Untitled : 06/22/2005

Japan Trip Report - Day 6

Following our usual breakfast at the coffee shop around the corner, we head down the street to Joker Bicycle Shop. We look around and talk for a bit. They have a crazy assortment of anodized parts in this shop. Definitely a place to do a little personalization. We hit another shop and then have a few hours to ourselves so Peter and I hit the bootleg music shops in the afternoon. It is unbelievable the amount of bootleg music that is available. Shelf after shelf of Springsteen has me wishing my wallet was thicker than it is. After shopping we grab a quick lunch at a Korean resteraunt, and then I take a brief rest to prepare for the dealer dinner that night.

We’ve invited a bunch of dealers to dinner at a Mexican resteraunt. The price of admission is that they have to be prepared to listen to me talk for an hour or so. I know, I know…that’s a steep admission price! With Rie translating, I give them my speech about Salsa, its history, direction, and philosophy. It was a fun speech, especially since it didn’t involve answering questions the way the past days had. It was nice to have a chance to just talk to them, cyclist to cyclists.

With dinner finished, two dealers agree to take Peter and I out to karaoke. We wander down some streets until we come upon a karaoke place. It isn’t like here in the U.S. where you’re in a bar standing up in front of everybody. In Japan, you rent what they call a ‘karaoke box’ which means a private little room, with a machine and a couple mic’s. You then order your drinks as needed.

So we tear it up for a while. “M” (whose name I don’t want to screw up here) is an top level woman Japanese DH rider is a really good singer. She definitely takes first prize on the night. She was choosing songs with all kinds of crazy tempo changes and stuff. Pretty fun.

At 2am, Peter and I say that we need to call it quits because we’ve got another magazine interview the next day. We wander back to the hotel, brushing off pimps along the way. It was a fun, and I hope, successfull night.


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