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The 2011 Challenge

posted Jan 14, 2012, 11:33 PM by Bruce Knox   [ updated Jan 14, 2012, 11:33 PM ]

Here it comes: the 4th Team Dai Challenge! The 2011 Team Dai Challenge will bring 24 riders from Phonsavan to Vientiane. The total distance is 345 km with about 40% off road.


When: flight on the 4th of March from VTE to XKH. Biking as it follows:

· 5th of March: Phonsavan to Tathom = 110 km

· 6th of March: Tathom to Pakxan = 90 km

· 7th of March: Pakxan to Vientiane = 145 km (hopefully our arrival to the centre of the city will be joined by many many other bikers!)


Participation (training conditions): from the 9th of January, participants are expected to join at least one of the trainings of Tuesday or Thursday every week + one Sunday training every two weeks. Moreover, joining two of the last three Sunday trainings is compulsory (see below the routes we have planned for the trainings on Sunday). The main reasons for this are: we want you to be fit and we want you to get to know as many of the participants as possible. For those who do not live in Vientiane and want to join this year, well, that is a different case and of course we cannot expect you to come to the trainings. By the way, trainings are open to everyone, whether you plan to join the challenge or not and on the condition that you place safety as first (see below).

Safety first: wearing a helmet during the trainings and the challenge is a must. Sorry many of us have still lots of hair on our head and it is also warm for us, but we understand that better than conserving your hair you use (and conserve) your brains. The organizing committee does not want to play the policeman (there are already enough in every junction in the city), so we would like everyone to remind fellow bikers to do so. Besides the helmet issue, things like taking in on the right and playing the camera man during a ride are strictly not advisable (the last counts for Alex aka the bull!)

Bikes: it is everyone’s own responsibility to have his/her bike in a good condition.


Trainings: every Tuesday and Thursday at 6.15 AM from water tower close to Sendgara Gym, and every Sunday at 7 AM from Joma Bakery in the centre of Vientiane. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have a bike together policy until at least the clock tower. This means that the leading rider has to take care that everyone can follow. If for one or another reason there is a rider that on a given day that bikes considerably slower than the rest, one of us will allocate a biking mate to that person until the end of the training (a nicer and more supportive world starts at yourself!). Those who want to train more, want to get rid of frustrations by riding fast, or simply have very good legs that day: spare it for another day or challenge Alex (Willy's son) or Bruno in the afternoon. As for the Sunday trainings, here follows a list of planned routes:

  • 9th of January: the standard: clock tower, Mekong River, Friendship Bridge, Channel, That Luang (approx. 65 Km, not for race bikes. Hybrid bikes no worries if broad tires).

  • 16th of January: roads of VTE: Dongdok, Nong Suam, Rivertime road, 450 road, Friendship bridge (approx. 80 Km all paved road – all type of bikes if in good condition).

  • 23rd of January: new airport: Km 40 South Route 13 + Mekong road back to VTE (approx 90 Km – race bikes can go back on the same road than way to Km 40. Hybrid no problem if broad tires).
  • 30th of January: omelets & bacon: Stadium, Rivertime, ferry, Ta Non (approx 75 Km (approx 30Km on dirt road in good condition – race bikes possible).
  • 6th of February: Ban Pako, that is it: to Ban Pako and back (approx. 120 Km – half paved road, half dirt road – good condition).
  • 13th of February: two classics combined: Tad Moon, Dongdok, 450 road, Friendship Bridge, Mekong river dirt road (approx 120 Km – not for race bikes).
  • 20 February: the kill: VTE-Donsavanh-VTE (approx 150 Km? – all paved road, all types of bikes but in great condition).
  • 26th of February: the charity (bike day in Khamouane, ask Nicolette for more info). Alternatively for those who cannot go to Khamouane we can do one of the above mentioned routes again.
  • As you can see the challenge is like training for a marathon, it is not about the goal in itself but all what you experience and learn on the way to that goal. And we can tell you; this part is perhaps more challenging and exciting.
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