Can we really call this winter?

 

I am still pondering this issue while I ride around Tokyo - once again I am not complaining, just... I can't help but thinking *is this really right* with temperatures averaging around 15 degrees Celsius by day.

 

While my main bike awaits some more work - (this is not my bike, by the way, this is just how my wheels are set up, with the Encore up front and Diner's original 88mm wheel at the back):

 

 

So in the meantime, I have been making use of the  'good ole specular':

 

 

Which has helped me with some of my runnings...

 

 

With the slightly slower pace allowing me to catch the scenery...

 

 

This time of year is always nostalgic, some would call it that Xmas feeling, but I have never really been that much into Christmas as a thing, just the slower winter pace does give us all more time to reflect. Winter is always a time that brings the Cartel memories to mind, like looking back picture we took back in 2014 during our birthing period:

 

 

Actually, I was reminded about this shoot because I will be spinning in Nagano this weekend - and the promoter decided to use this photo. I will be playing along none other than the 'Love Sick Bomber' himself, that you may all know as WASSUPSKI from Jazzy Sport... Jazzy Sport still being the hallmark of DOPE MUSIC here in Japan:

 

 

Have a good listen to their SoundCloud if you don't believe me:

 

 

Also on the subject of music, I have to thank Mixmag... for this interview, they conducted with Jay Daniel, Bushmind and me you can read it here:

 

 

The interview comes just as Jay Daniel drop his latest album TALA:

 

 

That's all for this update - see you next week work for more!

 


Despite it being winter the weather has been pretty mild of late with the only noticable chill being at night really, which is great news for those of us who ride.

 

On the subject of riding, I met an old man during my travels this week who had a very unique bike that he apparently put together himself...

 

What really caught me was the handlebars I don't know how anyone can really control the steering of their bikes with such short bars, and a short test ride on his bike re-affirmed that for me, but I guess that is his preference and that being said the polished finish and brake levers are a nice touch.

 

 

I also liked his direct crankset which again he says was custom made for his bike (not sure the chainring was though).

 

 

The most unique feature was the single speed gear setup - yeh it's a free gear but what is going on here? A road bike type gear setup on a single speed bike? Very interesting indeed...

 

 

 

His approach to customizing his bike was really unique and he was so proud of this bike it made me smile a lot, but I guess you don't have to be THAT extra to put together something special - and if the polished look it what you are going for then why not use our Avenue Lo chrome as the base for something equally as fantastic (if not more so?):

 

 

Did I tell you how much Encore wheels really rock? They are not as light as other carbon fiber wheels for sure - yet they offer you amazing performance, they added weight allows greater transference of power to the wheel and their shape, of course, has the wind resistance taken care of...and once the momentum builds up the wheel starts doing the work for you resulting in speed!

 

 

Of course, you always want to apply weight reduction where possible, and here we used Diner's original carbon saddle 2 and carbon seat post - you would actually be surprised at how much weight regular seat posts add to the bike and even saddles:

 

 

The ultimate form of weight reduction and performance comes from Diner's original 88mm rear wheel in this case though - hands down a killer:

 

 

You need something good driving your bike though and that only be in the form of a direct crank set up and here we opted for the Italian Miche Air Pistard 2.0 - air because it's light as hell and also wind resistant:

 

 

Well, there is an infinite amount of customs that can be made to your bike, and I highly suggest you start at Diner to unleash the full potential of any Cartel Bike.

 

In OTHER recent news, I recently have gotten to meet this guy...

 

 

He goes by the name of Omar Santis and he has recently settled down here Tokyo...we actually met in Diner and from there I got to know he is a producer of quality dance music (THANK YOU!)...

 

 

With a substantial amount of releases under his belt, and the right vibes to go with them I had to ask him to join me at Funktion; where he came through and laid down banging set starting somewhere in the 90s/00s with quality hip-hop and before we knew it the groove carried us into more housey vibes...get to know OMAR SANTIS:

 

 

Talking of Funktion...last night we celebrated the 100th edition of this weekly shin-dig and it went off... and as custom here is a shot of JC & CJ... 

