Yup it's Friday,

And this week has been full of good food with friends with Wednesday night being no exception, let me start by thanking the good people at Tamachan in Nakameguro for making my friends and me have a great time with their fantastic Kansai styled dishes and original drinks:



It's nice to be invited to a dinner with old friends who bring new friends; the company creating the perfect atmosphere for the food and drink to go down. From the soulful Okonomiyaki to the addictive yaki udon; the food was definitely on point as were the drinks ( that tomato sour!!!) - shout out to chefs:



We all had a good time and are sure to head back there again SOON!



The food reminded me of my memorable trip to Osaka and the Kansai are by bike last summer:



As you know I have been advocating riding in winter a lot, and posting myself doing just that on our instagram:


  
Talking of which, I was out riding the other night and when the spirit caught me; you know what I mean when I say spirit right? The need for speed or joy of riding, the thing that takes your mind of everything ... when you start experiencing your road... then this happened:



Even though I rolled up my jeans, when I was not paying attention my jeans got caught in the chain ring, must have been a sudden change in the way I was positioning my right foot and leg, a real tragedy, as those jeans happened to be my favorite... oh well.

Our collaboration with Muro scents is still on-going, and this week another discerning customer at Diner got there hands on the limited edition bike:



The collaboration is made up of the limited bronze shaded 'Avenue' that includes the muro logo on the headset, as well both Muro and Cartel logos on it's top tube comes with a black Tote bag and one of five Muro scents incense flavors.



Muro Scents and Cartel Bikes both empathize the creation of quality products with clean aesthetics. It was a mutual appreciation, paralleled by intersecting lifestyles that brought about our collaboration. The result is a limited edition original colored 'Avenue' bike designed in collaboration with Muro that features a subtle yet distinct logo on the head tube. It will come packaged together with a pack of natural hand rolled incense and an original Tote bag. 

Inspire your surroundings / Experience your road

Moving on to the weekend... tonight I will be playing at the homie Watarude's party 'Polish' at Zubar I believe he was inspired to make this party after posting this:
 

Why not come and get polished up...?

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The midweek post is here making it officially a hump day, not quite as good as a Friday but I'll take Midweek over Start of the week any day!

The start of the week has been far from bad though, as on Monday night I was invited over to a friends house to enjoy some Nabe, and well there is nothing better than Nabe in the winter:



After the meal and on my way out of the house I was reminded about an old love of mine:



Do you know about the Tosa-ken? I was first told about them by a friend from Fukuoka who I met back in my university days in London, he told me his Dad owned 5 of these dogs...that were basically developed by "man" to be the ultimate fighting dogs. None the less hearing his stories and reading gems like how the Tosa's outmost layer of flesh barely is connected to any nerve endings meaning the dogs have a high tolerance to pain etc etc... ok ok ok!

Leaving my friends place, it was back out to the cold empty streets of Tokyo... but wow I must say riding around Tokyo in the winter night, maybe cold but the air is so fresh and streets always empty, making for some very exhilarating moments, especially when you skid over a small ice patch and get that extra slide.



Getting home I got back into yet another book that is there to help one THINK:





Toaism is a subject that has intrigued me ever since I was in my young teens where I was introduced to the world of Kung-Fu and inevitably Bruce Lee; who I admired for his philosophies more than even his fighting techniques:



The above book I like to digest a page/chapter a time as a daily meditation to help me REMEMBER.

Tuesday I had a cheeky day off and decided to treat myself to a Yakitori lunch at Torimasa in Omote-sando, I hear that at dinner time a person can expect to pay about ¥8,000 (and not feel full!), but the lunch there is ¥1,300 and VERY filling:



While I was enjoying my lunch, my friend from brand Oh Shit! sent me this picture taken back in summer 2015:



Usually a picture like this would have me missing the Summer but right now, I am still content with the sharp winter air and the empty Tokyo streets at night... a fine way to experience my road.

Some new beginnings for sure...



See you on Friday!

Welcome to a white Monday update!

Hah if you live in Tokyo then I am sure you know already, but if you don't the background of the picture below is a hint, in the foreground though is another excellent example of a custom Cartel bike:



The 'Avenue Lo' frame with drop down handle bars and other custom parts give this Cartel such a classic aesthetic that it looks like it belongs to an experienced rider.

