Circle of Cycling Friends
Ring-Tomo!
#05 Akikazu Yamashita

Connecting people who enjoy rides. This time, introduced by Kenichi Kawamura, the founder of CYCLING JAPAN, our “Ring-Tomo” is Akikazu Yamashita. Alongside modeling for outdoor magazines and commercials, Yamashita organizes an event called Bike & Camp due to his passion for cycling. Nearly commuting exclusively by bike, we had a chat with Yamashita about his cycling experiences.

Table of Contents

 Profile
 1. What’s your beloved bicycle?
 2. What’s your favorite cycling route?
 3. The most recent ride event you participated in and your thoughts about it?
 4. The ride event you’d like to participate in next and why?
 5. The most memorable moment in your cycling life?
 6. Your favorite cycling gear and why
 7. What does cycling mean to you?
 Introduction of the next guest.

Profile

Name Akikazu Yamashita
Job Model and travel writer
Hobbies Traveling and weight training
Cycling Experienses 22 years
SNS Instagram @travel_akikazoo

1. What’s your beloved bicycle?

Cannondale’s Topstone.
Despite its high design appeal and inclusion of disc brakes, it’s surprisingly affordable. I’ve been riding it for about three years and I really like the blue color.

2. What’s your favorite cycling route?

From home to the riverbank in Futakotamagawa.
We call it the Hobby Trail. We gather with fellow cycling enthusiasts on the riverbank, cook, have lunch, and show off our bike gears, all while having a good laugh.

3. The most recent ride event you participated in and your thoughts about it?

“SEA TO SUMMIT” held in August 2022 at Asahidake, Hokkaido.
It’s an event featuring a triathlon-like course where participants cycle 15km, kayak 5km, and trek 2km, all powered by human effort. The location in Hokkaido adds to the appeal, as traversing through nature is quite enjoyable. Experiencing the undulations and elevation changes that Google Maps can’t convey while engaging in sports is simply fantastic.

4. The ride event you’d like to participate in next and why?

“Bike Roar,” a cyclocross race.
Held in various locations such as Tsuchiura in Ibaraki Prefecture, Akigase in Saitama Prefecture, and Hakushu in Nagano Prefecture. It’s a fun-filled ride event combining costumes and entertainment with cyclocross, where participants tackle diverse terrain including steep slopes, mountain paths, and gravel roads.

5. The most memorable moment in your cycling life?

It’s a six-month cycling journey through South America since 2011. Starting from Mexico, crossing borders by bike through 11 countries including Guatemala and Peru, with the goal set for Buenos Aires, Argentina.
I’ve always been interested in Latin American culture and studied Spanish in university, dreaming of living abroad and speaking Spanish someday. After graduation, I immediately started modeling, which delayed my travel plans. But in my early thirties, I decided to take the leap and embark on this adventurous journey. Influenced by Yusuke Ishida’s book “Can You Die Without Going? 95,000 km Solo Cycling Journey Around the World” (published by Gentosha), I finally made up my mind to set off on this daring bicycle trip.

If there was accommodation available, I stayed there, but since I was prepared for camping, I carried all the necessary gear strapped to my bike. So, there were many nights like that, haha. Along the way, I was attacked by robbers and suffered fractures, and I had numerous punctures, so it was tough at times. However, the sense of fulfillment from encountering kind people and experiencing the charm of the places, including the hardships, outweighs the difficulties. Above all, I was amazed that the roads I had seen on the map were actually connected.

6. Your favorite cycling gear and why

Ostrich’s pannier bags.
They hold about 55kg, which feels like more than similar products from other companies. I’ve been using them for a long time, sewing and repairing them as needed, and I really cherish them.

7. What does cycling mean to you?

The vehicle of travel.
Isn’t cycling the most enjoyable way to travel? Unlike cars, bicycles help you discover things you might otherwise miss, and they’re the best way to explore the less touristy areas.

🚴‍♂️Introduction of the next guest.

Mr. Yamashita, who traveled through the mountains of South America by bicycle at a time when the widespread use of smartphones wasn’t a given. After returning home, he resumed his modeling career, which continues to this day. The “Ring-Tomo” introduced by him is…

Miho Ishigaki / Model

Introduced by Mr. Akikazu Yamashita ↓
“We met during a photoshoot for the magazine ‘Cycle Sports.’ Not only does she have impeccable style, but she also genuinely enjoys cycling, which always inspires me. We share the commonality of being professionals who move our bodies and communicate with others, as she also works as a cycling instructor. I hope to have the opportunity to work together in a modeling shoot someday!”




Please look forward to the next time as well!

🚴‍♂️Here are all the Ring-Tomo members🚴‍♂️

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