It looked as if the most difficult portion of my segment was behind me. I reached the top of Mount Norikura in Japan, and joined Guillaume and Pascal Viout (#8) who headed, long minutes before me, for a warm and dry place.
Dark clouds covered the sky. And I knew for sure that the descent under that heavy rain would be more than challenging.
Torrents of water rushed on the road. Disc-brakes were unable to stop my engine. And I was left with little choice but to ruin my cleats on the asphalt.
From there I am unable to say if what followed is what really happened or if it is simply the figment of my imagination. But at one point I closed my eyes. And I saw snow flakes getting heavier, turning into golden pearls, and forming a snowstorm.
When I opened my eyes again, I was sitting on the street. Our 3 bikes were leaning on the window of a 7-Eleven konbini. We were gulping food.
All was silent.
With Guillaume when we started to imagine the Japanese Odyssey and to work on the event, we had in mind something wild. We were dreaming of an event with a high mileage. We were dreaming of an event exploring the wilderness of Japan.
The motto of the 2017 edition is: secondary, unnamed and untraveled roads.
As an inspiration, we would like, to quote one of Matsuo Bashō’s haiku:
Along this road
Goes no one,
This autumn eve.
Photos by Eigo Shimonjo
Words by Emmanuel Bastain