The color combination of mustard, beige, silver and black is also very charming:



The mustard coming from the Deda handle bar grips:






These wheels also have such an allure:



With beige and black complimenting each other on these Michelin Dynamic Classic Tires:







They look so perfect when wrapped around Diner original classic Aluminium 20mm rims:





The wheels being split by a part that needs no real introduction SRAM Silver Ommium crankset:






Finished off by this Selle San Marco Zoncolon racing saddle :



Another classic item, featuring brushed leather and a shape that makes it look so purposeful:






I can think of fewer bicycles in the world that are as fun to customise than our Cartel bike, whether you consider yourself a veteran rider, beginner or something inbetween, you can make the perfect bike for yourself, so why not get started Tomorrow (because today's snow is just not a good look for riding!).

Onto my other runnings...
Which have been that I started re-reading this book:





“It is truth that liberates, not your effort to be free.”
― Jiddu Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom


The words contained within the book reminded me of a lot of things about Osiris; since the real reason I started making a label was to find a medium in which teachings that are hardly promoted in the media, schools or through religous instituitions... had an outlet that might make a younger generation feel something within themselves, that spurs some internal change.

However more than that I guess creating and allow others to create is also a blessing...pure moments of nothing that help you make things like this:



Haha I can't front on my hand drawing skills...then I passed this onto Koko Miyagi to add some color to and he was like:



Super clean, so come and get polished up with us this Friday at Zubar!

On the subject of Fridays, last Friday I paid a visit to my local mexican 'El Paso' for the first time in 2016...  and was reminded why I use to frequent this spot so much...

The Food... of course:



The cheeky shots of Tequila...actually some shots are to be sipped slow like the one below:



And company:



Big thanks to everyone at El Paso as always...2016も宜しくお願いします
And for those trying to make a visit:



See you next on Wednesday!
 

Welcome to the Friday update!

If you saw this....



That means you checked in from our instagram (thank you!).

I took this picture just the other night, as I have been using the hashtag #lifebehindbars quite a lot recently, and with this shot I was reminded just how dope the texture of carbon fiber is, so I wanted to remind you all just how much I love carbon.

First of all you must appreciate just how much of an amazing material it is... when we talk about Carbon Fiber; we actually mean Carbon-fiber-reinforced-polymer a material highly regarded for it's high strength to weight ratio, flexibility in application.

My bike is essentially built up with carbon parts, that are almost all available from Diner which they have as their own original parts, which is the very reason why I have been saying that Diner is a great place to customize your Cartel bike. 

The first carborn parts I had from Diner where for my wheels which I received when I first started riding for Cartel; which in actuality was my first time riding with carbon parts:


Picture taken by Eric Guzman on my first cartel shoot.

My front wheel is Diner's original 3 Spoke Carbon Clincher wheel:


This wheel makes an amazing noise when you're are riding a long and picking up speed... and the most awesome thing is the wheel is NOW ON SALE FOR ¥77,760 down from ¥97.200; click the image above for more details.

The good news continues when it comes to the rear 88mm Carbon Clincher too:


This baby is also ON SALE AT ¥44,928 down from ¥56,160; once again click the image for more info!

The next part are Cartel's original Carbon Forks:



By far the lightest forks any bicycle can have, if you take a more careful look at the picture at the top of this page, you'll notice that when I first got my bike the forks were steel... the difference is like night and day.

Moving on to my beloved Matt Black Carbon Bullhorn handle bars:



These handle bars are not the most easy to ride with but that maybe a matter of opinion, however for speed...these are the ones, the ergonomics of their design means your body shape will be more aerodynamic than standard riser bars, or simply you can expect to get more speed out of your ride.

The final part of my bike is the Carbon Seat Post:


Such a subtle part of the bike that many people may never consider impacts how their bicycles ride, when in fact the seat post is almost the center of gravity, and if you have ever picked up a seat post you'll know that they can weigh a considerable amount...BUT not with Diner's original carbon post, it really has made a huge difference in how my bike handles and of course the overall weight of the bike.

My result looks like this...



Installing Carbon parts onto your Cartel bike will DRAMATICALLY change how you experience your road...and just like me you can gradually build up your bike a part at a time, so that you can notice the difference in how your bike performs.

Why not start today? So that before you know it this could be you:



?

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend...see you on the Monday update!

Welcome to the midweek update.

You must have noticed the weather has changed from the mild pre-winter style weather we were seeing during December, to that dry, cold and windy winter weather we've all grown accustomed too here in Tokyo. 

Those conditions inspired this post I made to our instagram last night:



However since last year I have not let the cold weather stop me from getting on my bike, actually this winter I have been riding quite a lot, which has been really satisfying, getting to experience the various different conditions and slight weather drops in weather day by day, it also makes walking in the 'cold' a real stroll in the park.





This shot is also from our instagram which I took during today's sunset; follow us on instagram if you want to see more of how we experience our road from day to day.

