Over 100 bikers took part in an amateur mountain bike race in the southern province of Binh Duong on Sunday.
Bikers from all walks of life showed up at an abandoned stone mine in Binh Duong for the ‘Vietnam MTB Series 2016’ race.
Experience levels of the participants varied largely, from Southeast Asia’s former mountain bike champion to amateur, middle-aged bikers, some fully-equipped with professional bike gear and others dressed in shorts and tank-tops.
Variations in the ability of the participants led to situations where some bikers were forced to walk their bikes over a challenging hill, some even resorting to crawling downhill.
Though many racers were injured and bleeding after hard falls, most ignored their injuries and went on to cross the finish line.
“I’ve been practicing mountain biking for four years at the invitation of a friend,” 30-year-old biker Nguyen Thi Kim Phung said. “This sport helps quench my thirst for adventure, and is a chance for me to discover the environment and travel the country.”
Phung used to be a professional volleyball player, but had been spending every weekend practicing mountain biking with her fellow club members and watching tutorial clips on the Internet to educate herself on the sport.
“People often talk behind my back for being a female mountain biker, but following my passion is the only thing that matters to me,” Phung said. “Every time I’m able to overcome an obstacle, I feel excited and energized to keep moving forward.”
At the age of 59, biker Bach Dang Quang said he would get up at 4:00 am every morning to bike for 30 to 40 kilometers before heading to work.
“Mountain biking is suitable for older people like me since you’re not riding at high speed. It’s also safer because you don’t bike on roads, where you could collide with other vehicles,” Quang said.
Mountain biker Bach Dang Quang during the ‘Vietnam MTB Series 2016’ race in Binh Duong Province, May 29, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre