BIKE CULT SHOW PRESENTS:
KEIRIN: A SHOW OF PHOTOGRAPHS BY SAM POLCER
One-day exhibition of photography and paraphernalia explores the world of professional track bike racing in japan
WHEN: Thursday, June 18, 2015, 6PM – 10PM
WHERE: Bicycle Habitat (2nd floor), Chelsea
226 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
Photographer Sam Polcer—who is primarily known for the street-style portraits of cyclists found in his book, New York Bike Style (Prestel, 2014) and corresponding blog, PreferredMode.com—spent a day behind the scenes at a Keirin track in Kawasaki, on the outskirts of Tokyo. There, he captured the quiet side of high-intensity fixed-gear track bike racing and exposed a nuanced and detailed view of this Japanese pastime. A selection of these images, displayed alongside Keirin bicycles, uniforms, and other souvenirs in the new event space above the Chelsea branch of bike shop Bicycle Habitat, seeks to inform viewers of a racing and gambling tradition that is very much alive and well. Since 1948, at tracks all over Japan, track bike racing has followed the Keirin format with customs all its own, including colorful uniforms and mascot-led ceremonies, where cyclists compete for large purses and fans bet on the outcomes of the races. The racing is tough and aggressive, and the racers and their equipment are tightly monitored and controlled to assure fairness for the bettors.