(oriental orchestral music) I’m here in the Tachikawa Velodrome which are on the outskirts of Tokyo, it’s about a 50-minute train ride away, we’ve just arrived here
and we’re looking forward to seeing what the Japanese
Keirin racing is all about, I’m really looking forward to this one. (upbeat oriental music) So I was walking here to the velodrome from the train station and I was amazed at actually how quiet it
appeared around the velodrome because if you go to any big
sporting event in the UK, generally, you know
you’re in the right place because of the noise and the people and such like involved but here it was actually
quite eerily quiet to be perfectly honest and I did have to keep checking my phone to make sure we were in fact, in the right place, we
were in the right place, but something that, is really struck me is inside of the velodrome too, it is incredibly quiet
and there’s really not that many people here despite the fact that the entrance fee is just ¥50 which is like 40 cents
if you’re in the US, probably about 40 cents
if you’re in Europe and probably about £40 if you’re in the UK for instance. So why aren’t more people here? Well this sport is
absolutely massive in Japan, it is in fact one of the four sports that you can bet on legally, the other sports being horse racing, another one is motorcycle racing, and the other one, believe it or not, is powerboat racing. So Keirin was actually introduced back in 1948 as a way for the government to make some money from the taxes involve with gambling and it’s
been said that each year, the revenue generated from Keirin racing is actually ¥1.3 trillion, which I can’t work out in my head but it is certainly a lot, anything that involves
a trillion is certainly a great deal of money, let’s face it. So why aren’t these races absolutely packed full of people, because it’s so cheap
to get into that space? Well for start, it’s
11 a.m. on a Wednesday, so most people are actually at work, so most of the spectators here today are elderly gentlemen who
are likely to be retired and simply wanna have a day out watching some great bike racing, you can also, though, bet online from the comfort of your home and there is, in fact,
pay-per-view TV stations, enabling you to watch
each and every single race and with 50 velodromes across the country as well as about three thousand professional Keirin athletes, that’s a lot of racing
you can catch up on. Now today is just an average day for a Keirin rider so
it’s nothing special, there’s no championship to be won or anything like that. Now, up until recently, I always thought to myself, why don’t these specialists
in Keirin racing head on over to Europe where they could make some money, but in actual fact, in Europe you can’t make any money out of it, instead here in Japan, the top athletes can actually earn up
to $2 million per year, yeah that’s right so it’s
the kind of equivalent of a premiership soccer player in the UK, they make their money from their club not their country, hence the reason why they really do like
to play for their club rather than their country although there is some certain prestige to represent your country. Now in order to actually try and get a younger crowd in, they’ve actually introduced women’s Keirin racing again, it used to be in operation
from 1949 until 1964, that went to the wayside though, and then back in 2012 it was reintroduced, and the timing of those races too in order to get a younger crowd in, so after they finish work, so about half past five, six o’clock, that’s when those races take place. (upbeat oriental music) So what exactly is a
Japanese Keirin race then because many of you will
know the more popular Olympic discipline where
we use a motorbike, in effect, to pace the riders around it’s actually, a big derny,
and it’s pedal assisted. Here in Japan, how is it run then? Well, for start, you don’t
have that motorized derny, instead you have a rider
who does the pacing for you and they start off at
16 miles an hour roughly and build up to about 30 miles per hour, the race itself lasts
approximately two kilometers, so on this track behind me, which is 400 meters, that’s five laps. But what about the riders, what are they all about
and how many are there? Well here, you’re gonna
have nine sprinters lined up on the track at any one time but that can vary, sometimes you have six riders and essentially they can’t pass that pace rider at the front up until one and a half laps to go. Once that pace rider
swings off, the riders, they become pretty
physical with one another, and even behind the pacer, things can get a little
bit tense at times, you see elbows, and shoulders, and heads being thrown in the
direction of other riders, and underneath those colourful costumes they’ve got on, they do in
fact have body armor too because the Japanese
