We successfully completed our 9TH annual charity ride, 500kms over 4 days from Tokyo to Kanazawa via Karuizawa, Hakuba and Toyama. Blessed with wonderful weather and favourable winds on the coast, it was one of the nicest rides KIWL have done.
The 38-strong peloton included men and women from 13 countries, ranging in age from 23 to 62, and all were the fortunate recipients of the Oakley range of glasses, KIWL’s prime sponsor in 2022. Riding in support of YouMeWe, our chosen charity dedicated to the digital education of children living in institutional care, the group left Tokyo early on Thursday June 9th under ominous clouds for the first 150km stage to Karuizawa which included a 184-bend climb up to the beautiful mountain town! A few tired faces could be seen at the top!
Day 2 took the riders 133kms to Hakuba which included two climbs of 20kms through breathtaking mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes. Again, the weather Gods smiled on us on the third day of 130kms as we descended to the Sea of Japan coast through some challenging tunnels, but a tailwind helped us sail comfortably to Toyama. The final 90km day to Kanazawa was flat but included a panoramic Sky Walk and a little venture into bear country!
Apart from the elation of completing a challenging ride, the emotion of coming to the finishing line, greeted by the kids from a local care home waving flags of all the countries involved, was a memory we will always hold dear. Each rider received a certificate of appreciation from the children, and KIWL's legendary celebration dinner party followed! At the time of writing, KIWL has raised over Y14 million this year alone, with more than Y2 million raised just over the 4 days of the ride.