The 1st Joetsu Bicycle Festival, an event in which cyclists ride up the Hikarigahara Plateau in Itakura-ku, Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture, will be held for the first time this July. Entries began on February 1.
The “Joetsu Bicycle Festival” will be held for the first time in July this year by local volunteers and bicycle enthusiasts, with the aim of attracting people to the town by touring the countryside in early summer by bicycle.
The event will last for two days, each with a different course. The first day, July 13 (Sat.), is the “Hill Climb” race, which takes participants up the 950-meter-high Hikarigahara Kogen Plateau in Itakura-ku, Tokyo. There are two distances to choose from: a full 17-kilometer race and a short 8-kilometer race. The maximum gradient is approximately 11%. Participants must be junior high school students or older.
The next day, Sunday the 14th, is the “Fun Ride Section. This event will tour the countryside in the four wards of Itakura, Kiyosato, Maki, and Nakago. There are three distances to choose from: a 90-kilometer long ride, a 60-kilometer middle ride, and a 20-kilometer short ride. Participants must be elementary school students or older.
The start for both divisions will be at the Itakura Ward General Office. According to the secretariat, aid stations will be set up along the course for the “Fun Ride” category, and curry and rice using Itakura-ku specialties and local ingredients will be served.
The secretariat says, “This is a course where you can enjoy the abundant nature of Joetsu. We hope that both parents and children will participate in this event, which can be enjoyed by beginners and advanced runners alike. Entries will be accepted from February 1 via the “Sports Entry” Internet site.