If you are into bikes no doubt you would have seen or heard about the latest film by the chaps over at Mash SF, well I managed to get my hands on a copy of the DVD and Tuesday night indulged myself:




MASH SF 2015 from MASH TRANSIT PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.


What struck me more than anything was the cinematography and art direction of the film, as watching people ride bicycles through cityscapes, the open road and in the country; if not done right could be quite a boring affair. Which was not the case with this film the director made pretty good use of current technologies to make you feel the ride:



We may not have all the technologies available to us as they do but in 2016 we will continue to do our best, picking up from where we left off:

Cartel Bikes in Spring from Cartel Bikes on Vimeo.


And if any of the footage from todays blog post has inspired to go out and experience your road... great, if you don't own but feel the itch, GOOD NEWS our friends at Diner now have a special new sale, where you can get your hands on our Aqua Blue 'Avenue Lo'; originally priced ¥79,920... FOR JUST ¥59,400 :



If ever there was a good time to join the Cartel, that time is definitely NOW!

Welcome to the Monday update!

While most of you are enjoying this national holiday, at cartel we just got back another set of photos from Daisuke Urano from the shoot we did for our collaboration with Muro Scents.



In case you missed it the concept behind our collaboration was this:
 

Muro Scents and Cartel Bikes both empathize the creation of quality products with clean aesthetics. It was a mutual appreciation, paralleled by intersecting lifestyles that brought about our collaboration. The result is a limited edition original colored 'Avenue' bike designed in collaboration with Muro that features a subtle yet distinct logo on the head tube. It will come packaged together with a pack of natural hand rolled incense and an original Tote bag.

 

Inspire your surroundings / Experience your road




The collaboration is exclusive to Diner and it's retailing for ¥70,200; which will not only get you the limited color 'Avenue' (bronze) bike but also these:



A great way to start 2016, once again inspire your surroundings/experience your road: 

Muro Launch Japan 2014 from Muro Scents on Vimeo.

Last Friday afterwork and before Water Works I was invited the opening of this Banh Mi sandwich shop; named Chez Chau located in Nakameguro.

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Offering selected Vietnamese style sandwishs, Pho dishes and fresh/fried springs rolls, even though I only got to sample a chicken sandwich, I can tell you now, if that is the benchmark to judge Chez Chau's food on... everything should be tres bon!

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The simple menu and drink choice make it a non-brainer, and well worth a bike ride for a meal... or quick stop by in between destinations.

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Finally I guess the biggest news we'll here today and for the next few days is the passing over of David Bowie; I am sure you don't know this, but my mother was once a nurse, where she took care of a patient, who actually ended up being David Bowie's mother, when David visited his mother he would sometimes get to talking with my mother...and left such a good impression on her for being such a polite and mild mannered young man. This one is for you:


 

Friday already?

Welcome to your favorite blog update, the Friday update.
Honestly speaking the week has gone by quite quickly; maybe because my body has begun some vigorous training, that is making me eat like a horse and sleep like a bear in winter, I think the amount of sleep has made time just fly.

Light banter aside our friends at Diner put together this special silver custom 'Avenue Lo':



Using the pepper white frame as the base:




Switching over the regular saddle and seat post, for a silver post attached to this rare Fizik Arione saddle:




The silver handle bars and bars end come courtesy NITTO:



And of course is finished up by this Silver Crankset.



A really great job done, thank you Diner for always looking out for the Cartel! 
Which leaves me with one question, how would YOU customize your Cartel Bike?!


Oh and it being the 1st Friday of the month means it's time for Water Works... who is ready? 



Actually I snuck into Koara earlier this week for a special Shinenkai party...that actually turned into a surpise birthday party for this man:



KZA-san Happy Birthday once again!

And a big shout out to Mr.Mcleod; seriously one of my favorite DJs on earth lol .... always puts down solid sets and last time was no exception.



Check this mix he did a while back...



Other than that...see tonight on the dance floor? Or Monday for the next blog update.



Peace!








 

First week of January...How has your been so far?

Mine has been quite productive; firstly I have had to recover from a slight cold I acquired Saturday night... but that simply has mean't more sleep, food and movies than usual:



Starting with this Russion cult classic Night Watch:



No time for a review here though, click the link and check it out on IMDB if you want more info, but I enjoyed it.

Being a bit sick has aIso allowed me to study the properties of different metals, and how those properties potentially affect bikes.



My research has definitely given me a greater appreciation of Steel, and I am happy in fact proud to be riding a double-butted steel bike:





Feeling much better on Tuesday I ventured out again with my new found cycle partner(s), yup someone else has joined our unofficial riding club... can you guess who by the bike (the blue one)?



We have not rode very far though as of yet, preferring to simply ride around the Shinsen/Shibuya area...



