The Grinduro gravel party is reaching out to a new part of the world with Grinduro Japan set to kick off this autumn. The inaugural Japanese mixed-surface riding, racing & partying event hits the ground running October 11-13, 2019 in the Shin-Etsu Madarao highlands, spanning northern Nagano & Niigita prefectures. We’d seen that date on the calendar for a while, put now registration is about to start, so it’s time to secure a spot, dust off your passport & plan some fall travel….
Grinduro Japan hit gravel in the East Asian island nation
With beautiful lakes, rivers & hot springs, the area is said to come alive in the fall as the old growth beech & oak forests turn red & gold, and snow returns at high elevation. Grinduro says, “the unique feel of Japan pervades its forest single track and rural gravel roads”.
And of course being a gravel event, they single out local sake breweries as key elements of the area’s culture.
The Japanese leg of the Grinduro world tour is being hosted by Salsa bikes, and will include the usual mix of gravel road & mountain bike enduro style racing. The track is set to be about 80km of one big loop mixing asphalt, gravel & singletrack and over 2000m of climbing, with four timed segments along the way where the serious racing goes down.
Or if you have (or plan on having) too many sakes, you can skip the competitive ness for a 40km route with half the climbing and more time for partying. Organizers say to remember that “the mountains are steep, the gravel, is rough, and the trails are tough!” Sounds good, right?
Three hundred and fifty spots for the event go on sale internationally at noon on Saturday, Japan time – which is 5am Saturday in Europe, 11pm on Friday, July 26 in Washington, D.C. & 8pm Friday in Los Angeles. It’ll cost you ¥28,000 (~$260/230€) for the race entry, race food, and a camping spot for the 3-day shindig.
If you are actually already in Japan, there’ll be a pre-sale in Tokyo on Friday at the Giro Studio Tokyo shop. Past Grinduro events have tended to sell out fast, so think about whether you can swing the travel, then hit that register button!