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gaps, wall rides and ledges. Probably the most fun I had in Tokyo was riding with the Japanese freestyle kids. They each had their own specialty trick that was dialed into perfection—you got the sense that these riders had spent hundred of hours perfecting their style and waited patiently to show off their moves to people visiting.

Just about everything we were doing in the States had been either been improved or at least experimented with at some level. Whatever tricks were popular in the US at the time I left were big in Japan. Bunnyhop barspins were the new fad—everyone was trying them, but only a few people had them smoothly. Like most tricks on a 700c bike, they have to be fluid and smooth. The size of the bike certainly limits this and that being so, it takes a high level of skill to execute them. Watching some of the Japanese freestyle riders do tricks is like watching a performance piece; such speed, such intensity and such accuracy. I ride with a lot of talented people back home and I was shocked at how much Japan’s riders had improved.

On my last Friday in Tokyo, I got to head to Shiba Friday once again. The crowd was much smaller than the week before and all the core riders were there in full effect. We rode all night, having a blast until I went to 180 off the same kicker that I sprained my heel on before. Something went wrong with my landing. I’m not entirely sure what, but throughout the week with my heel being bruised, I was in the habit of landing on the palm of my foot. When I did it this time, I dislocated the bone attached to my big toe. I took my shoe and sock off and saw my bone popping up. Re-locating a bone isn’t fun, but it’s a whole lot less fun when you wait to do it. Knowing this, I stepped on my foot and popped it back in place. Within minutes, my whole foot was swollen and I couldn’t walk.




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