In the 1940s when many people of Japanese ancestry were displaced from their homes and moved to southern Alberta, they also lost their cars. As they were unable to live in Lethbridge, many rode their bikes from surrounding towns to make the trip into the city to work or purchase groceries. One man in particular, Reverend Jun Kabayama travelled from Raymond to Lethbridge every day, a 38-kilometre trip each way, through the rain, sun and snow – even in minus 20 degree weather. Rev. Kabayama covered the areas of Coalhurst, Taber, Coaldale, and Lethbridge and would rent space in the United Church to hold his services.

In honour of the hardships these people faced, Nikka Yuko, with support from BikeBridge volunteers, are hosting a Fuyu Ride [Winter Ride] on March 19 around Henderson Lake, with the start and finish at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. Tad Mitsui, the stepson of Rev. Kabayama, will give a short presentation on the reverend at 12, 1, and 2PM at the Bunka Centre.


FREE to attend, riders must register in advance

All riders will receive a 2 for 1 pass to come back to Nikka Yuko that evening for our final night of the Winter Light Festival, which will include Minyo dancing and taiko drumming performances.

Miso soup & hot drinks will be available to purchase at Cleo's Cafe before or after your ride. Participants can also purchase our Zensai Package which includes a charcuterie plate, drink, and admission to the Winter Light Festival for $25/person. 

Corporate Sponsors