My utopian vision of the ILC and surroundings involves researchers zipping around on bike paths. According to various surveys, it seems a good portion of you do expect to spend time on bicycles at least to get around, and possibly during your off-time for fun. This is the article for you!

Quick break while cycling

Enter Malcome Larcens. Malcome is originally from Quebec and has been resident to Hanamaki, Iwate for the past 13 years. He’s an avid cyclist who, for the past four years, has personally planned the “Sea to Sea” cycling event, which takes participants on a 220 km ride from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the Sea of Japan. This article will focus on cycling and won’t do justice to all the other things Malcome is doing: look out for a profile on Malcome in People of Iwate!

Malcome Larcens

Hi Malcome! Where in Iwate do you recommend for cycling?

Well, my favorite is Tono. Depending on where you start, from Hanamaki and back is about 95 kilometers.

If you want a flat ride, you can go north-south. I recommend side roads like number 14 on the east side of the Kitakami river.

See route on Google maps

On the other side is Route 37. It’s close to the mountainside so there are more hills, but it’s beautiful.

See route on Google maps

What kind of events have you participated in here? A few hill climbs, and I went twice to the Tour de Sanriku in Rikuzentakata. And of course the Kitakami Geto Hill Climb, Otsuchi Shinyama Hill Climb. Mostly I don’t like competition; I like to just see the countryside.

And, of course, I like to talk about my event.

Yes! Please tell us about “Sea to Sea.”

This year was the fourth annual Sea to Sea event. In Canada, where I’m from, we have “Sea to Sea,” but if you do it by car, it takes three weeks, and by bicycle it takes two months. In Japan, we can do it in one day, from the Pacific to the Sea of Japan. It’s hard, but it’s possible. So that’s why I started it.

See route on Google maps

The first year it was just me. I asked many people and they said “No, it’s too hard, it’s too long.” One of my friends came to assist and give me a ride back, but we had a communication problem. I sent him many messages as to where I was but he didn’t get any messages until later. A little bit disappointing, because I was getting hungry and thirsty, but he didn’t get the messages.

Out on the road

The second time and third time had four participants. This year, ten people participated. Half the riders were women. The youngest was 15, and the oldest was 66. This year was the first time we’d split it into about 50 kilometer sections, so people could ride part of the route. Lastly, I think, in order to attract more people next year we’ll make a two day event: from Kamaishi to Hanamaki, rest and have a barbeque, and then from Hanamaki to Yurihonjo the next day.

Sea to Sea 2018

Some ILC researchers want to use public transportation or cycling to get to work. Do you think cycling is a feasible way to commute here?

Most of the year, yes. There’s only about two months where it’s really snowy. The rest of the time there’s not much snow.

In many places, public transportation is limited. Of course between the cities is fine, but one you go away from there, you’re probably going to need something. So you might want to do a combination, maybe train and then bicycle.

Check out Malcome’s articles on Japan Travel and keep an eye on the Sea to Sea page for information on next year’s event!

By a glow-in-the-dark mural in Hanamaki





ということで、そこで今回は、花巻市在住のラーセンズマルコムさんにインタビューしました! マルコムさんはカナダのケベック州出身で、花巻市に13年間住んでいます。サイクリングに熱心で「Sea to Sea」という、太平洋から日本海まで220キロもの距離を自転車で走って、北東北を横断するイベントを毎年企画しています。本記事はサイクリングを中心にしたものですが、マルコムさんは他にも様々な活動をしている大変面白い人物で、People of Iwateでもっと広く紹介されます。お楽しみに!


アンナ: マルコムさん、よろしくお願いします! 岩手県内のおすすめコースはどこですか?

マルコム: そうですね、遠野市までのコースがお気に入りです。どこからスタートするかによってですがよりますが、花巻市からだと往復はだいたい95キロです。




アンナ: 色々なサイクリングイベントにも参加しましたか?

マルコム: そうですね、。きたかみ夏油ヒルクライム、おおつち新山高原ヒルクライムなど、ヒルクライムは何回か参加しました。: きたかみ夏油ヒルクライム、おおつち新山高原ヒルクライム。陸前高田市で開催されるツールデ三陸にも2回参加しました。あまり競走は好きではないですけど。く、風景を見てみたい派走りたいタイプです。

アンナ: そうです! ぜひ「Sea to Sea」について聞かせてください。

マルコム: 今年の海の日に、4回目の「Sea to Sea」イベントを開催しました。カナダでも「Sea to Sea」、つまりカナダを横断して海から海へ旅する企画のがありますが、車ですと3週間も、自転車なら2ヶ月もかかります。でも、日本では、1日で横断できます。なかなかハードですが、可能です。それで企画しようと思っていました。







マルコム: 真冬でなければできると思います。雪が本当に多いのは2ヶ月間ぐらいで、それ以外の季節なら大丈夫でしょう。
また、岩手は公共共通がで行ける範囲が限定されているところが多い。町から町への移動は全然問題ないですが、町から離れると別の手段が必要になるので、電車 + 自転車の 組み合わせになるではないかと思います。

マルコムさん、ありがとうございました! ぜひ、Japan Travel でマルコムさんが書いている記事をみてください。そして、来年のSea to Seaに興味がある方は、専用フェイスブックグループをご覧ください。