August 26, 2012
Chirihara Sand Flats Speedway
CycleHeadz Street Vintagebike Meeting....
On the beach.
At approximately 10:30 on the night of August 25, 2012, my friend A.G. calls. “So how’s everything going?...Thats great...Um, this is really short notice but do you want to go to Chilihara for some vintage bike racing on the beach?” The beach in question was 280 kilometers away and the event began at 9 a.m. “Sure! Brandi and I have no plans tomorrow.” “Ok, my wife will pick you up at Maibara station in the morning. You Americans are crazy!”
The first train to leave our neighborhood station leaves at 6:20 a.m. and we were on it having had very little sleep. This would transport us to the bullet train station in the city where we would take the second earliest bullet train possible to Kyoto and the change to a slower train to take us to a smaller bullet train terminal in Maibara, just a bit west of Nagoya. Being a smaller terminal, the train we were on stopped to let the non-stop trains blow by. My wife waited patiently on the platform while I stood at the edge waiting like a little kid to watch a Nozomi Super Express fly by at 200 mph, which is as terrifying as it is fun. Sixteen coaches scarcely 20 ft in front of you, carrying the scream of its wind stream and the high pitched whine of its 25,000 V AC power supply dragging against the power line above. The entire station moves and one's body is actually pushed in the direction of the train by the wind created. The 16 coaches pass in less than 3 seconds. Back to business. Yuka and A.G. are already waiting at the east gate. Three more hours in the car would get us to a small beach in Ishikawa prefecture on the Sea of Japan. A.G. rode his motorcycle as we watched the middle Honshu mountains run by until we were following the sea side. The pictures can tell the rest of the story.