20 Jul 2023

Sepeda Amal Borneo 2023 – A charity ride for the elimination of cervical cancer for the Rose Foundation

On 15th July 2023, 20 cyclist together with 6 volunteers gathered in Kuching Sarawak to ride the 1st edition of the Sepeda Amal Borneo
The objective of this year’s ride was to raise the awareness for cervical cancer and its early detection and elimination in woman. The monies raised from this ride would go toward the ROSE Foundation, which is spearheading this project for all Malaysian women.
The riders were flagged off on Sunday 16th July by non other than the Minister for Women, Family and Social Development Datuk Nancy Shukri. Many of the riders who participated had previous done multiday tours for charity and also were part of the group that did last year’s tour. However for several new riders, the thought of cycling 740km over 6 days from Kuching to Bintulu approached the ride with trepidation. Why you might ask? Among the 20 we had a cervical & adrenal cancer survivors, an above knee amputee and 2 recovering heart patients
Nevertheless after 6 days and 740km later and climbing a total elevation of 4,400 meters all riders arrived safely in Bintulu. Thanks in part to out 6 dedicated volunteers, Polis DiRaja Malaysia and EMS from various hospitals in Sarawak for keeping us hydrated, nourished and safe and when the heat of the day got to some riders, the ambulance offered sanctuary!
Riding in Sarawak is truly an enriching experience. A state which is so proud of it culture and heritage but more importantly a symbol of multi-culturalism where all races and religion come together to create one massive melting pot spread over 124,450 square kilometres. To the riders it was an eye opening experience to visit towns such as Sarikeh and Saratok and other towns which they had heard about but never seen. But the highlight for all the riders was the opportunity to experience the warmth of the Iban culture where we stayed 1 night in a Longhouse.
As a group of cyclist who do charity tours to raise money for different causes, we rarely have an insight into where our money goes. However on this tour, the riders had a first hand opportunity to see the ROSE Foundation at work. The team from ROSE followed us along the journey to visit long houses to share the message on the importance of self-screening and at the same time conducted screening for all females who lived at the longhouse. Yes, as cyclist we endured 6 days of the heat riding an average of 130km perday over undulating terrain. However we have to acknowledge and take our hats off to the ROSE team for their dedication to all Malaysian women which is 24/7/365. To read more about the ROSE Foundation

To the 20 riders, several of whom had completed their first charity ride, we sincerely hope that this would not be your last! 1 pedal stroke at a time to redeem a social condition no matter how small. We started out as friends and finished as family.

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