The idea of a charity bike ride across Malaysia started as a dream around Christmas 2011. Back in January, Trans-Malaysia Express founder Richard Thevenon met with Jean-Francois Torrelle who is one of the key figures in long distance cycling in Asia and Europe to refine the idea.
Richard started a Facebook group and, in the space of two weeks, 30+ riders from around Asia expressed interest in participating. When it was announced that the ride will start in Thailand and finish in Singapore, an 800 km journey down the East Coast of Malaysia to be completed in less than 48 hours. All of a sudden, the numbers went down from over 30 to about 16.
The Trans-Malaysia Express aka TME was official.
The TME could have remained a ride amongst 16 nutters (and friends of course) but as a Charity ride we felt that we had to do a bit more promotion. Fellow rider Jeff Paine had the brilliant idea to talk to Tourism Malaysia and try to get them on board as our main partner. It happened that they were the most enthusiastic partner imaginable and they turned this small event into a major cycling event in Malaysia, offering all their expertise in planning the trip, providing police escort all the way (up to 2 cars and 4 motorbikes on some sections!), paramedics, and all the logistics.
Simultaneously David Kolpak, one of the most serious long distance riders in Singapore, came on board. His help with the planning and fundraising was unbelievable.
After 5 months of planning and fund raising, The Trans-Malaysia Express set-off from Thailand at 10 pm on Wednesday 31st May.
In addition to receiving extensive media coverage...
We raised more than $100,000 for "A New Vision," a charity which provides free cataract operations in Indonesia.
I would just like to say a massive thank you to all who supported and donated to my attempt to ride 800 km in 48 hours. For those of you who still want to donate, it's not too late. You can donate here until 31 August 2012.
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