Silver Week?

Oct 15, 2010
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#1
Any big trips planned for the holidays in September? I think I can get from the 19th to the 24th off, and would love to say I rode nearly 1,000kms or something crazy like that. Top of my list is across Honshu (and back?) or to Kyoto or if no takers on the C2C, a couple of day trips to Chiba and Izu, or maybe the Minami Alps. Anyone have plans? :) I would prefer to go as cheap as - sleeping roadside or like that. If that is too crazy, and cheap accommodation is available, that would be okay too. At minimum one 300km trip or a couple 150km trips are in order. Because of bad weather and work, I hardly had any big trips this summer....
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
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Kanazawa
#2
Not sure which yet. Either a slow Noto loop from here (carefully avoiding the tour), or maybe car to Takayama for a couple nights and then attempt Norikura. (I'm off 17th to 25th.) Got a bunch of supplemental summer classes to do in the meantime... :eek:uch: Older daughter may be home the second weekend and I'd like to see her, too.
 

KayGKing

Warming-Up
Aug 26, 2011
19
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Tokyo
#3
Cheap touring is my thing. Roadside camping etc all the way. I would be interested in a coast to coast or possibly a down to kyoto (though I mentally had that one planned as a slowish trip some time in 2012, with time to take in everything, and climb mount fuji (on foot not on bike). However my term starts on the 12th of September (orientation week) so I reckon disappearing off on a mega cycle trip in my 2nd week might not be conducive to settling at University and making new friends etc, but if there is unstructured holiday time then I might well be interested.
 

JC2Cmark

Warming-Up
Aug 13, 2011
12
0
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Nagoya
www.japanC2C.com
#4
How about not only doing a coast to coast but raising money to help rebuild the Tohoku economy while you're at it? And the timing - Silver Week - is perfect. I'm one of the organizers of Japan Coast to Coast and we're doing a ride from Niigata City to Matsushima between Sept 19 and 23. We're still accepting registrations and you can sign up and find out more info on the website. The ¥65000 fee includes all minshuku accommodation, an Assos jersey, t-shirt, sunglasses and a bunch of other gear. We have a suggested fundraising target for participants, with all the money going to HOPE International Development Agncy relief projects, and although that might put some folks off, it's not only doable but adds a whole new sense of purpose to what is still a fun ride.

I wish I'd known about this forum earlier as I would have been drumming up support a lot sooner. We're based in Nagoya and we've had trouble getting people in Kanto involved, though we did have one guy come down from Tokyo for our Nagoya-Tsyuruga ride last autumn.

We were planning to repeat last year's inaugural ride, across the Japan Alps from Hamamatsu to Itoigawa, until the events of March 11 made us switch our focus to Tohoku. After the C2C ride we're hosting the first annual Tohoku Cycling Festival on the Ojika peninsula, Sept 23-25. That should be fun too and will be an effort to get the local people involved and in the saddle. We've been helping Cannondale distribute a whopping 300 new bikes in the region and some of those bikes are now in use in and around Ojika.

Anyway, I plan to post regularly on the forum now I've found it. So feel free to ask any questions about JapanC2C. Even if you decide the C2C ride isn't for you, I'd appreciate any feedback on what we're trying to get off the ground.

http://www.japanC2C.com
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#5
JC2Cmark, I know it is a good cause, and I was aware of your C2C ride previously through FB, but at that time it was 100,000 yen to join, with little stuff tossed in. Now the price has come down and I think a helmet is on the list of goodies offered as well, but I was looking to do a ride for free as my wife keeps me on a pretty skint allowance and I would need to save for half a year to join your ride. I have seen the sunglasses you are offering and I am sure it will be a blast. Just can't make it I am afraid. Thanks though.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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#7
I have to say 65,000 Yen makes this THE most expensive charity event on the cycling calendar if not THE most expensive event and to be honest I'm concerned at where the money is actually going especailly with the long list of sponsors that you have.

To be perfectly honest I think you will have a lot more take up if the cost came right down, with the entry fee being a straight off donation to the cause. All the goodies are either donated to the people effected or given away through auctioned or lottery to raise more funds and your sponsors cover the cost of organising the event.(thats how it normally works). The people entering are cyclists and have helmets, glasses and so on and I'm surethey would be just as happy with a t-shirt.

