KIWL 500km Ride Report

KIWL has completed the 500km, 4-day ride from Nikko, Tochigi to Ichinoseki, Iwate! All the riders, volunteer drivers, and a photographer gathered at the starting line in Kinugawa-Onsen, Tochigi the day before departure. The riders were eager and excited as they prepared for the big day after being wished good luck by everyone.

Day 1: 0km – 140km
After splitting into 7 groups, riders departed Nikko early the next morning. They rode 140km from Tochigi and were able to safely reach the first checkpoint in Kitakata, Fukushima with 360km left to go!

Day 2: 140km – 250km
Despite the rain Day 2, the 110km ride was enjoyable for some, and also the toughest for others. In the evening, riders received a Skype call from the campers at the children’s home in Iwate, the final destination of the ride. Riders were encouraged by the children’s heartfelt “Good luck” wishes.

Day 3: 250km – 400km
Day 3 was the longest stretch for the riders – 150km! All groups arrived in Matsushima, Miyazaki without injury. Meanwhile, the campers prepared a welcome party for the riders and eagerly awaited their arrival the next day!

Day 4: 400km – 500km
All 37 riders safely completed the 500km ride!  They reached the children’s home in Ichinoseki where they were warmly welcomed by the campers who prepared handwritten thank you cards. For many of the campers, it was their first time writing English alphabets, but they put their heart into their writing. A 12-year-old camper gave a speech in English for the riders who, despite being very nervous, did a superb job. We are told by her proud care worker that this experience gave her great confidence.

We sincerely hope that, after seeing the campers’ smiling faces, the riders could see how much their hard work in fundraising and training paid off in the end. As this year is the last year Mirai no Mori will be partnered with KIWL, an autographed jersey and English teaching materials donated by World Family were presented to the children’s home. However, the greatest gift received was the support and care the riders show the campers.  To the riders who cycled through sun, rain, wind, fog, and treacherous paths,  Mirai no Mori would like to thank you for your tremendous efforts and we congratulate you for completing the ride. Thanks to you all, a total of ¥5 million was raised for Mirai no Mori Leader in Training program! We appreciate all you have done for us for the last 3 years!