Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Geared up for eco challenge

Geared up for eco challenge

Geared up for eco challenge

A mountain-biker takes it to the Kirirom course.

Participants in the annual mountain bike challenge at Kirirom say the event raises awareness of the need for environmental protection in the Kingdom.

AS the fast-paced music blared out into the otherwise quiet forests in the mountains of Kirirom National Park, bicycles raced out of their starting places like stallions at the Kentucky Derby.

About an hour later, the winners cheered loudly as their bikes crossed the finish line.Seventy-two Cambodians rode among of the 118 total contestants in the fifth Mountain Bike Challenge, held on December 20 in Kirirom National Park, organised by engineering company Comin Khmere.

Event organiser Pierre Yves Catry said their aim was to improve biking challenges in Cambodia while promoting environmental stewardship.
“Cambodian Cycling Federation has organised cycling on the streets, but not in the mountains,” Catry said.

“Because Kirirom is not too far from Phnom Penh, it is a good place to send people to see and protect the environment in Cambodia.”

Besides bicycle racing, Comin Khmere also organises motorbike races and football competitions.

Iv Leng, the only Cambodian in the top five, took out first place in the 31-years-and-older expert level – and pocketed US$300 for his efforts.

“I was excited with my success, because I’ve taken part in the competition for three years, and last year, I got only fourth place,” Iv Leng said.

Iv Leng, who has biked for eight years, said he spent two weeks prior to the competition gearing up for the challenge.

Second-time competitor Michael Kiess, who took the fifth-place prize, said he was happy to see so many strong Cambodian bikers compete.

“When I started biking in Cambodia, it was mostly with foreigners, but more and more, I have the chance to ride with Khmer people,”Kiess said.

“I got a medal and a $40 prize, but I use this money with student leaders from Aziza School, Lakeside, and other schools to organise eco-tourism projects to Chambok and Kirirom.”

Kiess believes that bike racing can be used to promote environmental awareness.

“It is the first time for the students to ride the bicycles in the forest. They are happy to know about eco-tourism projects and appreciate nature, so it acts as encouragement for people to preserve the forest.”


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states