 

 

BIG VIBES so thank you one and all for the support you have been showing us!


Breaking the silence we are back and I guess there is no better way than to start this update with a cool reminder...

Notice that front carbon wheel on this 'Avenue'?

 

 

You will recall that back in 2017 we created a new carbon wheel we named the 'C.B.3':

 

 

Highly aerodynamic with all the weight reductions that come with fully carbon fiber materials... 

 

 

Since it's back again why not add the 'C.B.3' to your cartel bike?

 

 

While I am here, I need to send a big shout out to Japan Camera Hunter for hooking me up with this highly in deman 'Kassha' camera (Thank you guys!)...

 

 

While also sending a big shout out to Aliens WorldWide as we lock in the final preparations for upcoming project in 2019...

 

 

May I continue?

 

Another shout out goes to Yamagucci mane... for the heavy set he put in last Funktion.

 

 

Oh and he was also repping the W.A.C.C (much love man).

 

 

Our other guest DJ was Kwesta, who came all the way from Osaka and laid down a beautiful set with some of the records he had purchased for the newly opened bar INC... THANK YOU!

 

 

Making this one brief to let you know that after uploading this post I am heading straight back in to lay down my set...

 


I will start this post by saying rest in peace Stan Lee... since I have always been captivated by the Marvel universe ever since I got some X-men cards back in year 7 of secondary school... from there I was always struck by how deeply Stan Lee had thought about this Universe...multi-dimensional and including alien realms, the future and so much more.

 

 

Actually, during secondary school, I remember being informed by a teacher that X-men's Professor X and Magneto were both based on the Martin Luther and Malcolm X...actually the characters, plots, and objects go much that deeper than that but I'll leave it up your curiosity to figure that out. 

 

I'd highly recommend getting into the 'Civil War' series though and with that said thank you Mr.Lee...

 

 

So I was thinking it's time for an unofficial bit of fun via W.A.C.C, and every November we get the perfect chance via the one and only GINZA GL...

 

 

A nighttime festival that is spread over 10 venues in and around Ginza with each venue serving you up the best OG and underground sounds Tokyo has to offer.

 

 

This year I'll be playing alongside my Funktion crew (Yudaini and Iori) at the venue Bar Boo:

 

 

But just look at the full line-up!!!

 

 

 

I propose that we all meet by Diner as usual and ride to the start Vapeur:

 

 

This one is unofficial and it's every man for himself...

 

 

If you want to enter GL you can hit me up for the advanced tickets which are only ¥2000 - hit me up on the night and it will be more.

 

You can catch me and the Funktion crew from 04:00 till 06:00, and here is the full timetable for your consideration:

 

 

Oh and the map!

 

 

Hope to see you there...

 

On another note last week I came across this track from the video game Zero Divide:

 

 

I have no idea but it really started reminding of the sounds your likely to come across on this radio show:

 

 

Finding the song I instantly shared it with the king of diggin' in the carts Nick Dwyer...

 

 

but he was like to me (every so casually) oh yeh I played that tune on my last radio show:

 

 

Well, there you go I guess man really is digging in the carts...

 


We are back on that tip from Monday sharing some strong custom versions of our 'Avenue Lo' starting with this killer chrome that we briefly highlighted last blog update:

 

 

Not only featuring Diner's original 60mm carbon wheel and 3 spoke, but we went even further and added Diner's original saddle 2.0 AND the carbon seat post...

 

 

We also went with their original riser handlebars...

 

 

One of the key parts of this and ANY custom is the crankset with proper bottom brackets... which must be direct and where possible light. The Miche Pistard...AIR is the answer:

 

 

Always remember; for all the custom bikes we feature on here, their parts are available from Diner

 

It's been a good few seasons since I was the face of End's & Means, since they shot their past two collections in London (where we all met in the first place)...but after a long break...