Keirin style of racing is totally different to what we see in UCI sanctioned events, here, for instance, they can
essentially undertake, overtake whenever they like and it’s not uncommon, people see riders slightly
deviate underneath the bottom line of the track there too it’s all part of the culture
of this style of racing. So behind me on the track there, you can see the start gates, so again, if we compare it to the Keirin racing, you may well have seen
where riders are held up by essentially their coach or their manager, here, that’s controlled by compressed gas so all riders definitely have
to start at the same time, otherwise well they’re
gonna fall to the wayside now that’s about 25 meters away from the actual start line of the event so riders they generally fall into line. But how do they know then where to actually line up in that racking system? Well they pick a number from a hat to make it even and fair
for all riders involved. Now a typical Keirin race actually takes place over three days inside of the velodrome and each rider, they get to race time and time again, against riders of a
different caliber depending, of course, on their finishing positions and their ranking points because that’s what it’s all about, the more ranking points you’ve got, the more money you can make. Now Jesse J, some of you may know, she sang a song, it’s
not all about the money but in Keirin racing, I’m rapidly learning it
is all about the money both for the riders as
well as the association and also the government because that’s where they make a lot of money from the revenue of it. (upbeat music) So this is where all the
action’s actually happening, trackside, there’s
hardly anybody out there but inside of here, there’re hundreds of guys
betting on the racing and this gentleman over my shoulder here, yes he just told me I had a nice face and I was hoping he likes me because if I’m really
clever or careful with this, it could well work in my favor because all of these things there, all the details on the board, he’s like a fortune teller, he as well could explain this really so he has insider information or at least he thinks he does and you can pay him for that advice so that you can fill in one of these, one of these betting
slips and then go ahead and place your bet, that’s crazy, I’ve never heard of anyone doing that at a sports event but he said he likes me, he said I have a nice face so maybe he’ll give me some good tips or maybe not, maybe it’s just a trick. So just behind me on the screen there, it’s actually live stream
for another Keirin race which is taking place about 500 K away and well they’re slowly departing after having watched the race, probably to either go and
collect their winnings, or maybe go and put a
bet on for someone else but it is really interesting how they seem to really study the form here, it’s just like horse
racing back in the UK. And if your luck is
really not going your way, why not get yourself a good drink for good luck at this vending machine, it’s even got branding on it from the Japanese
Professional Cyclist Union and, get this, a little
TV screen on there too so you don’t miss any
of your favorite action watch your drinks be prepared. So just like any sporting event, there’s heaps of different
food vendors here so you can go and get
something to well maybe celebrate a victory or in my case drown away your sorrows because there’s a sign over there saying pizza and beer
that seems quite appealing but also one of the great things about this is that for a non-Japanese speaker like myself, I can actually pick a little plastic card from the side of the restaurant and actually just hand it to the person behind the till so in my case, I kinda know what I’m gonna be getting because there’s even a
handy photograph on that too so I’m staying quite safe with that. (upbeat music) Check this light behind me, this is where all the bikes are kept for each and
every Keirin rider here. Now if you notice, there’s no carbon in sight is there? Not one bit of carbon fiber because, in fact, all riders have to use NJS stamped approved material. NJS is the kind of
Japanese Keirin association when it comes to approval of parts, hence why the use of steel frames is heavily in use and they come at a pretty good price too, when I say pretty good, I mean pretty hefty in fact because they have to
meet stringent controls, not just the frames, the wheels, the spokes, the tires, the hubs, every little bit of component on the bike, even down to the grips and saddle have to have an NJS stamp on it, that is what I find absolutely amazing, all competitors are actually on a truly level playing field, nobody has an advantage or disadvantage by having a different bike. Okay yes frame builders can vary in quality and such like but ultimately, they all have to meet the same safety standards, the same approvals in this
