The
hokkaido adventure

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Day 1

You'll arrive at the hotel and get your bike ready for the first day tomorrow. There's a briefing in the evening and a chance to get to know the other participants. The excitement builds!

Day 2

100km

SapporoTakikawa

You'll leave busy Sapporo behind and plunge into the lush green-pastured countryside and idyllic lakes. There are a few gentle climbs today, but it's a stunning day in the island's hinterland. We saw a friendly little fox last time we were here! 

 

Elevation:+ 720 / - 714 m

Don't be startled: the scale of the elevation profile above only ranges from 3-259m! To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 3

101km

TakikawaLake Shumarinai

The farmland today includes the largest buckwheat fields in the country, which is the ley ingredient to the local delicacy of soba noodles. Lake Shumarinai, near where you'll spend the night, is Japan's largest man-made lake, although it's so beautuful that you wouldn't realise it's not naturally made!

 

Elevation:+ 865 / - 635 m

Don't be startled: the scale of the elevation profile above only ranges from 0-350m! To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 4

105km

Lake ShumarinaiUtanorobi

Passing Bifuka is notable because this is the northernmost place of rice cultivation in the whole of Japan! The route now becomes extremely remote - you won't see many people today! At the end of the day, time for a well-earned onsen session!

 

Elevation: 1096 / - 1253 m

Don't be startled: the scale of the elevation profile above only ranges from 0-400m! To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 5

70km

UtanoboriHamatonbetsu

A shorter day today, and when you reach the destination, you will be able to soak your aches away in an onsen...it may even be possible to arrange an outing to  try your hand at panning for gold!

 

Elevation:+ 373 / - 466 m

Don't be startled: the scale of the elevation profile above only ranges from 0-160m! To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 6

92km

HamatonbetsuWakkanai via Cape Soya

You'll now head north up the ruggedly handsome North-East coast of Hokkaido, all the way to Cape Soya, Japan's northernmost point. If the weather's clear, you can even see Russia! No doubt some celebration photos will be taken next to the monument. Lastly, a final lap of glory around Soya Bay before finishing for celebratory beers in Wakkanai. What an achievement!

 

Elevation:+ 440 / - 447 m

Don't be startled: the scale of the elevation profile above only ranges from 0-90m! To view a larger size, right click on the image and select "Open Image In New Tab."

Day 7

Perhaps today you're heading back to Sapporo for a flight home, or maybe you're going to linger in this northern wonderland for a little longer. Perhaps you're even going to seize the opportunity and head on the ferry on up to Russia! Either way, you're heading on with a great deal of stories and pride. 

Info

When is the next edition?

This ride is only available to private groups. Get in touch and make it happen!

 

What is a Half Mad Dog Challenge?

The format and function is exactly the same as a full Mad Dog Challenge, however the daily distances are generally half that of a full challenge - approximately 75km to 110km for a day's ride rather than 150km to 210km. We usually take a slightly later breakfast compared to a full Mad Dog.  These challenges are great for those who are new to long distance adventure riding, although more seasoned cyclists will also enjoy a more relaxed cycling schedule, with potentially more time to stop and see things - or relax in the afternoon. Don't forget, if you run out of puff there's always the support van, although this will impact your certificate!

 

Are the details of this challenge set in stone?

Although the It's possible that the details of the itinerary are subject to change, the dates will not change and the distances will remain within the "Half Mad Dog" parameters.   

 

Can I pay a single supplement to guarantee my own room?

We are not permitting single supplements on this particular challenge however we do welcome single registration. You will need to share a room - this can be a great highlight of the trip, to have someone at the end of the day with whom to reflect on the day's adventures.

 

What is the terrain like?

Although Hokkaido is a mountainous place, there are not any drastic climbs on this challenge! Please email [email protected] for an elevation profile.

 

What type of bike should I bring?

The roads are excellent quality. A road bike would be ideal, although as always this is adventure cycling and if you're not good at watching the road for rougher spots, a fast tourer, hybrid or even a mountain bike may be better.

 

Where does the Challenge start?

In Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Hotel to be confirmed.

 

Where does the challenge finish?

Wakkanai, Hokkaido, Japan. Hotel to be confirmed.

 

How do I get to the start, and which flights should I book to get home?

Sapporo's New Chitose airport is well served, with direct flights, amongst other places to Beijing (Air China), Hong Kong (Cathay, Hong Kong Airlines), Taipei (China Airlines, TransAsia), Shanghai (China Eastern, Spring),    Seoul (Korean, Jin Air, T'way), Singapore (Singapore Airlines), Bangkok (Thai). It's also EXTREMELY well connected with other airports in Japan, including Tokyo. It would be perfectly convenient to fly through Tokyo.

Wakkanai's airport is connected to both Sapporo and Tokyo. It's very convenient to take the train from Wakkanai to Sapporo, which takes approx 5-6 hours and is very comfortable.

 

Do I need a Visa for Japan?

Citizens of most developed countries can visit Japan visa-free. If in doubt please contact your nearest Japanese embassy.