Photo Essay: The Best of Rural Japan at the Masuda Inaka Ride
written and compiled by Faith Suzuki (Communications Manager)
Deep in the heart of Shimane Prefecture, the seventh edition of the Masuda Inaka Ride commenced in the early hours on Sunday, September 2nd, 2018.
With an average temperature of 33 degrees Celsius or about 91 degrees Fahrenheit, approximately 550 cyclists enjoyed excellent weather complemented with bright blue skies perfect for a midsummer ride.
It's true that Japan has no shortage of bike tours and long ride events but the Masuda Inaka Ride sets itself apart for a couple of reasons.
First, you'll encounter zero traffic lights for 100KM. You read that correctly - over the course of nearly 60 miles, there's not a single light!
Second, the course features a unique ride down the flight line at Hagi-Iwami Airport.
Finally, the longer rides give cyclists the option of selecting one of two speed groups, ensuring an optimal workout should you desire.
Only the Masuda Inaka Ride Takes Cyclists Out On An Airport Flight Line!
All courses and distances start in the parking lot of the Iwami Art Museum, also known as Grand Toit.
Throughout the course, riders can enjoy aid stations serving local harvests and regional cuisine, including watermelon, soumen, Japanese-style pickled eggplants, fried hog, and wasabi yakisoba!
For beginners, the 60KM course takes riders to the Hikimikyo Onsen where lunch and a relaxing onsen can be enjoyed before hopping on a bus back to Grand Toit.
Cyclists don't even have to worry about their rides! Bikes are packed neatly into sturdy containers then boarded onto a truck to the finish area.
Those seeking quality saddle time can challenge the 120KM route or even the century ride (160KM), which includes the tough Japanese National Road Race Championship course. Check out the 160KM course.
All participants received a sacoche (light-weight shoulder bag). Each bag features Japanese calligraphy handwritten by the local high school calligraphy club. Additionally, all finishers are entitled to an event t-shirt.
Choose from 160, 120, or 60KM - plus, two speed groups!
Whether you’re looking for the mountains and rivers or the rice paddies and rural scenes, the Masuda Inaka Ride offers something for cyclists of all levels to enjoy!
Scenes of Rural Japan