Ride Captain’s Account – Introduction

Here I am, looking out over the river from a balcony in Hoi An, Vietnam.

I can hardly believe I have just ridden more than 800 miles across this beautiful country and that my fellow riders are gone. The decision not to fly back with the group has left me full of strange emotions and enough time to pause and reflect on a gargantuan task begun with a map of Vietnam and a crazy notion of a road cycling tour across the northern reaches of this vast country.

I planned the ride with my mother, as we are both trustees for Newborns Vietnam. As a life long cyclist, I could think of no better way to raise vital funds, and so it all began. Weeks and months passed by: riders signing up, routes changing due to landslides, burst dams and many other challenges faced on the ground in Vietnam. After a final logistical change, the date was set May 14, 2013. As the day loomed nearer and nearer, with nerves gathering and riders contacting me with questions, it started to seem far more real.
After a brief panic at Gatwick airport traffic on the M25, my riders were all checked in on the flight and the responsibility of being the leader of the group had begun.

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