Velodrome riding, info request

May 6, 2013
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#1
Hi all, this is my first post (after the introduction one..)

I'll be traveling for work in Japan this summer, in the cities of Okinawa, Shiga, Yokohama and Osaka.

I understand this forum may be more oriented towards the Tokyo scene but maybe you can give me some directions..

I like to ride in the velodrome and would like to visit some velodromes in the cities where I'll be.

Here are the questions:

I'm not a pro racer but I'd love to ride - not race of course!- in a Japanese velodrome!

Do you know if I can rent a bike at a velodrome and ride?

I can bring my own clip on pedals, shoes, jersey, bibs and helmet.

I'm quite tall and would need a 59cm frame at least..

Any info very appreciated.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#2
Hey there Visconte Cobram,

Welcome to the forums, this is actually a topic that is often brought up and although some will offer advice on this that and the other the only helpful advice is bring your own bike - It's very difficult if not impossible to find frames that size here in Japan.

Some Velodromes offer rental or loan bikes, but again you are going to be very limited in sizes.
 
May 6, 2013
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#3
Hey there Visconte Cobram,

Welcome to the forums, this is actually a topic that is often brought up and although some will offer advice on this that and the other the only helpful advice is bring your own bike - It's very difficult if not impossible to find frames that size here in Japan.

Some Velodromes offer rental or loan bikes, but again you are going to be very limited in sizes.
Thanks a lot,
in the case I bring my own bike can I practice in the velodromes? Should I contact the actual velodromes I'd like to visit first?
Also, maybe OT but..: how strict are the road rules for brakeless riding? Can I ride brakeless on the street? I'm not reckless, I'm actually careful but have no brakes on my track bike and I could use it in the city too..;)
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#4
Also, maybe OT but..: how strict are the road rules for brakeless riding? Can I ride brakeless on the street? I'm not reckless, I'm actually careful but have no brakes on my track bike and I could use it in the city too..;)
Forget that idea, brakeless bikes attract cops, and as a visitor on a short visa if you want to spend up to a whole day in a police station while your host in Japan apologizes for your transgressions, go ahead. If your host is a boss or potential client it's not good, if an in-law, even worse. Jobs come and go but family is forever or until the divorce is done. The law is you must have brakes on your bike.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#5
what he said....... You'll need a working front and rear brake if you want to make it street legal.

In regards to velodromes I suggest talking to a Mr. Hiroshi Koyama of C-Speed (A shop in Kawasaki City) He belongs to a track team and can give you all the details you need. He is also a personal friend of Celeste Milani and also the Chesini family so has strong ties with Italy.

His contact details are on his website here Tell him James from Champion System told you to contact him.
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#6
If you're thinking of acquiring a second, "beater" bike for (legally) getting around town and perhaps going on little trips, unfortunately it's not easy to find large frames/bikes in a hurry. The question is addressed in this thread. Incidentally, "Giant" sells a fixie (complete) for a modest 52,500 yen, but the giantest of the three sizes has a seat tube of a mere "55cm" (and this isn't even centre to centre). I guess Taiwan's giants are petite.
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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#7
To chime in with my experience, unfortunately access to tracks for non Keirin riders is not transparent. You have to understand that velodromes here are betting not sports facilities. So, maybe apart from Cycling sports center in Izu, where you can buy access you always have to find an insider to introduce you. I haven't ridden on tracks here for quite some time for that reason, it's cumbersome.

And please get brakes for street riding, after it became illegal everybody did.
 