Which in my current condition suits me just fine, plus I was craving my favorite Kebab spot in Tokyo; Kebab Cafe!



From there we parted ways and headed back to my retreat; but on my way I passed by the 1st Shop in Aoyama where my homie Singold has setup his base:



Ironically it was watching Singold and the rest of the T-19/Carnival crew back in 2006/7 that really made me focus more on the culture of fixed gear bikes... if you haven't already you should check out some of their DVDS:



Thats it for the midweek update, see you all again on Friday!

Happy New Year,
And welcome to the first update of 2016!


The first morning of 2016, with a view of Mt.Fuji!

This year we are really looking forward to experience our road on yet another level, and you can be sure there will be a lot more updates both to our site and the other social media we have, for you to enjoy this year.



I think I had the most fun holiday season in my life ever, and when I mean fun I am talking about things I dare write on here lol, but if you know then YOU KNOW...me.
New Years was insane and after putting in my set at Koara and doing the countdown there... my friends and I blasted off into the night, meeting the first morning of 2016; as you can see from the picture I posted above.
Later that night after having some food and drinks, my friends and I headed to my local shrine to pray for a lot of positive things in 2016:



Since we were not able to make it to a fancy place that serves traditional new year's soba, we made use of my local standing soba joint, and I grabbed my favorite Tanuki Soba!



Next day it was time to catch some proper daylight and get back to experiencing my road, first of all my homies from Reserved Note and New Black hooked me up with this neck warmer that matches the hoodie they created in their collaboration and I actually could not wait to use it:



It really felt like a New Year holiday, the weather was also really mild, with clear blue skies, making everyone feel GOOD:



Finally I found a new/old riding partner that understands my pace, and I really look forward to making more moves with him in 2016, I mean lol we the types to climb bridges just to catch sunsets...my pace!



We also don't mind watching over hyped holiday blockbusters...



Anyway I will leave you with this tune, which I hope can energise the start of your new year:


 

Welcome to the Monday update, and for many of us this is the final day of work in 2015...so I want to say a big お疲れ様です to everyone!

Allow me to bring your attention to this custom matt black 'Avenue' a customer at Diner bought, it was featured in there blog as the 'Silver Custom':



Silver gives the bike a whole different kind of atmosphere; a functional no nonsense look - which in my books is cool!
Breaking it down through the customized parts:

1) Shortened bull horn handle bars.



2) Euro Asia DLX cog.



3) SRAM Omnium Crankset in Silver.







The silver and black combination looked so good that Diner went ahead and made their very own original Aluminium silver wheel set; which would have made the above bike complete:






The holiday season in Japan can be an abstract thing, with many of us having work on Christmas day and their being very little chill...this year I did my best to play with the cards dealt to me:

After work on Friday (yes that is Christmas day!), I made a journey to the Mori tower in Roppongi Hills, to enjoy the views of the different illuminations around Tokyo; Tokyo Tower got the win though:



After that I headed to Fuglen and enjoyed their 'American Christmas' cocktail, before cycling off to meet with Koko Miyagi - as we both had the TCB (Tokyo Christmas Blues); and decided a bottle of Baileys would help drown out the feeling of not being back home with family, roasts and good TV.

The baileys went down well and I saluted Mr.Miyagi as he left for home:



I woke up on Saturday (Boxing day!) feeling surprisingly in tact and also excited because I had been invited to the 'Arsenal lovers boxing day bash' (Unofficial Christmas after party). I must say it was closest thing to home I could have ever asked for... with amazing feastive foods, drinks and these snacks especially imported from home:





Best boxing day I have had in years, I really want to say a BIG thank you to everyone involved who made the day possible - there are very few of us out here, so look forward to sticking together in 2016.

Then it got to Sunday, and without much idea of what the day had in store for me, I got a call from the guys at Febo who told me it was there last working day of the year so I should come over to kick it for the last time in 2015.
TO my astonishment they had a bottle of PORT  - basically when I was back home in London every winter my house would be loaded up with bottles of port that, even though it seemed I was the only person who drank it. In short it's been about 7 years since I have had the pleasure of tasting it...



It made my time with them there that extra bit special, as we discussed our plans for 2016 and insights gained in 2015... 
One thing we have definitely learned in 2015 is how grateful we are for the people who continue to be in our lives.

Thank you team Febo for everything in 2015!



If your still in Tokyo over the next few days and are feeling a bit lonely or feel the itch to step out, I will be DJing at the following:

1) Vision, 12.30 Wedneday.



2) Koara, 12.31 Thursday 



Hope to see you there... In the meantime I will leave you with the sounds of Seven Davis Jr:



See you soon!