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in English is a sure way to get lost. Our group wandered a good 20 km out of the way as we looked for the bridge to get to the islands off Tokyo Bay where the races were held. Once we got there, I was once again blown away at the number of people in attendance. Companies had tents set up and people had set up blankets to sell off their homemade messenger bags and other items. The TKBMA had to pay for the event somehow, so the easiest way was to offer company sponsored booths. Adidas, Oakley, Fuji and R.E.Load were just a few of the vendors present. It was a little strange to see a big company like Adidas have a fixed gear collaboration with Kalavinka in the works, but personally I welcome new products marketed towards fixed gear riders.

The main course appeared exhausting. The registration line was packed and it seemed every few seconds, some exhausted messenger crossed the line with their packages and manifest in hand. The first day was eaten up mostly by the qualifying rounds, determined who made the cut for the main race to come. By 5pm everyone was beat and ready to watch some rounds of footdown and the track stand competitions. Once they were done, we all were set to partake in some of the CMWC-thrown parties. Some people attended, some didn’t, but there was a big group ride back and once we all reached the destination, drinking ensued.

That night was a total blur. Luckily for me, I got a ride to the CMWC events the next day in a car, so I wouldn’t get lost again. We were there bright and early to see the final round in the work-simulation. Once everyone was done, the sprints and the skids took place. After a large group photo, the police were getting anxious. The TKBMA had a permit until 5pm and in Tokyo, and rules are rules. Like everything, there is no delineating from protocol. After everyone had all their tents packed up, the event was shut down. We all rode back to Shibuya for the closing party.

Once everything was said and done, it was time for the awards ceremonies. The night club where the party was held was jam-packed. What better way to end a messenger event than with some sumo wrestling? Well, we didn’t go to an actual sumo event, they dressed us up in costumes and let us go head to head over prizes. The party was a blast, exactly what a cycling event should be. Everyone was dancing, laughing and having a good time. No animosity, no jealousy over the winners and best of all, no hesitation to make new friends.

Following the events, everyone took some alone time. Groups split off and went on their own paths to tour Japan. I stuck around in Tokyo because I was finally well enough to freestyle ride and there were tons of spots I wanted to hit up. A small group of us went around hitting stair