We decided on the bikes we wanted back in early December, and unfortunately despite being told the bikes would be available to us on Christmas Day, we've been delayed and delayed... we're told now they'll be with us this coming Saturday. Fingers crossed.
Despite this, training rides are well underway. Some of us have bikes donated by last year's H2H riders, and some already had our own. Numbers are picking up on the training rides, and last Friday, 7 of us did the 70km round trip to Scorpion Lake. Cycling around the city is tough going, with Saigon's famously relentless traffic, dirty bus fumes and terrible drivers. This all adds to the fun of it all, but then once you leave the city limits and get on open roads, Vietnam really opens out.
It's a spectacular country, this. Glorious weather, beautiful scenery, wildlife, kids running out of their gardens to wave and say hello... Each route throws up different surprises, too. Whether it be 'the loop', a lovely straight run south, out from district 8, under the shade of the trees, or Thanh Da island, through beautiful jungle areas, into Thu Duc, or Scorpion Lake, through villages and rice paddies... And whether you're riding together and having a chat, or with your earphones in, playing a soundtrack to the ride... It's exhilarating. Rather addictive, all this...
On Wednesday 28th January, we have the KOTO (Know One, Teach One) dinner. It looks like we've almost sold out, which is amazing! There will be mouthwatering food, a raffle, entertainment, etc. KOTO is a charity which educates Vietnamese people from disadvantaged backgrounds in the ways of hospitality, hygiene, money, and other life skills, to give them the best possible chance of getting opportunities in the working world.
The justgiving pages are set up too, and donations are rolling in. There's still a long way to go, so please go to www.justgiving.com/teams/h2h2015 to contribute to this wonderful cause. Once again, we really appreciate it, and 100% of every donation goes directly to the charities we are working with.
Check out some photos of our ride on Friday!
- Keith Landberger