Luckily race day was just a nice as the Sat and by early morning all the racers had arrived , most were either test riding the course or making last minute gear changes while several famous bicycle shops set up booths selling their products at heavily discounted prices. Even a huge truck arrived to set up a free Red Bull sports drink stand. It certainly became a busy race venue rather quickly and at 10.30am there was a race briefing and welcome ceremony which my name was mentioned along with famous racers because I was the only one crazy enough to have cycled 215km to attend.
As I mentioned single speed riders love having fun and dressing up in costume, some more daring than others . Some of the people in costume were strippers ( men in T backs ) , Ronald MacDonald , Super Mario , Mummies , Zombies , school girls & construction workers just to name a few and they raced hard some of them in the pro class 20km course !. I entered the pro class and enjoyed the technical single tack and downhills as I had not ridden anything like that since back in NZ. The start of the race was rather unique with everybody riding around a big loop on the side of the hill and when the music stopped the race started, I keep near the back and slowly worked my way forward to a better position on the flater sections which allowed me to pass several riders with my higher gearing. Also this race had a beer short cut which allowed riders to escape riding up a long dead grass climb before zig zaging back down again, you could only do this once and I chose to do it on my last lap. With riders hot on my tail I out sprinted several riders on the flat gravel road leading to the finish line drank the 0% beer which tasted terrible and crossed the finish line with a time of about 2 hours. I had a free Red bull then attended the prize giving ceremony before getting a hamburger and a glass of Shiga Kogen IPA from a Kiwi mate called Troy who runs a backpackers and bar in Hakuba village . Many of the racers had come from as far away such as Kobe so they had a 6 hour drive back home , most racers took off as soon as the prize giving was finished and late afternoon I was informed that I too had to leave our free accommodation at the Ski Field and find somewhere else to stay . luckily my mate Troy offered to let me stay for free at their backpackers and I enjoyed a nice nabe for dinner and a nice warm room and a few beers after dinner. Next year around the same time Japan will host the Single speed world cup, so if you are single speed fans why not visit Japan in 2015 and join the SSWC in Hakuba !.