How About Some Hardcore

Before the Cyclo Cross Tokyo 2012 race on Saturday, we were introduced, by Daisuke Yano, to the owner of Bonsai Cycle, a special bike shop in Tokyo.

Upon meeting the owner, he told Tim Johnson he made “replica helmets.”

"This one?" Tim asked, pointing to his Red Bull helmet?

"Yes," he replied, "This one is very difficult."

We were intrigued by this and looking forward to the opportunity to meet him at his shop, especially since we had also been told, via THE INTERNET, to visit this shop for it’s coffee. Coffee, mmmmmmmmm.

Two days later, our hosts, Hiro Ito, Hideyuki Suzuki, and Koichiro Nakamura, brought Tim, Kaiko Shimura, and me to Bonsai Cycle. It would turn out be a more amazing experience than we could have ever expected.


I am pretty sure that says, “Bonsai Cycle.”

When we had first met the owner, he was dressed in street clothes and a traditional cycling cap. He looked like a bike messenger. When we met him again, this time in his establishment, he was dressed to the nines, in a fine white shirt, sweater vest and bow tie. The pride he took in his business was obvious.

Upon entering Bonsai Cycle, we were welcomed to cyclocross-themed muffins and espresso drinks made by the shop’s barista.

In broken English, the owner explained that, to him, cyclocross was all things brown; Mud, Coffee, and Chocolate.

The muffins were tasty. And brown. And chocolatey.

I am a fan of hyperbole. I do not use hyperbole when I say that I had the best macchiato I have ever had at Bonsai Cycle. The Barista was more skilled than I have ever seen, as was evidenced by her cappucino art.

After sitting with our muffins and drinks, the owner then gave us a tour of his shop.

He then led us to the replica helmets he had made. BY HAND.

First, we saw his Jeremy Powers Team Rapha Focus Edition helmet.

And Tim tried to steal it.

Then he led us to the Tim Johnson Red Bull Edition helmet.

We saw the inspirations for his creation.

And the materials he used to create it.

The visit to Bonsai Cycle was yet another amazing experience in this visit to Tokyo. After finishing off what remained of our coffees and muffins, we headed into the streets of the small neighborhood that housed Bonsai Cycle with Koichiro and headed to Shinjuku for Tempura with Kaiko.

Bonsai Cycle Tim Johnson Jeremy Powers Tokyo Cyclo Cross Tokyo 2012 Cyclocross PedalStrike
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  10. theathletic reblogged this from chandlerdelinks and added:
    This is amazing! And now I want to go to Tokyo!
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