunday. Will upload a report and some pics in the week but in the meantime and to keep things chronological, below are some pics from the first race meet where I was up against two elite and expert riders. The 1st pic shows the obvious difference in gate technique and the 4th and 5th pics were from when they decided to no-pedal!! :-[
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on May 28, 2019, 01:18 PM
So I had my second race meet at Kanayasan on Sunday. As with my previous visit there was a poor turnout (worryingly more so than last time) and only one over 30s class rider (me!), so various classes were combined. I ended up in the over 13s class which had 7 riders including 3 elite riders (one of whom is the Japanese no.2), an expert rider and two 14 year olds! Needless to say my main competition were the 14 year olds and although the little fookers got the better of me, it wasnít through lack of trying! I consistently beat both of them out of the gate which meant that in the 3rd moto when the 4 faster guys decided to no-pedal, I was leading the raceÖ..until the first jump! ;D

I had some good battles though and remembering the advice given in previous posts, rode more aggressively than normal to try to keep the whippersnappers behind me. That included moving across out of the gate and cutting across the bows of one guy in the first berm. It was good fun, even though I ran out of steam and was overtaken by the third straight. Despite the result, it was good to be battling on track again. :daumenhoch:

The next race is on June 23rd, with both Niigata and Oizumi holding races that day. Although itíll be rainy season then, Iím hoping that the distance between the two tracks (500 kms) will mean that at least one of the meetings will escape the rain and go ahead. Ideally Iíd like to have a crack at Oizumi but will otherwise head back up to Niigata to get my fix, even if that means racing (and losing) against 14 year olds! :D
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 05, 2019, 12:36 PM
We've had some good weather recently, so most mornings I've been getting up early for some training. I've worked out a 5km route which includes lots of short sprints. Nothing too strenuous but enough to get the ol' heart pumping! :daumenhoch:

& following my recent start hill wobbles, I've also rigged up a start gate, or rather a balance gate, round the side of our garage. :slayer:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: oldtired on June 17, 2019, 07:31 PM
top Stuff Mick  :daumenhoch:       look at you ..... riders behind you  :LolLolLolLol:   'kin A mate ,  well done  :daumenhoch:


nice to see yer proper fizzogg , was begining to think you'd had that helmet welded on :LolLolLolLol:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 18, 2019, 01:04 PM
Am getting there mate - slowly but surely (albeit more slowly than surely!!) and yeah, I am human under that Stormtrooper helmet! :daumenhoch:

Have been feeling under the weather this past week in two respects - suffering from a niggly cough and the rainy season has been living up to its name. There are 2 races this weekend at Osaka and Niigata but the forecast is looking a bit iffy, so we'll see what pans out. If the Niigata race is rained off it'll be postponed to the following Sunday. There's also another race in Osaka that day, so I'm hoping that I can get to at least one of these 4 races!!
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 22, 2019, 08:29 PM
Itís 4:30am here and Iím just about to leave for Osaka!! :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 24, 2019, 03:20 PM
Despite the threat of rain, the Oizumi race went ahead on Sunday which meant I could finally get to race there for the first time. Unlike Kanayasan, the track attracts a lot of riders - much like my old haunt at Midoriyama. But unlike Midoriyama, both the track and venue as a whole are much smaller, with no cars (the track is in the middle of a huge public park), meaning that everyone camps down under the trees around the start hill, adding to the atmosphere. Iíll post some pics in the Osaka Calling thread but I really liked Oizumi, including the track, which is action-packed with a super-long first berm. But perhaps more importantly there's nothing too scary (unlike Kishiwada) and it's shorter than the energy-sapping Kanayasan. :daumenhoch:

However, one thing that could be improved is the organisation of classes, with the over-30s being lumped together rather than separated into Novice and Masters classes, as at Midoriyama. On this day both of these were mixed to make a total of 16 riders, split into 2 full gates! I was in the first of these and I knew I was in trouble when we were lining up in the holding area and I noticed that everyone else was riding with clips! That concern turned out to be the case when I was beaten to the first jump let alone the first berm in all three motos! I was fairly close to the 7th placed guy throughout the day, but never close enough to mount a challenge. With only the top 4 in each class going through to the main, I therefore watched that from the sidelines. :-[

Despite the results I had a really good day, enjoying both the venue and the track. Of the three new tracks I've now ridden at this year (Kanayasan, Kishiwada and Oizumi), I think Oizumi is best-suited to me and my skill level. It's certainly fun, a feeling that's mirrored off the track, with lots of people striking up conversations and the kids trying to practice their English with me. I think I may have found my local track, if you can call 236km/146 miles local!! Am therefore looking forward to my next outing there in July. In the meantime there's a race at Kishiwada this coming Sunday, so I may make the trek back down to Osaka for that.  :D
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on June 28, 2019, 09:42 PM
A combination of traffic restrictions (and therefore congestion) caused by the G20 summit, a typhoon sweeping across the country and the need to do some work means that I won't be making a return to Osaka this weekend. On the plus side, the money I save means that I can buy a few things instead, including this cool number plate and a set of race numbers! :daumenhoch:

My next scheduled races are therefore on the 14th and 28th July at Oizumi and Kanayasan respectively. :slayer:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on July 08, 2019, 12:11 PM
Am due back at Oizumi this weekend, though the rainy season is still in full swing, so we'll have to see how things pan out this week. :daumenhoch:
Title: Re: 2019 Race Blog - Continuing to keep it Rad in Japan!
Post by: Mikku on July 14, 2019, 11:56 PM
As feared, rain stopped play yesterday, which means my next outing should be on Sunday 28th. Weather permitting! :daumenhoch: