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RADBMX.CO.UK  |  New School BMX 2004 - Now  |  New School Racing  |  2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
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Author Topic: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!  (Read 5147 times)

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Offline Mikku

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2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« on: January 03, 2024, 09:10 AM »
Happy New Year Radsters! It's January 2024, which means it's time for a new race blog - my eighth from the Land of the Rising Sun! No, I can't quite believe that either but since I'm still here, and still racing, I may as well keep prattling on about it. :daumenhoch:

Starting with some race news, KBU has announced its annual, three-race winter series, though this year two of the races are at Kishiwada, the other track in Osaka. This is the most challenging track I've ridden to date, with a 5-metre-high start hill and a triple jump on the first straight that always tries to buck me off the bike. The first race is on 21st Jan, so I have two and a half weeks to decide whether to go. Half of me wants to, half of me not, so it'll depend on how brave I'm feeling nearer the time!! I'd be keener if I could make it there for a practice session but that's unlikely to happen, so we'll see.

Thereafter, I'm planning to sign up for my two regular race series at Oizumi and Joetsu. My Aussie mate is also involved in building a new track in Chiba, the other side of Tokyo. It's a mission to get there from here but I'd like to check that out at least once during the year.

The biggest plan though, is to race in North America. I'm due to go to Canada in late summer anyway, so am planning to take a bike and race there. Plus, if I'm going to race in Canada, I may as well fulfil a boyhood dream to race in the States whilst I'm there. Having now turned 54, I'm not going to have many more chances to do this, so that's the incentive!! :D

Bike-wise, I'm more than happy with the UB2, so will keep running that, possibly with another set of wheels if I can find some at the right price. Alternatively, I may get the Profile Elite hubs rebuilt into another set of rims or just put the money into my Canadian/US race fund instead. Race kit and gear-wise, I'm always looking out for interesting stuff, but am basically happy with what I've got at the moment.

So that's it for this first post of 2024. As always, I will update the thread with news as and when, and feel free to chime in along the way. In any case, keep it Rad in '24! Cheers!! :)
« Last Edit: January 03, 2024, 09:12 AM by Mikku »
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2024, 11:35 PM »
Having decided to man up and enter it, today's first race of the year has been rained off!! Am not overly disappointed given my previous comments and experiences on the Kishiwada track but having decided to go for it, there's definitely some mixed feelings sitting here typing rather than staring down that 5-metre hill! ;D

So the next round is mid-Feb, back at Oizumi, which means that I will need to knuckle down and keep trying to train, despite the winter weather. One idea is to find a multi-storey or at least covered car park where I can do some sprint practice in. Easier said than done but with rain and snow forecast for the next week, I need to get out on the bike and keep the ol' legs spinning!! :D

In other news, I contacted USABMX about my summer racing plans, just to see what the race entry requirements are. Basically, it looks like I have the choice of a free, 1-day membership or a $40, 60-day membership for multiple tracks. Both are restricted to local races, which is fine by me, and free sounds better than $40 but much will depend on how much racing I actually intend to do. I'm also thinking about where to go, where to race, etc, etc, so that I can actually start looking at flights and whatnot. All good fun! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2024, 10:46 PM »
It was a national holiday here on Monday, so I went down to Oizumi for my first track session of the year. Took both the GT and Cult to help blow away the cobwebs. It was great to get back out there, and also to loosen up the ol' joints in readiness for this Sunday's race at the same venue. Looking forward to it! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2024, 09:49 AM »
Despite some threatening dark skies, the rain held off for Round 2 of the 3-round Winter Series in Osaka. There were 11 riders in the Over 30s mixed class, divided into two racks with the top 4 from each going through to the main. I was in the first rack of 5 riders, with some of my regular rivals. I had a good battle with one, going side-by-side in every moto. I beat him in the first one to finish 3rd, then he got me back in the next two, helped by a big wobble on my part after I got over-excited in a second moto dice and nearly got bucked off the bike. I therefore went through to the main event with a 3/4/4 record. It was a full gate for the main and I picked lane 6. I managed to get out in that position, which I held to the line, beating my rival from the motos along with another regular who normally beats me. A good way to start off the year. :daumenhoch:

