Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Cloud No. 9
I had quite the memorable experience, this past Sunday. Through my newly formed relation ship with the Kinfolk Bicycle Company, and through one of its co-owner's Akira in particular, I was able to visit the workshop of the famous NJS Keirin bicycle builder, Kusaka-San. He is the founder and builder of Vivalo bikes and he also, through a new partnership, builds the track frames for the Kinfolk Bicycle Company. Even before coming to Japan I wanted dearly to get close to the birthplace of Keirin Bicycles. It's no secret, to those who know me, that bicycles are a pretty big passion of mine; they're probably the coolest things to hit the street since snow. Anyway, luke and I took a train out to Kobe to meet with Akira, on sunday afternoon. From there we took a local-train into a suburb and we walked into an incredible workspace where Kusaka-San builds beautiful track bikes with his bare hands. He's a master of his craft and I was honored to meet him! I'm incredibly honored to be a soon-to-be owner of something that he built with his hands and the knowledge gained from a lifetime of devotion to what he does. I'm starting to realize how incredibly fortunate I've been to have been able to spend the last two months as I did. I'm not even sure if I've fully realized how monumental this entire experience has been, in my life, and I'm not even sure if I will until I'm sitting back and reflecting, once I've returned home.