You need to understand that 65,000 JPY is pretty much 1/4 of the average monthly salary here in Japan and probably one of the reasons why you have very little take up.

Another reason for the low take up is the transportation costs. You pretty much have to add another 20,000 JPY to the participants costs for them to get home which now puts participantion at 85,000 JPY.

It's great that you are doing something and I totally appluad it, I know how difficult it is to organise these kind of events and especaily when trying to secure sponsorship.If you are open to discussions send me a PM as I may be able to help.
 

JC2Cmark

Warming-Up
Aug 13, 2011
12
0
0
Nagoya
www.japanC2C.com
#8
Thanks, FarEast, I appreciate the perspective and the candour! I've always fully believed in what we are trying to do with JC2C but I have occasionally had doubts about the details of how we've been doing it. One thing we could definitely improve on is getting more independent advice from those within the cycling community.

JC2C was born from two things - a love of cycling by those who came up with the idea, and a background in using "challenge" events for fundraising. Personally, I think the fundraising side of it creates a different kind of challenge aspect that has its own rewards, but it can be offputting to people unless you have a chance to explain it to them face-to-face. As this is the first time for us to really reach out beyond our Nagoya comfort zone, we should have focused a bit more on, for want of a better term, the "marketing" of the project. So to have a hefty participation fee and and fundraising goal is, as you say, perhaps a bit too much unless people really get the whole picture of what we're doing.

By the way, we do have some good sponsors but none of them are actually paying any sponsorship money into the events. It's just goods in kind or offered at a discount rate. Another area we can improve on.

I'll PM you when I get a moment. I look forward to hearing your ideas.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#9
JC2Cmark; I had a look at the fund-raising thing you are doing, and have the same concerns as FarEast.

65,000円 including "an Assos jersey, t-shirt, sunglasses and a bunch of other gear" seems a weird way to do things, especially as you mention that, "we do have some good sponsors but none of them are actually paying any sponsorship money into the events. It's just goods in kind or offered at a discount rate"

Being simplistic, why not just get rid of the goods. The ones that are not 100% free, would have their cost removed from the entry fee, and like FarEast says, auction / donate them all to raise even more money. Splitting the goods / activity into two separate entities would raise a lot more money overall.
 

JC2Cmark

Warming-Up
Aug 13, 2011
12
0
0
Nagoya
www.japanC2C.com
#10
OwenJames, in retrospect I personally would probably agree with you. The ¥30,000 or so worth of stuff that comes as part of the package could have been offered as an optional extra or, as you say, auctioned off at the end of the ride or at the festival that follows it. I don't know how much we're able to change at this point but the advice is appreciated and will be taken into consideration for future events.

All that said, and details aside, how much interest would you guys have in the general concept of using your cycling for to raise funds for a good cause? Putting it another way, if there was an event that was otherwise appealing to you, how offputting would it be to have a fundraising aspect to it?
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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#11
OwenJames, in retrospect I personally would probably agree with you. The ¥30,000 or so worth of stuff that comes as part of the package could have been offered as an optional extra or, as you say, auctioned off at the end of the ride or at the festival that follows it. I don't know how much we're able to change at this point but the advice is appreciated and will be taken into consideration for future events.

All that said, and details aside, how much interest would you guys have in the general concept of using your cycling for to raise funds for a good cause? Putting it another way, if there was an event that was otherwise appealing to you, how offputting would it be to have a fundraising aspect to it?
Ok to be perfectly blunt what this feels like is a cycling holiday in the guise of a charity event and to be honest once you look at the C2C site it comes across as being a little dodgy.

I’m paying 69,000 yen broken down 30,000 is basically paying for a goody bag while the other 39,000 is paying for the accommodation, food and support car. I’m then encouraged to raise another ¥200,000 for not just Tohoku but also an African Charity.

So already alarm bells are probably ringing in peoples ears once they join the dots.

I’m being pitched a charity ride for the victims of the Earthquake but actually the money is paying for the event and any monies I raise in the name of the Earthquake victims half is actually going to Africa.

Also it seems that the majority of your sponsors aren’t actually sponsoring the charities but the 5 day tour as part of a sales promotion.

