The Party 35 - Japan
Last modified: Monday, October 6th, 2014
About two weeks ago, I had one of the best Surly trips I have ever had….
I was in Japan for 3 days (9/21 – 9/23) to hang out with the folks of Motocross International (MX) as they celebrated their 35th year anniversary. Motocross International is a distributor for Surly in Japan and they have been friends for a long time. To celebrate their anniversary MX had an event called The Party 35 (http://theparty35.jp/ - https://www.facebook.com/theparty.jp?fref=photo) that took place at Gonzo Park (http://gonzopark.com/) in Nagoya and YBP (http://ybp-project.com/) in Koarama. Both event locations were bike parks that had BMX tracks, dirt jumps, pump tracks, and short DH runs. Right up my alley.
To make things even better, MX was nice enough to fly out 12 other representatives from a few of the other brands that they distribute for….
Mat Hoffman (Hoffman Bikes)
Steve Crandall (FBM)
Taj Mihelich (Fairdale)
Eliot Chan (Teddy Formosa - 台灣熊)
Donny Robinson (SE)
Kris Fox (SE)
Chris Akrigg (Mongoose)
Kevin Peraza (Mongoose)
Nick Koehler (Crupi)
Hanson Little (T-1)
Chad Osburn (Kink)
Justin Inman (FIT)
Matt Priest (Verde)
This was my travel group for the 3 days I was in the country. You might recognize a few names. This was a solid bunch of guys and I had a blast hanging out with them on the trip.
Each event location was open to anyone that wanted to show up and MX had set up demo tents and organized different riding events from about 9-5 each day. On top of that, each night was capped off by a big BBQ at the track that everyone could attend. Hundreds of people came out to ride with us and enjoy the festivities at each location.
The trip was bad ass.
I cannot thank MX enough for giving me the chance to join the event. I can only hope that everyone involved had as much fun as I did. Thank you. I hope to see you all again soon.
My pictures will not do this trip justice, but I figured I better share the few that I have.
I feel like Japanese bathrooms stifle creativity.
Gonzo Park - Tents, food truck, good people, and good riding.
Gonzo Park – DJ’s, BMX track, pump track. Didn’t get bored all day.
YBP – This place was impressive. 8m starting ramp, big DJ’s, big BMX (supercross) track, and two smaller DJ/pump track areas. Yuta discovered, developed, and built this land to promote BMX in the area. Well done.
A group of us went out on a morning road ride for about 25 miles in the mountains of Japan, outside of Tokyo.
The views were pretty amazing.
We stopped by this monument on the side of the road during our ride. There were a bunch of full beer cans placed around it and four sacrificial cigarettes laid perfectly burned on the ground in front of it. Must be a statue honoring a Surly person.
I rode my Instigator for the ride and it did surprisingly well. Pumped the tires up a bit, raised the seat, and I was good to go for some high speed road wheelie action. - Thank you Taj for the picture.
This is my buddy Shosei of MX. He did a great job of leading the road ride.
YBP – The big jump line was pretty gnarly. This is Chris Fox immediately dialing in the big DJ line on the first day we road there.
YBP - Thank you Chad Osborn for catching this shot on your GoPro of me riding the smaller jump line.
YBP - Rie, you are the coolest lady I know. I owe you many thanks. (Rie owns and operates MX in Japan and her company set up this whole event. She has been in the bicycle industry longer than I have been alive. She has a ton of great stories and I learn new things every time I talk to her.)
YBP – My new friends Taj and Eliot
YBP - Matt Hoffman is the man.
YBP – Wada was our MC for both events. He was perfect. He walked around with that microphone all day and never stopped really. I didn’t know what he was yelling most of the time, but I knew what was going on purely from his enthusiasm.
Check out the links at the beginning of this post to get a bunch more pictures, video, and information. The YBP Project did a pretty good job of wrapping up the event with this video…
Thanks again to everyone involved.