The cities of Higashikagawa and Sanuki played host to the "Tour de 103" cycling event earlier this month, with riders from Kagawa Prefecture and beyond soaking up the Tosan region's attractive sea and mountain scenery as they swept by on silver wheels.

Organized by a committee made up of local cycling enthusiasts and volunteers, the May 14 event was created with the aim of promoting tourism in the eastern region of the prefecture.

The 10th edition of the event this year was attended by 264 people from both inside and outside the prefecture aged between 9 and 76 years old.

Toramaru Park in Nishimura, Higashikagawa, was once again the starting point in the event that features two different courses.

Cyclists enjoy the ride in Sanuki. 

The longer course of about 103 kilometers weaves around Hiketa's Ado Pond, the Gomyo area in the mountains, and Ogushi Nature Park in Sanuki, while the shorter, roughly 70-km course runs through Higashikagawa and the eastern part of Sanuki.

Riders set off amid chilly, wet weather at 7:30 a.m. but were still able to enjoy panoramic views of the Seto Inland Sea, rural scenery, and tranquil woodland while pedaling along at their own pace.

Participants ate dishes such as wild boar minced meat on rice and hot udon noodles at a rest area along the course. At least 250 of the riders crossed the finish line.

"You have the sea and the mountains, and the scenery is rich in nature. The views were amazing," said Aki Nishimori, who hails from Takamatsu.

"There were people cheering along the route, which was great. It gave me power," she said with a smile.
Tetsuo Chiba, from Manno, said, "I enjoyed riding from start to finish. I definitely want to participate again next year."

To commemorate the 10th edition of the event, Kazuhiko Kanno, who won a bronze medal in wheelchair rugby at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and is aiming to compete in the 2024 Paris Paralympics in paracycling, took part in a 10-km tour of Higashikagawa with local children.

The Shikoku Shimbun

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