Cycle team's epic journey (2)

08:54, April 27, 2010      

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Guangzhou calling

Along the way, the team stretched out banners to promote the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. They displayed slogans at famous scenic spots in the countries they passed through, and read out an invitation from Zhang Guangning, the then mayor of Guangzhou city, to visit the Games, which will be held from November 12 to 27.

"Some of us also went to the countryside to promote the Games and invite them to Guangzhou," said Jiang Jingling, a junior at GUS

Jiang scored top marks for the liberal arts college entrance examination for Beibei district, Chongqing three years ago. In order to join the cycle-tour, she had to suspend her schooling for a year.

"Suspending my schooling doesn't mean ending my studies," said Jiang. "I just don't want to confine my learning to books. Traveling millions of miles is as important as reading millions of books."



Memorable journey

Jiang was one of only two girls on the team. She said the difficulties she endured on the journey were worth it for the overall thrill.

One night in the south of Thailand, they were traveling on a hilly road very late at night, but still with no place to lodge. Suddenly, a truck rushed past and Jiang fell off her bicycle.

"The distance was only 10 centimeters between the truck and me. If it had been any closer, or if there was a cliff drop, my life would have ended," she recalled.

In Malaysia, the team traveled more than eight hours on an express way without food and drink.

With no vehicles passing or even any sign of life around, it was a depressing test of endurance.

"Thank God we finally came across two houses. On meeting the owners, we touched our bellies and they immediately brought out so much delicious food. It deeply moved us," she said. "We might have starved to death in a foreign country."

Although there were many risks involved, Jiang never has any regrets about participating. "Because the value of the journey is much more than the risk itself," she said.

Spirit of sport

In May, all 13 members of the team will begin their next journey to 22 Chinese provinces and autonomous regions including Taiwan, Tibet, Yunnan and Qinghai to continue their effort to promote the Asian Games. According to Kuang, they are planning to give away over 2,000 free event tickets for the Games.

Chen Yousheng, a disabled team member who rides with one arm, thinks the cycle team is different from average cycle-tourists, better known in China as the Qiyouzu.

"Qiyouzu group do it to relieve stress and for pleasure. But the aim of our activity is to promote the spirit of sport, and do some charity work," he said.

Chen said, along the way, they will collect artwork including pictures of famous artists and traditional folk handicrafts and hold auctions to raise money for the orphans of the Wenchuan and Yushu earthquakes.

"We hope to call on more and more university students to participate, and make our team a common one, that could bring help wherever it's needed," said Kuang.

By Liu Meng

Source: Global Times/Agencies
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(Editor:石希)

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