History of Team Dai

Team Dai was formed in early 2008 by Bruce Knox and Sophie Donnelly, two teachers interested in riding from Vientiane to Luang Prabang on their bicycles. It was thought that making it a fund raising ride might help to give it a purpose. The original aim was to raise $1000.

As word spread that this was being planned, more and more riders asked to join in. Suddenly there were 10. A team logo was designed, a website was created, cycle shirts were printed, a support vehicle was organised, training rides were ridden and the word was out that the team was looking for sponsorship money. An online facility for donations was set up and the support flourished. And then the team rode.

For many riders, it was one of their greatest accomplishments. It is a long way to ride in three days and there are some long, long hills to climb but the companionship was excellent, the weather fine and the thrill of riding through some of the best scenery in Laos ever-present.
The team raised just short of $7000 which was amazing. The funds were spent on supplies for a school outside Luang Prabang, support for a woman running a single women's shelter and orphanage in Luang Prabang, building refurbishments and supplies for a local Vientiane school and supplies for three schools on the outskirts of Vang Vieng.

The name of the team took a while to find itself when names were being thrown around at the start of the whole process. The eventual "Team Dai" was a bit of a play with words, both Lao and English. The word "dai" (or more correctly, het dai) in Lao language means "can", as in "I can do it." For English speakers, the word "die" needs no explaining and was thought to be appropriate as we anticipated how we would be feeling at the end of the twenty-five kilometre uphill stretches along the ride to Luang Prabang. And so the name Team Dai stuck.

With the graphic design skills of Ginny Coleman, the third member of Team Dai, the team logo was born, again playing with the Lao script and the English alphabet to create a merging of the two written languages.