Naruto-Minami Awaji Whirlpools Fan Ride

Naruto Minami Awaji

The Naruto-Minami Awaji Whirlpools Fan Ride is a couple of courses, one 65km and another 120km, to be run on March 18. The Naruto Whirlpools are found in the Naruto strait between Shikoku and Awaji in the Seto inland sea. Onaruto bridge offers an overhead view of the whirlpools to pedestrians.

The ride is at the opposite end of Shikoku from the Shimanami Kaido, and it’s scheduled within a week of when we’re planning that. So this is something I’ll consider another time, possibly next year.

Announcement at Sports Entry, including registration information.

Event information at Hochi, including YouTube promotional video.

Shimanami Kaido

Shimanami Kaido is a route bridging the islands between Hiroshima and Shikoku in Japan’s Inland Sea. It’s also a very popular cycling route for beginners on up, with cycle rentals and cyclist-friendly stops all along the route, as well as ferries between various islands. With the quality rental bikes available, you don’t even need to worry about how to transport your bike to the start of the ride and back.

Shimanami Kaido
Shimanami Kaido, via Japan Guide

I’ve spoken (well, mailed) with Fearless Leader Joe and L2P and Biwako veteran Sanborn, and it sounds like we’re on for the last week of March. We’re waiting to firm up the dates, but we’ll be looking at options to extend this 70km ride into a two-day outing. We could include some of the outer perimeter loops and overnight along the way, or we could ride out and back (rather than taking the ferry back at the end of the first day).


As this is a popular route there are a lot of resources. We’ll start with Shimanami Cycle’s Setouchi Shimanami Kaido course as well as the good general info site Enjoy cycling on the Shimanami Kaido!. There’s also the Shimanami Kaido Tourist Information from Go Shimanami, and Japan Guide’s Shimanami Kaido page.

One alternative to consider to Shimanami Cycle’s rentals is the local Giant outlet’s offerings — a bit more expensive, but some real quality bikes here.

Beaumont to tackle hour record on penny farthing

Mark Beaumont on a penny farthing

Mark Beaumont, just back from a blistering 78-day round-the-world ride, has set his sights on the hour record on a penny farthing, The Scottish Sun reports. The current record of 23.5 miles was set by Frederick J. Osmond in 1891.

While Mark admits he gets some funny looks when training around the parks of Edinburgh, ultimately he said this latest challenge is “just me and my mates wanting to do something eccentric and daft.”

Mark will take on the record in June at Herne Hill Velodrome in Surrey.

Mark Beaumont and his penny farthing
Mark Beaumont and his penny farthing

I’m really sorry that you can’t be here

Alee in Patagonia

Alee of, previously featured here, has released Episode 1 of his tour CyclingAbout the Americas. Make sure to watch the tour of the bus shelter, and marvel at the winds that hold our intrepid rider down to a mere 5km/h of progress … nay, even force him to walk!

Despite the massive winds, and repeated vows that if he ever does ride Patagonia again it will be in the opposite direction, Alee shares some amazing scenery. We’re glad that, given his goal of riding the length of the Americas from bottom to top in two years, Alee has left himself leeway to explore these wonderful natural vistas.

Ready Spready Go

We’re planning on reaching Scotland in late June or early July, so we probably won’t need to consult Transport Scotland’s Trunk Road Gritter Tracker. However, I’m not quite willing to leave this to chance, so I’m saving the link here.

Scotland Trunk Road Gritter Tracker
Scotland Trunk Road Gritter Tracker

Many of the gritters have been assigned names by schoolchildren, and the tracker allows you to search for these. Select “Vehicle Name” from the drop-down, and find such favorites as Sir Salter Scott and Gritty Gritty Bang Bang.

As inventive as Scotland’s schoolchildren are, they weren’t quite a match for the residents of Doncaster, a bit to the south:

lejog in 4 days

The Hogmanay LEJOG team have made it! We’ll let a trio of tweets speak for themselves:

Hogmanay LEJOG

Jenny, Huw and Emily are on track to arrive in time for the Hogmanay New Year’s festival in Scotland, having ridden nearly 1,000 miles in four days. Meanwhile, they’ve raised more than £2,300 for the homeless.

From the looks of things, they’ve had to battle a real storm to make their goal as well.

You can follow their progress here, or follow the hashtag #hogmanayLEJOG on Twitter.

Jenny, Huw and Emily on #hogmanayLEJOG
Jenny, Huw and Emily (and friend) on #hogmanayLEJOG

The story of their ride and their fundraising goal can be found here.