Local cycling group raises $320,000 for Kidney Dialysis Foundation
Cyclists make 50km detour on winding roads on their trip from Perak to Singapore
It was challenging enough for the 67 cyclists to cycle 1,000km from Belum, Perak, to Singapore to raise funds for the Kidney Dialysis Foundation (KDF).
Then, they had to deal with a collapsed bridge 28km to Gua Musang in southern Kelantan, which meant members of the local cycling group, EpicCyclist, had to make a 50km detour.
For the sake of KDF's patients, they cycled 10 hours a day and returned safely to Singapore on Monday.
From last Friday to Monday, the cyclists travelled over winding roads and rolling hills in Malaysia hoping to raise $350,000 for KDF patients by June.
The group raised $320,000 during the cycling event.
A few hours into the ride, during a lunch break, KDF Millennium Ride 2017 organiser Clifford Lee, 46, was told by a local shopkeeper that a makeshift concrete bridge on their original route had collapsed from a thunderstorm last month.
Mr Lee said: "I took out my maps and had to plan an alternative route on the spot."
He deployed two cars and a motorcycle to check out the roads, before informing the cyclists of their new route.
The group's oldest cyclist, Mr Peter Sng, 64, said: "The extra 50km was a killer for me, especially as my knees were already hurting by then."
A participant in all four KDF Millennium Rides, Mr Sng said this year's was his toughest yet.
"I started feeling a sharp pain in my left knee by the second day from the steep incline and continuous uphill terrain."
He added that this was the first time he had to stop every 30 minutes to use pain-relieving sprays for his knees.
The terrain was also brutal for first-timer, Mr Gary Lee, 45, who had participated in two Ironman 70.3 triathlons before.
"I thought I was well prepared but the extra 50km was unexpected.
"I just had to bike through it despite the pain and weather conditions."
The group cycled in pouring rain for close to an hour on the first and fourth day.
The public can still donate to KDF until the end of June.
How to donate
The non-profit group, EPIC Cyclist, is hoping to raise $350,000 to subsidise dialysis treatment and medication for the Kidney Dialysis Foundation (KDF).
KDF donor relations and communications manager, Ms Jemin Chua, said the funds raised from the ride will help defray patients' dialysis fees, medication costs and provide transport subsidies to those with mobility issues.
She added that the beneficiaries include more than 300 low-income patients.
The public can donate online via giving.sg at tinyurl.com/Mride17.
For details, call the KDF on 6559-2630. - LEANNE CHUA