Cyclists complete epic 310km fundraiser for Cambodia kids project

12 cyclists have conquered rain, wind, heat and dust to complete an awe-inspiring 310km sponsored bike ride in aid of one of Globalteer’s local Cambodian partners. The group of staff and volunteers from Canada, Australia, Northern Ireland, UK, USA, and Cambodia all work at the local school and community project in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The team of amateur cycling enthusiasts averaged more than 100km a day to complete their epic journey from Siem Reap to Poipet on the Thai-Cambodian border in three energy–sapping, but ultimately life-changing days.

To donate and support this brilliant cause, please go to our Virgin Money Giving Page

The journey was not without incident, however, with several unscheduled stops caused by accidents en route. First was project manager Tammy who “stacked” only 5km into the ride, thanks to uncharacteristically wet weather around Siem Reap.

American cyclist Vanessa, 26 became the victim of a second unplanned incident on day 2, colliding with an invisible lady pedestrian. Thankfully, no serious injuries were sustained by either party.

And another American rider, Dan, 24, managed to collide with railings on a bridge during the final leg on day 3. However, luck was on his side as it was ony the railings that came between him and a painful soaking.

The team of men and women, all aged between 18 and 34 set off from Siem Reap in steady rain early on Saturday 18th February. Undaunted by the weather they progressed steadily until 35km from their first night’s stopover they encountered a bruising and seemingly endless uphill climb. Slowed but never defeated, they all dug deep to find reserves of energy they never knew they had, and reached Sisophon, just over 100km from Siem Reap by nightfall.

Following 5am yoga stretches, Sunday saw another early start for the cyclists and 50km later they crossed the Thai border at Poipet, in time for a late, but very welcome breakfast. The team staged their symbolic milestone U-turn and began the long ride home.

The rain had abated, only to be replaced with every cyclist’s nightmare, a strong head wind and Cambodia’s infamous swirling red dust. Again the entire team was steadfast in its resolve and cycled through the pain, determined to stick to their punishing schedule.

Day three’s final leg began hours before sunrise with a 3:30am start. By now most of the cyclists were close to exhaustion and running on nothing but a fighting spirit and utter determination to reach the end, and raise as much money as possible for the kids at the project. The team kept their spirits up by playing games and singing motivational songs, accompanied by their unfailingly loyal support team in a following truck, complete with loud speakers and a selection of the riders’ favourite tunes.

The tired and by now Dirty Dozen crossed the finish line on Monday 20th February to the cheers, waves and hugs of the justifiably proud kids and staff at the project. Globalteer volunteer, Anne-Marie Brolly, from County Derry in Northern Ireland praised everyone’s sense of team spirit,

“The people doing the cycle and the support team were brilliant. We all got on like a house on fire and had such a laugh”, she said. “To be honest if I had to do it alone I think I would have given up before Poipet. But with that much support and team spirit pushing us on our way the time just disappeared as we cycled to Thailand and back,” She added.

For Anne-Marie, however, crossing the finish line was a moment she will never forget, as she explained, “The highlight for me (and I'm pretty sure everyone will agree) was the arrival at the school. The children came out to greet us with banners, presents and hugs and kisses. It was so overwhelming, and I guess the realisation of why we were doing it was all the more apparent - it was just amazing”.

All money raised by the cyclists will go towards the running costs of the project. which provides free education for 180 children in Siem Reap as well as food for their families so that children don’t have to go out and work. The project is currently setting up a farm so that the community can eventually become fully self-sufficient.

To donate and support this brilliant cause, please go to our Virgin Money Giving Page

If you would like to find out more about volunteering in Cambodia please visit our Cambodia Projects page.