I won’t spend a ton of time going over the events but they are certainly worth mentioning. 35 years is a pretty big milestone for any business and it was quite an honor to be invited over for the celebration. MX brought over people from all the brands they distribute. I got to catch up with old friends Steve Crandall from FBM and Mat Hoffman from Hoffman Bikes. I also got to meet a lot of younger riders and Thor from Surly Bikes (a design engineer there). It ended up being a really cool group. We did some light street riding in the morning and seeing all the different riding styles together was really cool. Everyone was really mellow and clicked together well.
The first event was at a place called Gonzo park. It had a BMX race track, some small dirt jumps, a snowboard ramp thing into water and a little downhill MTB course.
There was booths set up showing off product from all the brands MX houses and a bunch of fun not-to-serious events throughout the day. Loads of demo bikes were there covering everything from fatbikes to BMX bikes to road bikes. I did some easy BMXing on Hanson Little’s bike and painted a Fairdale board. We showed off some bikes and had a generally easy going and fun day with a lot of other riders. The event wrapped up with a rad BBQ with each table having its own little grill.
The second event was at the YBP park https://ja-jp.facebook.com/YbpProject that is located on a beautiful mountain side. It’s the single handed creation of a rider named Yuta who built a dream park.
Huge roll in and huge jumps! There was both a monster sized BMX track and a big trick jump line. I really wished I could ride them but I knew my back issues wouldn’t be able to handle it. I would have been terrified going down that roll-in anyway. Instead I watched the other dudes session it. Kris Fox was amazing to watch as always and I had a blast watching Olympic medalist BMX racer Donny Robinson make it through the big jumps. Also, man I love watching BMX racers at full speed… Him and Nick Koelhler raged through the track as part of a demo. I miss the days of going to dirt comps at BMX races and seeing those guys go. I’ve seen a lot of cycling in my life, but the speed of pro BMX racers is just mind boggling.
The YBP day also included a nice little Salsa Bikes Ice Cream ride. The group ride wandered out into the beautiful mountains and included an ice cream stop. The 26 miles we rode made me realize that if I ever ride Japan again I’m heading inland. Out in the mountains it’s so incredibly beautiful and so much more peaceful then out on the coast road freeways I was on earlier.
The two MX International 35 year events were truly wonderful. They felt more like picnics and they brought together such diverse groups of riders. I saw families riding the BMX tracks together, tiny kids on strider bikes, mountain bike guys having a laugh riding the downhill trails and loads of smiling happy people everywhere. Fairdale is lucky to be brought to Japan by MX International.