It was the mid rain season 2011 that Phong and I set out on our bicycles to explore what, unbeknown to me at the time, was to become PaintedRoads’ very first tour. Before we explored the route I was glum, neigh, melancholy. Quite why I was melancholy I could not say - such is the nature of melancholy, but my passion for bicycle adventures was frayed, and I was feeling lost. But those two weeks in Northeast Vietnam changed all. I recovered, I perked up, I became non-melancholy, and I have never looked back. So beautiful did I find the region, so enamoured was I by the adventure and the sheer pleasure and privilege of exploring such a region, by bicycle, and with a close friend, that my zeal was reignited and has burned most brightly since.
Phong and I have since run the tour countless times and never do I tire of it. We have changed it, we have improved it, we have added sections and moved the rest day, you might like to say we obsess over it. And so it is with much excitement that I fly to Hanoi early next month to ride the wonderful tour with a group of like-minded cyclists from as far afield as the Antipodes, Europe, and the seemingly more sensible section of North America.
So with this tour on my mind, I have just been flicking through some images from last years wonderful Northeast Vietnam tour, some images I find inspirational, and hopefully, you will too.
Cheerio for now