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Foreign Relations: Vol. 1

 

For several decades now (back when some of us were still filling our diapers with pudding) Surly has been sending rogue agents to Japan. We go to mingle with our excellent distribution partner, Motocross International, and some their key Japanese dealers. Basically, we’ve been the weirdos in their backyard plenty of times, so, this time we wanted to play host to our very own set of exceptional travelers. An invitation was sent. A plan was set into motion. And soon, we would all be making friends the old-fashioned way – with alcohol, bikes, and fireworks.

Being that I misplaced the keys to my short-term memory vault quite some time ago, what happened over roughly 60 hours of time in Minneapolis is a story best told by staged photographs. Sure, 60 hours seems too short a time for anyone to travel from Japan to Minneapolis and then back to Japan, but you must remember: we were introducing our visitors to the heart, soul, and bowels of Surly. How long could that possibly take?

Time to Land of Surly: -25h – Arrival: Rie Okamoto and Shuji Yamamoto from Motocross International boarded an airplane with the following Surly newcomers.

Contestant #1: Yohei Taneda from Chillnowa in Hokkaido

Contestant #2: Kazumi Tsugitani from Ichijo Ultimate Factory in Osaka

Contestant #3: Akimasa Tani from Blue Lug Kamiuma in Tokyo

Contestant #4: Yasutake Enomoto from Grumpy in Hiroshima

 

After several hours of delays and one missed connection, our guests arrived in the mystical Land of Surly. What follows is a dramatic photographic re-enactment of their time with us. Out of respect for those we lost; all names, accounts, filming locations, and the actual story have been changed. This is the fabricated tale:.

 

First, we let our guests come in thru the front door at Mom & Dad’s place.

 

Then, we talked to them about important stuff. This was done for two reasons: 1. to make them feel like the hard-travelin' was worth it and, 2. to trick them into thinking we’re cool guys that have our shit together.

 

Next, we filled their tummies with pizza, a traditional Italian meat pie. Though rich in heritage and history, this dish was little known until perfected by Americans in the latter part of 2004.

 

Despite the fact that nearly 3% of all general practitioners recommend waiting 30 minutes after eating before engaging in physical activity, we threw caution and IBS to the wind. We loaded our new friends up on some new bikes and got ready to roll.

 

The roll commences.

 

Fairly Old Minneapolis Proverb: Two trails diverged in a wood

 

Another Photoshopped Ride Pic:

 

Shipwrecked:

 

Action Shot from an unrelated ride:

 

Welcome to blow-shit-up-o'clock:

 

Krampus is Spry:

 

Post-Ride Basecamp:

 

Rage, rage against the dying of the light:

 

Day 2 followed a similar format to that of day 1. There were some subtle differences. Let’s see if you can spot them.

 

First, our guests come in thru the front door at Mom & Dad’s place.

 

Then, we talked to them about important stuff. This was done for two reasons: 1. to make them feel like the hard-travelin' was worth it and, 2. to trick them into thinking we’re cool guys that have our shit together.

 

 

Next, we filled their tummies with BBQ, a traditional meat dish available nowhere else but the Midwest. Though rich in heritage and history, this dish was little known until perfected by an American named Famous Dave in the latter part of 2004.

 

Despite the fact that nearly 3% of all general practitioners recommend waiting at least 30 minutes after eating before engaging in physical activity, we threw caution and certain IBS to the wind and loaded our new friends up on some new bikes and got ready to roll.

 

The roll commences.

 

Fairly Old Minneapolis Proverb: Four trails diverged in a wood

 

Another Photoshopped Ride Pic:

 

Fuckin’ Catalina Wine Mixer:

 

Action Shot from an unrelated ride:

 

Zeigle is Spry:

 

Post-Ride Basecamp:

 

Through me you pass into the city of woe:

 

So, that about does it. It’s true that you really do meet the nicest people riding a Surly. Now get out there and make friends with someone from somewhere else, or a random senior citizen.

 

Special Thanks: Motocross International and their dealers, 4130 Natch & FFF Productions, Zeigle Routes LLC, One on One Bicycle Studio, The Hub Bike Co-Op, Famous Dave's, Beano, Phantom Fireworks, Alcohol, Team Hard Core, and our friends at Advil

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About Alex

When asked what he wanted in his bio, Alex responded with the following: “I had a dream last night in which a poor, lost soul wandered a barren plain for all of eternity. This soul was known to no one and simply lost to the sands of time. He had no identity and even his mother — who tried to call out to him by his only given name — could not reach him. This poor soul was, is, and always will be me if I ever foolishly cut ties with the Croatian Bear.” Some bios just write themselves…

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