Vedangi profile at Malala Fund

Vedangi Kulkarni is training to become the youngest, fastest woman to circumnavigate the globe on a bike. And unlike Mark Beaumont, she’s planning on riding unsupported. Malala Fund has her story.

Things we didn’t know

“Vedangi began cycling after a severe head injury ended her football career.”

Vedangi riding a bicycle
Credit: Callum Howard / Vedangi Twitter

But a day into the actual ride, I dislocated my knee. I popped it back by myself, carried on and faced the consequences.

Vedangi previously on Guy Jean Bikes

Never too early to start planning a ride

Shimanami Kaido Cycling Route, Edge of Comfort

I finally started looking at possible routes, hotel stays and transportation for the Shimanami Kaido ride. We’d thought we had a five-day range to play with, but in the end it came down to a single weekend. And now we have a further complication in that Joe Lejog is recovering from a bike spill, so it’s all a bit iffy at this point.

We’ve hit a snag with my initial plan to spend two days riding from Onomichi to Imabari, taking in sights along the way, and then taking the ferry back to the start. The ferry from Imabari only goes as far as Habu (on Innoshima), not all the way back to Onomichi. There’s a bus from Habu to Onomichi. So this would be fine if we were all renting bikes — we could leave them at Onomichi. Or if we worked out a schedule that would allow us to ride back from Habu to Onomichi.

Shimanami Kaido Cycling Map, from Visit Hiroshima
Shimanami Kaido Cycling Map, from Visit Hiroshima

The alternative, then, is to ride straight out from Onomichi to Imabari and overnight there. I found what looks like ideal overnight accommodation for four cyclists, Cyclo no Ie (Cyclo House). We could book a room for the four of us at the price of a regular hotel room for one person. Unfortunately, when I contacted them via their helpfully bilingual inquiry page, it turned out they’re fully booked for the date in question.

Cyclist on the road
Keep pedaling

There’s a lot of uncertainty about our plans now, but we haven’t given up yet. There are other bike-friendly hotels, and there will be other dates if it comes to that.

Meanwhile, CNN has a great gallery of photos from the Shimanami Kaido route here.

The featured photo is from Shimanami Kaido Cycling Route: A Must for Active Adventure Seekers in Japan, a very comprehensive guide from Edge of Comfort.

Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnée

Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnée

The Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnée, or D2R2, is a series of dirt road rides in the hilltowns of Franklin County, Massachusetts, ranging from 19km to 180km. The ride has been organized as a fundraiser for the Franklin Land Trust since 2005, and runs on the “narrowest, oldest, twistiest, quietest, and most-scenic roads available.”

The ride philosophy is one of self-reliance. Riders must navigate the unmarked routes via cue sheets, and support vehicles are not permitted. Any punctures or other “mechanicals” must be dealt with by the riders (or their riding buddies) on the spot.

The next run is Aug. 18, 2018. More information is available here, and registration is here.

We’re not currently considering entering the ride (our tastes run more towards smooth pavement). Our attention was brought to it by the beautiful Jamie R.’s 650b light tourer from Chapman Cycles. Proud owner Jamie rode the D2R2 last year as a shake-down ride.

Jamie R.'s 650b light tourer
Jamie R.’s 650b light tourer