The Finish Line and Beyond: Day 43

Update! We reached our donation goal! View the full write up at the bottom of this post.

Cape Soya Bike Salute

THE ACT OF STANDING at the monument on Japan’s northernmost tip is not overwhelmingly significant. Medium sized and fairly simple, the triangular stone statue marking the point of Cape Soya is not a highly coveted tourist destination. However, this is contingent upon how you arrive. If you pull up by bicycle, having pedaled 3,518km for 43 days from Japan’s opposite extreme point, then standing at this marker suddenly becomes very special. This was the case for us when we stood at the monument today.

Today, Day 43, we arrived at Cape Soya and completed our end-to-end cycling tour of Japan!

Ramen ShopWith a fixed focus on finishing the trip, we departed early from our generous ramen shop host and took the shop owner’s advice to head up the 106 which proved a profitable decision. This less-trafficked road skirted around the wetlands and also cut 10km off our route. Impossibly straight and flat, the pavement melted into the horizon as we cruised along at a good clip. At times I felt like I was cycling on a treadmill as the gorgeous coastal scenery never seemed to change as I pushed the pedals. Eventually, we finished the infinite marshy shoreline and hit a major milestone, Wakkanai, the northernmost town in Japan. Past Wakkanai, only the Cape remained.

Flatlands of Northern Hokkaido

Scott at the Coast

With 30km between us and completion of our goal, we rested briefly in the town so Dylan could pursue a very important side quest. With some encouragement from Scott and me, he decided to eat one waffle ice cream bar for every Seicomart convenience store we passed today on the way to Cape Soya. Up until Wakkanai, he was up to only four (which he ate all at once at this stop), but by the end of the ride, the total climbed to 10 ice creams! We documented him eating each one. I assure you that in each picture, Dylan is eating a different bar of ice cream.

Dylan Ice Cream 1 Dylan Ice Cream 2 Dylan Ice Cream 3 Dylan Ice Cream 4-5

Dylan Ice Cream 6 Dylan Ice Cream 7 Dylan Ice Cream 8 Dylan Ice Cream 9-10

From Wakkanai, it was a very windy trek out to the Cape. All in all, Hokkaido proved itself to be a worthy final challenge due mainly to the will-crushing cold gusts. Nonetheless, we pressed on toward our goal. With 5km left, the team broke our usual single file formation to ride three abreast (when cars weren’t coming), hooting, hollering, ringing our bells, and generally celebrating our approaching accomplishment.

The Cape was cold, but our spirits were so high that it didn’t matter. Together we walked up the steps of the monument and completed our trip. After a toast and proper speech-making, we posed for pictures and took a video to document the occasion.

The Team at Cape Soya

Cape Soya

Andrew at Cape Soya Water Dylan at Cape Soya Water Scott at Cape Soya Water

Nepalese Host HouseHaving cooled down, we bundled up and rode the chilly 30km back to town where we met up with our host for tonight and tomorrow night, Dambar. He is from Nepal, speaks five languages, and is in the process of earning a graduate degree in IT networking at Wakkanai university. To our delight, his other Nepalese friends came over, and we greatly enjoyed ending the evening swapping stories while eating delicious curry.

Tomorrow, we will take a welcome day of R&R here in Wakkanai; then, we head home. I will take a bus to Sapporo, fly back to Fukuoka, and meet up with Lori. Dylan plans to hitchhike back to Sapporo where he has a couchsurfing host until his flight to Canada. Scott will hitch with Dylan, fly out of Sapporo back to Nagoya, and then return to Boston.

Andrew at Cape Soya MonumentI think I can speak for myself, Dylan, and Scott that cycling the length of Japan was difficult but brought us together and will stand out in each of our lives as a major feat. Personally, this journey has shown me that doing big things is completely possible. The real challenge is daring dream big enough. Completing this trip has been a life-goal of mine for many years. It is deeply satisfying to have finished the trek, and with two of my best friends no less. Also, now I have some quality stories to regale my future grandkids with.

Thank you so much all of you who tuned in! Your comments and encouragement were a wonderful support to us as we cycled. I encourage you to set big goals for yourself. This trip was result of three average guys deciding they could bike Japan. We had never done anything like this before, but we knew we never would if we didn’t try. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. If we can cycle all of Japan, I know you’ve got what it takes to do something big too.

~Andrew

Rider Conditions:

Crash: Life Goal Complete!
Calves: Huzzah!
Spock: Really though, “What’s next?”

UPDATE: Donation Goal Exceeded! Thank You!

It is my pleasure to announce that through your generous support we have met and exceeded our fundraising goal for the earthquake and tsunami relief aid!  I wish to express my deep gratitude to all who have supported our bicycle trip and fundraising effort with prayers, donations, spreading the word, and following our blog. This trip has impacted me in a way in which I will never forget, and the team owes the success of it to all of you.

It is my pleasure to announce that through your generous support we have met and exceeded our $10,000 fundraising goal for the earthquake and tsunami relief aid! The total amount raised ended up being $13,902! I wish to express my deep gratitude to all who have supported our bicycle trip and fundraising effort with prayers, donations, spreading the word, and following our trip journal online. This trip has impacted me in a way in which I will never forget, and the team owes the success of it to all of you.

I can assure you that all of your donations have touched the Japanese people we met. So many wished to express their sincere thanks to us for giving them hope, and this thanks really should be extended to all of you who have supported our trip in one way or another. Please join us in the celebration of reaching Cape Soya and raising over $10,000 with a kampai! (Japanese toast!) wherever you are.

