by Mark V on Jan 12, 2007 at 12:32 PM

keirin%20kawasaki.jpg“Keirin”. First syllable should rhyme with the English word “Say”. Second syllable is half the duration of the first and rhymes with the word “Keen”, but the “r” is pronounced with the tongue right behind the front teeth, making it a blend of the the “r” in “reed” and the “l” in “lick”.

This is Japanese for CARNAGE!!!

This is a keirin race in Japan (the city of Ito, I think). What is keirin racing? A really short explanation which doesn’t do it any justice is to say that is a 2km race on a velodrome where nine bike racers jockey for position behind a pace rider until the last 1-1/2 laps, and then everyone goes REALLY fast. Keirin is a big money betting sport in Japan, like horse or dog racing. I’ve been to keirin races in Japan, and I tell you that it is so unlike anything you have ever seen.

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if squids had day-glo teletubbies colors like that, i think velo races would be a lot more fun to watch.

This why I love racing Keirin. I always wanted to race over there… maybe one day yet.

I just love the padded suits. Plus, notice the piles of snow on the infield of the track? Year round racing in Japan!

the padded suits and year-round racing go hand-in-hand: the tracks have a special high-grip abrasive surface so the races can proceed even in rain (and presumedly snow).  the downside is that this surface is like a hypersonic belt-sander when you crash.  hence the body armor under the somewhat baggy jersey. 

It seems so logan’s run like — do any of the ever attempt to escape their indentured lives as racers?