Two dozen cyclists converged on Nga Su Taung village 40 kilometres north of Yangon on December 19 to participate in a mountain bike relay ride, which raised funds for the repair of a bamboo pedestrian bridge in the area.
The 24 mountain bikers were divided into eight teams of three, with each squad comprising of one novice rider, one intermediate rider and one experienced rider.
The relay – organised by Bike World bike shop in Yangon, and the first event of its kind in Myanmar – was run over an 18-kilometre loop course, consisting entirely of dirt roads and trails, with teams required to complete three laps.
The novices set off first and rode half a lap, at the end of which they each handed off their team wrist band – the event’s equivalent to a relay baton – to the experienced rider, who completed the first lap.
The second lap was ridden by each team’s intermediate rider, while the experienced cyclists anchored the event by speeding around the third lap. The fastest team – completing three laps in 2 hours, 44 minutes – was made up of the dynamic husband-and-wife duo of Ant Chapin and Keri Bean, plus the indomitable Myat as the novice rider who kicked off the squad’s winning effort on lap one.
Jeff Parry, a consultant for Bike World, deemed the relay a great success, with only a few minor bugs to iron out for the next event, which has not yet been scheduled.
“I think maybe once every two months we’ll try to do a similar event,” he said.
The cyclists raised K50,000 through entry fees, which at the conclusion of the relay event was handed over to township authorities for the repair of a heavily trafficked bamboo pedestrian bridge near Nga Su Taung village.
“Kyeh zu tin ba deh,” the township representative said upon receiving the donation.