Merdeka Cycling Expedition 2015, the fourth in the series, was flagged off at the State Secretariat Building’s compound on Monday, August 3 by Perak MIC Youth Chief, M. Veeran. The month-long 2327.8km journey will take the cyclists through 66 stops within the peninsula. The participants will distribute mini Jalur Gemilang (national flag) to the public along the way to spread the Merdeka spirit.
Ipoh Echo had a brief moment with the oldest participant, 57-year-old Chuah Yew Lay, an amputee with a burning passion and a wealth of experience in cycling.
“I lost my right leg after a nasty car accident 27 years ago. I took to walking to keep myself fit but felt it was slowing me down. So I took up cycling instead. I’ve been cycling for the past 10 years. I’ve pedalled around Malaysia and around Europe. I’ve cycled to Vietnam for charity,” said the man with a big heart. “I am glad to do something good for our country,” he enthused.
The expedition is led by Ragu. With him are his daughters, 16-year-old Nithya Rubhini and Nithya Darshini, 14, the youngest participant.
Riders will join them at each stop. “Some 300 eager participants will accompany us at the Penang stop,” said Ragu. Last year’s ride attracted over 5000 cyclists nationwide.
“This is the first time MIC Youth is supporting the event. Our youths will provide the participants with logistics support at the various stops,” M. Veeran told Ipoh Echo.
The expedition is expected to end on Thursday, September 3 in front of the Ipoh City Council Building, the designated finishing line.