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The Happy Trails Bicycle Club
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Founded in 2022, the Happy Trails Bicycle Club members (age 13+) went on bike rides 1-2 times a week through the beautiful prefecture of Hokkaido.


The Happy Trails Bicycle Club

Words: Theodore Brennan

Photos & Videos: J.Pangier

The Club Channel!

As the pandemic winds down, we have opportunities to rediscover where we live, breathe fresh air again, and enjoy Hokkaido at the speed-of-bike. Starting in the fall of 2022, Mr. Pangier and Mr. Aseltine created the Happy Trails Bicycle Club (HTBC) because of their love for seeing Hokkaido's beautiful prefecture. They wanted to bring their passion for biking to students and share the joy and comradery that comes from biking. They both experienced long rides, and Mr. Pangier says he’s biked a century ride (100 miles / 160 kilometers) in one day. But he would not have been able to do this all of a sudden. He started with shorter rides, and the rides progressively became longer and longer. So, before the members of the Happy Trails Club went on their final overnight bike ride to Dōminomori (128 km there and back), they did shorter training rides just like how Mr. Pangier and Mr. Aseltine did — and just how most people do as their love for bicycling grows.

During the inaugural season of the HBTC, there were 5 regular training rides (around 20 km), and there were also 2 longer training rides (around 62 km) available for student and staff members that the HTBC biked. These rides help a lot. At the start of the season, when students heard the length of the final ride, they thought it was almost impossible to bike that far. Many even thought 20 km was impossible. But as the HTBC went on more and more practice rides, everyone became stronger and gained the ability to bike a longer distance.

Normal training rides occurred 1-2 times a week usually down the trail that runs along with the Toyohira river.

For the longer rides, one was a double trail, starting with the Toyohira River and shifting to the Shiroishi Kokoroad; and the second long ride went all the way other to Ishikari Bay. Articles on these long bike rides will be posted on the school website, along with a final post this year highlighting our overnight bike trip to Dōminomori. Make sure to come back to check our website soon!

When the season is right, the Happy Trails Club will make a return next year!

In the meantime, take a ride with the Happy Trails Bicycle Club through our immersive videos of four of this season's shorter readiness rides!


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