Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday 10As part of the Lamorbey Associates birthday celebration Mike and Peter were due to participate in a Charity Cycle ride during February 2015. The route for the ride extended from Ho Chin Minh city in Vietnam along the banks of the Mekong delta and finishing in Siem Reap, the town close to the ancient site of Angkor Watt in Cambodia. The total distance to be cycled amounted to over 550 km (341 miles) and with local temperatures approaching 40˚C with humidity levels at around 65% this represented a gruelling challenge for even the fittest amongst the participants. Obtaining the required level of fitness proved difficult particularly for Mike who encountered problems with his feet which severely hindered his practice schedule. After a number of visits to his GP Mike was diagnosed with Gout and was forced to reluctantly withdraw from the ride just a few weeks before the scheduled departure date. This left Peter to fly the flag for Lamorbey Associates and he duly arrived in Ho Chi Minh city (formerly known as Saigon) on Friday 13th February.

The ride started in earnest on Valentine’s Day and ‘love was all around’ as most participants easily coped with the initial leg which was limited to just over 65 km. The second day proved much more arduous. The route comprised a mixture of dirt paths and un-made road tracks which ran alongside the Mekong delta as it meandered through the tropical rainforest reminiscent of the landscapes in an Oliver Stone war movie. This leg was a stark reminder of the scale of the task which lay in front of the participants who were now succumbing to saddle sores and sunburn on this punishing leg which extended over 100km. Some relief was provided by the friendly locals many of whom would pass the cyclists on their scooters adding encouragement with shouts and greetings. Things didn’t get any easier on days four and five when similar travel distances of over 100km were required. Some respite finally came on day five when the team had a limited journey to board a riverboat which would took them along the Mekong delta to Phom Penh. From there the team paid a visit to the notorious Choeung Ek killing fields. The visit included a trip to a museum where a survivor described the chilling stories behind the displays and human remains of some of those cruelly murdered by Pol Pot’s regime. In total over a million people were slaughtered during the period when the Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia from 1975-1979. This was a very sad and humbling experience for the team of cyclists and many tears were shed as the scale and brutality of the genocide was recounted by the survivors.

Siem Reap was finally reached after another two days of over 100km cycling and despite suffering from a fairly  aggressive tummy bug Peter managed to cross the finish line early in the evening of 20th February, some seven days and 553 km after setting out from Ho Chi Minh city. Tired and sore Peter had completed the journey and in doing so had managed to raise a total of £3,700 for the Save The Children charity (in total the group raised £105,000!), much to the delight of his proud family and friends and his colleagues here at Lamorbey Associates.

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