case of the NJS stamp. NJS, that normally adds on a pretty good premium let’s say, onto the price tag and it’s
traditionally Japanese brands who actually deal with it. Campagnolo in the past, they
did make a piece to group set that had the NJS stamp on it. But that’s one of the
few non-Japanese brands to ever break into the scene if you like. Let’s talk about the wheels then shall we? Well every rider in fact uses
exactly the same rim type. In the case here it is the
array of gold tubular rim. NJS stamped, of course and
then in most cases too, they’re mounted onto a
pair of Shimano Dura-Ace NJS stamped, don’t
forget, large flange hubs and then the tires, they actually come from a brand called Soyo and they come in different
valves than normal, so usually we see tubular tires where they’re press the valve but these actually come with a valve which looks like an old woods type valve so slightly more over-sized and does require a different pump head to actually get it to inflate. Sticking with the wheels,
check out that as well, the little spokes there tied and soldered just to give an extra little
bit of strength there, so they’re not gonna flex around at all. And then something which I
think is super interesting too is that the tires actually
have a stamp on it for each and every race,
I’m led to believe, in order to actually
maintain their lifespan so you’re not using old
tires that have been glued on there for a long time and such. And I have also heard too
that if you make contact with another rider during a Keirin event, then in fact, you have
to replace that tire and that comes with quite
a hefty price tag too. ‘Cause they’re about
£70 so that’s $70, €70 I guess these days, I’m
not sure what goes on with the currency rates
but yeah that could end up costing you a fair bit of money, I suppose if you’re a rough and tough type of rider. And when it comes to frames,
well, there’s probably about 40 to 50 NJS
approved builders in Japan, which is quite a lot, isn’t it? It’s good to see that the custom frame builder game is still around. I am led to believe as well that there is a couple of companies, I think it’s Bridgestone
and Anchor, who actually make carbon fiber, NJS-approved bikes. However, I’m not seeing
one of them here yet. And I don’t reckon there is one either. Keirin is so rich and deep in tradition, And I don’t think anybody dare
break the mold if you like. The exception though, that comes from the females who are racing Keirin because they are allowed
to use carbon fiber bikes as well as carbon fiber wheels. They don’t have to have
the NJS-approved stamp on them as far as I’m aware but just looking at the bikes there, you could easily be confused that each and every
one of them is the same because like I’ve already
said, essentially, they are. It’s just the builder of the frame and also the paintwork but
I could look at them all day because there’s something great about just the simplicity of a track bike. So just behind me there, is
where the riders hang out. And when I say hangout, I mean, they’re actually
in there for six days, because remember, the event itself is three days plus prior to that, three days before the
event itself the riders are actually put in there and
don’t have any contact at all with the outside world
’cause remember Keirin is heavily involved with
gambling and in the event of maybe a rider contacting someone on the outside world and telling them they fixed a race or something like that, there could be a lot of money
to be won and also lost. So, for this reason, smartphones, iPads, anything like that are
actually not allowed inside of the facility. We had to hand ours in, when we entered and the riders do that, well,
they simply have newspapers, magazines, books and also a
good old-fashioned conversation with someone else if
they wanna have a talk. I can’t imagine what it’s
like to be in there actually for six days nonstop because they don’t have their own rooms. They’re simply putting
something down on the floor and sleeping on top of it. So I guess all you gotta
hope is that someone is not a loud snorer
or something like that. It is quite odd, I’m sure you’d agree that actually it’s been
such close proximity to other people, your enemy, in fact, once you’re out on the tracks, could be sleeping literally
right next to you. So a gentleman behind me, he just got out of shot actually,
he’s got himself a great, little store here because not
only is he selling nutrition and such like for riders
but also spare parts. A tire inside of here, so remember, Soyo is one of the NJS- approved tires and like I said, if you
make contact or you crash, you actually have to put a
