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  1. #1
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    I came across the phenomenon of Keirin a few weeks ago. Basically it is a 2000 meter track event, where people gamble on the outcome of races. Like greyhound races. This is pretty much a Japanese thing. Question is, do you think that an Americanized version of Keirin would fly in your city? This link gives you the basics. It is translated by machine so bear with the odd sentance contructs.

    http://www.excite.co.jp/world/englis...co=excitejapan

    Do you think that this is something that the American Road/track Racing orgs would get behind? My state is just starting to allow gambling. While I was apprehensive about legal gambling, this could propel cycling to NASCAR level in the US! Be great for manufactures and a great incentive for new cyclists.

    The idea would be to set up urban track venues that would serve the American standard fare of beer and hot dogs and also allowing gambling on the races. Young heroes would participate and the wagering would be set up para mutual like at the horse track.

    Do the means justify the ends? Are there any significant "ends" for growing cycling's popularity? How about an OTB location?
    Last edited by slagjumper; 10-12-05 at 08:43 AM.

  2. #2
    switching to guns ch0mb0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slagjumper
    Question is, do you think that an Americanized version of Keirin would fly in your city?

    I sure as hell would hope so!

    If you're interested in Keirin, check out some of the threads in the Track Cycling or SS/FG forums here.
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  3. #3
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    Keirin isn't limited to Japan.
    It is a recognized track discipline, raced at the Olympics
    (Marty Nothstein was last US gold medalist (I think)).
    The US has a long history of track riding and events
    like the 6 day, madison, etc. (where do you think
    Madison square garden in N.Y. got it's name?)

    I'd love to see it take off here again.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I understand that horse racing and dog racing aren't doing so well in the US anymore. Casino gambling has taken over that market.

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    Other way around - the Madison track event got it's name from Madison Square Garden. The sports arena got it's name from Madison Square, where it used to be located.

    I've never been to Japan to see for myself, but from what I have read, it's just like dog and horse racing here: the folks who go to the track are elderly gambling addicts who don't actually sit in the stands and watch the race, they sit inside and watch tv screens that show races from all over the country. And their average age, like horse and dog racing fans here in the US, is getting higher and higher.

    Horse and dog tracks can't make a profit if they only take bets on the races going on at their tracks. That's why they have rooms full of tv's, and they take bets on every race they can find. That's where everyone sits, even if the real race is right outside. It's kind of sad.

    Also, don't forget that organized crime is tightly involved with organized gambling. If you wanted to try to muscle in on organized gambling in major urban markets, you'd probably have to go through them.

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    I was lost and wandering around and came upon a dog racing track, with races going on. I was hungry and thirsty so I got a coke and something to eat and sat in the stands and watched the nice doggies. Those poor greyhounds had their butts shaved! They shave the backs of their legs and butt area. Now, are we really willing to race on a track like that?

  7. #7
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilHinault
    I was lost and wandering around and came upon a dog racing track, with races going on. I was hungry and thirsty so I got a coke and something to eat and sat in the stands and watched the nice doggies. Those poor greyhounds had their butts shaved! They shave the backs of their legs and butt area. Now, are we really willing to race on a track like that?
    From what I have been able to research Keirin is what bicycling would be like if it went super-pro and you could gamble on the outcomes. From what I have seen on the web, the venues are very sleek, sophisticated facilities that have steep banked tracks, and I am guessing serve a range of meals like you would find at an upscale horse or dog track, perhaps with box seats and the like. There are schools to train the atheletes and I am infereing national Keirin heroes. There are Keirin trading cards.

    This has been going on for a while so there are something like 50 venues for racing/betting and 20 OTB facilities where I guess you can watch the races and place bets. The betting involves things like tri-fectas other ways to place bets. I saw a trifecta pay out of 40000 to 1. If this is like horse racing I think that in order to get the trifecta, you would have to pick 1st, 2nd and 3rd place out of 8 racers.

    The thing that I find so amusing about Keirin is that it is a way to popularize cycling. It be like NASCAR with beer, car and soap sponsors. It would be glitzy a bit like tv wrestling WWF. People would bring clients on business trips to check out the spectical. You would take a date to the Keirin races even if you'd never ride a bike. Like going to a hockey or football game.

