Charity Bike Ride in Thailand – Surviving the First 103 km.

The Inspiration Behind Thailand Charity Bike Ride

After arriving into our hotel yesterday, we got fitted out with our appropriate bikes and riding gear for the charity bike ride.

This morning, I saw 30 intrepid business owners from all walks of life preparing ourselves for the adventure at the crack of dawn. It is so inspiring to be with such a great group of amazing people who are dedicated to the same cause, taking precious time out of their business, their family and lives to raise funds and do the ride together. The founder of Hands Across the Water Charity, Peter Baines, delivered a very inspiring heartfelt message (via a messenger as he could not be here this time) confirming the reason WHY we are all on this journey, which is to impact the lives of these kids who would never have the opportunities we all take for granted back home. I felt totally moved and totally blessed. I know that every hard effort that had been made raising the funds and doing the charity bike ride was totally worth it.

First Fall, First Injury, First Day and First 103 km. of the Charity Bike Ride

It was a very tough ride today. Some parts of the country side were very beautiful, calm, scenic and pleasurable to ride. Other parts were pure torture, riding upon bumpy, dusty, rough roads; ducking a myriad of pot holes or long stretches of endless road with passing cars. Conversing to others, sharing our stories and getting to know each other more deeply made the time pass by more quickly. It was the Thailand sweltering heat beating down on your skin that was the most challenging in the middle of the day plus the killer hills. Over many stretches of dusty, bumpy roads, I felt like my whole body and teeth was vibrating, sending little shock waves up my spine.

I saw scrawny chickens and mangy dogs all over the place. These chickens looked like they were always getting a workout, rather than being constantly fed.

At one stage, I fell over when one of the riders swerved in front of me, and I couldn’t get my feet out of the caged pedals fast enough. Splatt! I was in the dirt, hitting my head against the road (horrid bruise on the right side of my face) and injuring my right wrist and hands. The rest of me remained unscathed apart from a bruised ego and orange clay splattered riding gear. I just got my first injury on first day of the charity bike ride!

We had a water break after every 60-90 minutes…where we devoured watermelons, pineapples, bananas and drinks, and lunch was at one of the open local restaurant with great authentic Thai food. Looking around at how simply the local Thai people live made us very aware at how much we take the simple pleasures of life back home such as upright toilet seats, good air, clean running water, smooth bitumen roads for granted. I also did not see any patches of blue sky, just a haze of cloudy air particles which is typical of air pollution.

By the late afternoon, my legs and butt were screaming and really feeling the pain. Seeing little Thai kids and adults on the side of the road waving, clapping and encouraging us, spurred us to continue. Knowing that at the end of the day, we will see the kids at the Home Hug Orphanage… their happy smiling faces gave me the motivation to keep me pushing those pedals. It was mind over matter.

At the end, we rode into our next hotel totally exhausted, stiff and sore. I could barely move.

Survival Tips for the Charity Bike Ride Challenge

Indeed, everybody had a tough day. But, the injury and pain didn’t stop me. I’m full-geared with inspiration and I’m motivated enough to keep going. Likewise, I followed some survival tips for riding tough distances: lots of magnesium and electrolyte replacement, coenzyme Q10, MSM, magnesium oil, vitamin B and antioxidants for extra sun protection. Plus a good amount of stretching beforehand.

Tomorrow is another day. I’m already in deep thoughts on what to do next after having some injury. So, stay tuned on what’s gonna happen next on my charity bike ride adventure!

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