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the sanctioned events, which I never had any intention of competing in. All I wanted to do was hang out with some of the Tokyo freestyle riders, see the city and meet some people who up until this point I have only interacted with online. After the long flight and staggering traffic, we were in Tokyo. Luckily we had a few days to unwind before the events began, so it gave us all a good chance to meet the locals and some of the people who had found there way to Japan from all over the world.

To say that I was surprised at the Japanese hospitality is an understatement. I was literally blown away at how polite everyone was. Everywhere I went I had people greeting me with stickers and shirts and snapping pictures. It was kind of overwhelming. At the big trick night in Tokyo, Shiba Friday held in Shiba Park, there were at least 300 people in attendance. Kids from all over came to Tokyo to ride with the various visitors. There was no hostility, no jealousy, no competition, just fun. When I travel to other cities, I always got the feeling people had something to prove, or were less than pleased that I was there. Not in Tokyo. It was the warmest reception I’ve ever had.

The Shiba sessions were a blast. So many talented people, all who seemed to specialize in a specific trick or line—like their fingerprints, each of their styles were different. They were so excited to ride, I had completely forgotten about any unwelcoming comments others had made. I had found the real reason why I came to Tokyo; community and support. I was so stoked to finally be there, riding with the people I had blogged about and been in projects like Bootleg Sessions with, that I upped my ante on little sleep and bruised my heel on the first night there.

It was a long ride home to say the least. Come the next morning, my whole foot was swollen with black and blue bruises—sprained. The next day was spent icing it down and wrapping it with duct tape that I bought at a corner store. Taking it easy, I spent the last day before the CMWC events riding around in a large group, where we tore around the streets of Tokyo, sightseeing, drinking beer and eating noodles.

The next day was the official beginning of the CMWC. Registration began, as did the open forum. A lot of people rolled in and out of the Tokyo Bicycle Messenger Association homebase. Before too long, the space had filled in with people from all over the world and in turn I ran into some old friends and made new ones. I spent most of my free time that day icing down my bruised foot until the Goldsprints CMWC welcoming party was ready to go. The following morning was the qualifying round for the messenger events. We awoke early and were on our way.

Riding with other tourists in a strange city with no signs



Continuum Cycles