brand-new tire on your bike. One of these is ¥10,000 so yeah, they are fairly expensive but ultimately, it’s your safety isn’t it? You’ve gotta think about. People outside of Japan
will search long, high, low, whatever to try and find one of these. Fantastic! So I’ve just realized
actually what’s going on here. Now each rider has their
own account if you like, so a tab, so that they come along and they get their product, so a guy has actually just come along and got himself a new tire. Unfortunately, he had a crash outside. He’s got his bit of paper,
he’s filled in what he’s taken, he doesn’t have to pay there and then. Instead he can pay at
the end of the event. So, essentially, I guess if
you’ve got a lot of prize money, you can take it from that, or alternatively just settle your bill at the end of your stay here. It is everything you would
need for a three-night or six-night accommodation
at Keirin race I guess. (light music) So, I almost stood on the
hallowed turf, if you like the actual velodrome itself. Now it’s not like one which anybody, I’m sure at home is
regularly used to seeing. So it’s not Siberian Pinewood which most indoor velodromes are built of. And an outdoor velodrome where we normally either use concrete or asphalt. This though, is something
slightly different. It’s got more of a really rough, textured, gritty, kind of feel to it. What does that mean though? Well it means that the tires, they are gonna stick a
little bit better to it but importantly, especially for Keirin is that they can race in the rain. That’s right, racing in the rain, which is something totally unheard of in the UK for sure and also, I’ve not heard of any
other outdoor velodromes having racing take part in when it’s wet because quite frankly it’s horrific when it starts raining and you’re stuck on a outdoor velodrome. But as we know, it is heavily reliant upon spectators or more so
even people placing bets. Hence, the reason why
it happens in the rain. The banking isn’t super steep, it’s barely steep but super
interesting is the fact that the width of the track
is absolutely massive. It’s probably 50% wider than most tracks I can think of, maybe Moscow in Russia that’s a wide open
tracks which is very fast for the sprinters but
there is also a big runoff on the inside there too because remember, riders, yeah, they could get themselves in a little bit of trouble if they do some infringements like breaking the rules for instance, I’m not actually sure what you’d have to do though to get disqualified so it’s probably a rough, tough head-butts that kind of thing going on. But a little fact then about that track. Each corner has a number,
this one’s number one, ’cause this one is the first bend after the start/finish line and then when you exit that big bend, that’s bend number two,
three, four respectively. And on each bend, there is a judge, for better words, who
either waves a white flag at the end of the race or a red flag. Red flag obviously means
that they’ve seen something they don’t think is quite fair and an investigation needs to take place but a white flag and everything is good. Something which I’ve spotted here is in fact three wind socks as well as a little wind meter, I don’t know the technical name for that but it spins around
and it lets the punters inside who are busy
betting, know the wind speed in meters per second. That will help them, I guess, place bets on a rider who is particularly
good at crosswinds, headwinds maybe even
tailwind, I don’t know, but I’ve never seen a velodrome before because while normally we watch cycling on a velodrome indoors, don’t we? But this is so interesting, I’m learning so much during this visit. So it’s six minutes past 11 on the dot and the riders are just about to start the first race of the day here. So excuse me, I’m so excited to see this. The first Japanese Keirin
race I’ve ever seen. (light music) (riders chatting) I’d just like to quickly thank Aya for showing me around the velodrome today. It’s been absolutely
amazing and also Yuuma for doing all the translation work so I could fully
understand what’s going on. It has been absolutely incredible to have such close access to the riders as well as all of the
equipment that’s being used and not to mention
literally a velodrome tour where we’ve been through
tunnels and such like, I never thought I would
be able to see that, ever. Let me know though, what
you think of the Keirin. I think it’s absolutely
amazing, let me know down there in the comment section below. Also make sure you give it a big thumbs up and share it with anyone
who loves track cycling. Don’t forget to check out the GCN shop. It’s shop.globalcyclingnetwork.com where we have a whole heap of goodies for you to check out and
now for another great video, click just down here. And well, me, this is gonna be a really sad farewell to this super velodrome and the Keirin.

