Lessons from the master.
I love the concept of Keirin. Maybe it’s because I dreamed of being a sprinter. Maybe it’s my size. Maybe it’s the sensibility.
Keirin is a form of cycling removed from the cycling we know and labor over. Part martial art style respect, part high stakes gambling, all time cycling this sport has developed an almost perfect code of ethics. Sure there is most likely a way around this. I don’t know about it and, I will be honest, I don’t want to know. It seems fantastic to me.
First off it is a high speed contact allowed race for money. Tons of money. It is men as prized race horses. No bull, this is what horse racing should be. The racers live lives of luxury in the fact that they live, breathe, sleep, and eat, racing. They are separated from society and live amongst themselves. No one cheats because they all live together. In an open group everyone knows what you do. It is your training and acumen that marks you better than others.
Racing is done on, if I remember correctly, a 500m oval. Three laps motor paced, one to jockey over position, one in full out sprint. That would be enough to kill a guy but they do it regularly. It’s how they make their bread. They road train on fixed gears, they race fixed gear. They die fixed gear.
This is where it gets cool. The Keirin society NJS tests and labels all of their equipment. When millions are put out on a race, a part cannot ever fail. So everything must be perfect. More over, nothing is senselessly lightweight. They race steel frames. 36 hole hubs laced to box section or light aero section tubular wheels. One inch threaded headsets. Quill stems. Drop bars. Loose ball bottom brackets. The bikes weigh maybe sixteen to maybe twenty pounds. Depending on size.
Nothing breaks. Everything is flawless. Nothing is left to chance. Reputations are made by the integrity of the frames.
If ya haven’t caught on yet. It’s the way things should be done.
I’ll continue on that thought later.