This is such an amazing feat! To ride in a group for 6,000 clicks. I might need 1 year to travel 1,000 km on my bicycle. And look at their bikes. Those are some good-looking tourers. How I wish I could get some racks and panniers on my hybrid.
(from The Star, 19 March 2011)
MALACCA: A group of cyclists has travelled almost 6,000km from Kunming, China, to spread the message of love and friendship here.
The group – comprising American Jesse A. Millet, Austrian David A. Heibaum, Chinese national Jin Fei Bao and six others – were in Malacca to pass letters of friendship.
Speaking through an interpreter, Jin, who is from Kunming, said the trip to Malacca was his last before embarking on a space trip sometime this year.
“When I told Malaccans that, they were intrigued. After hearing the list of places I have travelled to, they called me a modern day Cheng Ho. Then, I told them that I am possibly his reincarnation,” he quipped.
The father of two said that he left his business behind to quench his love for adventure.
“The space trip, which is being sponsored by a travel company, will include three more people from other countries, besides myself.
“I have undergone zero-gravity training, including 15 parabolic flights, at Cape Canaveral, United States, in November to prepare for the trip,” he said here.
Besides the cycling trip from Kunming, Jin had also trekked to the North and South Poles, travelled to Greenland and Sahara, and climbed Mount Everest.
Millet, who met Jin after he agreed to host an exhibition of photographs taken by the American’s grandfather during his medical service in China in 1944, said his trip to Malacca was an eye-opener.
“It is a progressive, multi-cultural state,” he said.
Austrian Heibaum said Malacca was the group’s last stop before completing their trip in Singapore.
“Our trip has taken us to almost all the countries in Southeast Asia. We have enjoyed every bit of it,” said Heibaum, who like Millet, spoke fluent Mandarin after living in China for several years.
Heibaum said the group, which left for Singapore on Thursday, had passed letters of friendship to all government officials in the countries they visited.
“Response to our mission has been very positive. We have accomplished our mission and now, we will head back to China and probably plan the same trip to other continents,” he said.