Cycle team's epic journey

08:45, April 27, 2010      

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Members of the cycle team promote the Guangzhou Asian Games in Singapore last September. Photo: Courtesy of Kuang Qichang

A team of student cyclists promoting the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games is planning to visit 22 locations across China after recently completing a grueling journey across six Asian nations.

The team's past accomplishments include its involvement in promoting the 2008 Olympic Games in 19 coastal cities within 38 days. And, in 2009, it advocated the campaign for a "green and low-carbon lifestyle" across the Peal River Delta.

Named Qitianxia, the team was born in 2007 thanks to a chance meeting between two then university students: Kuang Qichang, an international politics sophomore at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GUS and Wang Wei, an electronic commerce junior at Guangdong Polytechnic College.

Team building

The two boys got to know each other at a badminton competition at Kuang's university.

Kuang believes that the challenge of an epic journey is a way to grow more wise and mature. "I see my body as a tool to experience the wonder in the world, and the depth of humanity and culture."

Wang became a Chinese record holder in 2007 when he became the first undergraduate to cycle-tour across the country. Wang is more experienced in traveling, while Kuang, who is well read, was confident of solving any problems they might experience.

"My advantage was the knowledge I gathered from studying, while Wang had the practical know-how, perfect for building a cycle-tour team," he said.

Over a two-year period, the team expanded to 13 members. From that group, eight became the core members on the six-country-tour, which was from September until the end of last year.

The eight included four local undergraduates, three recent graduates, plus Huang Hongzhang, a 70-year-old touring veteran, who has biked all over China in the past 17 years. Kuang said that Huang has rich experiences and is the mental leader of their team.

Financial support

The team had planned to travel all over Asia, but due to lack of funds, they followed a route that took them to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The whole journey cost 80,000 yuan ($11,720), which mostly went on accommodation, buying souvenirs and for necessities.

As well as borrowing from family and friends, they also sought financial support from some private companies, and whenever they arrived in the Chinatown areas of the Southeast Asian countries, they would get a warm welcome and assistance.
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