My 5 Favourite Blogs from the Bamboo Road
I’ve been fortunate to travel to many places in the world with TDA Global Cycling. It is a privilege that I try not to take for granted.
But one place I have never travelled yet always dreamt of going was South East Asia. And I’m not alone. One of our most popular tours over the last few years has been our Bamboo Road cycling tour – the most comprehensive of all cycling tours in South East Asia. So since I have not yet had the opportunity to travel and cycle in South East Asia, I tend to pay more attention to the blogs that get written and do a healthy amount of vicarious travel through my TDA colleagues and the cyclists who participate. So here is a list of my 5 favourite blog posts from the past Bamboo Road cycle tours we ran. If you are interested in joining the 2017 edition, spaces are still available but certain sections are filling up fast, so don’t miss out!
Our communications officer and blog writer Conor Canaday chronicled the slow (and sometimes not so slow) progression and change that the riders encounter and recall as they pedal methodically through each town and each country pedal stroke, by pedal stroke.
“We’ve noticed so many more people saying hello” remarked Patsy, noting that the locals we have had the opportunity to interact with have become increasingly friendly. Although we’ve consistently garnered plenty of interest as a group of bright spandex-clad cyclists, many of the riders have noticed more smiles, waves and greetings as we have moved south and out of the larger urban areas.
2. Hanoi – Death by a Hundred (Thousand) Scooters
Hanoi has always been enticing for me. I know very little about it but snippets of stories, photos I’ve seen, the Vietnamese food I’ve sampled here in Toronto have convinced me that I would love it. But as Mike explains, there is a tug of war going on in Hanoi (like many metropolises the world over) between modernization, and cultural heritage. Between natural environments, and urban sprawl. Between community building, and economic aspirations.
Even in the busiest areas, huge trees rise up from the broken sidewalks, shading the population from the sun’s intense power. Additionally, they suck up at east some of the immense amount of pollution that the city’s traffic produces.
3. Holiday in Cambodia
Mike Coo reflects on his most recent trip to South East Asia, helping on the Bamboo Road, and reflecting on his previous trips there and what initially drew him to this region as a young man (and the deeper insights he recognized on subsequent trips).
I began to understand the point that Dead Kennedys were making; the juxtaposition of my romanticizing the simmering danger in these places and the actual effects of these conditions on the people who live there.
4. Various Posts on Stephen Hanlon’s blog
With intriguing blog titles like “Arse Cream, Lube and Strava” and “The Discovery of a New Species” Stephen blends humour and the occassional bit of historical context while presenting the wonderful absurdities of being on a cycling tour in a foreign land. Stephen participated in the 2015 edition of the tour.
5. Various Posts on Ursula and Rae’s blog
Rae and Ursula posted several blogs during the 2013 Bamboo Road. What I liked most about their posts was the abundance of photos, and how each blog post was essentially a photo essay. It made them a quick and interesting read.