The inaugural CWC 2016 charity bike ride in Thailand was a success - no doubt! It was an extraordinary ride with extraordinary conditions, but also with extraordinary people!
Eight days and nearly 800 km (for some nearly 900 k) from Singburi to Chiang Mai. As if this would not be challenging enough, our good luck had it that we picked the one week, where Asia was hit by the freakiest weather ever. We had it all: scorching 36 c dropping to a freezing 11c, heavy rain complemented by strong winds (of course headwinds) and wet fog with 50 m visibility.
It was a week of pain and suffering, but also a week of friendship, laughter, compassion, camaraderie and team spirit. All the pain, cold and suffering, the wet socks and cold showers, the hard mattresses and bad coffee was forgotten, when we reached the ultimate beneficiary of our ride: the Blue Sky Children home in Hot, North Thailand, supported by Effective Aid International. It was the undisputed highlight of the ride to the visit the Blue Sky or Baan Fah Sighy Children home and to meet the children, the teachers and two of the most amazing, most impressive people I ever met: Phil and Wanida, the mum and dad to the children at Baan Fah Sighy. The mutual love and affection between the children and Phil and Wanida, their unconditional commitment and sacrifices, their achievements and big hearts touched all of us deeply. Phil and Wanida, thank you for welcoming us so warmly, thank you for showing us how love can go beyond borders and move mountains, for creating an oasis of love and harmony for so many young lives! You both are the real heroes of this world and it was a privilege for us to meet you!
Well, and you, my fellow riders in this remarkable week, you are heroes, too! In all the tours I rode in before, I never experienced such great team spirit. 25 individuals rode as one! You have been fantastic. Cold weather, heavy rain, strong head winds, fog, no hot water to shower and more, but you never, not once, complained! Alone this shows what kind of people you are: The Best! It was a pleasure and privilege to ride with you!
Like with almost everything in life, you had a choice ! And I like to thank you for choosing to sign up for the first CWC ride, I like to thank you for the trust and the confidence you have placed in me and CWC and for raising funds for a charity that was unknown to you before. And I am happy that I have not disappointed you!
I like to thank the wonderful people at Spiceroad for their excellent work in organising our trip. Without them, the things we did would have been impossible to do. Krab Khun Mah Krab to Struan, Kamm, Narumon, Ant, Jaew, Korn, Mr. Sit, Charlie, Moo, Wiroj and all those we don't know, but have been working on this epic trip!
Last, but not least, I like to thank the sponsors - both corporate and private - for their financial support. Our humble target for this first ride was to raise AUD 30,000 - but thanks to you we raised over AUD 40,000. This much needed funds will go a long way in North Thailand and Myanmar. Thank you so much for your generosity.
Without you, this would have just been an ordinary ride. But thanks to you, we can and will together with you continue to make a difference to the life of children and to give hope for a better and brighter future..., bit by bit, day by day, one by one!
For now, God Bless and safe cycling, always...