Awhile ago, some time after I undertook a bicycle trek from Nha Trang to Mui Ne, I was contacted by a reporter from Tuoi Tre News to write something about it. Only a tiny bit of the information I provided was actually used and I've since lost track of the article so I'll just post what I already wrote here.

1. How do you think about this new trend: travelling across the
country by bicycle. Is it popular in your country? Did you ever make
it or finish it shortly?

If it really is a trend rather than just a few outlier cases, then I
think it's great and it should really be encouraged as a wholesome and
healthy activity as well as a way to travel. In the US, it's actually
not a common thing to do although there are clubs which regularly meet
and do long-distance rides together, which may also include camping,
if the weather is agreeable. But I would like to see more people in
Vietnam ride bicycles for sport and exercise and also as a means of
transportation, not just for slow but far journeys like the one we
took. Besides the possibility of extremely cold weather in my home
country, there are many other ways in which Vietnam is a more ideal
long distance cycling destination which I hope to blog about someday.

My father is a cyclist and I joined him on a ride through forests and
countryside before I came to Vietnam. Unfortunately, I don't have a
bike to ride with me now.

2. According to Vietnamese traditional lifestyle, youngsters all
should follow the same way: finishing school, going to work, getting
married and living in peace for the rest of their life. Youngsters who
choose to go other ways like: doing gap year, going through other
countries by bicycle in a long time… means something crazy and
undervalued. How do you think about this way of thought?

Actually, I think most people can fit a cycling trip into an otherwise
traditional education since it can easily be organized during a break
and can be done on a budget. I don't think it's crazy at all, nor
should traveling to other countries or taking off for a gap year be
considered especially crazy. If you think so then your bar for what is
crazy is set too low. I do think that Vietnamese youth should be
willing to try new things and not constrain themselves only to what
the mass majority has done in the past. And definitely learn from what
people are doing around the world, not just the world around you.

3. According to your opinion, what is the thing that youngsters
gained and you lost after this trip?

I lost some weight, haha. Otherwise, there's really nothing to lose.

I gained some new friends who I now have a lot of respect for. I
learned things about myself as well. Any time we travel we gain new
experiences as well as learn about ourselves. And of course seeing a
country at the slow pace of a bicycle is much different from a car on
a highway. On a bicycle, not only do you see the terrain but you feel
the gradients, the shade from every tree, and the difference in wind
from province to province. What I gained was a new perspective on
Vietnam and especially the Vietnamese people.

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