Take a Detour

The aim of the project was to send a bicycle-based artist to ride the Japanese Odyssey and produce work based on their experience that encourages us to take a detour. That artist, James Robertson, has now published his series of medium format photographs with words and they are lovely.

So is the Art of Bicycle Travel. It reminds of the early days here at Bike Hugger. And, impeccably timed, I’ve been shooting with medium format cameras in the nooks and crannies of Seattle. Mark V toured Japan too and don’t miss Cycle Around Japan from NHK.

The Japanese Odyssey is an unsupported bicycle journey across Japan, through 12 checkpoints. It allows riders to choose their own path, deep into dense forests, hidden country roads, and through neon cities. As an endurance cycling event with no winner, exploration is the emphasis and riders have just 10 days to complete the 2,600km route.

James’ travel log reports each day and his observations like

On a bicycle, you see everything.

The film camera requires a slower, more formal approach. this in turn gets me off the bike and really forces me to decide what images to make.

James and I have so much in common…I’ve written the same about film. Here’s his bike, a Ritchey Outback equipped with Apidura and he’s wearing 7Mesh kit.

I strongly believe you should get out on your own adventures and with gear being so good these days, there’s nothing stopping you. Just the motivation to put in that many miles.

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