    There seem like many questions. How are racers compensated? How are they organized? Which US cities would be ideal, Las Vegas? NYC? LA? Would people actually go?

    If we could not have tracks because they are so expensive, is there a way to set up OTB here for races in Japan? Who would bet on that? I am not into gambling and all the glitz but hey if it furthers bicycling why not?

  8. #8
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    Keirin does not have a very good image in Japan amongst the general population as it is viewed strictly as a gambling sport and nothing more. I pretty much doubt it promotes cycling. Besides, it is common knowledge in Japan that Keirin among other gambling activities is connected with the Yakuzas. Yikes....
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  9. #9
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    i always liked going to the dog track when i lived in TX. i'd probably like this as well.

    oh, and as for the fogey/addict stereotype: i'm 31 and (including casinos) have probably gambled around $500 total my entire life.

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    I was being SILLY. I do think if Peak Oil plays out the way it seems to be, then yes, keirin is going to become a big sport in the US.

  11. #11
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    I posted this on the track forum a few weeks back. I went to a Keirin track for a fun day a month ago. It was incredible. The track was the most grippy surface I have ever ridden on and the professional riders there had the biggest legs I have ever seen. You will see in the pictures the gambling area on the other side of the track. The beautiful thing is that they allow all types of bikes on there during the open fun days and it's all free including drinks. Check it out...
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y214/g...n%20Fun%20Day/
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  12. #12
    Senior Member IchbinJay's Avatar
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    I don't forsee Keirin racing ever becoming very popular in this country. Furthermore, I think any type of gambling is bad for the overall population. For obvious reasons it contributes to crime and is just another addiction that more often than not gets out of hand. I wouldn't want cycling to gain that sort of reputation. I would, however, like to see cycling become more of an American standard aside from the novelty that Lance Armstrong has made it into. If Keirin racing had the effect of perhaps opening people's interest to cycling in general, I think a lot of good would come out of it. However, I don't think that it would ever fly without the associated gambling etc.
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    Wow digging up a month old thread. Korea has Keirin racing also. No not just old people go to the track and gamble away.

    Keirin is a big sport there ,it is on TV alot, is advertised everyday. Yes the track is freaking awesome, very smooth and banked like NASCAR, they race bikes,dirt bikes motorized, speed boats, etc in the same format.

    The internation version uses a motor bike to pace the riders instead of a bike. in japan it is 3 laps then the pacer moves off the track.

    I am in the process of trying to get Madison back in Madison Sq Garden. Wish me alot of luck.

    Keirin doesn't have a good image in Japan? really, please tell me how is this.

    The portions of the money goes to promote cycling. Japanese ride bikes all day, everyday and with umbrellas when it rains.

    They got bike parking that rival most car parking lots in the states.

    Can Keirin work here? yes . In all major cities, no.

    Gambling, crime will always be here. Captialism!

    Lance didn't make it a novelty. He is doing his job and ride a bike. they said the same thing about Lemond, Jonathan Boyer.


    S/F,
    CEYA!

  14. #14
    Hacker Maximus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceya
    Snip,,snip... Yes the track is freaking awesome, very smooth and banked like NASCAR, they race bikes,dirt bikes motorized, speed boats, etc in the same format.
    I will love to see how they race Speed boats On a bank track, at least know how the keep the water holding on the step angles.
    Force is never as effective as Leverage.

  15. #15
    R900Campagnolo marcelinyc's Avatar
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    go ceya!
    this thread gives me an idea for pp racing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricardo kuhn
    I will love to see how they race Speed boats On a bank track, at least know how the keep the water holding on the step angles.

    everybody has jokes, in the water they race boats. they wear the same type of color uniforms with numbers and the format of Keirin race is very similar.

    S/F,
    CEYA!
    Last edited by Ceya; 11-20-05 at 10:30 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceya
    every forum has jokesters, in the water they race boats. they wear the same type of color uniforms with numbers and how the format of Keirin race is very similar.