Need to knuckle down now to some more training, with a view to keeping the momentum going for the rest of the season. The next race is at Kishiwada on 10th March and there's also a chance that I might venture further afield for a race at the end of March. More on that nearer the time. :)
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2024, 11:19 AM »
Finally made it back to Kishiwada in Osaka yesterday for the first time in 5 years!! Five being the operative word because Kishiwada has a five-metre start hill followed by a big table top at the bottom, so it feels like a ski jump!! I have to be honest and say that I haven't got the balls to pedal all the way down the hill to the tabletop. It's launches you enough without that additional speed, so I'll leave that to those who are braver than me! ;D

There were 8 riders in my over 30s class so, with a full rack of riders, it was total points racing. I went 5th, 4th and 4th to finish in 4th overall, which I was happy with. It's the most difficult track I race at with some other features that I just can't seem to deal with well. That said, it's a thrilling track to ride with that start hill, so I'd like to give it another go, hopefully withing the next five years!!! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Quadog

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2024, 04:49 PM »
I can only imagine ive  been watching UCI racing the speed and distance they fly through the air is frightening some of tracks and start gates are huge   fistblump

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2024, 04:00 AM »
Yeah, those 8-metre start hills that the UCI Supercross tracks use are insane! Way beyond my skill set for sure!! There's some debate about whether a 5-metre hill would be better. Probably less spectacular to watch but then less risk of big crashes and injuries with the reduced speed.

Back to Japan, there's a race coming up at the end of March in Chiba, the other side of Tokyo. I've raced there once before and would like to again. The trouble is that it's a 10-hour drive, so I?d have to make a long weekend of it. I'm only going to do that if the weather looks good and that's the other problem, with Chiba's weather being notoriously fickle. I'll therefore be checking out the forecasts from now onwards before making a final decision next week.  :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2024, 11:26 AM »
So the Chiba race didn't happen. Well it did, but not for me, as I decided to stay at home and work my way through a jobs-to-do around the house list instead. I did manage to do some training in between the chores, so all wasn't lost. :daumenhoch:

Another reason for not going is the chance to race this weekend in Osaka, at the first round of the 2024 series at Oizumi. The weather was looking a bit iffy but now looks okay, so fingers crossed that continues through Sunday. :D
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2024, 11:04 PM »
The weather gods must have been happy because it was a lovely, warm day on Sunday. Oizumi Park was therefore full of people enjoying the cherry blossom and BBQs. There was also a good turnout in KBU's over 30s mixed class, with 16 riders making two full gates and the top four from each going through to the main. I went 6/6/7, so missed out on the final, though had a day long dice with the same rider, which was fun. I was determined to beat him in the 3rd moto, so going over the final set of jumps into the first berm, I saw an opening but had to dab the brakes to avoid contact. Not only did that lose me the chance of fighting for 5th but it also let the guy behind through to take 6th. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. It was an enjoyable day though, made better by staying on afterwards for some much-needed gate practice! :daumenhoch:

Here's a video of the first moto. I'm in gate 7, second from the right:-

/>
In other news, the Joetsu BMX Association has just announced its track opening plans with the first race of the season scheduled for the end of the month. It has been quite a while since I last raced in Niigata, so am looking forward to that. Time for some stamina training for the long straights there! ;D
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2024, 01:14 PM »
Monday was a national holiday here and also the opening race of the JBA race series at Joetsu in Niigata. A low turnout of riders but nice weather, so it was a relaxing way to return to a track that I haven't visited for 9 months. There were only 3 riders in the over 30s class, one of whom is a regular rival that I've had some good dices with over the past couple of years. That proved to be the case again, with him taking the first moto and me the next two. That gave me the first gate pick in the main. I'm quicker out of the gate but he often gets me back by the first berm. If I can beat him into the berm then I have a chance of holding him off, which is exactly what happened in motos 2 and 3. I therefore picked gate 3 and he went for 6. That proved to be a smart move on his part as he was able to avoid my blocking tactics, staying high around the berm and coming out in front. I didn't have the legs to challenge him thereafter, so finished second. Not a bad result, but it would have been nice to have got the top spot. With the benefit of hindsight, I should have concentrated more on my line into and through the first berm rather than thinking about his position, as doing that compromised my exit speed and with it my chances of fighting for the lead. Lesson learned and one to remember if I find myself in a similar position again. :daumenhoch:

