Just spent 2 weeks in Japan with my family, including an afternoon of local Tokyo Keirin racing.
9 riders face off over 5 laps. A rider (not a guerney) paces the race for the first 3. Yep… it’s big in Japan!
The bikes are all steel framers – geometry unchanged since around the 50’s, with toe straps. Absolutely no tech allowed. Beautiful bikes. The pagentry, regalia and cultural tie-ins remain pretty much a mystery. Don’t know what I enjoyed more – the rider kit, the racers’ officially bowing before they got on their bikes at the start line, racing in a monsoon, the chick that stood out in the rain smiling and waving a flag all day or the fella who tried to body surf the final straight in race 5.