Spring 2014 NSP Tour (2: Bits of riding)

Again it’s been a while but here is some additional episode of the trip to the west at the end of last month.

The contest in Kobe on April 19 also included a bunnyhop competition. Roughly put, it’s an event where you set up a high jump bar upon flat ground, and jump over it on a bike. Same as ollie in skateboarding, it’s something fun to do and hard to master. When you are cruising some city street, the ability to hop onto a curb will drastically enhance the freedom in your activity, making this trick the very basic, core part of all the fun things you can do on your bike.

What stood out at this event was the high level overall. Ashi won it by hopping 103cm, and a lot of participants did around 90cm or more. The red cones, used at construction sites and often used for bunnyhop height reference, measure about 75cm in height, so there were like more than 20 riders beyond the “cone jumper” level. It was such a rare and precious sight.

I made it over 90cm and failed 95. The number has been the same for the last few years, but I was a bit glad it hadn’t gone down after some lack of riding recently.

I also wanted to ride some places in Hyogo, Hiroshima, Tokushima and Wakayama after the competition, but that didn’t happen due to my legs giving out from trying hard at the comp. Too bad, but those locations are added to the waiting list.

The footage of the bunnyhop contest as well as qualification runs for High class of the street event has just been released by Tubagra. Samo, the guy behind it, filmed everything instead of riding at the competition. Props. So I checked the clip, and was blown away to know that I actually finished first in the qualifications. I’d thought finishing second overall was more than I could ask for, but if this was the case, would it have been different if I did this here and did that there, I wondered. Then I realize everyone else must be looking back at it now with the same kind of feeling and there is no point. Anyway, the footage of the finals, which sure will sweep away all that hypothetical nonsense, is to be released later. Stay tuned.

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