The rides were not about racing, but riding together in solidarity, avoiding impassable roads without ignoring the realities of the disaster-damaged region.
Last month the Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan was affected by one of the largest earthquakes in its recent history. Rapha Japan recently held a series of #rideforkumamoto rides across the country from Hiroshima down to Kumamoto, showcasing the region’s diverse scenery and topography. The same roads and microclimates that made the ride so gorgeous and intriguing have made disaster recovery difficult in the largely mountainous and rural region.
Elevation gains, detours, and partially abandoned agricultural land all made for unforgettable backdrops that also kept the real task at-hand in the forefront of participants’ minds. As residents and tourists alike flock to larger cities, regions like Kumamoto find themselves left behind in the public sphere and in population. The rides were not about racing, but riding together in solidarity, avoiding impassable roads without ignoring the realities of the disaster-damaged region. Terasu was along on the ride to capture the region’s beauty and tell the story of this simple, beautiful effort to raise money and awareness for the isolated area.