Skateboarding14 November 2008
I was going through a few of my old photo files this afternoon and noticed that almost exactly a year ago from today in November of 2007, a bunch of fixed gear riders came over to Tokyo from the States and gathered in my beloved Yoyogi Park. At the time I was there skateboarding in the entrance area of the park like I had done every other day for the last 7 years. The bike riders were in town to celebrate the release of the Mash DVD. It was quite the defining moment in terms of my realisation of the distinct beauty and simplicity of these bikes. In retrospect, even before my eyes could register that day in the park as being significant, my camera was luckily on hand to remind me of it one year later.
To be honest, I was at first a little annoyed at the riders for parking their bikes down so randomly, all the while gradually decreasing my area of skateboarding the more bikes were laid to rest. I remember at one point asking for some of the bikes to be moved, and scoffing into my sleeve (there were too many of them to do it any other way) when I noticed one bike rider trying to skateboard the flat rail that was out for the skateboarders.
Looking back, what I remember most, apart from the bikes and the crowd, was how all the bike riders looked to of been somehow linked to skateboarding at some point in time, way, shape, or form. It wasn`t so much the fashion or their ageing skateboard skills on display. More so the riders` relaxed attitudes and quiet confidence. Come to think of it, 12 months later I`ve realised I have never known of another subculture that comes as close to skateboarding as fixed gear track bike riding. Snowboarders have their snow and blond hair, Surfers have their surf and again, blond hair. Track bike riders have the pavement beneath their wheels and so to do skateboarders. Its gritty, its real, and its now.
If you look close at the pics there is a Japanese rider wearing a black tilby hat. A year later that same rider wins the 2008 CMWC in Toronto, Canada and firmly plants the Japan Cycle Messenger scene on the map. Thanks Shino for showing KINFOLK your support.
The 2009 CMWC will be held in Tokyo in September.
We will be there with bells on.