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GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#8
Benvenuto a TCC! Agreed to all this. Tachikawa tends to be a little more 'tourist friendly' and it hosts both amateur (mainly University) and Pro (gambling) events. But like Gunnar said - none of this is very transparent - meaning, you can't just 'drop in' and race like many other tracks in the world. Though, once you have been vetted, access to the track is not so hard.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#9
Benvenuto a TCC! Agreed to all this. Tachikawa tends to be a little more 'tourist friendly' and it hosts both amateur (mainly University) and Pro (gambling) events. But like Gunnar said - none of this is very transparent - meaning, you can't just 'drop in' and race like many other tracks in the world. Though, once you have been vetted, access to the track is not so hard.
Erm you can't just "drop in" and race at any other track in the world either, in Europe if you do not hold a UCI or national governing body license for track racing or have attended a induction day then you can't just turn up and race. Some tracks like Shunzenji, Manchester and London (that I know of) won't even allow you on the track unless you either have a "Pro" license or have attended thier own induction day.

Basically contact Hiroshi-san as he is one of the main guys that introduced the majority commenting here on track days - either that or head out to the UCI Asia Continental Centre of Excellence at Shuzenji CSC and do the 1 week program. Last time I was out there they had 6 national teams there training as its marked as the fastest track in Asia and nearly on par with London and Manchester.
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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#10
Erm you can't just "drop in" and race at any other track in the world either, in Europe if you do not hold a UCI or national governing body license for track racing or have attended a induction day then you can't just turn up and race. Some tracks like Shunzenji, Manchester and London (that I know of) won't even allow you on the track unless you either have a "Pro" license or have attended thier own induction day.

Basically contact Hiroshi-san as he is one of the main guys that introduced the majority commenting here on track days - either that or head out to the UCI Asia Continental Centre of Excellence at Shuzenji CSC and do the 1 week program. Last time I was out there they had 6 national teams there training as its marked as the fastest track in Asia and nearly on par with London and Manchester.

I second Hiroshi-san, not because he is the only option, but the most approachable person (his good English skills also help)
Omiya Keirin-yo also did some open events the last year, but all this info I word of mouth an irregular.

Don't know about the current state after the indoor dome was built at CSC, nor did I ever do it, but after paying a small fee one used to be able to ride the outdoor 400m (the second one on the East side of the facility) at certain times. Without any license requirements.
 
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FarEast

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#11
I second Hiroshi-san, not because he is the only option, but the most approachable person (his good English skills also help)
Omiya Keirin-yo also did some open events the last year, but all this info I word of mouth an irregular.

Don't know about the current state after the indoor dome was built at CSC, nor did I ever do it, but after paying a small fee one used to be able to ride the outdoor 400m (the second one on the East side of the facility) at certain times. Without any license requirements.
Yes the outdoor track at Shuzenji is an open track, you do not need a license for that one - well remembered Gunjira!!!
 

GSAstuto

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#12
Almost any track in the US requires only a 'one day' license. And many times the Velodrome is open for special beginners class or practice without any license (one day or not). Doesn't seem NCC Manchester is restricted to 'Pro' license either - in fact they have a great program! (http://www.nationalcyclingcentre.com/p/ride-the-velodrome. But hey, we're talking about Japan, right?

Even riding in Japan is less of a hassle than not once you meet a few people (Hiroshi san included). The rider that intro'd me to Tachikawa was just a another Keirin Pro out on the Tama for a spin. He was more than excited to intro the sport (and velodrome) - especially to a foreigner. Bear in mind, most Japanese feel Keirin a bit おかしいdue it's basically gambling roots and management, so there is some incentive on the part of the riders to get more people involved.

Anyway - when you get into town just a give a shout. I will probably be using the local tracks (Tachikawa and Keio) more and more now I have a little more time.

Track bikes over 55cm will be a bit hard to score. I have an extra 57cm which you might be able to squeeze onto. All the loaners at the track are in the 50-54 range (that I could check anyway).

You are also welcome to use your own bike on these 'open days' - and they will tolerate geared bikes. I saw quite a few - but they encourage the riders to extra caution or simply ride inside the same type groups.