 

 

 

It looks like I will be making a return back to the family that allowed me to make both my modeling and to some extents my DJing career here in Japan.  For most people, it will seem like we appeared out of nowhere as Spexsavers... like two young sound boys from London (back then):

 

 

 

Then once we merged that with what was 'Articalizm'...:

 

 

Before I knew it we had made a media outlet called Outtanet:

 

 

We've all grown up a lot since then and well Ends & Means is still my favorite brand out there at the moment...though some may come close... they all lack the experiences and journey we took... unique from then even till now...

 

 

The photographer (Abe-san), who we have been shooting with for many seasons now, put me onto some heat yesterday morning...

 

Taken from Nippon TV's 1970s『祭ばやしが聞こえる』 - that told the story of a professional Keirin rider's journey back to the track as he was badly injured.

 

 

Abe-san a former DJ and collector of music noticed a record (we were shooting in Ella records, Shimokitazawa)  by George Yanagi - who was behind the OST of this drama:

 

 

When I heard it... though I was like boom...this sample...

 

 

Curren$y once again combining with Harry Fraud to produce a track that has, even more, meaning me to me now:

 

 

Can you hear that distant sound?

 

 

I finish off by sharing with you some new spots in town, that I have been spending some good times at... just so you know I am sharing these with you because I believe that if you are reading this blog you are already part of our Cartel network and also because I want to support these new venues - However, what I don't want to see the next time I step foot into of ANY of these spaces are any wet-eared loud-mouthed think they know it all space invader types sucking away the good vibes...and while that may not be you it could be someone in your circle...so choose wisely before someone has to decide whether to choose you or NOT!

 

Sober:

 

 

 

Debris

 

 

Blind Monkey:

 

 

 

Inc:

 

 

This news just in...

 

Our friends at Diner in the run-up to Christmas have placed the strong red 'Avenue' on special offer:

 

 

Yup the ¥59,400 price has been reduced to ¥49,800!!!

 

If you are a first-time buyer and were sitting on the fence waiting for the right time...how about now?

Saving nearly ¥10,000 means your light and lock budget is taken care of...

 

For lock why not go for Abus's ultra mini 'U' style lock, it has a security level of 8 AND Abus say that if your bike gets stolen they will give you ¥100,000 to say sorry...that's pretty insurance for ¥5,897:

 

 

With the lock sorted, it's time for some lights, with our aim being to keep the costs under ¥10,000 I'd say go for Lucetta magnetic lights - that are attracted to the Chromoly steel of our bike frames as demonstrated below:

 

 

'Diner' has the front and rear inclusive light for just  - ¥3456 

 

 

With me choosing the red ones just because we are on the subject of red...

 

 

I am sure your first reaction to our strong red bike was "I swear down that bike is pink yeh" ... but actually, it's a subtle shade of red that is derived from a blue base...and allows you the rider to make amazing customizations:

 

 

1) The two-sided custom; is given the unique urban flavor by the strong red coloring, actually so next level is this whole combination that I personally have never seen anything like it - and I mean that in the deepest way.

 

 

3) A more simple but sports feeling can be found by using Diner's original carbon parts and combining them with Encore's already fast 700c wheels.

 

 

4) Or have fun by matching Encores wide color variety with the strong red frame to make your bicycle even more unique. 

 

 

It all starts with the complete strong red 'Avenue' though...

 

 

Get yours from Diner now while stocks last!

Shifting from doing these rides at night into the daytime was always going to be a challenge right? Especially if you know me well - the so-called "Prince of darkness". 

 

I was expecting 6-7 other riders to show up, but since it was the first weekend of the month it was always a hard sell right? So the turnout was like this...