Cycling’s Billion Dollar Races – The Fascinating World Of Japanese Keirin
Tagged on:                                                                                                                                                                             

100 thoughts on “Cycling’s Billion Dollar Races – The Fascinating World Of Japanese Keirin

  • November 18, 2018 at 10:05 am
    Permalink

    Did you know Keirin was so huge in Japan?! Let us know what you think of the sport.

    Reply
  • March 31, 2019 at 8:34 am
    Permalink

    I thought the intro is going to say "Snooopp dogg"

    Reply
  • March 31, 2019 at 5:06 pm
    Permalink

    Wauw, that is a really boring report on an exciting sport.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2019 at 12:23 am
    Permalink

    Did it ever occur to you to actually show the RACING? Would have been nice to see.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2019 at 9:01 am
    Permalink

    3 minutes in and still not explained what the hell keirin is. I'm out, leaving a downvote behind. Have a nice day.

    Reply
  • April 2, 2019 at 6:49 am
    Permalink

    Can foreigners compete in this?

    Reply
  • April 3, 2019 at 5:21 am
    Permalink

    *LeTs FaCe It*

    Reply
  • April 6, 2019 at 3:12 pm
    Permalink

    wearing two watches

    Reply
  • April 7, 2019 at 6:21 am
    Permalink

    Could you please actually show a full keirin race as an example during your keirin race video

    Reply
  • April 7, 2019 at 8:42 am
    Permalink

    Those frames are a hipster’s wet dream

    Reply
  • April 7, 2019 at 8:48 am
    Permalink

    FIXXXIEE WOOOP WOOOOP 🤙🤙🤙

    Reply
  • April 7, 2019 at 11:00 pm
    Permalink

    19 minutes abs fuck ask racing. Good job.

    Reply
  • April 9, 2019 at 4:21 pm
    Permalink

    Content fascinating…5 seconds of a race ?…

    Reply
  • April 17, 2019 at 5:27 am
    Permalink

    Err.. nice but incomplete.. you missing the human factor buddy.. very interesting stuff, but without storylines it's not a good documentary piece.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2019 at 11:49 pm
    Permalink

    Where is the race?????

    Reply
  • April 21, 2019 at 1:06 am
    Permalink

    These men are not about aerodynamics at all …. big bodies , big helmets and pads !? I guess it’s all about wattage and raw power

    Reply
  • May 2, 2019 at 7:07 pm
    Permalink

    Nitpick: It's better pronounced"Kay-rin" instead of "Care-rin". Bugged me all video.

    Reply
  • May 3, 2019 at 12:04 am
    Permalink

    Why bother changing the currency repeatedly if you are going to say the same for all of them?

    Reply
  • May 4, 2019 at 4:13 am
    Permalink

    Frigging ridiculous you don't show a goddamned race wtf how stupid.

    Reply
  • May 6, 2019 at 4:36 am
    Permalink

    My Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 w/disc brake groupo has NJS stamps on it.

    Reply
  • May 7, 2019 at 5:39 am
    Permalink

    Velodrome racing this is not new and you are completely boring !

    Reply
  • May 8, 2019 at 4:06 am
    Permalink

    I was about to give this video a thumps up – it was pretty interesting – but not having any significant clips of the actual racing turned me off.. I don't mean 5 minutes, but something more than 5 seconds.

    Reply
  • May 9, 2019 at 8:15 pm
    Permalink

    Loved it!!!!

    Reply
  • May 12, 2019 at 3:50 am
    Permalink

    Amazing tour.. thank you.. velodrome was awesome.. huge!! We should build one in the US..

    Reply
  • May 16, 2019 at 6:53 am
    Permalink

    Pretty wild

    Reply
  • May 17, 2019 at 9:31 am
    Permalink

    Eating pizza instead of any of that delicious Japanese food?

    Reply
  • May 20, 2019 at 1:20 am
    Permalink

    Does John always wear two watches? 😂

    Reply
  • May 20, 2019 at 9:10 am
    Permalink

    Awesome stuff

    Reply
  • May 29, 2019 at 7:04 am
    Permalink

    THAT WAS FUN

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 7:12 am
    Permalink

    Great video but the wacky music was distracting

    Reply
  • June 1, 2019 at 5:07 pm
    Permalink

    guy sitting in the back eating, spits food on the floor, pigeons eat it. <3 8:02

    Reply
  • June 2, 2019 at 4:47 am
    Permalink

    Sounds like a government approved monopoly.

