A five-day fund-raising bike ride from the Laos border to Siem Reap will kick off on May14, led by six-time national biking champion and former Olympic Cycling Federation member, Mr Lucky, aka Samnang Meas, who also won the 2012 Angkor Wat Bike Race.
Funds raised will go to the Angkor Hospital for Children.
Ride organiser and PEPY Tours coordinator Choch Chor said that on May 14 six riders, Khmer and western, will set out from the Laos-Cambodia border, making their way to Siem Reap, covering approximately 450 kilometres along the way.
“We will leave Siem Reap on May 10,” Choch said. “On May 12 we arrive at the border and we will explore, take it easy and prepare for the bike ride. On May 14 we leave from the border, down to Steung Treung, then to Preah Vihear province, to Ko Ker temple and from there to Beng Melea. We’ll finish in front of Angkor Wat.”
The group will no doubt be helped in their efforts by the presence of group leader, Samnang Meas. “He is an incredible man,” Choch said. “He loves cycling. He knows most of the Cambodian dirt roads. He’s been riding bicycles everywhere so that is a big help. Without him it would be hard because we don’t know the routes.”
Choch Chor said the idea was conceived following a KhmerTalks session. KhmerTalks is similar to ideas-sharing concept TEDX, but designed for Khmers, with all talks in Khmer. Talks take place in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
“I volunteer for KhmerTalks Siem Reap,” Choch said. “We’ve hosted events here four or five times already and each time we try to raise a bit of money for the children’s hospital. A while ago we were discussing if we could do anything different. I’ve been doing a lot of bike riding lately so I thought of a bike ride. We all agreed.”
Choch said that as well as raising money for the hospital, riders also want to encourage people to donate blood. He said that a lack of information and a fear that it may be dangerous stops a lot of people donating blood.
“They need to know that it is not dangerous, and it’s giving those who need blood an opportunity to live another day.”
He added, “The other idea is to raise awareness in Cambodia’s younger generation about getting involved with social action. To encourage them to give whatever they can – their time, their money, their materials – to whatever is needed around them. It doesn’t have to be the children’s hospital, that’s just one example.”