About

Knights in White Lycra logo

A BRIEF HISTORY OF KIWL

The Knights in White Lycra was formed in 2012 by a few British men needing to get fit and wanting to give back. The 60's hit ''Nights in White Satin'' sang at a karaoke session, gave a name to a bicycle ride they never thought they would repeat. In 2013, 10 riders cycled 330kms to Minamisoma in Tohoku, one of the devastated coastal towns, to raise ¥2.7 million for the Save Minamisoma Project, helping those in temporary accommodation after the tragedy.

Inspired by their experience, 20 cyclists rode 500kms in 2014 from Tokyo to another devastated coastal town, Minamisanriku, to raise ¥5.5 million for OGA for Aid to build a vegetable processing unit. The 2015 peloton grew to 26 cyclists which completed the same journey for ''Place to Grow'', raising ¥7.4 million to facilitate agricultural education for local children.

In 2016, KIWL partnered with Mirai no Mori NPO as 42 cyclists rode from Tokyo to an Iwate care home. KIWL raised ¥10 million, and the same ride in 2017 raised ¥14.4 million. The 37 cyclists of the 2018 KIWL 500, rode from Nikko to Ichinoseki to raise ¥12 million for Mirai no Mori in support of their Leader in Training program. KIWL also raised sufficient funds to help NPO Esperanza to bring Frame Football to Japan for the first time, realizing the footballing dreams of children with cerebral palsy. In 2019, 42 riders completed a grueling ride on a different route, which with fringe events, raised a record ¥14.5 million for newly chosen charity, YouMeWe NPO.

Due to the global pandemic, 2020 was a challenging year with many 'in-person' events being cancelled. However that was not before we received the pledges of many generous corporate sponsors and due to ongoing virtual events and solo efforts throughout the year, as well as Global Giving matching, we still raised ¥14.4 million.    

​Through not only the annual cycle ride, but via many other fringe sporting and social events, KIWL has raised ¥87.7 million for disadvantaged children in Japan.

We welcome people of any age and ability with the desire to 'get fit and give back' to join us in empowering fragile young children to become successful and confident young adults.

Photo of KIWL members in pink jerseys

BCCJ Acumen

July 1, 2019

All I Wanna Do is… Bicycle! Queens and kings of the road

On 13 June, Lycra-clad men and women from many walks of life gathered to embark on the 2019 Knights in White Lycra (KIWL) four-day charity bike ride. Now in its seventh year, KIWL was formed in 2013.

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mirai no mori

December 30, 2018

Thank you KIWL members! Interview with Rob Williams, Chair & Founder of the Knights in White Lycra

Rob Williams, founder of Knights in White Lycra, knows first-hand how fulfilling it can be to test one’s own boundaries. Since 2012, he has been challenging newcomers in his philanthropic cycling...

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In Japan TV

July 14, 2018

Knights in White Lycra 2018 video

Business in Japan TV produced an exclusive video of Knights in White Lycra's annual charity ride, this year from Nikko to Ichinoseki. Thirty-seven cyclists covered 500km in four days to raise...

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Tokyo Weekender

May 25, 2018

Knights in White Lycra: Staying Fit While Helping Children in Need

Some years back, a group of British friends were sitting in a pub in Japan, wondering what they could to do to stay healthy. They had two options: either give up beer altogether or embark on a...

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mirai no mori

December 12, 2017

KIWL GO GO 55 CHARITY RUN

The Knights in White Lycra (KIWL) is a multi-national group of amateur male and female cyclists of all ages and abilities with the common goal of getting fit and giving back. On Saturday December...

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In Japan TV

July 3, 2017

Knights in White Lycra 2017: Ride for the Cause

Forty amateur cyclists left Tokyo on May 25, 2017 for Knights in White Lycra's annual fundraising ride. The goal was to pedal 550km and raise ¥7 million for Mirai no Mori, an NPO, to send 25...

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mirai no mori

July 7, 2016

Knights in White Lycra Charity Cycle Ride 2016

Knights in White Lycra (KIWL), a Tokyo-based charity cycling team of male and female expatriates and Japanese, embarked on a gruelling 520km cycle ride from Tokyo to Ichinoseki, Iwate Prefecture...

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archive

BCCJ Acumen

June 1, 2015
Leaving the world a better place
My business career in Tokyo began in January 2000, in the wild days of the dot-com boom, just before the bubble burst in 2001. There followed the Enron scandal and the Andersen Consulting scandal...
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ACCJ Journal

July 1, 2015
Pedaling for life in Tohoku: 500 kilometers in 4 days
When the initial violent shaking of the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake had subsided, my staff and I emerged from under our desks in Tokyo, donned our hard hats, got back to our computers...
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The Japan Times

April 13, 2013
Tokyo Brits gear up for three-day charity cycle ride to Fukushima
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BCCJ Acumen

March 1, 2013
Middle-aged Men in Lycra
Amateur cyclists to pedal 320km in aid of disaster-stricken survivors
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Rob Williams
Rob Williams
KIWL Chair & Co-Founder

Rob is British and has ridden every 500km ride since 2013. He steers the KIWL ship and is very proud that it has helped improve the lives of marginalized kids.

Andrew Abbey
Andrew Abbey
Treasurer & Palace Walk Organiser

From the UK, Andy is famous for cycling the length of Japan in 2020 and has been an ever-present at the KIWL 500 since 2015. He also organizes our Imperial Palace walk.

Roger Berman
Roger Berman
KIWL Go-Go Run Organiser

From the birthplace of the Beatles, Roger is a long-term resident of Japan and organizes our annual KIWL Go-Go run. He also takes part in the KIWL 500 bike ride.

Miho Sainoki
Miho Sainoki
Videographer

From Malaysia, Miho has produced KIWL's annual videos in recent years. Not only a gifted videographer, she took up cycling to be a member of the KIWL 500 2019 team.

William Ramsay
William Ramsay
KIWL Golf Day organiser & Bearded Warrior

From the UK, Billy has been a great supporter of the KIWL 500 bike ride but also as organizer and host of our very successful annual golf day.

2019 Lady Knights
2019 Lady Knights
Riders

Our 2019 KIWL 500 ladies represent a diverse background of people who desire to see a greater number of women join them in future years. They are waiting for you!

Nick Rees
Nick Rees
KIWL Quiz Master

From the UK, Nick is a KIWL Co-Founder and although he has not taken part in the 500km ride in recent years, hosts our extremely popular Pub Quiz

Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor
Group Leader of the KIWL 500

Paul hails from the UK and has been an ever-present in the KIWL 500 since the second ride in 2014. He is one of the group leaders, taking less experienced riders under his wing.

Toru Akiyama
Toru Akiyama
KIWL's Honorary Knight!

From Japan, Toru san is our most senior cyclist and is an inspiration to so many with his cycling strength and dedication to KIWL's cause.

Ai Faithy-Perez
Ai Faithy-Perez
Chief Brownie Baker

An ever-present in the KIWL 500 since 2016, Ai-chan has saved many a man's blushes with her delicious energy-infused Brownies!

Egon Boettcher
Egon Boettcher
Cycle Route Master & Exhibitionist

From New Zealand, Egon has done every KIWL 500km ride since 2015 and is our Route Master. That is how he gets away with this suit!

Mike the Mechanic
Mike the Mechanic
Group Leader & Mechanic

Mike is from the UK but has lived in Japan for many years. He runs the Half Fast Cycling Group and is relatively new to the KIWL family.