    Reply
  • June 2, 2019 at 11:12 am
    Permalink

    organiized mafia, cycling is cool nonetheless, and the vintage steel and bike vibe they've got is very cool to;
    kinda leads to Greyhound racing, soon, thankfully, gone forever
    very nice short film, toppers

    Reply
  • June 2, 2019 at 3:02 pm
    Permalink

    Those were some BIG rings

    Reply
  • June 3, 2019 at 8:39 pm
    Permalink

    Great footage, entertaining and educational. Fun to watch, indeed. But, Jon, please you seriously need to tone down on your use of "actual". There's up to four "actuals" in almost every of your sentences, and 90 % are unnecessary.

    Reply
  • June 4, 2019 at 12:21 am
    Permalink

    Steel is real!

    Reply
  • June 5, 2019 at 6:37 am
    Permalink

    … looks really interesting… exciting!… amazing!!…
    ….

    … NOT

    Reply
  • June 7, 2019 at 9:43 am
    Permalink

    I am always confused about brits and their fear of rain, and why everybody else loves rain. I mean Russians mastered snow driving and ice riding, why brits are unable to master rain riding?!!! It is like you would expect that brits kick ass at wet road driving and riding, but no, they are afraid of it. 😀

    Reply
  • June 8, 2019 at 12:45 pm
    Permalink

    Japan is a scam.

    Reply
  • June 8, 2019 at 8:35 pm
    Permalink

    This guy is so annoying… and we didn't see any competition.

    Reply
  • June 10, 2019 at 3:02 pm
    Permalink

    So If male participate in Keirin races….do female riders participate in Karen races?

    I'll show myself out now TY

    Reply
  • June 12, 2019 at 4:18 am
    Permalink

    Finally

    Reply
  • June 13, 2019 at 11:02 pm
    Permalink

    muy bueno

    Reply
  • June 17, 2019 at 1:06 am
    Permalink

    Dont even show a race i bet

    Reply
  • June 17, 2019 at 1:09 am
    Permalink

    Glad you got to see it

    Reply
  • June 17, 2019 at 2:03 am
    Permalink

    For a look at the American take on Keirin racing, please consider coming to Dick Lane Velodrome in Atlanta for the annual Keirin event. Usually in May so already gone this year, but it's a rather different version with lots of fans, cheering and unique Southern US flavor. My personal favorite cycling event to watch in person, ever!

    Reply
  • June 17, 2019 at 3:46 am
    Permalink

    All parts have to have NJS stamped approval.

    Imagine all the hipsters just fucking 🤤 right now

    Reply
  • June 19, 2019 at 4:17 am
    Permalink

    I've heard about this….I remember some famous Western cyclist (top TDF finisher) showing up and getting his ass handed to him by the Japanese riders some years ago.

    Reply
  • June 20, 2019 at 11:03 am
    Permalink

    this video is a living proof that i would watch anything on youtube!!!

    Reply
  • June 22, 2019 at 8:53 am
    Permalink

    Is it just me or were they going very slow compared to euro velodrome racing?

    Reply
  • June 29, 2019 at 3:00 am
    Permalink

    Absolutely bizarre if not otherworldly!!

    Reply
  • July 1, 2019 at 10:18 am
    Permalink

    wtf! nearly 20mins. and no racing shown other than those piddly clips.How annoying.

    Reply
  • July 3, 2019 at 9:51 pm
    Permalink

    Is there another video on this featuring a narrator who isn't in love with the sound of his own voice?

    Reply
  • July 11, 2019 at 8:21 pm
    Permalink

    Why wear two watches?

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 9:37 pm
    Permalink

    That armband isn't going to do anything if you don't blow it up

    Reply
  • July 13, 2019 at 9:40 pm
    Permalink

    Much like greyhound racing they should send out a school girl to chase round the track

    Reply
  • July 15, 2019 at 5:28 pm
    Permalink

    How bout some actual racing action and less blabbing.

    Reply
  • July 17, 2019 at 5:13 am
    Permalink

    Lovr japan so much

    Reply
  • July 17, 2019 at 3:49 pm
    Permalink

    20 minutes and we get no racing to see. Video Fail.

