Group of 50 seniors planning 800km cycling trip to Penang

Group of 50 seniors planning 800km cycling trip to Penang

Their oldest rider is 90 and the youngest, 59.

And in about a month from now, the group of about 50 senior citizens is planning to mount their bicycles for a ride from Singapore to Penang.

That is a distance of 800km.

The group of mostly retirees (and mostly men), will begin its eight-day, seven-night journey on May 5. They plan to be physically and mentally prepared to cycle up to a 100km a day.

The trip is organised by the Concern and Care Society (CCS), a voluntary welfare organisation dedicated to improving the lives of the elderly.

Eight seniors from CCS's Taiwan branch will also take part in the trip.

Mr Chan Mun Thong, 68, said: "Most of us already have experience in long-distance cycling. Everybody's really excited and asking about the finer details of the trip."

He will be part of a recce trip next week to plan the route and to "scout for makan places".

As a safety precaution, members have to clear a health check before the trip.

During the trip, a bus will also follow to ferry those who are unable to continue, though Mr Chan said the general sentiment was that "everybody wants to finish". The group will be stopping at hotels every night.

Mr David Lee, 53, the chief executive of Taiwan's CCS who brought the idea of cycling to Singapore's CCS, said the trip is more than just exercise and fitness.

It aims to show that being old means much more than just eating and sleeping.

NO REGRETS

Mr Chan agrees.

"I like to live life to the limits with no regrets, and I hope the elderly can follow in my footsteps," he said.

The retired marine engineer, joined the CCS Superstar Cycling Club two years ago. He is now its leader, with 200 members aged 60 to 80. They meet on Saturdays to train, often riding up to 50km.

When asked if his family was worried about the trip, he said: "They're concerned but not afraid because I have much experience cycling on the roads."

CCS also plans to organise a Lee Kuan Yew Legacy Century Ride-cum-carnival in September.

It is also in the midst of collecting 100,000 signatures from the public before National Day, in a bid to show the Pioneer Generation's appreciation for the late Mr Lee.


This article was first published on April 2, 2015.
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