So first of all I think most people want to know exactly how much of their cash is going to Earthquake victims and if this really is a charity event or a touring holiday with a charity side thrown in?

What I want from a charity ride:

  • At least 80% of my money going to the charity organization I have been pitched
  • Sponsors that are giving to support the charity and not their bottom lines
  • No bells or whistles, at-shirt is fine but anything else is non-sense and leaves me feeling guilty as to where the money has been spent

Actually if you want to see a great charity ride event take a look at the Tyler Foundation Shine On ride.

All the monetary side was out in the open so you knew straight away how much was going to the charity it was well organised. Brilliant event that has repeat riders and something I will certainly participate in next year!

Again I think what you are tryingto achieve is good but I think you really need to be alot more transparent
 

JC2Cmark

Warming-Up
Aug 13, 2011
12
0
0
Nagoya
www.japanC2C.com
#12
It's always good to get the perspective of an outsider because often you don't see glaring problems with something you've built yourself!

Transparency is something I very much believe in because without it money is as likely to destroy a good organization as build it. We are certainly not seeking to avoid transparency but I think we have been so used to dealing with people who know who and what we are that we have neglected to see ourselves from that outside perspective.

A big part of the reason that we have been successful in getting people from the Nagoya community to join and support us is that the foreign community here is very familiar with the work of HOPE International Development Agency, Japan. HOPE-JP's mandate up until March 11 was to raise money in Japan that is used for relief projects in southeast Asia and Africa. HOPE is a small organization that is widely recognized as having much lower relative overhead costs than the big name agencies. So after March 11, a lot of HOPE's friends and supporters wanted to give to Tohoku through an organization they knew and trusted. Within a couple of days HOPE was on the ground, delivering supplies and literally saving lives (as you probably remember the J-Gov's response was initially very slow to reach anywhere but the major centers).

In the past, HOPE has helped people organize "challenges" like climbing Mt. Fuji and so on, that allow people who want to support the organization's fundraising to do so in that way. Lowell Sheppard, HOPE's director and a good friend, is a keen cyclist who rode the length of Japan 11 years ago. From that time, a C2C ride had been a personal ambition of his (long story, it's on the site). And when he suggested the idea of a small group of us spending a week riding across the Japan Alps and using it to raise money for HOPE, the concept of JC2C was born.

It's all kind of a long story. But it probably is important that we make it more of a central aspect of our website that people know that background. Only now, as I write this, I realize that the link to the page that outlines this is broken!! Excuse me for a second while I fix that...:eek:
 

JC2Cmark

Warming-Up
Aug 13, 2011
12
0
0
Nagoya
www.japanC2C.com
#13
Sorry about that. Actually it wasn't the About Us page that was missing but the pages with the personal stories of the three founders, which were only really relevant to last year's Alps ride.

Anyway, the charity aspect of the Tohoku Coast to Coast is the fundraising that the individual riders do themselves, with our help. Those funds go 100% to HOPE. Any profits from the event fee go to help keep JC2C running as we're planning to incorporate it as a non-profit.

As I said, I'm all for transparency but I don't have any experience in running an organization of this type, so it's an ongoing learning experience for me. It is trickier than I realized to navigate as an organization that not only seeks to advocate Japan as a cycling destination but also serve as a charity fundraising platform, get actively involved in community rebuilding in Tohoku and organize fun cycling events. All while having a "real job" and a young family...

And as I also said, I do appreciate the honest feedback and will respond in kind.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#14
So basically I was right that this is a Touring holiday with riders encouraged to raise thier own funds and that none of the 69,000 yen they need to pay actually goes to any charity but to the organisers?
 

JC2Cmark

Warming-Up
Aug 13, 2011
12
0
0
Nagoya
www.japanC2C.com
#15
I'm not sure if we're arguing about what the event is or isn't, but as far as I remember we haven't referred to it as a charity event. But we do want people to understand (and I think it's made perfectly clear) that we expect them to raise funds which will be donated to charity.

A good portion of the event fee goes to minshukus in Tohoku, who could do with the support, small though it is. Most of the rest goes towards the support vehicle & driver and organizational costs.