    S/F,
    CEYA!
    so is safe to say is pretty much the same as the Mud truck racing on the swams and "toilet seat go cars" that people with execive exposure to ultraviolete rays tend to practice in between their beer drinking consumption rituals in certain parts of North America...

    actually the first time I was not joking i was just wondering how they will do it,, can be something like bobsleds in the snow, or maybe like the "fake" surf wave parks that the Japanese culture and engeniering is so famous for, maybe something i did not know but will be super fun to watch, but end up being far simpler and more about the way to identified the competitors and the how the gambling is run.....

    oh.... many moons ago I share the track of a REAL Wood velodrome with the legendary Francesco Moser among many other great racers like Luis enrique "lucho" herrera and Fabio parra (months before he broke the Hour record) so is not like I never being on a Track (were track bikes belong) at the time my Sidi shoes have wood soles, lace up straps and the pedals were bolt in to the soles of the "Zapatillas"... (even if I have look clipless pedals on my roadbike and SPD's on my Mountain bikes)and the Tyres were hand made silk Tubulars inflated to incredible presures (+/-160PsI)ussing Inert gases and adorning the bikes full campy record track gruppos all worn out and scrath up from all the falls and the years of riding.

    those are fun memories, but even after all this time i still find little reminders of my mistakes from time to time in the form of splines of wood coming out of my skin .
    Last edited by ricardo kuhn; 11-20-05 at 10:53 PM.
    Force is never as effective as Leverage.

  18. #18
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    I come from that same time before clipless also.

    I ridden on wooden velo also, and met Moser (didn't ride with him) and ridden with alot of pros. I raced pursuits so meeting Moser a couple years after breaking the record was cool.

    My shoes were Duegi wooden soles,laced up. I ridden silk tires and blown them out to .

    I had Atala,Chesini,Somec , Benotto (Italy not Mexico) and other all decked out with Nuevo and Super Records and that part of my 25 track bike fleet.

    I ridden some on the streets (ridding track in the streets is norm here)

    Now I have new stuff after years away .

    Yes they have dirt track racing (they don't have Jeremy McGrath or Bubba Smith)but it is fun to watch. It not like here but it is for gambling.

    S/F,
    CEYA!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceya
    I come from that same time before clipless also.

    I ridden on wooden velo also, and met Moser (didn't ride with him) and ridden with alot of pros. I raced pursuits so meeting Moser a couple years after breaking the record was cool.

    My shoes were Duegi wooden soles,laced up. I ridden silk tires and blown them out to .

    I had Atala,Chesini,Somec , Benotto (Italy not Mexico) and other all decked out with Nuevo and Super Records and that part of my 25 track bike fleet.
    Good for you man you being around way more than me, actually i took to the track because i was a pretty good sprinter (long time ago) and I want to improve on my pedaling technic for my mountain bike racing plus at the time I was doing ergonomic and biomecanic studyes for a master project and the track was a exelent venue to perform the experiments, to tell you the truth i did not really enjoy the track that much, was kind of boring, compare to the skateboard ramps and landluge races I use to do, so i guess i saw it as a "necesary evil" to improve in my bike performance and pedal technic and that It did.

    we rode in mostlly Italian made track machines, including tandems (I love track tandems they are so freaking fast is not even funny) but i also got to have a TresRensho for about a year with the beatyful round "Second seat tube" reinforcement, she was pretty painted red.

    I ridden some on the streets (ridding track in the streets is norm here)
    Dude now i live in Berkeley and I'm well aware of the "Norm" and many times i see all the gals and guys riding down Valencia on their way to Zeitgeist with their White Tennis shoes and platform pedals and the Pink Phil hubs with the matching velocity rims with the rest of the bike polish to "Period" perfection plus all the other pieces of the "Uniform" yes I'm well aware of it,,,how can you not they are so easy to spot, hell Yeah I know the "Norm", at least Erick Zoo is making some good money selling his purple "Issue" messanger bags for $200 and more since this people will not be cut death wearing a brand new TimbukII, that will be so Uncool....

    oviuslly some of them are pretty serius about the "track " heritage (but you never really see them, actually i take that back, i did meet some very serius guys a few year back when I work at American Ciclery with henry and my master Scott Taylor, oh and then is my friend Kile resse that is a freaking nut case riding from san francisco to the Bobine bakary(i'm sure I'm spelling wrong) in Bolinas {going over Mt tam ofcouse** on his hand made Carbon Fixwheel bike) but so far I never see anybody riding around on the street with some old wodden sole pedals, that will be a real Commitment,, don't you think...!?!?

