I'm in...got confirmation today. There are 2 categories. Road Racers. Keirin Racers.
If you don't have a keirin bike you can still ride on the track and compete.
My goal for the day: Improve on my 1 minute 24 seconds 1000m (which was the first and last time I did this TT at Omiya. (2 years ago). The 2000m TT I think will be too hard for me to do well in. Timing how hard to go early will be tricky. The keirin race will be my first ever. My plan is to stay at the back till the last 100m and see how much gas I can use at the end. I can already feel the adrenalin for this race....
I hope you don't mind if I quiz you a little on this subject! I'm VERY interested in getting myself and my keirin bike on a track, but possessing only an infantile level of Japanese I'm finding it very difficult to get info as to HOW I can do this.
A couple of questions:
Do you need to become a member of an organizing body (e.g., USA Cycling/USCF in the States) before you can enter?
You don't need to be a member but once you sign up for a JCRC race you will get a number that stays with you for future races. They track your rank and award you points each year. At the end of the year the person with the most points per rank gets an award.
mob from here is actually leading the D grade jcrc rankings this year. He may be able to tell you the secret for achieving success with that.
JCRC runs races all year of all kinds of races... crits, TTs, sprints, track, hill climbs etc etc... The track races are only held about 3 times a year though as JCRC is mainly concerned with road racing. These 3 track races each year are to give the roadies a chance to try riding on a track.
If I was a multi millionaire, I'd make my own keirin course with an indoor BMX & MTB slalom course but until then it's hard to get on a track. They are mostly used for pros and as they are easy to damage and expensive to repair they don't like amateurs using them much.
I tend to post races in here that I'm interested in so I don't put up the keirin events that are further away. I live between the Matsudo & Omiya track. The track at Tachikawa also lets novices on sometimes but not sure when...
If you ask questions I'll try and answer but I don't know much about getting on tracks besides what I've posted here, now.... sorry.
If you do join a club and have good communication with team mates you will find out this kind of stuff when you see them. My club Semas racing has 2 BBSs, one for general info and one for races. All in Japanese though and it takes me a while to decipher all the posts in there every day as well. If I'm busy I miss a lot of info...as a lot of it is posted at the last minute and by the time I read it, it's too late to make plans. I've been racing for about 5 years now so know which races I like and when they are on...
I'm really thinking about doing this one, but I have one more question for you:
What is the situation as far as warm up/practice? Do they let you circulate a bit and get acquainted with the track first or do they just throw you right into the racing without any preliminaries?
I ask because I'd like to do the points race and the keirin (though I'm sure I'll get shelled), but I'm loath to do anything mass start without a little get-to-know-you session as it'd be my first time on a velodrome. I don't want to hurt anyone through my own lack of experience. Though I suppose I can't harm anyone if I'm wobbly as hell in the 500 or the kilo.
The applications are closed already for the 21st. There was a limit of 55 per category and they filled up pretty fast. If you went there on the day, very early in the morning you'd be able to warm up on the track and try it out but there will be as many as 30 or more warming up on the track too so you wouldn't be able to experience a full on sprint.
( a slim chance of them letting you in if you just apply and turn up and play the dumb gaijin card).
I knew something was funny when I signed up. THe distances weren't the same as 2 years ago. I thought racer = road racer, but it meant keirin. So, I'm having to try and change my entry and hope they can do it for me, otherwise I'll have to borrow a keirin bike from our club and try ride one without ever having ridden one.
I've just requested that they put me in the road racer. 500mTT 1000mTT and scratch race, in place of one of our guys who applied for those but can't make it.
If they say OK, then my positions in the keirin division will open up for a late entry.
2 years ago I only did 2 events, the 500mTT as a warm up and the 1000mTT was my main event. Being my first time on the track then I didn't do any of the group races on the day, although I should have tried. Last year we went to Nagano so I didn't go in it.... The receptionists were receptional to my request to change my entry. I had no problems canceling my false entry (keirin) and switching to the road bike events. Luckily. Caused some confusion with the race officials though who had to juggle the numbers.
This year I decided to push myself as hard as I could in the 500mTT, 1000mTT and the group 'scratch' 4km race. Enjoy them all. In 2006 I just wanted to do the 1000mTT. Last time's brief blog account in here http://mcentyre.com/McBlogg/?p=11
We did about 10km on the track as a warm up and I joined the beginners learning class to learn all the rules. Was paranoid about causing a crash in the group race as it was my first on the track. One thing that stuck in my mind was don't cut down and across in front of everybody or you'll take everybody out. This was going to come back and haunt me later in the day...
