Updated: Mar 14, 2019
In February 2019, me and 20-odd colleagues and friends rode shopping bikes - yes, really! - from Phnom Penh to Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia. The aim, apart from having fun, was to deliver 30-odd bikes to a small school near Angkor so that the pupils would have an easier time getting from their homes each day. Some were having to walk 7km each way to and from the school, which is an extra-curricular establishment teaching English to children who hope to serve the nascent tourist and business sectors as they transition to the world of work.
Throughout the ride, which was largely on dirt roads through the back-country, we were constantly the centre of attention, particularly with children who would shout 'hello' from the depths of the houses-on-stilts which form most of the villages we went through.
Daytime temperatures nudged 40°C, which made the riding a lot more tiring than the generally flat terrain would normally justify. Most days were around 50-70km, but the longest day, at 93km, was more than enough for most of us.
When we did finally reach the school (https://www.angkorkidscenter.org/), the welcome was outstanding. However, their insistence on a football match was not so welcome - but we held them to a respectable one-all draw, with only limited use of cheating. Given the roughly 30-year difference in average ages, we felt that was a legitimate sporting technique!