Tell us a little bit about yourself
I got into sports until late in my life, like 21 years old. Apart of that I am an Aerospace Engineering professional. I’m from Canada, a small countryside town called La Sarre, but I lived most of my adult life in Montreal then now lives in Nagoya, Japan.
What type of cycling do you do?
I am racing mainly Fixed Gear and Cyclocross, but also training on road bike and urban riding. A little bit of everything, except Mountain biking maybe.
How did you started cycling?
I started cycling when I bought an old steel road bike (a way too large Bottechia with frankenstein shimano groupset) to commute to work in the city of Montreal. One year later, I got into the idea to start training for triathlon, which meant I needed to learn how to swim and how to train for running. After 2 years of battling running injuries and still sucking pretty bad at swimming, I kept the cycling part only and decided to buy a cyclocross bike. 8 months later I was deeply passionate and bought a track bike with the idea of training my power for cross during the summer.
Moving to Nagoya 2 years ago, how did you get connected to the cycling community there?
When I knew I was moving to Japan, I started looking for shops, clubs, associations. I knew it would be hard to find events and groups by myself because of the language barrier. I reached out to shops like Circles&Co, then some friends connected me with other people they knew in Japan already, which gave me a good amount of names to reach out to. I figured these persons would have had done the dirty work already and give me insights about what to look for. I got to meet people already very involved in the local community, like Bradley O’Grady with his defunct vlog First Over Everything, and Christopher Bogedin with his vlog Two Wheel Cruise. These guys were covering a lot of events and content related to cycling, which meant to knew already a lot of people and races.
Tell us a little bit about the cycling culture in Nagoya:
Nagoya has a very good cycling spirit; lot of events, races and passionate people. It is the 4th biggest city in Japan with wide roads and accessible cycling routes and training spots.
What do you recommend to a cyclist going to Nagoya?
Definitely, a must-stop is Circles&Co shop, renown as one of the best ”boutique-style” bike shop in the world. I has a breakfast restaurant, a mechanic shop, clothing shop and an infinite amount of high end custom relics. It also has a second location that’s comprised of an used-parts rentable mechanics pits called Culture Club and a cafe/bakery called Pine Fields Market.
For an impressive museum-like bikeshop of vintage parts, you need to drop by KATOCYCLE Plus, a family owned business with great pride and passion for the sport.
On the coffeeshop side, Nagoya has some very nice places like TRUNK Coffee and Craft beers. Easy to stop before or after a ride and have arguably the best coffee in Nagoya, proudly roasted locally.
What is your life motto?
In life, in order to find yourself, you got to lose yourself.
In short: Whenever you have the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, you should do it.
What do you love the most about the cycling culture?
I love how cycling itself is a universal language that puts people together. I really felt that strongly when I came to Japan, as it allowed me to connect with passionate people without having to speak a lick of Japanese (and them of english). Cycling is a language, and when you share it with people, it doesn’t need words to be understood.
Is there anything you would like to see improved in the cycling community?
We need to remove that centric feeling that clashes between different disciplines of cycling. We are all in this together, whether you are riding a city bike, a road bike, a mountain bike, a unicycle, a fixed gear bike... Your preference in bikes does not matter, as we should feel we are all sharing that core value of simply enjoying cycling together. There shouldn’t be one way to ride a bike, no dress code…
I will be working hard in the next months to secure fundraising plans to bring Team Japan at the Fixed Nations Cup, to represent the country and inspire the community. I want to put Japan on the map of the Fixed Gear Crit Community!
Keep an eye on Jamin's feed: @jasmintenh
Fixed Gear (sfiDARE CRIT Japan): Loop Magazine, sfiDAREworks/104cycle, Tempra Cycles, Affinity Cycles, Pearl Izumi Japan, Catlike helmets, Continental Tire, Manhattan Portage, Kryptonite, Cyclehawk, New York Bike Dreams.
All photos by Kenji Muto.