Detour: Risk Assessment at the Japanese Odyssey

Detour competition winner James Robertson documents his experiences riding the 2018 Japanese Odyssey. Take a step into the unknown through James’ lens, and appreciate the value of risk.

Reading time: Less than a minute


Detour is a collaboration between Apidura, 7mesh and Ritchey, made to send one artist to ride and document The Japanese Odyssey, a 2,600 km self-supported bikepacking adventure in Japan.

After first whittling applicants down to a shortlist, the Detour judges decided upon a winning entry: Unnamed Finishers by James Robertson, a photographer well known for his work documenting the Transcontinental Race.

“[Detour] is the perfect opportunity to take a more artistic, and less bicycle-focused approach,” said James in his application. “I’m interested less in the act of cycling and more in the way it forces you to interact with the country and environment you travel through. To travel by bike is to accept risk. It is a choice to move through the world in a different way.”

It was the parallels of risk that James drew between photography and bicycle travel that caught the judges eye, and made them sure that his portrayal of riding the Japanese Odyssey would make him a worthy winner.

‘Risk Assessment’, featured below, is the story of that ride. Be sure to view in full screen (by pressing ‘Open’), and step into the unknown through James’ lens.

Discover more about James’ Japanese Odyssey experience on the Ritchey website here.