Rider of the month – Cleo Burgett

Rider of the month

How long have you been cycling for?

I have cycled since I was a child. My first brand was a Fireston, no gears, blue 18” free cruising bicycle. It was followed a few years later with the coolest sting-ray handle-barred, banana seat wonder. I rode a twenty-one speed all through college but only to classes and back, no road trips. My first long planned trip took place in 2001. I raised five thousand dollars for AIDS research with a group from Montreal, Canada to Portland, Maine. We rode for five days straight averaging about one hundred miles daily. My goal each day was to avoid having to jump in our sag-wagon which had “Hydrate, or you’re mine” painted on the side windows. I completed the ride and felt like a million bucks and I haven’t stopped riding since!

How often do you manage to get out on your bicycle?
I ride my bicycle to work daily and ride with a cycle group about twice a week.

Where do you live?
I am currently in transition from Yangon, Myanmar to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

What made you choose a cycling holiday?
I work as an educator internationally and find joining a bike group is a great way to make new friends in a new area. There are normally a few teachers who are keen bikers too so when the holiday’s come round we often choose to spend our break discovering the beauty of the country from the seat of a bicycle.

You recently rode on our Bali Mountain Bike Adventure tour – what was the highlight?
I live and work in Yangon, Myanmar. We decided to bike in Bali for our spring break. The tour helped us to get to know each other outside of school and to meet folks from other nations.  The countryside we were cycling through is lush, the views are spectacular and there is lots of interesting things to see along the way! One little video clip which I constantly show my friends and family is of feeding a bat hanging outside one of the restaurants we visited.

Where do you want to explore by bicycle next?
Next, I will meet with Deb and ride the west side of Australia. Deb is an Australian who volunteered in Myanmar for two years. While she was there, she joined our cycling group and we became fast friends. Now, she has returned to her homeland and I plan to meet with her to bike in her neck of the woods. I know that it will be a fantastic experience!

Do you have an advice for someone who is looking to go on a bicycle tour for the first time?
Ride your bike everyday for months before you go. Make sure that you can do a longer ride (twenty-five to thirty miles) with ease. Ride, ride, ride…….that is key 🙂

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