    Reply
  • July 20, 2019 at 5:22 pm
    Permalink

    Never trust a man with two watches on.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 am
    Permalink

    I was aware of their racing in the 70s it’s big time

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 1:02 pm
    Permalink

    If the betting advisor at 07:10 was any good, he would be making good money himself.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 8:28 pm
    Permalink

    The bicycles are just awful. If they allowed high tech bicycles, or developments of any kind, there would be more interest.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 8:43 pm
    Permalink

    If they could chose one rider for Tour de France.

    Reply
  • July 27, 2019 at 11:49 pm
    Permalink

    This video could have been so much more. At nearly 20 minutes you could have covered a couple of races with some expert commentary on the strategies and techniques being used in the races. It just seemed like a glaring omission.

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 6:00 pm
    Permalink

    Nearly 20 minutes about Kieren without a single race…😐

    Reply
  • July 28, 2019 at 8:56 pm
    Permalink

    All that and not showing an actual race from start to finish? Eat shit and die.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 5:14 pm
    Permalink

    Excellent video! This is truly fascinating to someone who loves cycling, such as myself, and was previously unaware of Keirin's existence. The research of the presenter and the "behind the scenes" footage show an attention to detail that is, if I may say, very appropriate to the subject matter and the culture in which it is based. Top quality. Thank you!

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 8:50 pm
    Permalink

    Steel frame bikes look so much better than carbon

    Reply
  • July 30, 2019 at 11:07 pm
    Permalink

    Nice informative video, but I would've liked to have seen some more racing action. It's like, you wait 'til the end of the video for the race and all you get is 10 seconds?

    Reply
  • July 31, 2019 at 1:24 am
    Permalink

    'Actually' must be the most overworked word in the English language

    Reply
  • August 1, 2019 at 7:44 am
    Permalink

    Did he just say soccer?

    Reply
  • August 8, 2019 at 12:42 am
    Permalink

    Too much talking, too little racing

    Reply
  • August 12, 2019 at 5:40 pm
    Permalink

    競輪 (Kei-Rin) has unique style of cycle race, it is a gambling that offically approved by the government like boat- racing 競艇(Kyo-Tei) and horse-racing 競馬 (Kei-Ba).

    Reply
  • August 15, 2019 at 8:26 am
    Permalink

    Japan…what a strange country

    Reply
  • August 17, 2019 at 9:57 pm
    Permalink

    Swinging your arms around to point or while talking in Japan can lead to some odd looks. They generally don't expect hands waving around and I''ve almost clotheslined a few unsuspecting japanese.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 8:51 am
    Permalink

    From Japan here, keirin is a really down to earth sport compared to Europe's track cycling. Everything is regulated as you say, you will never see anyone wearing a skin suit (which would really hurt if you fall, which does happen a lot too, light protectors are obviously the better choice). And the bikes that, admittedly, do kind of look the same, are actually all made for that specific rider, seriously. We have shops and 職人 (craftsmen) that make the bike specifically for the rider, so they're in one aspect "unique" and very hard to get… Another issue with carbon is that it's super expensive compared to steel, and when you're ordering order-made, that price obviously increases. And it sucks when you fall, which can create micro fractures in the frame, meaning you'd most likely have to replace your newly bought, maybe only once/twice ridden super cool looking carbon frame… it's not just economical, as keirin cyclists must pay everything by themselves and all, and that could make things "unfair" which would mean less cyclists = less money for the government, therefore, not allowed lol.
    For "girls keirin" (the female competitions, usually the 5th, and/or 6th race in an event of probably 10 or more races in which most riders are guys anyway), they're allowed to use carbon frames. The main reason is that girls keirin is not really considered as real competitions by many spectators, which as you can see, are in the elderly age range, so they planned everything to be flashy and attractive for "new people". It is kind of sexiest actually. The official slogan is like "our thighs are better than our faces" roughly translated. And compared to guys keirin, the female number of cyclists is minimal, and the number of crashes is a lot more limited, so not so horribly affecting the economical impact for the riders.
    One other thing though, is that the association wanted girls to be able to participate in the olympics, so allowing carbon frames for them to get used to them was a good thing I guess.

