How many Australia's have been on a horse in the last year? Probably not that many. But how many Australians have ridden a bike? Around a 1/3 of the population I'd guess. If you've studied the form guide for today's melbourne cup your probably as clueless as me when it comes to picking a good horse. But what about picking a good cyclist? Now that would be interesting. While cycling is our 4th most popular recreation activity, its not something that brings the nation to a standstill (not football, beer and meat pies!). However, in its early days cycling was an extremley popular spectator event and a part of its popularity included a legal and sometime illegal gambling component. Have you seen The Triplets of Belleville? As the cycling sport became more professional, this got taken out and sponsorship and marketing took its place. However, the gambling tradition still remains part of the Japanese track cycling tradition. In 1957, the Japanese Keirin Association (NJS) formalised the sport of Keiren track cycling and its strong gambling component is part of its popularity. One of the unique dimensions of Japanese Keiren racing is the coloured jerseys (so you can pick out your winner) and the extra padding the riders wear when racing. To see why they wear extra padding, check out this clip

Views: 27

Comment by DamianM on November 4, 2008 at 1:33pm
Awesome
The guy in white did a great job of bridging that gap
Comment by Peter H on November 4, 2008 at 1:40pm
For all the horsey folks, number 3 will win*


* I'm only guessing so any money lost is the responsibility of yourself, money gained is to be split between you and I.
Comment by Lzzter on November 4, 2008 at 1:42pm
Horse racing is cruel. At least bicycle riders don't get confined to a pen for 20 hours a day, or get slaughtered after the race.
Comment by DamianM on November 4, 2008 at 1:46pm
unless they admit to doping
Comment by Ma Dame Vélo on November 4, 2008 at 2:19pm
That clip reminds me of listening to triple M yesterday when the DJ's were talking about making the Melbourne Cup a bit more interesting. One of them suggested the jockeys be given jousting poles and be allowed to knock other jockeys off their horses. It sort of looks like those Japanese cyclists are doing the same thing without the poles!
Comment by Doddsy on November 4, 2008 at 2:59pm
No drug testing in Kieren racing Damien... They all smoke and drink beer from what i've heard.

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