2006 500mTT (don't remember the time) 2008 500mTT While riding this I felt super confident and thought I was flying along as fast as possible.... But, I only managed 43.2 seconds....25th out of 38...was quite a bit depressed after seeing my name so far down the list... fastest was 38.13 My legs were a bit sore after this too.
In 2006 I didn't know the exact rules: we are not supposed to use our gears at all on the course. 'Try the bank' means to try it as if you were on a keirin bike. Also, avoid using the brakes. Some people were changing gears today as I did in 2006, but today I kept it in one gear only. about 53/14. Starting was hard. We are held by a starter with both feet clipped in...pulling back on your arms with all your might and trying not to pull your knees out of joint is how you go for about the first 60m.
1000mTT 2006 1000m TT 01:24.42 2008 1000m TT 01.25.80 29th out of 53. Will not blame the weather either... even more disappointed after that....My main goal today was to beat the old mark.
The last chance was the 4000m scratch.... There were 3 groups of about 16 each...and it was split up from youngest to oldest. There weren't too many riders there older than me today. Groups 1, 2 & 3. I was in 3... mostly 40+ year olds.... We had 8 laps X 500m and it was like doing a long keirin race with twice the normal amount of riders. The track was a bit wet and I was a bit worried about coming down. Lap 1 slow. Lap 2 slow.. Lap 3 the pace picked up...lap 4 I thought this is easy and looked down and we were doing 44kph and I stayed about 3rd from last until the last lap and those 7 laps were very easy...only twice did I have to put in a bit of effort but a few times the people in front of me were unsteady or letting gaps open up..was still scared of going down... as we finished the second last lap they ring the bell.... the pace picks up a lot here, almost full belt...but I decided to go hill climbing instead of staying in the pack and by myself went to the top of the bank at the 500m to go finish line...They took the low road and I took the high road. Why do I always have to be different? I had a good view from up there and the rest of them were down below.... all of us were picking up speed and I came down the bank on the other side flying up to near the front (yet parallel) to the rest of them...was still too scared to join the bunch and didn't want to wipe the whole lot of them out by coming down too sharply ...which is exactly what I should have done...instead I decided to go hill climbing again and went to the top of the bank at the 200m to go mark and around the last bend... coming off the bank I was flying but so was everybody else still parallel but nobody to draft with and I just had to go as best as possible by myself... I moved across a bit into the middle of the track but was too late ... I ended up 5th...
Was fun though. I now know what it feels like to ride in a group on the track......Like all my races, I'll try again next year.. The guy that came 4th is a guy who always beats me by one position.... 2nd time we've finished 4th and 5th together. I though for sure I'd beat him today.
My team mates did well in their scratch race finishing 2nd and 4th (brothers). One also came 4th in the 500mTT and he was only using it as a warm up.. in hindsight he said he probably could have finished 2nd or 3rd...if he'd tried.
I wish there were more chances to ride on these tracks. The feeling of hitting the banks at full speed is great... when I took off up the first bank I almost went too high into the wall...balance is very strange when you are perpendicular to gravity yet the road beneath you is sloping severely down to the left....keep thinking you're going to slide down...
For those that are interested in more of this, the Keirin-jo local to me has something they call Keiokaku Oval Club, which is basically a bi-monthly open day for amateurs at the track.
I think this type of program may be general at many keirin stadiums, so it may be easier to get track time than has been suggested, and you may want to check your own local tracks for info (please share it here!).
The next one is Saturday, Oct 25th. Basically you show up at 1:30, registration and check in is at 2, and then warm-ups and practice racing/feeling pain til 6. Cost is ¥500, and you don't have to pre-register or belong to any clubs or sanctioning body. Just be there.
The only catch is that it's for proper track bikes only, no road bikes are allowed.
Team mates. 1000mTT 7位 2000mTT 3位入賞 4000mスクラッチ 4位 This guy trains like a maniac...recently getting up at 3 in the morning and doing 100km before work.... I look at his blog every day and pale in comparison... http://blog.goo.ne.jp/speed8cadenza
His brother beat him in the Scratch coming 2nd..they finished 1, 2 in the heat. Younger brother also came 4th in the 500TT.
Sounds like a fun day. I had the opportunity to ride a banked track in Southampton, England when I was kid. It looks extremely high and steep from the top of the track Many people would have sat at the back, stayed low and have been happy to finish. You get top marks for taking on the challenge. The experience will put you in good position to do well next year. Congratulations!
excellent report, very nice to read and it made my curious to try my luck on the banks next year. This year the schedule is already full. I checked the JCRC website, they posted some photos. It seems that the track riders are not so much the typical skinny hill climber types I encunter in Shuzenji and Gunma. This might be the better company.