A Clean Diesel Driving Experience for Cyclists on a Scenic Expressway
Mazdas powered by Clean Diesel engine joined enthusiastic cyclists at an event hosted by Masaihiko Kifune, a Japanese professional cyclist at the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Expressway in spring 2015. The event celebrated the founding of Mifune’s Supporters’ Club, with blooming cherry blossoms provided a perfect backdrop for a celebratory fan ride.
“Shimanami Kaido”, or officially the Nishiseto Expressway, is a highway that connects Onomichi City in Hiroshima Prefecture with Imabari City in Ehime Prefecture on the Shikoku Island. Along the highway is a cycling road with 70-kilometer distance one way, running over 6 bridges. Since the completion of the Expressway in 2006, the cycling road was visited by many enthusiastic cyclists from overseas as well as all over Japan and is now hailed as a cyclist’s mecca. To let the cyclists enjoy the beauty of Hiroshima, Mazda’s home town, and the Shimanami Expressway as well as the exhilaration of driving, Mazda worked with the event organizers to create an exclusive experience –cycling from Onomichi to Imabari, and driving Mazdas powered by Clean Diesel on the way back to Onomichi.
The event day turned out to be a perfect day for cycling. 22 cyclists who came to the event rode their bicycles from Onomichi to Imabari, running over the world’s largest cable-stayed bridge, the Tatara Bridge with a stunning view of the Seto Inland Sea and enjoyed local culinary delicacies on the way. The climax of the cycling journey arrived on the Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge, the longest (4,105 metres) of the seven bridges in the Shimanami Expressway and the world’s very first triple-anchored suspension bridge. A grand view from the bridge added to the highly rewarding and fulfilling experience for the participating cyclists, and some cyclists were moved to tears upon completing the journey to Imabari.
On the way back to Onomichi, the cyclists switched gear and sat behind the wheels of the Mazda CX-3, CX-5, Mazda2 and Mazda6 powered by the Clean Diesel engine. The returning journey opened up with a lecture given by Mazda staff on the importance of driving position, which is absolutely essential to letting drivers enjoy Mazda’s Jimba Ittai driving. Fully aware of the importance of riding position, the cyclists immediately warmed up to the lecture. The lecture was followed by an evaluation of the ideal joint angles using a giant protractor, Mazda’s secret instrument, before the cyclists were allowed to start their Mazdas. Fully experienced in Jimba Ittai riding, all of the cyclists kept the ideal driving position on the way back after the 70-kilometre cycling journey, and were fully immersed in Mazda’s exciting and exhilarating driving performance powered by the Clean Diesel engine.
The event turned out to be a valuable opportunity for Mazda, a car company rooted in Hiroshima, to engage with those seeking pure joy of riding. Committed to supporting customers to get more out of driving, Mazda looks forward to more events like this to share “Celebrate Driving” with many more customers.
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