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14- and 11-year-old brothers cycling through Vietnam

On July 10, 11-year-old Tran Hai Minh and 14-year-old Tran Vu Hung finished together at the Independence Palace, ending more than 20 days of crossing 1,800 km from Bac Giang to Ho Chi Minh City.

Sweating, skin burned black because of days of sunshine, riding against the wind, Hai Minh (at home’s name is Bin) said that what he found “was” the most was to conquer 50 passes, big and small by strength. strength and legs. “Every time I cross the pass several tens of kilometers long, watching the distance travel shorter and shorter, I’m very happy. Dad taught the two brothers never to give up,” Bin laughed.

Hai Minh’s father, Mr. Tran Song Hai, 48, from Bac Giang, said that the idea of ​​​​biking with his son and cousin Tran Vu Hung arose two years ago, because he wanted to create a meaningful summer for his son. , instead of cliche tours. Many relatives thought that this was unthinkable, even reckless, but Bin and Hung at that time were only 9 years old and 12 years old, but they were very excited.

To prepare for the long trip, in addition to buying bicycles for his two children, Mr. Hai planned to exercise thoroughly. Each week, an adult and two children spend three jogging sessions, totaling about 30 km, combined with three cycling sessions of about 60 km.

On weekends or holidays, he sometimes organizes a 50-100 km long-distance cycling session. “In addition to physical preparation, I also remind my children of the will to conquer and the principle of “not complaining” or the intention to give up halfway. If you are tired you can rest, you can walk uphill, but you have to complete it. goal,” he said.

14- and 11-year-old brothers cycling through Vietnam
Mr. Hai (centre), takes a photo with his son Hai Minh (red shirt) and grandson Vu Hung (gray shirt) at Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi on June 20, before cycling into Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Character provided

The three were scheduled to leave in the summer of 2021, but due to Covid, this summer they could only make the trip. “A year late is also a good thing, the two children are also strong and strong. This makes me more confident that the children will definitely achieve the set goals,” he said.

In addition to personal belongings, according to his assignment, Bin took on the responsibility of holding a bag of preventive medicine and medical supplies, Hung held dry food and drinking water, each bag about 7 kg. Mr. Hai alone brings car repair tools, batteries, street lights, about 20 kg.

On the morning of June 20, a group of three people departed from Bac Giang to Hanoi and moved to the central provinces, along National Highway 1A.

In the early days, Bin and Hung pedaled to an average speed of 16-18 km/h without losing much effort. The group moved about 100 km, pedaling in the morning, resting in the evening.

But when it came to the central provinces, the heat was fierce, the temperature maintained at 39-40 degrees Celsius, combined with the Lao wind, pedaling 10 km was soaked in sweat, making the members dehydrated and exhausted. Mr. Hai switched to cycling from afternoon to night, on a day off to avoid the hot sun. Along the way, the 48-year-old father constantly reminded his two children to focus, stay awake, always stick to the leader, because the highway was crowded with cars, many sections did not have lights.

Bin and his cousin Vu Hung ride bicycles on National Highway 1A on June 23. Photo: Character provided

The deeper into the central provinces, the group had to face extremely hot days with increasingly difficult passes. But determined to practice discipline, and overcome themselves, the two brothers passed in turn. “It’s been a long time, Dad”, Bin shouted to his father every time he conquered a pass.

The Hue – Da Nang leg is 105 km long, and the group has to cross the Hai Van pass nearly 30 km long, with a slope of 8%. Little Bin struggled to pedal, his knees were tired, but the car inched up insignificantly. Many times, I had to stop and take a walk. Or when crossing Ca pass, one of the big, dangerous passes 333 m high, 12 km long, bordering Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa, almost exhausted, but I never thought of giving up.

Through the provinces of Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, and Khanh Hoa, the average speed of the whole group decreased sharply, only about 12 km per hour because of the opposite wind. You can also walk up to 70km per day. Arriving in Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, the road is flat, with little wind resistance, but it rains constantly, causing the journey to be interrupted. Seeing the languid faces of the two children, Mr. Hai joked “or come back”. “But the way back is farther than the destination,” said his 11-year-old son, continuing his journey.

Two brothers, Bin and Vu Hung, moved through Ca Pass on July 5. Photo: Character provided

During the journey, Bin and Hung alternated as captains, taking on the task of calling members of the delegation to get up early, find restaurants and motels, come up with a plan to deal with problems and act as a navigator. Before going to bed, the two brothers wash clothes together. “In the early days, the laundry smelled of soap, didn’t wring it properly, so it was still wet in the morning. But if it doesn’t work once, then the second, third time. From the 6th day onwards, all activities go into orbit.” , Mr. Hai laughed.

After 20 days of traveling more than 1,800 km, through 50 passes and slopes, the whole group arrived at the Independence Palace (HCMC), in front of the congratulations of friends and those who closely followed the journey. “We are happy to have completed the challenge, but we are a bit regretful because our days on the road are over,” Bin laughed.

Through 21 provinces and cities, the Bin brothers had the opportunity to admire the big cities, visit many scenic spots, historical sites, and bathe in all the seas in the Central region. In particular, the group also offered incense at Dong Loc intersection; visit the martyr’s grave, Dr. Dang Thuy Tram; visit Nha Rong wharf…

In addition, to encourage the spirit of the two children, Mr. Hai set a goal of staying at a 4-star hotel when he reaches the landmarks of Quang Tri, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. “It’s like a reward for your efforts and determination,” he laughed.

On July 13, the father and son boarded a train to move from Ho Chi Minh City to Bac Giang.

Knowing the journey through Vietnam of Mr. Hai’s family, many friends said that he took risks when taking his two young children to experience, in harsh weather conditions, dangerous traffic. But the father of Bac Giang said he had made a specific plan for two years. On the way, he carefully studied the terrain, the road, arranged a reasonable rest plan, controlled the speed so that the two children could be in the best shape.

Supported by Bin’s team to repair his car on June 27 in Dong Hoi City (Quang Binh), 15-year-old Hoang Quoc Anh, a boy who cycled 800 km from Da Nang to Hanoi, expressed his admiration when he saw two bad boys. cycling through Vietnam. “Bin was young, but he shared a lot of cycling techniques and handling emergency situations on the road for me. Bin is the motivation for me to have more determination, not afraid of difficulties and hardships to achieve the set goals. “, Quoc Anh said.

As for Bin, the 11-year-old boy said he learned many useful things from his journey through Vietnam with his father and cousin. “I know how to train my will and discipline to overcome myself; learn to survive, adapt and return safely; know how to connect with love, share what I have; have the opportunity to inspire for everyone and see with their own eyes the beautiful Vietnam,” the boy said.

In the next two years, Bin aims to cycle from Lang Son to Ca Mau, which is 2,500 km long, using the Ho Chi Minh trail and the Central Highlands. By the age of 18, the boy wanted to cycle through Southeast Asian countries.

“I always believe in Bin and Hung. When the children dare to dream and desire to conquer the goal, prepare well the conditions plus the will, they will surely complete it”, Mr. Hai confided.

Photo: Internet

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