The Great Earth series
JAPAN IS BIGGER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK.
THE GREAT EARTH SERIES NAVIGATES YOUR RIDE,
WHILE YOU EXPERIENCE REGIONAL CULTURE AND CUISINE.
“Great outdoors, feel the earth!”
Admittedly, at first glance it’s not immediately clear what the Great Earth series is all about. Trail runs? Maybe rock climbing? Archaeology expeditions? Well actually, the large majority of Great Earth activities are one to two day bike rides of various distances all around Japan. From Hokkaido to Okinawa and in between, riders of all skill levels are led through beautiful course routes and have numerous opportunities to sample local specialties. For those of us getting tired of riding the same routes, or are unsure about venturing beyond the Kanto region, the Great Earth series offers a rare opportunity to take your two wheels in areas less commonly explored.
Read an event review about the Oga Peninsula Namahage 140KM Ride in Akita prefecture.
Yes, you’re going to turn those pedals but it’s not only about cycling!
The series is based on three broad themes - to experience the outdoors through sports, deepen our understanding of nature, and encourage empathic communication. Let’s be clear, this isn’t the Tour de Japan and there are no prizes awarded to the fastest rider, or the shiniest bicycle. You’re meant to enjoy the ride and appreciate the surrounding environment so riders are encouraged to travel at a comfortable pace that suits them. Each ride is limited to several hundred riders and there is an emphasis on being environmentally conscious and leaving as little damage as possible to the ecosystem.
Of course, all that cycling requires refuelling.
But the Great Earth organizers aren’t just going to swing by a conbini and have you fend for yourself. Throughout each ride, riders will be treated to several breaks at designated stations stocked with local delicacies. Whether it’s a sit down lunch or grabbing a few seasonal fruits, you’ll find more than enough sustenance to keep riding all day (which you might be, depending on the event).
Read an event review about the Furano 200KM Ride in Hokkaido prefecture.
Now in its 10th year, the organizers schedule almost a dozen rides annually - and registration is open for a handful of races taking place in the second half of the year! Even better, Samurai Sports Japan will be at each event to support non-native speakers before and throughout the ride. Space is limited so sign up for one (or more!) rides now - you don’t want to miss out on a unique and exciting way to explore Japan!
Upcoming Great Earth Events
Aug. 20 Tottori Sugoi 130KM Ride (Tottori)
Sep. 10 Iwate Shizukuishi 100KM Ride (Iwate)
Oct. 1 Minami Hokkaido Komagatake Ride 130KM Ride (Hokkaido)
Nov. 19-20 Ishigaki Iriomotejima 180KM Ride (Okinawa)