    Also some other quick comments, most "tracks" are different in Japan. Since nobody cares about UCI rules here lol. There are actually like only one or two velodromes in Japan which follow UCI standards, so they can use them at the olympics and for national competitors. Keirin and track cycling are considered completely different things as you can guess. The closest olympic velodrome from Tokyo is like 200km away… 2.5 hours train? probably a bit longer. While there are already like two around 30~50mins from central Tokyo.

    Also, most people do betting online, there are lots of sites and apps you can use so you don't need to go the velodrome/keirin-jo. I usually bet from the office too during work, as I guess most people do. And I'm not really sure if it's a 100% or not, but I think all races are broadcasted by youtube or another Japanese video stream sites. I don't really know how many people use the TV for this purpose, but I'm pretty sure most people just watch races by their cellphone, and computers. The "atmosphere" of places you can bet (including horse and boat racing) is considered not to be very good/family friendly, so most people prefer to bet from home I guess.
    Great report, please be back to Japan sometime and cycle here too!

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 2:20 pm
    Permalink

    Why would you go to all the trouble and not even show the sport in action meaningfully?

    Reply
  • August 22, 2019 at 11:10 am
    Permalink

    Shits rigged and used as part of bribe.
    Japanese gov is fucked deeply.

    Reply
  • August 26, 2019 at 11:31 pm
    Permalink

    Samurai Cycling, what's not to like?

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 6:11 am
    Permalink

    What!!!!???? 20mins and no single race shown!!? Double thumbs down!

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm
    Permalink

    https://youtu.be/DyrtPcwg7IQ
    Watch the blue guy. Head butting talent!

    Reply
  • August 28, 2019 at 5:07 pm
    Permalink

    The surface of the track, I’m sure would make some nice roasties ☠️

    Reply
  • August 29, 2019 at 3:28 am
    Permalink

    As a US army soldier, I watched a keiren race at the Seoul Olympic 'drome. Watched kids and others practice one day, then went to the races another. If I had known about the sport as a kid, I would have passed on college and headed to Asia to race Keiran.

    Reply
  • August 29, 2019 at 10:16 pm
    Permalink

    Why don't we see an actual race with explanation and tactics?

    Reply
  • August 30, 2019 at 8:46 pm
    Permalink

    Cool 🙂

    Reply
  • September 2, 2019 at 11:04 am
    Permalink

    For those who are searching high and low for those tubies… here you go, available in the UK for a paltry 170 quid https://www.velodrome.shop/track-tubulars/soyo-gold-star-njs-seamless-tubular-tyre/

    Reply
  • September 6, 2019 at 1:37 pm
    Permalink

    The Japanese always take things to the extreme lol

    Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 9:10 am
    Permalink

    Good story, well done. The only problem is that I've moved to a town with no track and now I'm missing it!

    Reply
  • September 15, 2019 at 7:51 pm
    Permalink

    thumbs down….. no racing…. no racing footage….. just yack yack yack

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm
    Permalink

    why are you wearing two watches?

    Reply
  • September 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm
    Permalink

    Government involved gambling and betting… ABSOLUTELY no potential for being cheated or collusion in this scheme.

    Reply
  • September 17, 2019 at 8:55 am
    Permalink

    Stopped watching after the presenter said 'Soccer'.

    You're from a civilised part of the world, it's FOOTBALL!!!!

    Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 8:07 pm
    Permalink

    More action at the betting booths

    Reply
  • September 21, 2019 at 8:07 pm
    Permalink

    Fixed wheel, fixed betting, fixed results #taxmanwins

    Reply
  • September 22, 2019 at 2:32 am
    Permalink

    Living in Japan, I would often times see these guys training by attaching a weighted tire to a rope and dragging it for however long! Great video GCN.

    Reply
  • September 26, 2019 at 12:48 am
    Permalink

    It’s like roller derby on bikes – lol

    Reply
  • September 27, 2019 at 7:35 pm
    Permalink

    Not a single interview with a rider…? Are they not allowed?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *