blogs, bikes, and red bulls with TJ and alex

Bloggers are generally really weird. It takes one to know one, so trust me on this. The degree of weird varies, but anyone who chooses to spend their free time talking into an anonymous public space is either desperately lonely, has stunted social skills, or is too prideful to let go of the reality that they're never going to get published for real.
Possessing all three of the traits above, however, has never kept me from being embarrassed about it. When people ask me why in the world I'm at a bike race or event I've sometimes been moved to admit that "Iblogaboutbikes," under my breath. It usually makes people uncomfortable enough to be hyper aware of when I'm taking pictures of anything. It's okay. I understand the creepiness of possibly being inadvertently published on a website that is not Facebook. Really, I do. And there are enough weird/not exactly flattering but 100% accurate pictures of me on the Internet that keep me from doing the same to others [well…for now].

Which is a long-winded way of saying that I didn't get much pictures of hang times with Tim et al. this year. None of lunch which was enthusiastically inhaled by Tim, Alex, and me, none of the casual ride around Tokyo we went on [I blame that on Tim grabbing my backpack and shaking me from side to side like a delinquent stray cat to test my handling skills], and only one of dinner and drinks with Arnie and Ai of Red Bull. I did, however, get a can of the F1 flavor Red Bull, which is supposed to taste like blueberries, not gasoline.

The more organized among us, thankfully, filled in the blanks this year. Alex shot one of our lunches – ramen at Soranoiro – with a real glass bottle of Coke. I did grab a shot of some of our wagashi [traditional Japanese confectionaries] eats at the Tsuruya Hachiman café, but nothing really compares to the last picture. Because no TJ visit to Tokyo is complete without some half-drunken photos taken by Arnie of Red Bull [this year of Ai, also of Red Bull, and I making the Japanese sign for “money,” while Tim does air quotes around our heads].

Early the next morning, my voice all raspy and my breath probably definitely still reeking of booze, I met up with Tim and Alex again at Bonsai Bike Shop before their respective flights home. I played semi-competent translator and Tim gifted a signed jersey to Yoshida-san. He had also dug out a package wrapped in brown paper, filled with Skratch Labs contraband. I have the BEST bike friendz, EVAR!

By the end of the day, they were in air. I would spend the next three days trying to recover [unsuccessfully]. Although the visit seemed way too rushed, the weirdly cool thing about this time around was that we were still planning stuff even while Tim and Alex were headed home. The trip felt short – what trip doesn’t when it involves good friends you haven’t seen in more than a month? – but I’m pretty sure that next time we’re in the same 1 km radius of each other, it’s going to be really fucking rad.