If you can point out anywhere that you think we've written something that is disingenuous, please let me know.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#16
your whole wording is deceptive and makes this sound like it is soley a fundraising and charity event to help victims of the Earthquake, when in actual fact its a private business organising cycle touring holidays in Japan.

Thefirst thing you mention:

How about not only doing a coast to coast but raising money to help rebuild the Tohoku economy while you're at it?]
So the first thing the reader assumes is that this is a charity ride and lets face it, it was done deliberately as an attention seeker.

I wish I'd known about this forum earlier as I would have been drumming up support a lot sooner.?
Drumming up support, again not something you do as a business venture but as a charity organisation.

We've been helping Cannondale distribute a whopping 300 new bikes in the region and some of those bikes are now in use in and around Ojika.
Piggy backing on Cannondales own incentives, are Cannondale actually aware that you are using thier name and stating that they are part of Coast 2 Coast or are they working with Hope on a totally different project to this?

This is something I can check on as I work as a consultant for Japan second largest Cannondale retailer.

Then you have Tim Kendall acting as a spokes person again stating that HOPE as a charity is holding an event and both of your activities are listed.


All,
As some of you may know, HOPE International's Japan Office is commited to with fundraising to assist in helping victims of the Tohoku earthquake rebuild their lives. As part of the fundraising, they are holding a number of events.
9/19 - 9/23 Tohoku Coast 2 Coast Challenge
9/23 - 9/25 1st Annual Tohoku Cycling Festival


In addiiton, they are selling some great cycling shades. Please visit their HP at http://www.japanc2c.com/ for more details on the events, and how to purchase a pair of the glasses.

The guys at HOPE International and involved in C2C, are a great bunch of guys, and hope that some of you are able to contribute through buying a pair of trendy shades, or by participating in the event.

Please contact Lowell Sheppard directly through their webpage or Facebook

Cheers
Tim:bike::bike::bike:
Pretty deseptive and not once do you mention that as an organisation you will not be donating any funds to any of the charities mentioned so basically you are turning the profit under the impression that you are raising funds for victims of the March 11th earthquake...... that's pretty sick mate.

Finally your website lists a host of so called "sponsors" when in fact they aren't at all they are affiliated business partners and I'm wondering if David Marx is aware ofyour grey marketing tactics?

This is just my own honest opinion and again in our private messages you continued to let me beleive that you were running a charity ride not a private business again, deliberately misleading.

Also just for the record, as a private cycle tour company in Japan do you have a licence and do you provide a fully qualified 1st aider on the rides?
 

JC2Cmark

Warming-Up
Aug 13, 2011
12
0
0
Nagoya
www.japanC2C.com
#17
Wow, you turned nasty pretty quick. If you really believe your interpretation as you've described it above, you must think I'm pretty stupid to be stating everything I have in a place of public record. But if I don't reply, you'll assume it's a "gotcha" so I suppose I have to. You state more than once that I have tried to deliberately mislead you. I have not.

The first couple of points you called me on, you're making assumptions that are entirely subjective, and wrong.

Cannondale wanted to donate bikes to Tohoku, they needed someone to help with distribution, so we are now helping them with that. It's that simple. Mario Stein gets what we're doing.

David Marx, particularly as he is also in Nagoya and we know him personally, is fully aware of who and what we are. He was largely responsible for getting us a lot of the sponsorship. He also gets who and what we are.

Those are two people you presumably know and whose integrity you would not trash as easily as you have ours. Or are you suggesting they are also part of our conspiracy to deceive and defraud people?

I don't actually know Tim Kendall, though presumably one or both of the other guys do. I (and AFAIK we) don't "have him" doing anything. He also gets what we're doing and wants to support us. The point I will concede is that he, like some others, have blurred the line between HOPE and JC2C. In my previous posts I have tried to explain the relationship between the two.

You call us "sick" and strongly suggest that we are profiteering on the back of quake/tsunami victims. An apology would not be out of order. I strongly suggest that you do a bit more homework on what HOPE-JP has been doing in Tohoku before you make any further unfounded accusations.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#18
Yes I am making assumptions, I’m honestly confused at what Coast to Coast actually is, are you a charity or a cycle tour company?

