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Young Taiwanese cyclists complete 3,200km ride in China

Young Taiwanese cyclists complete 3,200km ride in China

Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) A group of 23 youngsters from a children's shelter in Yunlin County has completed a 3,200-kilometer-long bike ride from Beijing to Xiamen in 35 days, the head of the shelter said Saturday. The riders, ranging in age from 8 to 17, impressed many Chinese spectators with their determination to conquer hardship during the challenging ride, Wu Wen-huei, director of the Hsinyi Children's Home, said at a press conference, a day after the group returned home from China. "None of the children cried because they didn't want to ride any more; some only cried because they couldn't ride" because of injuries, recalled Yang Su-chiu, a nurse who attended to the teenagers and children on their month-long ride in China from July 17 to Aug. 20. Setting off from Beijing, the youngsters rode through 28 cities in five provinces before reaching their final destination of Xiamen. It was the longest ride ever completed by Taiwanese cyclists under the age of 18, said Shen Chih-hwei of the Taiwan-based Huaxia Culture Exchange Associaiton that sponsored the tour. The longest distance they covered in a single day was 194.5 km. Hsinyi Children's Home Chairwoman Lai Yu-hsiu thanked the Taiwanese and Chinese companies that made the cycling tour possible with their financial support, along with the Chinese authorities who provided security, traffic, and medical assistance to the young riders, dubbed "bike angels" by China's media. Wu said he was deeply touched by the generosity of cross-Taiwan Strait businesses to help the "angels" realize their dream. Fourteen-year-old rider A Cheng (nickname) said he adapted to life in China during the 35-day tour, and 8-year-olds Ni Ni and Shiao Sheng said adults on the mainland treated them nicely. Wu began leading the socially disadvantaged children from the shelter on bike rides across Taiwan in 2007, hoping to help them build self-confidence and raise public awareness of the welfare needs of disadvantaged groups in the country. Watching the kids grow up and get stronger day after day has been his greatest comfort, Wu said. (By Yeh Tzu-kang and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-03-02 21:12 GMT+08:00