Trip of the Year

5th Olympic Expedition from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo

BaltiCCycle 2020 (March 2 April 7) and its continuation BaltiCCycle 2021 (March 27July 27)

In circumstances of coronavirus we had to stop it on the Brazil border on April 7, 2020. The Olympic Games were shifted to 2021. Therefore we have made the decision to shift the Olympic Ride to 2021, starting it from the point where it was stopped – from the Iguazu Falls. We will continue cycling to celebrate the opening ceremony of Olympic Games in 2021!

Despite of our big will to continue the expedition according to the previously announced schedule, the situation with COVID-19 doesn’t allow us to give optimistic promises. Still all countries along our route are under strict lockdowns, and nobody can tell when the borders will be opened for travellers. On the other hand, started vaccination campaigns let us think more positively about future travels.

In this context, we would like to announce the following:

  1. The date of expedition start in South America will be shifted according to a scrolled schedule depending on the date of reopening Argentina. The route maybe revised and adopted to new dates. We will announce the new schedule at least 3 weeks before the ride starts. There is no registration discount deadline for this part of the route, you can join at any time at any point.
  2. The ride in Hawaii will happen if the Big Island opens for tourism not later than the first week of May.
  3. At the moment the route schedule in Japan remains like it is. We hope the Olympic country will be opened in time for us.

under the honorary patronage
the Polish Olympic Committee

Keeping the BaltiCCycle Olympic tradition alive we invite you again to connect by bicycle wheels the two Olympic capitals: Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. We finish on the day of opening the Olympic Games.

An astounding natural wander – the Iguazu Falls – is surrounded by the Brazil and Argentina National Parks, we will visit both of them.

After Iguazu Falls we will enter Paraguay, and cycling the rolling terrain of Paranena region will arrive to the capital city of Asunción. From here we will take a two-day trip on a cargo boat up the Paraguay River – “big mirror of waters” in the native Guaraní language. It will bring us to the sparsely populated plains of Chaco. Cycling here we will have an opportunity to meet people of Mennonites colonies and indigenous communities. After crossing Chaco, we will find ourselves in the pleasant streets of Bolivian town Villamontes at the Andean foothills. Going south we will reach Salta, the northwest province of Argentina, surrounded by mountains, valleys and vineyards, and its beautiful colonial town called Salta la Linda (“Salta the Pretty”) with imprint of Spanish and Andean cultures.

The next part of our route through South America will go parallel to the Andes joining the longest National Route of Argentina – Ruta 40, stretching from Bolivian border in the North to Patagonia in the South. Spectacular valleys, stunning gorges, impressive colours of rock walls will rejoice us all the way. We will have a chance to see the highest peak of South America – Aconcagua 6962 m – before crossing the Andes at the Paso Internacional Los Libertadores and cycling down to the Pacific Ocean in Chile. We will finish the continental part of Olympic ride at the Jewel of Pacific – Valparaiso – the Seaport and the World Heritage city.

If you look at the map of Pacific you will see that the Hawaii Archipelago is on the line connecting South America with the Japanese Archipelago. Hawaii is the most remote island chain in the world, and we decided to visit it on our route to Japan, anyway no direct flight from Santiago to Japan, we must make a stopover. Among six major islands we have chosen the Big Island of Hawaii with the highest and most active volcanoes, and will circle around it enjoying gorgeous beaches and tropical climate. We will have a chance to cycle up to the summit of Mauna Kea volcano at 4200 m, which is one of the most challenging cycling climbs. We will stay two days at the Volcanoes National Park exploring top attractions on lava fields and crater rim trails.

From Hawaii we will fly to Hokkaido, the second largest island of Japan. In 2012 Olympic expedition we have cycled to Tokyo from the South, this time our route will join the north end of Japan with Tokyo. Hokkaido is called the cycling heaven of Japan. Rolling green hills and farmlands, winding seaside roads, unspoiled national parks with mysterious lakes, volcanoes, and natural hot springs (onsens). We will start cycling from the northernmost city of Japan – Wakkanai and will head at first to the easternmost Nemuro City. Cycling through the Shiretoko Pass and the Cape Nosapu we will take a close look to the southern Kuril Islands – Northern Territory to Japan, occupied by Russia. Further our route will go west crossing the island and visiting the Olympic town of Sapporo. The route in Hokkaido will end at the charming port city of Hakodate from where we will take a ferry across Tsugaru Strait to the largest island of Japan – Honshu.

The route in Honshu we mostly prepared following the recommendations of the Japan Cycling Navigator. We will cycle through scenic Tohoku region from North to South while entering Tokyo area. This region suffered by the earthquake and tsunami causing Fukushima nuclear accident on March 11, 2011. We will complete the ride in Tokyo on the eve of opening Olympic Games cycling from Rio de Janeiro over 9000 km. We are working on details of the route trying to include most interesting sights. The draft route you will find in Program section which is to be updated regularly. You will find the UNESCO World Heritage Sites on our route – here.

Join us for a month, a week, a day or for a whole route! See you on the road!

Ride coordinators: Sigitas Kučas (Lithuania), bc2020@bicycle.lt, +370 686 59 375 Maryla Zielińska (Poland), bc2021@bicycle.pl, +48 663 266 553