That’s a very simply question that hasn't been answered. You've openly asked for opinions and I've given you mine but truly I read everything you posted and I’m confused as to what this is all about - I've been blunt yes but I have a feeling I’m not alone in my thoughts.

You own post in the Introductions doesn't help clear matters up either:

One of our goals is to make Japan more of a cycling tourism destination, so it's great to read of the extensive riding in all parts of the country that members of this forum are already doing. I look forward to interacting more here and hopefully getting to meet some of you on the road soon.
It’s great the David and the others are fully aware of your plans but at the need of the day it’s your customers that matter and that’s what "WE" potentially are and yes I would agree that I may not be the sharpest tool in the TCC box but Im sure others are confused at what C2C is.

A simple statement like "Coast 2 Coast" is a Japanese Cycle Tour operator that partners with the charity HOPE to organize events so participants can raise money for victims of the Earthquake of March 11th and other programs"
Again I’m giving you invaluable feedback from a potential customer’s perspective and how you take that and move forward with that is entirely up to you.

Tim Kendall proves my point that there is a lot of confusion to what actaully C2C is and what the actual connection is here with HOPE-JP and yet you still do not lay it out in black and white what C2C is.

My comments “pretty sick” is harsh but I’ve taken a year off racing to help with charity organizations and individuals that are using the bicycle as a form of raising money and awareness for the victims of the tragic events of March 11th my wife and myself lost friends and family and we have close friends who are now having to deal with the issues of the Fukashima power plant on a daily basis so I feel very strongly about this whole issue and how companies are exploiting things.

So if you can honestly say that Coast 2 Coast is not turning any profit on this 5 day cycle tour I will openly oppologise, but again you insinuating that Coast 2 Coast and HOPE are one and the same.

I would like to make it very clear that my concerns are not with HOPE-JP but with Coast2 Coast and not once do I question HOPE-JP.

I would also like to note that these are soley my own opinions from reading your posts and looking at the C2C website and your affliliations.
 

JC2Cmark

Warming-Up
Aug 13, 2011
12
0
0
Nagoya
www.japanC2C.com
#19
Well, after that very unwelcome detour I think we are almost back on track, and I also appreciate a bit better where you're coming from. I'm sorry to hear about your personal losses in the March disaster.

Tony and I have been up to Tohoku several times in the last few months both in our capacity as JC2C organizers and as volunteers for HOPE-JP. And of course Lowell, as director of HOPE-JP, has spent far more time there. We are 100% sincere in our commitment to do what we can to help.

Here's the simple statement you ask for: "Japan Coast 2 Coast partners with HOPE-JP to organize events so participants can raise money for victims of the Earthquake of March 11th and other programs." The question of "what" are we is best answered with "three guys." We are not yet a "tour operator" in any formal sense. We should be (and in a practical sense we are) but we will not formally refer to ourselves as such until we have addressed, for example, the license issue you raised. We do plan to incorporate as a non-profit, and that's something we should have moved forward more quickly. Are we disorganized? Yes, we are! Ironically one of the reasons for that is that Lowell in particular has been so incredibly busy running HOPE's work in Tohoku and overseas. Once we have incorporated (as an NPO, NPC or whatever) then I will gladly insert that into the statement above. I removed "the charity" from your statement simply because, as I don't work or speak for HOPE-JP, I don't know if they should formally be called a charity, a relief agency, an NPO.... I'm not being cagey or deceptive, I'm just trying to be honest.

Yes, I "can honestly say that Coast 2 Coast is not turning any profit on this 5 day cycle tour".:angel:

Over to you.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
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Yokohama
#20
Many thanks for clarifying everything, like I said before I’m actually trying to help and my comments are not meant to hamper or sabotage what you are trying to do but make you aware that those outside the inner circle are/were confused as to what was going on.

The fact that no one has actually commented further regarding your posts is actually the worst outcome to any business or organization that relies on a form of customer and if you look at mine and Owenjames’s posts in the “half-full” mindset we are actually helping you. Its negative critique but probably exactly the type you need right now in the early stages because it address concerns during the infancy of the project, as you grow and it gets bigger, changes become a lot harder to implement.

Yes, I "can honestly say that Coast 2 Coast is not turning any profit on this 5 day cycle tour"

I apologize for implying that you are profiteering on the back of quake/tsunami victims.