If you bring your track bike to ride on city street you can usually fit a Minoura or Dia Compe brake plate and the cops will be satisfied. These are cheap and readily available at shops around Tokyo (Blue Lug, FIG, W-Base, Tokyu Hands, etc) Even Cycley generally has a few laying around. I do too, and you're more than welcome to borrow them for a few days.

http://starfuckers.shop-pro.jp/?pid=35812853

Most open training days are scheduled on the 'off game days' - you can see the schedule like here: http://www.keiokaku.com/schedule/index.html

The training days may be occupied by amateur club racing, University or High School Events or even private use - sometimes all mixed in, too.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#13
Almost any track in the US requires only a 'one day' license. And many times the Velodrome is open for special beginners class or practice without any license (one day or not). Doesn't seem NCC Manchester is restricted to 'Pro' license either - in fact they have a great program! (http://www.nationalcyclingcentre.com/p/ride-the-velodrome. But hey, we're talking about Japan, right?
That "Taster" session is the induction - you have to register with the NCC and book a day when you can come down for the session....exactly what I was saying.... you can't JUST turn up and ride.

Even riding in Japan is less of a hassle than not once you meet a few people (Hiroshi san included). The rider that intro'd me to Tachikawa was just a another Keirin Pro out on the Tama for a spin. He was more than excited to intro the sport (and velodrome) - especially to a foreigner. Bear in mind, most Japanese feel Keirin a bit おかしいdue it's basically gambling roots and management, so there is some incentive on the part of the riders to get more people involved..
got to say thats the beauty of the outdoor "Hard" tracks.... they are more accessible due to the fact that they are pretty hard to mess up if things go pear shaped.


Anyway - when you get into town just a give a shout. I will probably be using the local tracks (Tachikawa and Keio) more and more now I have a little more time.

Track bikes over 55cm will be a bit hard to score. I have an extra 57cm which you might be able to squeeze onto. All the loaners at the track are in the 50-54 range (that I could check anyway).

You are also welcome to use your own bike on these 'open days' - and they will tolerate geared bikes. I saw quite a few - but they encourage the riders to extra caution or simply ride inside the same type groups.

If you bring your track bike to ride on city street you can usually fit a Minoura or Dia Compe brake plate and the cops will be satisfied. These are cheap and readily available at shops around Tokyo (Blue Lug, FIG, W-Base, Tokyu Hands, etc) Even Cycley generally has a few laying around. I do too, and you're more than welcome to borrow them for a few days.

http://starfuckers.shop-pro.jp/?pid=35812853

Most open training days are scheduled on the 'off game days' - you can see the schedule like here: http://www.keiokaku.com/schedule/index.html

The training days may be occupied by amateur club racing, University or High School Events or even private use - sometimes all mixed in, too.
Actually thinking of it you might want to take a look if any of the JCRC Track races are on while you are here! Those don't require a license, just registration which is free!!!!

http://www.jcrc-net.jp/
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
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#15
Time to revive this thread. Was just told at セキヤ サイクル that they will hold an open track training at Kawasaki velodrome on sat August 3rd. Not only a rare chance to ride, this one will be a nighter!!! Never heard of a velodrome to turn on the floodlights for anything but a keirinrace. Unfortunately I won't be in Japan, but if you have any interest in track riding, you should check it out. They are still preparing flyers, but probably will also put info up on their homepage.
 
Jul 26, 2011
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#16
Time to revive this thread. Was just told at セキヤ サイクル that they will hold an open track training at Kawasaki velodrome on sat August 3rd. Not only a rare chance to ride, this one will be a nighter!!! Never heard of a velodrome to turn on the floodlights for anything but a keirinrace. Unfortunately I won't be in Japan, but if you have any interest in track riding, you should check it out. They are still preparing flyers, but probably will also put info up on their homepage.
I heard about that Kawasaki event, and there's a JCRC track event on the same day (in the morning) at Omiya, I think.

I think the indoor velodrome at Shuzenji has amateur races. Next one is in late September, and from a very brief glance, it seemed like newbs would get a quick intro before the actual racing starts.