Alone is fine, but it’s a different fun when you run with friends

Once you have purchased a bicycle that suits your riding location and purpose, let’s get started. It’s good to go out alone, but there’s a different kind of fun when you run with friends. We visited bicycle circles in various parts of Gunma prefecture.

A weekday in mid-June. Under the blue sky, members of the cycling circle “Gurupota” were running along the cycling road of Tamamura Tobu Sports Park along the Tone River.

The circle was founded in 2021 by representative Junya Minegishi, 36, of Takasaki City, who said, “We want people with the same interests to get together, not a cycling team that competes in competitions.” Currently, about 15 men and women in their 20s to 60s from inside and outside the prefecture belong, and people who want to go mainly on weekends gather and run to restaurants in the prefecture.

Ms. Minegishi said, “Through cycling, I’ve developed friendships.” Regarding the benefits of riding with a group of people, she said, “Since we’re all working toward the same goal, we can sometimes overcome difficult slopes. We can help each other at times,” he said.

Fun regardless of age or leg strength

Some of the members of the circle participate in competitions such as hill climbs, but the feature is that there are many beginners. Yukari Koibuchi, 52, from Annaka City, started her bicycle about three years ago in order to relieve her lack of exercise. She bought a “gravel bike” suitable for long distance riding and joined the circle. She said, “It’s good for your health, and being able to see the scenery of various places is one of my pleasures,” she said. Thank you for your support,” she says. …

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