It's been a while since something was posted here, so it's time to bring things back to life. For those of you who don't know what H2H is, a quick intro: H2H stands for Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, which is the lengthy route a number of cyclists will ride in February. That's 2000 km (or 1,200 miles for our American friends), all by pedal power. The object is to raise money for a number of local charities, and obviously give participants the opportunity to see parts of Vietnam few (if any) tourists will ever see.
Preparations for the 2012 H2H ride are well underway, with 14 riders registered so far, and fundraising set to begin soon. A few weeks ago, several of us started our training regime, which consists of twice-weekly rides on the Nguyen Van Linh Parkway, out in District 7. Fortunately, this route is mostly pancake-flat, which allows those of us that haven't ridden a bike in a while (guilty) to gently ease back into things. This flatness may come back to haunt us when we're dealing with the steep Central Highlands come next year, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.
These training rides have been a good way to start building camaraderie, and they also give us a chance to get out of Saigon's endless urban sprawl for a little bit. (Although we still can't escape honking trucks and exhaust fumes.) A few kilometers down the parkway, all of the apartment buildings disappear, and all that's left are fish farms, rice paddies, palm groves, and simple shacks on the side of the road. A far cry from the usual insane traffic congestion and dense concentration of buildings in the inner city.
|Much more enjoyable than Hai Ba Trung at rush hour|
These rides aren't too long, so we still have a ways to go before we'll be ready to tackle daily 70-100 km rides in February, but it's a good start for now. Keep an eye on this page for more in the near future.