Born to ride
Wanting a vacation that’s both rich in exotic
culture and exercise? Vietnam may just be the
ticket, whether you’re 48 or 18. We know. We
spoke to Chris Valentine.
n his forties and feeling fairly ﬁ t, despite WHAT WERE THE BIKES LIKE? ROAD
his self-confessed belly (a small one, we’re WARRIORS OR MOUNTAIN MACHINES?
assured), Chris Valentine signed up for We had mountain bikes – they were great and
Kumuka’s Action Vietnam tour. Lasting 11 had more gears than we needed. We also had
days, it would see him kayaking through Halong water bottles to ensure we stayed hydrated.
Bay, trekking through rainforests and hill tribe
communities, and cycling almost 140km. WHERE DID THE FIRST RIDE TAKE YOU?
AND WHAT WAS THE PACE LIKE?
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TAKE THE We rode about 23km through the countryside
ACTION VIETAM TOUR? to the village of Hoa Binh. The pace was pretty
I’d previously trekked the Inca Trail with relaxing as the terrain was ﬂ at.
Kumuka in June 2005 and wanted to do
something active again – something that WHAT WAS THE LONGEST DAY IN
would test my ﬁ tness. THE SADDLE? AND HOW WERE YOU
SUPPORTED EN ROUTE?
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING DURING The third day of the tour, the second on the
YOUR TIME ON THE INCA TRAIL? bike, witnessed us covering 64km. Again,
Yes. I learned that ﬁ tness is not always
about age. There was a 65-year-old who put
everyone to shame, including some British, TOP TIPS
Australian and Kiwi boys in their early ✱ Don’t forget padded shorts!
twenties. I think if you’re happy (and semi- ✱ Bring your own cycling helmet.
ﬁ t) you can do anything. ✱ Start training 6 months in advance,
with three one-hour cardio sessions
WHERE DID YOUR VIETNAM TOUR each week
START? AND DID YOU HOP STRAIGHT ON ✱ Bring sunglasses, a hat and plenty of
THE BIKES? sunscreen
We met up in Hanoi and no, we didn’t start ✱ It may seem obvious, but bring your
pedalling immediately. We boarded our bikes camera! The scenery is amazing and
in the second half of day two, after we’d taken local villagers will welcome you
part in a city tour and visited the Ho Chi with big smiles
Minh Trail Museum.
CALL US TODAY! UK 0800 092 9595 IRE 1800 946 843 USA/CAN 1800 517 0867 8
EXPLORE OUR FULL RANGE OF ACTIVE HOLIDAYS ONLINE AT WWW.KUMUKA.COM
SUMMER / AUTUMN 2007 Venture Venture SUMMER / AUTUMN 2007
P8-9 VIETNAM.indd 22 17/8/07 07:23:56
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