Keirin Racing 101

I’ve been riding for a while now and heard the word Keirin thrown around a good deal, and yet, for one reason or another, it never really went further than that.  I mean, I’d seen some pictures of people in bright clothes with big round helmets…but that was all.  Then I saw this:

After watching that, my interest was definitely peaked.  So I searched for more videos, and then I came across this:

And then I was sold.

So, what is this magical event known as Keirin?  At its simplest, it is “a form of motor-paced cycle racing in which track cyclists sprint for victory following a speed-controlled start behind a motorized or non-motorized pacer” (thanks Wikipedia and the robot who wrote that sentence!).

But what is it really?  Well, in Japan it’s a betting sport.  Think of it like horse racing but with people on bikes…yeah, I know, awesome!  If that’s not enough to get your sweat boiling, it’s now an Olympic event, meaning you’ll get to watch the best of the best go at it (hence that second video…also, no word on what the gambling situation is on that, but apparently there might have been some money exchanged in an interesting fashion to get that one sanctioned).

Either way, I am digging this, can’t wait to watch and learn more!