Monday, 27 February 2012

Rider bios by other Riders - Part 2!

The rest of the irreverent descriptions of our intrepid riders:

10) Strong as rice wine and twice as potent, Chris Allen claims every cycled inch of road, pushing himself and scoffing at mechanical mishap. When two feet are on the ground, he boosts spirits with a positive presence, and when those feet are pushing pedals, they do so mercilessly. The road is long and his spirit is strong. Chris is a survivor through thick and thin, fair or fucked. He is H2H strong. Simply.

11) Sarah Heavie is a vibrant young woman with biiiig beautiful eyes and a warm tender smile. She comes from Scotland but can often be found in the hallways of hotels playing with toy cars. She is an aspiring musician and spends a lot of her free time playing Elton John songs on her bagpipes. One day, she hopes to be the first person to bicycle the length of Vietnam on a a unitard.

12) With more than our fair share of sharp-tongued riders on this year's H2H team, it is safe to say that everyone is thankful to have Kirsty Brian, the nicest person on earth, in our corner. Hailing from Scotland, which is probably similar to northern Vietnam in that it's cloudy, cold, and perpetually moist, Kirsty is an English teacher, a Scotch drinker, a gifted Ceilidh (silent 'd' and 'h') dancer, and part of the always-sunny, ever-patient glue that holds this team of whackjobs together. Beyond her remarkable niceness, Kirsty also looks exceptional in hats, owns a sweet, sweet Motachie bicycle, and pronounces her name like thirsty, not "thearsty". She is a godsend to us all.

13) Sally. The intense stare from Montana. Half man, half dragon. By day he flies along on his bike, making love to the road. By night he breathes chilled vodka-fuelled fire. With perfectly sculpted facial (and stomach) hair and magic hands, he can single-handedly defend Saigon from Godzilla any day. He is the awesome Tom Salina.

14) Phong Pham is a man. Just thought I would let you know, since his face is rather androgynous. His moustache can cure cancer while coddling two babies. Without his Vietnamese skills we would be almost useless, and without his being American we would have far too many Brits on this ride. He calls nuns Yoda and cracks jokes about infanticide, but don't call anyone 'interesting looking' around him. This is Tin...I mean Phong's second year in a row doing H2H, and his speed on the bike keeps me motivated to keep up the pace. He is indispensable, he is inappropriate, and he loves Ryan Gosling. He is Phong Pham.

15) Johnnie Rebours is a lad of 22, whose habits consists of shotgunning beers, smoking a million cigarettes a day and avoiding salad. His favourite past time is ordering a bucket of KFC chicken, eating it, topping up the empty, greasy bucket with beer and drinking it. Some would question whether these are good traits for a  well-functioning human being - let alone a person who has pledged to cycle on average 80km a day for 25 days for charity. However, Mr. Rebours has a special weapon; his kindness. He generously shares his treats with everyone and is always the first to ask how you're doing. He freely offers up his services as a bodyguard to anyone, which is especially important when you run into Lao pirates. From the appreciation he receives he receives from his acts of kindness, Mr. Rebours has somehow managed to convert this into bursts of energy he uses whilst cycling. It is a mystery how he is doing this but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with magic.

16) Owner of possibly the best tan lines of all time, Tin Mai uses his cheeky wit to charm everyone in his path - from roadside drink sellers to Mother Superior nuns. His supple, childbearing hips are an object of desire for men and women far and wide. His tiny nipples are the stuff of legend. He also bakes delicious banana bread. What a guy. He will one day be my wife and bear my children.

17) Dana Filek-Gibson, representing the maple leaf nation, is a great organiser and the team are hugely indebted to her for sorting us out with nice, clean, dry rooms every night with her amazing grasp of the Vietnamese lingo. Cam on, Dana. Dana is a massively brave woman, having cycled solo extensively prior to this ride. I find it awesome as well that she has decided to do this journey with her father, the cyborg also known as Corey Gibson. On a personal note this is is something I admire and wish I could have done with my own dad. I've also been really impressed by Dana's speedy cycling, virtually impossible to keep up with on the road. Good luck Dana with all your future endeavors, thanks for being such a team player.

18) Crawdads, gumbo, jambalaya, jazz, poboys, Hurricane Katrina, Drew Brees, the Louisiana Purchase, Treme, and a punchable, firm, but lovable face are all things synonymous with Mike Tatarski. His laconic drawl belies a rapid wit evidenced by his virtuosity with words. There's more than a sneaking suspicion that Mike will return as next year's team leader because he has unfinished business to take care of. Poverty, you've been warned.

19) Blue cheese and walnut salad. Foie gras toast with Sauterne Gelee. Duck confit with white truffle sauce. Hanneke Mallegrom enjoys the finer things in life. In fact, she's spent the entire ride talking about all  of the food and drink she can't get, and the feast she's going to have when she arrives back in Saigon. She  hails from the same town as Grolsch lager in The Netherlands, and so is incredibly bitter about the success of Heineken in Vietnam. She arrives for stretching every morning, impeccably turned-out, and proceeds to power through the ride on an ancient mountain bike that weighs about twice as much as everyone else's bike (although unlike the rest of us, she can actually go over bumps). And thanks to her generous friends, she managed to raise the most money of any of the riders, which is frickin' awesome!

That's all, folks. Two days until Saigon!

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