When and where did you go on your first cycle adventure?
My first cycle adventure was for my 50th birthday with my son and daughter. I wanted to make the occasion as memorable as possible so I signed us up for SpiceRoads’ Burma Adventure. I was a little apprehensive about joining the tour as I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since my student days. Luckily, all my worries about the physical challenge soon dissipated as the team looked after us expertly. The only thing left to do was to enjoy the amazing countryside, the joyous people and the wonderful food. There is no better way to explore!
How many SpiceRoads tours have you done? What countries have you visited by bicycle?
So far I have been on four trips. The last three with my partner, now my wife, Joyce. We travelled to Bhutan, the Vietnamese central coast and a multi-country adventure from Bangkok to Angkor Wat. Each adventure has its special memories: the stunning landscapes and wonderful monasteries and palaces’ of Bhutan, the impressive architecture and buildings of Cambodia and the mouth-watering food of Vietnam. Our next destination we will be exploring Madagascar for our honeymoon, we chose Madagascar as we wanted somewhere relatively unexplored and somewhere where cycling and walking would truly enable us to discover the country.
What do you look for when you are choosing a trip?
We live in Shanghai and there is a constant buzz. On holidays we like to get away from the crowds and enjoy local life at close quarters. On tour, we especially like the lunch breaks as the guides will find a small local out-the-way restaurant where the people are warm and the food delicious.
What do you enjoy about bicycle touring?
Meeting like-minded people. Those who enjoy cycling and exploring different cultures and cuisine get drawn to SpiceRoads. There may be some who are younger and fitter, but that never matters as the SpiceRoads team ensure we all stay together and look after each other. By the end of the tour, I will have also made friends from different parts of the world!
How much training do you do before a ride?
Joyce and I are not athletes but we try to do something once or twice a week. We cycle around town at the weekends and I cycle to and from work (only 15-20 minutes). So no intensive training. To re-assure others, my lovely mum, who just celebrated her 70th, did the Vietnam Coast trip a month ago and completed 80% – all but the biggest climb. She did some light training for 6-8 weeks beforehand and loved every minute of our Vietnam adventure.
Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to go on a cycling adventure for the first time?