June Diary

It’s been a great June. We’ve done some riding, some planning and some interacting with other cycle tourists. Our summer tour to Hokkaido grows closer each day, and we’re getting more and more excited. This is what we’ve been up to this month.

Bikes, tents, beautiful scenery: it's why we do what we do.

Bikes, tents, beautiful scenery: it’s why we do what we do.

The month begain with an overnight trip to nearby Lake Inawashiro. We sent our gear in the car with our friends, and rode our unladen bikes over the Ou Mountains. On the other side, we camped for free on the shore of the lake. We ate amazing barbecue food, drinking beer and playing cards as the sun went down. There are some pictures here. A week later, we rode past the same spot on day one of the charity event Cycle Aid Japan. Over the course of 160km of riding, we made some new friends, and gave ourselves some pretty impressive tan lines. It was exhausting, but very satisfying. You can read our report here.

It was his butterfly handlebars that made me suspect he was a cycle tourist. It turned out that Ushijima-sensei has cycled all over the world. He gave us details of his homepage.

It was his butterfly handlebars that made me suspect he was a cycle tourist. It turned out that Ushijima-sensei has cycled all over the world. He gave us details of his homepage.

Things are falling into place for our summer trip to Hokkaido. Our bikes will make the journey there by courier, and we’ll take a slow train over a couple of days. Our travel plans are here. Exploring the volcanic Shikotsu-Toya National park is how we’ll spend the first week of our tour. Clare and Andy, our friends in Hokkaido, will join us for a weekend of riding, then our destination is Rishiri Island in the far north. More details here. Preparations are going well – we’re just waiting on a few deliveries right now. It’s only three weeks away, and our excitement is starting to build.

We’ve had some interaction with other cycle tourists this month. Stefano got in touch with some questions about cycle touring in Tohoku during August. We answered them in this blog post. Eric and Amaya from World Biking arranged to stay with us via the Warm Showers network. The idea of hosting them really excited us; we were looking forward to hearing stories from their seven years on the road. Unfortunately, the visit fell through. Maybe our paths will cross some other time instead.

Lastly, we’ve been experimenting with some other online services. Byron from the excellent Tokyo By Bike blog introduced us to Flipboard. This is an example of a cycle touring magazine we’ve curated. What do you think?

We’ve had a great June, and we’re looking forward to a great July too. Next month is all about Hokkaido. We’ll spend the first part of the month getting ready for the trip, and the last part riding around a beautiful national park. We can’t wait.

Reading List

Each month we collect a few articles that we’ve enjoyed reading lately into a list. Here are our picks for June.

Our top pick is Cycling Dutch Girl’s post about her trip to Hokkaido, Avoiding Bears, Finding Beers and Going Bare. We loved the photos, especially as we’re visiting many of the places pictured on our own trip.

Joe Cruz at Pedalling in Place wrote about an amazing day in the Dolomites. Find out here how he got on with his folding bike amongst a peleton of thousands of road bikes. Again great pictures, and a great article.

We really enjoyed this article by Devon and Charlotte of Travelling Carrs. Their two days in Albania were manic, it seems, but also a huge amount of fun. Very entertaining.

Finally, in the light of our CTQOTW about bear safety, we recommend reading Nick’s post about how he survived a bear attack. It’s harrowing stuff. Find it here.

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One thought on “June Diary

  1. Thanks for the link to my site about my bear attack on the Dalton Highway, Alaska. Certainly was an interesting experience and learnt a lot abouts bears up there! I think my situation was exceptionally unusual if that helps. I wrote another post a bit later on why i thought it happened. Feel free to drop me a line if you or your readers want any more info. Have fun on your trip, sounds awesome!

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