Late for Nowhere

From life in Southeast Asia to backyard adventures in Kodiak, Alaska

Bago bike ride and flood donation

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Last Sunday I joined a group of about 40 Myanmar cyclists who pedaled from Yangon to Bago and back again, a total distance of 133 kilometers (82 miles). Our goal, aside from enjoying the ride, was to donate cash and emergency supplies (carried in a following truck) to more than 2,000 people from 730 households who had been displaced by recent flooding in Bago Region.

We left from a teashop in Mingalardon Township at 7am, riding north under gray skies that threatened monsoon rain but never delivered any precipitation – the sun even came out in the afternoon, making for a skin-sizzling ride during the latter part of the day.


Setting off at 7am.

The participating cyclists rode at varying speeds, but we made several stops to regroup and to ensure that we weren’t spread out over too many miles. At one point we had to pedal through some minor flooding that had spilled across the road; by the afternoon, when we rode through going in the opposite direction, this temporary lake had become an impromptu party spot for local teenagers who were hanging out drinking beer and splashing passersby.


Crossing the lake.


We reached Bago well before noon and dropped our donations at a Buddhist monastery on the outskirts of town. A brief ceremony was held which was presided over by the monastery’s head monk, who had arranged a small boat so that a few people from our group could deliver the donations directly to the villagers who were in need.


Unloading flood donations.

The return trip was a fairly grueling experience for me. It had been several months since I had done anything longer than a 40km ride, so my endurance was lacking. The long distance, plus high temperatures and a stiff headwind, created a perfect storm for massive fatigue.

Still, we managed to make it back by 3pm. Multiple stops and donation ceremony excluded, our total riding time was around 5 hours and 30 minutes, an average of about 24kph (15mph).


Roadside repairs.

Written by latefornowhere

August 19, 2014 at 5:40 am

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