Finally, I would like to say to our parents and family, our friends back home, our new Japanese friends we met along the way, and our wonderful couchsurfing hosts, thank you. A special thank you to Tammy, for letting Andrew and me take Dylan from you for two months, and to Lori, for all your behind-the-scenes work on the web site and helping us prepare for the trip.

~Scott

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41 Responses to The Finish Line and Beyond: Day 43

  1. madeira bike rentals & tours September 10, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    What a fantastic bike trip!! You should try Madeira Island bike trips in fantastic nature surrounding, green lush valleys and mountains or simply walking on the “levadas”.

  2. Susie Todd December 9, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    Fabulous trip guys!!! It sounds like the end of the trip marks new life chapter for all of you.

  3. Kris June 23, 2011 at 4:35 am #

    Pretty awesome. Congrats!

  4. Chelsea June 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    Fantastic! Looks GREAT thanks for sharing your adventures!

    • Andrew June 22, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      Thanks for tuning in Chelsea! It was our pleasure :-)

  5. J.D. Gibbard May 29, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Fabulous trip guys!!! (And I haven’t even ride much of it yet but I know I will enjoy reading it.)

    In July I’ll be riding the Pacific Coast of Touhoku and volunteering at various towns along the way. The focus of my trip when reporting back home is how the disaster isn’t over once it drops off the front page of the newspaper. We need to set up ongoing donations to NGOs like the Red Cross and we shouldn’t direct our donation to a specific disaster but let the experts allocate funds where they will do the most good.Tsunami recovery still is incomplete in the Indian Ocean 6 1/2 years later. Japan’s recovery will also take many years.

    Unfortunately I can’t make a gorgeous website like yours but I will try to get some video clips up along the way.

    Cheers!

    • Andrew May 30, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      If you want to write an article for this website about your trip and also touch on the larger issues your brought up, I would be happy to post it. Fill out the form on the contact page if interested :-)

  6. PinkGloom May 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    I can’t believe it is over:( Seems like only yesterday I started reading this blog! Congrats on meeting both of your goals!!! Hard work is always rewarded.

    I hope to keep an eye out on the site and be amused with future stories and pictures. Thanks again for taking the time to post this online and allowing us to be apart of your grand adventure.

    Till next time!!! :D

    • Andrew May 29, 2011 at 8:53 am #

      Thanks for staying with us the whole trip! Although we are finished cycling Japan, this site will keep going strong. I hope you keep checking in daily!

  7. Beth May 28, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    Thanks so much for such a great job sharing your experience. Congratulations!

  8. Russ May 28, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    Scott, Andrew and Dylan — Way to go! Congratulations in completing this remarkable ride. We’re so proud and happy for you! It’s also gratifying to see that the tsunami relief effort also exceeded the goal.

    • Andrew May 29, 2011 at 9:17 am #

      Ya! It’s a little unreal right now, but we’re really excited also that both goals were reached! Thanks for following along the whole way!

  9. Ruth May 27, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Wootwooot! Congrats again guys! That was one hell of an adventure! So happy reading this haha, after following the blogs – happy for you three!

    And g’job in exceeding the expected donations and showing a side of Japan that is pretty much more intimate and relaxed than how the country is shown in most media.

    Kampai!!

    • Andrew May 29, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Thanks for following along Ruth! I hope you’ll keep up with the Unframed World after this as well :-)

      • Ruth May 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

        Yeah, definitely!! :D I’ll be sharing this to others as well :)

        • Andrew May 30, 2011 at 8:15 am #

          That’s super appreciated!

  10. Dave May 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Fantastic!
    おめでとう!

  11. Bobby May 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Congrats on making it guys! I really felt like I was along for the ride. A special thanks goes to Andrew for always seeming to have time to answer emails and posts no matter how rough his conditions on the road were. You’re a mad man bro! Your site is an inspiration to all who enjoy travel, photography and most of all, ADVENTURE! To Dylan and Scott…you guys kick ass. Making chilli over a bathroom sink is a sight I won’t ever forget! LOL

    KAMPAI !!!!!!!!

    • Andrew May 29, 2011 at 9:06 am #

      Cheers Bobby. I really appreciate your comments and support along the way. I hope you’ll continue to keep up with this site and maybe even consider submitting a guest post sometime.

  12. Jennie May 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    Congratulations!!! On both goals! So great!

    • Andrew May 29, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      Thanks for following along Jennie!

  13. Jun Ohashi May 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    You did it. Great!
    “OMEDETOU !!”

    • Andrew May 29, 2011 at 8:57 am #

      どもうありがとうございます!

  14. Andrew's dad May 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    WOW…. what an accomplishment. So awesome.

  15. John Allan May 27, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Congratulations!

  16. Doreen Theriault May 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Congratulations! Have a safe trip home.

  17. Perry May 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    This post gave me chills. I’m very excited to read about the goal-reaching, Congrats guys. It sounds like the end of the trip marks new life chapter for all of you. Sorry my place wasn’t along the way, I would have been happy to host you.

    • Andrew May 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      Thanks for tuning in Perry! Sorry we couldn:t get to you.

  18. Craig May 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Awesome. Good on you for riding the 30km back to town, I’d have been damn tempted take the bus. It’s been a brilliant ride, even for those of us in our armchairs.

    • Andrew May 27, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

      Thanks Craig! Really appreciate you following along and all the support!

  19. Lori May 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Yay!!! Great jobs guys! You made it! I’m so happy for you all =). What a great accomplishment!
    おめでとう!

    • Andrew May 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

      Thanks Lori! See you soon. ^_^

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