I decided once my cycling was up to scratch, my fitness had improved and I could deal with Sydney traffic, it was time to broaden my horizons. So I embarked on a cycling holiday through Vietnam but mostly in Cambodia.
For anyone who has travelled in developing countries you will know what I mean – cycling in Cambodia made cycling in Sydney seemed like a breeze.
Cycling through the small towns was always interesting. It’s like word had spread before we got there that some crazy group of foreigners were passing through on bikes and everyone had come out to take a look.
I suppose for most people in the world, cycling is really just a mode of transport to move from point A to point B. Many local people looked at us as if we were mad, slightly confused or just a bit strange. One woman asked me, “why would you?” She couldn’t understand why you would voluntarily want to do this.
Most days involved several hours of cycling but it was broken up with breaks, so nothing too difficult. Also most of the riding was pretty flat.
We had a mix of ages in the group from 20 through to mid 60s and everyone at different levels of fitness and cycling ability.
Road conditions were generally good – no gutters but sometimes it felt like we were riding on trails rather than a road!
Often along the road little kids would run out to greet you and expect you to slap their hand as you rode pass. They would giggle with absolute delight at this.
But by far, the highlight of the trip, was cycling around Angkor Wat (pictured above) – the UNESCO World Heritage listed temples. While other tourists piled onto their buses, we lazily ambled along on our bikes and even managed to visit some temples that you could only get to on foot or on a bike. It was the perfect way to visit the sites.
Coming home I realised how peaceful and orderly Sydney traffic is – unlike the craziness of Cambodia where you didn’t know who was going where or what was happening, yet everyone just seems to get along.
I would highly recommend a cycling trip for a holiday – it was a great mix of fitness, fun and site seeing.
Next week we return to cycling in Sydney topics…
Where in the world have you cycled?