KUCHING, Jan 21, 2016:
Potholes and a challenging terrain awaited a group of friends who embarked on an exotic journey, cycling 1,300km along the Pan Borneo Highway, all to create greater cancer awareness.
The group, led by Dr Wee Loon Ong, embarked on the trail they called “The Cancer Challenge” last Tuesday.
Their adventure covered the main towns and cities along Sarawak’s coast and Brunei. It ends in Kota Kinabalu in a few days.
“I never expected a ferry crossing to be that long. And we never expected the rivers to be so wide,” said Dr Wee relating his first crossing of Batang Lupar in Sebuyau.
The 31-year-old doctor, from Alor Star, is practicing medicine in Melbourne and is currently training in radiation oncology.
Previously, he had done several solo rides in Australia and United Kingdom. This time around, he decided to bring along two friends to share his experience.
“This is my first visit to this side of the country and I found everything about this place to be very different from the peninsula.
“Aside from a highway filled with potholes, the people here tend to be more open to visitors.
“When they came to know we were doing this to raise cancer awareness, they were rather surprised because we were crazy enough to do this,” said Dr Wee.
Being a practising doctor and training in radiation oncology, Dr Wee felt it was the right thing to do to raise funds for the Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society.
To date they have collected RM15,240 from their initial target of RM30,000.
His friends, Fann Rui Yang, from Ipoh, and Chee Yoong Chuan, from Alor Star, both 31, are engineers based in Singapore.
This was also their first visit to this side of the country.
“This ride really showed us how diverse and big Sarawak is. Each of the towns is also very different from each other in terms of culture and food.
“But despite all that, most of the people here are friendly and willing to give us a hand,” said Dr Wee.
They are not be the first group to cycle from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu on the Pan Borneo Highway and will certainly not be the last.
Dr Wee said he encountered a German couple along the way.
“They were taking it to the extreme. They told us they were riding around Borneo.
“Maybe I should return to do that one day!”
Donations for the fund are still open till Feb 29 and it can be done online at http://www.peoplegiving.org/web/guest/campaign-page?campId=185.