There was a gate session after lunch, so I fuelled up and stayed on for that. I normally do a dozen or so gates before calling it a day but this time took the opportunity to try out all the various things that I've been wondering about - different pedal position, leg position, arm position, upper body position, head position, etc, etc. I therefore kept going for the whole session, losing count of the number of starts I tried but definitely 20 plus! Worth the effort though, as I felt that I was making some progress by the end. Hopefully I can put some of that into practice next time out.

My next race should be on 26th May, either at Joetsu or Oizumi, as they've both scheduled races on the same day. I'll therefore have to see what the weather's looking like nearer the time before deciding which one to attend.
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2024, 11:51 AM »
Both race meetings went ahead as scheduled last Sunday, so I chose to go down to Osaka, the rationale being a better chance of more riders and therefore race action. Surprisingly, Joetsu actually had 7 riders enter the over 30s class, meaning that I would have made it a full gate had I gone up there. No regrets though, because I had a good day at Oizumi. There were 12 riders in their over 30s class, so we were split into two racks of 6, with the top four from each going through to the main. I had some close racing in every moto, managing to take 4th, 4th and 4th in each one to qualify for the main. Making the main event at Oizumi is quite often out of my reach, so I was happy with that and couldn't really complain about the subsequent 8th place finish. Overall though, I rode quite well and felt strong throughout the day. There's plenty more to work on, of course, but the important thing for me was making the main with some good dices en route. Below is a video of the third moto, with me in lane 5.

/>
The next scheduled race is at Joetsu on 23rd June, with Oizumi the following weekend. The Japanese rainy season may have something to say about that, but hopefully at least one of those meetings goes ahead, if not both. :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2024, 12:47 PM »
I unexpectedly found myself with a free Saturday this weekend, so instead of doing some of the many jobs around the house, I loaded up the car and drove up to Niigata for a practice session at Joetsu. A long drive but I wanted to work on a few things before my next race there, hopefully on the 23rd. The rainy season is also looming, so I was keen to get some track time before rain stops play! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2024, 01:27 PM »
Was supposed to be racing back up at Joetsu tomorrow but, as feared, the rainy season has just kicked off, so the meeting has been postponed to 7th July. Oizumi's race next weekend is also looking dodgy, with rain forecast for the whole week but we'll see what happens. It's not all doom and gloom though, because I've managed to ride my bike every day this week and also did a good hour's worth of sprint training this morning before the heaven's opened. :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2024, 12:00 PM »
A bit of deja vu here, with yesterday's race rained off but I managed to squeeze in a decent sprint session the day before, so the weekend wasn't a complete write-off! :daumenhoch:

The postponed Joetsu race is next weekend but with rain forecast for the whole week (I kid you not), the chances of that going ahead are also looking slim. Thumbs down
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

Offline Mikku

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Re: 2024 Race Blog - Year 8 - It's Never Too Late!!
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2024, 02:41 AM »
As anticipated, today's race has been rained off, making it three Sundays in a row! :crybaby:

The weather's okay today but the damage was done in the week and despite some track repairs yesterday, they decided to call it off and focus on next weekend's race instead. Fingers crossed!! :daumenhoch:
From Dorset to Japan:- http://www.radbmx.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,182215.0.html
Ok riders, random start. Riders ready, watch the gate old gaijin make a fool of himself! :D

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