Taiwanese cancer survivor cycles to India on 6-nation tour

Chen worked as a volunteer on the way through Southeast and South Asia

Chen Min-hsien reached New Delhi on his bicycle.

Chen Min-hsien reached New Delhi on his bicycle. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A 67-year-old man from Taiwan who survived cancer has reached India on a six-nation bicycle tour, reports said Saturday.

After retiring at 56, Chen Min-hsien (陳敏先) was diagnosed with cancer, but the surgery which healed him also turned his life around, the Central News Agency reported. He decided to work as a volunteer and to cycle, first on a round-the-island trip in Taiwan, then in China, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Last October, Chen decided to undertake a 106-day “2017 10,000 Mile Cycle Tour For Love” to help raise NT$2.5 million (US$84,000) for the rebuilding of a Catholic home for girls in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand. He calls himself a “not old cyclist” (不老騎士), a term made famous by a documentary titled “Go Grandriders!” based on the true story of 17 Taiwanese men and women cyclists around 80 years old who rode around the island.

Over the past 88 days, the Taiwanese man worked as a volunteer and cycled his way through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar before reaching South Asia.

As a Catholic, Chen said he just had to perform volunteer work at the institution founded by Mother Theresa in Kolkata, before heading to Varanasi to witness cremations on the Ganges and then on to the capital New Delhi.

Even though there was a language barrier and it took him time to get used to the chaotic traffic, he said that everywhere he went, there were immediately Indians ready to help him solve problems.

After New Delhi, Chen is cycling to Chennai in the southeastern state of Tamil Nadu, before crossing over to Sri Lanka, the last country on his itinerary.