The Happy Trails Bike Club hits the Shiroishi Trail!
The Happy Trails Bike Club...
Hits The Shiroishi Trail
Text: Theodore Brennan & J.L. Pangier
Photos & Video: J.L. Pangier
As the 2022 Happy Trails Bicycle Club prepared themselves for their final challenge – the Dōminomori over-bike – seven riders (2 students and 2 staff) tested their endurance on a ride from HIS all the way to Kita-Hiroshima. They departed bright and early on the morning of September 10th, 2022 for a ride that would last for nearly seven hours — 60km in total.
The beginning of the ride was along familiar territory — the path running parallel to the Toyohira River. The bluebird morning came with a cool breeze and happy smiles. 10 kilometers up the river trail, the seven exited the first trail, taking to the roads for about 10 blocks, with a brief stop at a Lawson's to stock up on snacks and liquids to prepare for the remaining 50k.
Entering the main artery of the ride — The Shiroishi Trail (AKA Koko-road) — energies were still high for most, but as the town went by and the miles ticked off, the smiles began to shift. Following a diversion at one of the side-show adventure courses, the Shiroishi crew stopped to catch their breath, get a drink, and rest their legs and derrières at a rest stop located in the scenic, tree-tunnel part of the trail. The sun peaked through the trees as the dragonflies landed on their bikes, encouraging all to get back on their bikes and ride. The end of the trail awaited them.
Arriving in Kita-Hiroshima was a welcome sight for the eyes and the stomach, marking the lunch stop. With energy replenished, the seven set off to return. While some were propelled by good conversations, others needed the image of the promised break to keep the pedals spinning.
By the time they crossed the Olympic ring bridge a second time — about two-thirds there — most were in serious need of frozen relief. That came in the beautiful form of JB ice cream, as Mr. Pangier and Mr. Cooke can attest.
Recharged with ice cream, all got back on their saddles to head toward the HIS finish line. Arriving back at the school around 2:00 pm, each rider felt the dopamine hit that came with their long-trail accomplishment, as some moved one step closer to being prepared for the Dōminomori over-bike. Regardless of their future plans in the club, all left the day with a clearer understanding of how beautiful Hokkaido truly is — at the speed of bike.
For more information about the Happy Trails Bicycle Club, check out the seminal post: The Happy Trails Bicycle Club.
To get a glimpse of their Shiroishi adventure, check out the GoPro video here or at the official HIS YouTube Channel. Even better, share it with your friends and subscribe to see future videos.
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