Friday, 2 July 2021
Lots of lovely memories from this year's ride. Our cycle partner Mr Biker chose a fantastic route off the beaten track which provided a good cycling challenge and stunning scenery along the way. Here is some team video footage to capture some of the sights...
1. Trail ride - Juergen
2. Bike race featuring Georges - Thai
3. Thien An Orphanage song - Chris
5. Thien An Orphanage dance - Chris
6. Final day montage - Robin / Marita
7. Bridge ride - Chris
8. Chilli challenge featuring Emma and Georges - Chris
9. H2H photobomb featuring Horacio! - Eric
Good times ✌
- H2H 2021: Emma, Karla, Georges, Horacio, Juergen, Davide, Robin, Chris, Thai, Eric and the Mr Biker support crew :-)
Sunday, 2 May 2021
An Khe - Quy Nhon Finish Line! (78km, 400m climbing)
We made it! 5 days, 370km, an impressive 4600m climbing (the highlands are well named!), 30% off-road; a glorious, sweaty, challenging and beautiful H2H 2021 ride.
Different scenery today as we descended to sea level and were surrounded by traditional agriculture. We cycled through/around lots of crops drying on the road (rice, chillies, hay - see the chilli challenge video below!) and passed lots of rice paddies, coffee, tea and fruit (papaya, banana, sugar cane etc). Communities were busy in the fields with lots of smiles and waves to help us along.
Mr Biker have chosen some excellent and really varied daily routes away from the traffic that would be hard to find on your own and it's been a real treat for cycling, as well as a physical challenge! Today, we visited some huge Cham Towers (nearly 40 metres tall) built in the 12th - 13th Century that were a Hindu place of worship during the Cham Kingdom. The 3 remaining towers represent the Hindu Deity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and had some ornate sculptures within them with Khmer influences also. An important religious and cultural centre of its time and important to preserve today. Further on, we crossed a dry season bamboo bridge (video below!) that was surprisingly bouncy but stable! It sounds like the bamboo is replaced after wet season each year - quite an achievement for such a long bridge.
Finally, we wound our way into Quy Nhon and arrived at the finish line on the central beach in the afternoon sun. Compared to the usual sensory shock of arriving back in Saigon, gliding into the beach and then soaking our legs in the sea was a delightful way to finish off a brilliant ride!
Medals, photos and some family members greeted us on the beach and after a swim we headed out for a celebration dinner and fond farewells after a a job well done. Blessed by the dry and sunny weather throughout, incident-free cycling and only 5 punctures in 5 days (all the same bike - sorry Robin!). Mot, hai, ba, YO!
Massive THANK YOU's to:
Riders: The awesome team were a pleasure to ride with - Emma, Karla, Davide (3rd H2H ride), Georges (2nd H2H ride), Juergen, Robin, Horacio and Chris (3rd ride). Great job team!
Supporters: Everyone who kindly donated and supported the team on their journey - we ride for the kids and your donations make it all worthwhile. Thank you!
Mr Biker Saigon: This year, in order to keep the ride and the fundraising going in these uncertain times, we went for a shorter ride and partnered with adventure cycle tour specialists Mr Biker. They find amazing cycle-friendly routes and the organisation of all the ride details is top class. Thanks to Thai, Trong, Viet, Long, Eric and all the team for your fantastic service and looking after us so well. Mr Biker comes highly recommended!
Charities: Thanks to lead partner Saigon Children for managing our media, fundraising and logistical support e.g. the team banner / promotional posters (especially Ngan and Quynh). Thanks to all our 4 partners including Blue Dragon, Live & Give and ILA Community Network for supporting essential educational and community projects throughout Vietnam. We are proud to ride for you!
Sponsors: Thanks to our 6 corporate sponsors this year: DHL, DYMAX, AEG, Pasteur Street Brewing Company, Mr Biker Saigon and Nutrition Depot. Your partnership and generous support makes a massive difference to both the charities and the team.
Fundraising continues until the end of May and we've a couple of fundraising events in Saigon lined up before then. We'll be back again for a final blog post in June when we have a final total to announce!
Until then, thanks for following our journey, keep cycling and keep spreading the love 💜
Here are some photos and videos of Day 5:
The Bouncy Bridge:
The Cham Towers:
Thursday, 29 April 2021
Mang Den - An Khe (87km, 1000m climbing)
A welcome bowl of pho for team breakfast before setting off. Back on the majestic Ho Chi Minh Trail today passing through the dense forest of the Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve in the morning and following a long river valley in the afternoon. A concert of cicada sound effects in the nature reserve!
After the relentless afternoon climb of yesterday today was undulating with lots of rolling hills to sweep us along. A highlight of the day on H2H is around 11-12 when the kids spill out of school and head home for lunch. Many hellos and high 5's follow as they stream past, happy to practise their English. We never tire of that.
An amazing lunch was provided as always by Long and Viet from Mr Biker (cooked up in the back of their truck!). Special mention for Juergen our flying German who was very excited to get spaghetti for lunch (see below pic!).
Finally, at the end of the day's ride we were invited into the home of a very friendly park ranger for a drink! Sunny skies and stunning scenery all the way again - we're so lucky! Tomorrow we reach the finish line on the beach at Quy Nhon!
Some highlights of today:
Kon Tum - Mang Den (65km, 1500m climbing, 30% off-road)
Today we made full use of our mountain bikes! We awoke in the beautiful town of Kon Tum and visited the famous wooden church and a traditional thatched communal house before setting off. The morning was spent riding on buffalo trails and was a real test of mental and physical biking skills. If you like cycling through mud, sand, water and rocks you would love this day! A unique experience coordinated so well by Mr Biker. At lunch we swam in the river to cool off, washed down our bikes and then hit the long road climb up to Mang Den, surrounded by pine trees. The day finished with another beautiful waterfall, which Emma, Georges and Robin couldn't resist swimming under. Another highlight of the day was an outstanding photobomb from Horacio (see below). We climbed and impressive 1500m and there was a mix of exhaustion and elation by the end of the day.
Here are some highlights: