Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Crazy guy on a bike

Okay, time to change topics. I was never very adventurous in my days as a student. Never went camping, never tried to climb Kinabalu or hike to Tahan, etc... The most 'adventurous' things I attempted were to travel to Iceland, cycled around some inactive volcanic fields, stayed overnight at the airport in Oslo, Norway and got involved in a car accident in Turkey where a good friend of mine was seriously injured (Thankfully, he's fully recovered now and is a happily married dad). That's why I take my hat off to a friend who recently graduated from Duke (undergrad) and is on his way back to Malaysia ... on a bike!

This friend, Law Tzuo Hann, decided that instead of looking for a job immediately after his graduation, he would take a trip of a lifetime which was to cycle back to Malaysia starting from the United Kingdom, a trip which will take him an estimated 8 months.

He wanted to see if you could endure such a trip and tested himself by trying to cycle across the United States. This he did, to my (and probably his) amazement. Check out his route from the West Coast of the US all the way to DC, a trip which took him roughly 38 days.

Right now, he's in Germany now and making good progress on his way back to Malaysia which would take him through many 'exotic' countries which are not known for being good cycling locations such as Turkey, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan (if I'm not mistaken).

It always amazes me when a student can attempt this sort of journey of discovery, especially when it is done under very minimalist conditions. Tzuo Hann doesn't have an entourage, he camps in church yards and other outdoor locations to save accommodation costs (or stays with friends). He's clearly doing this on a minimalist budget and without any institutional support. He's not looking to be rewarded with a Datukship or money from the government. Instead, he's looking for support and sponsorships to benefit charities.

As far as I know, his dad, who has been very encouraging of him, is trying to raise publicity in regards to this journey and is trying to garner sponsorship for Tzuo Hann's trip back to Malaysia, hopefully, to be donated to charities and to defray some traveling expenses. Indeed, his dad is hoping to join him and cycle back to Malaysia from China!

I think that his story has been featured in Malaysian Mensa and maybe some of the Chinese dailies but if any of our readers would like to help out Tzuo Hann, you can do the following:

(i) Write an encouraging note on his journal which can be accessed here.
(ii) Contact him via email to send an email of encouragement (thl13@duke.edu)
(iii) Contact him if you think you can raise some corporate sponsorship for him
(iv) Contact him if you think you can get him some publicity (newspapers, journals, magazines, newsletters etc...)

In the meantime, safe travels to Tzuo Hann!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

hopefully, he can arrive home safely. cheers!

Nor Izzatina Abdul Aziz said...

I'm planning to backpack around Malaysia after I graduate in April. I hope that I managed to be accepted into a grad school next year. If not I will have to find a job.

Anonymous said...

ah ... we should get Tony to write about his adventures cycling across UK, south to north :)

Anonymous said...

Actually, I had plans to walk around the world ...

Anonymous said...

i have a plan to walk on moon.
awesome right ?

matthew beswick said...

bagus! iam from the UK and been in malaysia for 8 months now. decided i wanted to see more of the country and headed out alone on my bicycle. from langkawi to kuala besut was hard going but great fun (5 days). now heading to pulau tioman, onto singapore and back to langkawi. all for a budget of 1000rm. hope u can do it adik, get that sponsporship cause i dont want anything from my trip just people to help me out with homestay and makan!