 

 

The small turn-out was not discouraging at all though, cos we had Ramen on our mind...actually all week since I was thinking about this Tori-paitan from Fukushima (as blogged last week) made by 麺処 若武者 which translates into 'Noodle Warrior':

 

 

That plus my friend who also rides fixed runs the facebook group 'Tsukemen Monster' and he was also building up my anticipation to attend the show:

 

 

I figure that him riding around Tokyo (or maybe further), digging deeply for the best Ramen the city has to offer is one of the best examples of how owning a bike can support your given lifestyle. 

 

Look at my man go...

 

 

SO boom, we pull up and queue for a short period of time to get our RAMEN tickets, since you pay for bowls of Ramen instead of an entry fee, of which I bought two as did Lorcan, but Ocean was on a mad one and bought 4... (more on that later)

 

 

Yes yes, tickets in hand plus one of those stomach drinks that help basically numb out any pain and discomfort you SHOULD be feeling for eating and drinking like a beast...I was prepared

 

 

I looked up to see that Ocean and Lorcan had been accosted by a film crew - yeh that crew noticed mans' hair (I guess they did have the most unique hairstyles compared to everyone else who I could see). Not one to be shy though I took it upon myself to promptly tell them how hyped I was to find my Fukushima Noodle Warrior...

 

Then boom there it was... AND the queue was reasonable.

 

 

I am saying though...6 breeds of chicken died for this ramen to be made - so I had to give thanks!

 

 

And the noodle warrior was probably not this guy, but let's just imagine he is for the sake of this blog post - (*add another tick to his box*).

 

 

Btw the film crew was from TV TOKYO and the program called Gaia:

 

 

I think there is a big chance we will be in the next week's episode which is11/13 (Tuesday) at 22:00 - and the reason why I say there is a big chance, is because of the incident with the 100 yen spicy topping and my sinuses that plus my mans' hair (jeeeeez)... 

 

 

Not sure why we added the spicy topping...but I am sure thanks to its potency we will be on national TV...

 

In other news Space Ghost Purrp gets some more long deserved recognition: 

 

 

I remember listening to this tape back in the day and being impressed by the raw atmosphere and overall dark and spaced out sound - which came at a time where for me Rap had become overly polished and even overly conscious (wish we had the polish and conscious in more abundance now though) condescending  - anyway I am not gonna rant too much about this...but if you know you KNOW.

 

 

Go re-listen to that right now!

 

Look out for this custom next blog update...

 

 

Oh and finally about Ocean and those bowls of ramen he swam through...

 

We have always been blessed with the network of people who own our cycles, a wide range of individuals some of whom excel in their respective fields. 

 

One of the most pleasant members of this unofficial owner's club is Cyber Japan Dancer...Karen:

 

 

A member of our club since 2016? We started to wonder if she was still making use of her red 'Avenue' - just one of the limited colors we produce each year, with this year's colors being... Strong Red and I'll use this moment to share with you this custom we've named the 'Two-sided Custom':

 

 

Two-sided in its character; with one side being it's potential to perform, more specifically to produce speed for the lucky owner since this 'Avenue' wields a mighty direct crank; the Miche Pistard 2.0...

 

 

You will notice the de-attachable basket made by Brooks, that rests effortlessly on the special boulevard style handlebars that are also crowned with Brooks' slender leather grips in black... not forgetting the Brooks team pro saddle - this is what constitutes the off for us.

 

A fast and nimble bike (especially with the basket off), that offers the practicality and comfortability of a regular city bike.

 

 

She brought her bike to Diner for some maintenance a new saddle and some more - when was the last time YOU did any work on your bike? 

 

 

Our Instagram post of the week has to be this matte white 'Avenue' since you all showed it so much, love:

 

 

A simple custom that makes use of Diner's original 88mm carbon wheel on the front, and their original riser handlebars:

 

 

The most exciting news this week though is this...:

 

 

Even more visuals from the NCA camp, taking your paranoid awareness to the next level while making their worldview even more concrete at the same time. 

 

Nice to think that in 2018 you can still get physical DVDs:

 

 

If your thinking of getting GP01 you best move fast though...

 

 

 

A bit of short notice?

Well we actually have a line group where we keep our regular riders up to date, but for the rest of you we are proud to announce RIDE 06 - RAMEN RUN EDITION...

 

 

Yup, we will actually make our way to Komazawa park to enjoy the best selections of Ramen this year...

 

 

Actually, this is Japan's largest outdoor ramen festival that plus this year marks its 10th anniversary, and what a line up they have for us this year.

 

Too many to list here but I have to decide between these three (with crazy Translations via google):

 

【Fukushima】 Excellent six Sumo Fukushima chicken white water.

 

Yeh, this is probably highest on my list.

 

【Saitama】 Japan three majestic chicken top grade salted noodle.

 

In case I am not in the mood for excessive grease I will go with this salt version of chicken ramen.

 

【Kumamoto Prefecture】 Kumamoto Kuro Tein Ramen

 

 

Since people in Kyushu are such experts at boiling pig parts I might have to roll with this one!

 

How about you?

 

Some important notes for you below...namely that the meeting time has now been changed to DEPARTURE TIME, so please don't get left behind!

 

THE DETAILS

 

DATE: 11/04/2018

MEETING TIME: 10:00

MEETING PLACE: The Wall (behind); 106-0013, Tokyo, Minato-ku, Nishi-Azabu 4-2-10, 102

ROUTE:  Approx 15km (Return Journey)

 

 

This is the wall...

  • START, The Wall; Nishi Azabu

  • Namikibashi

  • Daikanyama

  • Nakameguro

  • Mishuku

  • Yutenji

  • Komadome

  • Komazawa

  • Komazawa-koen

  • Tokyo Ramen Show 2018

  • Finish, Diner (Nishi Azabu)

RULES - Which are only here as a rough guideline but you know I am legally obliged to say this:

All riders must have fully working front and rear brakes.

 

Obey all traffic regulations.

Riders; ride and carry their own responsibilities for any injuries/damage which occurs before, during and after the ride.

 

All track style fixed and single speed bikes are welcome and I guess any 27" framed BMX that can keep up, but hopefully, you have 700c size wheels!!! 

 

Remember you can also get one of these now ultra long sleeve Tees... with a special discount

¥1000 OFF W.A.C.C original Long sleeve!!!

 

 

If you want to take part or simply are interested then feel free to contact me:

 

mrtikini@gmail.com 

 


You ever had the awkward moment where your outfit matches your bike?

Let's be real though black and orange is a must...and what better way to apply that color co-ordination than onto your bicycle:

Why not try it with our matte black 'Avenue Lo'...

This knit has a lot of nostalgic value for me - not because it's old; it's actually from the current Fall/Winter drop from Son of the Cheese - which I had the honor of partaking in:

This textile pattern reminds me of something you would have seen on one of 'London Transports' vehicles in the 90s:

The original pattern was born from design house Wallace Sewell, and is definitely something deeply embedded in the minds of ANYONE who used London's transport system in the 1990s - so popular that they recently brought this back:

Oh and then was this by N*ke...

Well, I am sure this color pattern is not for everyone but today it sure got me noticed...

Thank you to Evisen's talented Hama-san for the God eye level shots... and if you don't already know about the work Evisen is putting in haha...go update yourself!

This has me thinking about a new hashtag #246godeye which I base of this not so famous manga & anime series 'Goku Midnight Eye'...

"Goku's left eye socket contains a computer terminal device.
Moreover, that computer is tied directly to every computer
in the world, all types of information instantaneously come
flying into Goku's left eye.
He is the man with God's left eye,
the story is about Goku and the women that exist around him."

The manga was written by Buichi Terasawa but I never read the manga, but was fortunate enough to watch the two OVAs that were released:

So let's get it in with your #246godeye moments!