A Tale of Two Cities
Michael reports from the Bamboo Road cycling tour:
As the Bamboo Road wanders across Southeast Asia the route includes a balance between riding on quiet, country roads and bustling metropolitan streets. The 2015 route includes a shuttle in and out of two of the largest cities, Hong Kong and Hanoi, offering exciting rest day opportunities and a chance for new riders to join the group.
Arriving to Hong Kong last week at the end of the ‘Chasing the Dragon’ section of the route, riders were rewarded with the chance to explore China’s “special administrative region” of Hong Kong with its blending of culture, business and tourism. After weeks of riding through China’s interior where foreigners seldom reach, Hong Kong was a culture shock in seeing multitudes of tourists from all over the world. After riding in China, getting to know Chinese cuisine and familiarizing themselves with the variety of dishes, riders were suddenly overwhelmed with food options from all over the world catering to Hong Kong’s international population. Many riders used the rest days in Hong Kong to take the tram up Victoria Peak, take the ferry over to Kowloon, or wander the happening streets of SoHo. With three full days off the bike, this was a well-deserved chance for riders to rest their legs after a hard section of riding.
While the current riders were out resting and relaxing, the eight new sectional riders joining the team were busy with last minute preparation and gear checks. There was excitement in the air as all riders convened for a group breakfast before loading up the shuttle out of Hong Kong. Bypassing the expansive and overwhelmingly industrial area of Shenzhen, the group was able to resume riding in the more rural area of Yunfu. With fresh legs, several new riders hopped in to the group with a fast pace eager to ride with the seasoned full tour riders. Cruising along, it didn’t take long for the group to make it through the rolling hills to the Vietnam border.
After an exciting border crossing to Vietnam riders immediately noticed differences: signs in a new language, more terrace farms on hill sides, and tons of beloved coffee shops! It was a short two day ride from the border to Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi. Riders enjoyed the two days of scenic rural riding through Vietnam before boarding a short shuttle into the city center. With two rest days in Hanoi riders are now exploring all the city has to offer from street side cafes to the close by Ha Long Bay. Tomorrow the whole group continues on to explore more of Vietnam and the Golden Triangle!