After some hard, cold and windy cycling in Sweden, participating in the Dalslandrunt15, we look at Rapha‘s Travel program, which this Summer for the first time will take cyclists on an adventure in Asia. The so called Randonnée+ Japan trip is a tremendous eight days of cultural immersion and hard riding from Tokyo to Kyoto in which we would love to participate. The target behind a Rapha Randonnée+ trip is aimed at experienced ‘roadies’. With diverse terrains to tackle, from narrow tracks to steep climbs in remote locations, the Randonnée+ trips demand slightly more from their participants than standard Randonnées, making it one of the more demanding rides organized by Rapha. The extraordinary Japan trip features several days in the Minami Alps and includes stretches of almost unused access roads through the forests: it’s a truly wild adventure, running from Tokyo and Kyoto, two contrasting but equally remarkable cities.
Brad Sauber, Rapha’s Head of Travel and lead guide on the trip:
We start in Tokyo and head over the Minami Alps and Mount Norikura, reaching the sea at Kanazawa before following an amazing coastal road down to Obama before we head back over the mountains into Kyoto. I consider this journey from ‘new’ back to ‘old’ an almost spiritual one.
The trip’s endless climb to really test the legs, Mount Norikura is more than 38km long with a 5.3% average gradient. Topping out at 2,715m, it has the highest road pass in Japan and only cyclists and the occasional private bus are allowed up and over it. The ride up this active volcano can be enjoyed alone, as climbing should be. The uphills aren’t restricted to Mount Norikura though: most of the days are undulating treks, made easier by views of river gorges, mountain lakes, Japanese maple trees, rice paddy fields and 30ft-high bamboo.
The Rapha Travel Randonnée+ Japan trip runs from 6th – 13th September 2015. Other Randonnée+ trips include Los Angeles to San Diego, Portland to San Francisco, and Massif Central.
For more information see here (Randonnée+ Japan is fully booked already, unfortunately..).