Sore and happy, I'm excited to share some of my experiences from Nuts!Fes this weekend! I will probably post several times about this. For all the photos and some great videos, check me out on Facebook.
The riders met at Ozone Station in the morning and then headed up to the Campground together. There were about 100 riders, sporting colorful and various bikes, outfits and gear. After over 3 hours navigating trains and fearing I'd arrive late, it was wonderful to have people help me unpack my bike, they knew my name (the American on the list), and pretty soon I was off riding in beautiful weather along a canal in Nagoya in a huge crowd of people who loves bikes as much as I do.The ride was tough at the end as we climbed up into the hills. Beautiful weather and foliage. Along the way Nuts!Fes riders cheered each other on and took drive by photos. Arriving was wonderful, wet towels, cheering and lots of high fives. All of the riders were very friendly and despite the language barrier I was treated wonderfully and made several new friends.The day involved constant music, live and DJ, streaming from a futuristic looking dome tent at the base of the campground hill as well as various competitions. There was a huge pile of merchandise that would be given away as prizes, as well as tents with vendors selling food and demonstrating products (Brompton folding bikes, Keen footwear and others. 'Well Done', a small company making handmade bags hats and cellphone purses was my favorite.)
The events included:
'Bikes the Bushido', Japanese Style bike jousting (videos on facebook soon)
Virtual Track Racing
Rock Paper Scissors competitions
and an uphill bike race
The prizes were given away very randomly and freely, and included some pretty amazing stuff. Full Kona Frame and Stem, nice rims, custom bags and hats, lots of Pants and gloves, and a really cool handmade picnic blanket. I received a blue and pink jersey in the bike race. (I didn't keep track, but I think everyone who raced was awarded prizes just for making up that ridiculously steep hill)
The ride back was much easier going down hill and we made good time, although the heat was worse and I burned my arms and neck on the last unshaded stretch. Some of us then rode to Circles, a local Nagoya bike shop (more later) and then I rode to the nearest JR station, packed my bike (a little less intensely this time) and hopped on the train home. Smooth sailing.
Amazing weekend and a national holiday tomorrow means I get to sleep in.
I'll be posting much more as I get it all out of my head.