As monsoon season began to express itself in its simplest form, cyclists gathered in the remote village of Toyota to indulge in food and tough hills. For the first time, the Gourmet Century was held in Japan with Circles’ help.
Eager attendees arrived at the crack of dawn, not wanting to be late to this much anticipated event, which had sold out in a record thirty minutes. Shinya Tanaka was the prominent figure behind the scenes, having formed a formidable relationship with the Chris King crew through his internationally renowned cycling community in Nagoya.
At 7:30 am, the smell of croissants and pressed coffee wafted through the dewy air to groans of empty stomachs. As riders finished their early morning buffet, the atmosphere began to bubble as they geared up for the road ahead.
The group set off on the first, and what would be the toughest stretch of the course: a constant climb of 3000 feet. Whether participating alone or with a group, the Century is not a competitive event, though participants did compete over how early they had had to wake up to arrive on time. In the case of the Gourmet Century, the event simply brings together people with common interests of food and bicycles, enabling people to foster new relationships or strengthen pre-existing ones. At the end of the day, cycling is the only winner.