    Now I have new stuff after years away .

    Yes they have dirt track racing (they don't have Jeremy McGrath or Bubba Smith)but it is fun to watch. It not like here but it is for gambling.

    S/F,
    CEYA!
    actually many of the US & Europeans guys go to japan all the time to race SUper Motards, since they can make some money and pretty much race every weekend if not allmost everyday geting some exelent training for the time they come back to their home tracks.

    Motorcycles I know very well this days.
    Last edited by ricardo kuhn; 11-21-05 at 09:31 AM.
    Force is never as effective as Leverage.

  20. #20
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    Well maybe we can speak about motorcycles later. I was a big Moto head years ago(Superbike, AMA, Dirt).I got out after my friend was paralyzed and got my cousin in AMA racing with prep work and Japanese parts.

    Yep alot of guys go over ther to race and train. They have awesome support there.

    I am not from Berkely but been there many times. It seems you been around alot longer than I have been. You can get awesome thrill riding track bikes in the street , it is not for everbody.


    Zoo bags I have seen but DeSantis NYC is always the original!

    Well good chat and we can go off line by PM if you want to continue but we seem to have drifted of this person's topic.

    S/F<
    CEYA!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceya
    Well maybe we can speak about motorcycles later. I was a big Moto head years ago(Superbike, AMA, Dirt).I got out after my friend was paralyzed and got my cousin in AMA racing with prep work and Japanese parts.
    oh man tell me about it...
    i when to 3 funerals this years, last one was Melinda's memorial for her self induce termination, well you just need to keep riding and trying your best to keep living...

    Yep alot of guys go over ther to race and train. They have awesome support there.
    yeah is amazing how helpfull the Japanese guys are plus they are really good about making funky incredible parts to,, they are almost as fanatic well maybe even more, than the guys around here with the keirin bikes,, maybe somebody can figure a way to do a "Grouppy" Exchange program, so everybody is happy at the end.

    I am not from Berkeley but been there many times. It seems you been around alot longer than I have been. You can get awesome thrill riding track bikes in the street , it is not for everbody.
    you need to come around...
    my friend Mike Cobb is a incredible fixgear rider, he won the messanger track stand competicion in new york and he also delivers packs on his Fixxy with a Bob trailer attach to it, man that guy can ride... plus he is so gentle, aproachable and a absolute delight to be around,, for sure he poses more skill and grace than a million pink Tuttu gearing elephants like me,,, yeah track bikes for sure are not for everybody, just for the few the proud and the super mega skill like mikyboy...

    about me,, yes many years of ussing my body as a test bed for every kind of dare devil activity and my mind as a playground of ideas and diferent concepts but i need to confess i was never to "gifted" so I just need to work and work to get half decent at anything, Mike is always a reminder of "how is done" in a Effordless maner.



    Zoo bags I have seen but DeSantis NYC is always the original!
    DeSanti's I don't think I ever see one, but I'm glad for erik, he is for sure a bike fanatic and deserves a reward for all his effords.


    Well good chat and we can go off line by PM if you want to continue but we seem to have drifted of this person's topic.

    S/F<
    CEYA!

    yeah lets... sound like we have a few stories to share and a few wheels to build ,,,,
    plus if you ever see a funky wasted black motorbike flag me down


    write me at
    ricardoATmotomacondoDOTcom and we get to share sometime togheter soon..
    Force is never as effective as Leverage.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    It'll never fly in the USA. Not even mainstram road cycling is a popular sport in the USA. So, why would a little niche heaven of cycling appeal to people who watch football and basketball?

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    Because they go around in circles and turn left... like some other very, very popular American "sport"..

  24. #24
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Because they go around in circles and turn left... like some other very, very popular American "sport"..


    Nascar? Seriously! Nascar is popular, but it still pales in comparison to the NBA, NFL, college football and basketball, Major League Baseball, etc. If mainstream road racing isn't going to get people, then I don't think Keirin is going to do it.

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