Follow up to Cycling in Cambodia

Posted on Jul 6th 2011 | Better World, Bike Life, Blog,

Here is a cross-post from Quality Bicycle Products Facebook page on their effort to support cycling in Cambodia:

QBP Presents Leader of Cambodian Cycling Team with Trove of Bike Equipment
This past Wednesday, QBP was honored by a visit from Luy Sokum, a championship cyclist and coach from Cambodia. After living in the United States for more than 20 years, Luy, 76, returned to his homeland last year to begin training a new generation of cyclists. …While he dreams of creating a professional team that can compete internationally, his primary mission is to get Cambodians excited about biking and “instill in them a life-long passion for the sport.”

Although his young riders benefit greatly from Luy’s decades of racing experience, worn and outmoded bikes and equipment are limiting their progress. Recently, QBP photographer Linda Sue Amundson organized a charity effort on behalf of the team. Soliciting donations from QBP and its consumer brands, she gathered more than $2,000 worth of tubes, tires, patch kits, portable pumps, helmets, jerseys, gloves, shoes, toe clips and many other items. The gifts were presented to Luy on Wednesday night. Deeply moved by the generosity of the QBP community, he observed that most of his team members had never owned a new bike tire, let alone a trove of new bike equipment.

During his long and colorful career, Luy has been an architect, painter, teacher and leading member of the All-Asia Cycling Team. Before moving to the United States in 1981, Luy and his family survived a decade of upheaval that culminated in the brutal regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. More than 1.5 million people were killed during the communist government’s four-year reign. When the Vietnamese invaded and deposed Pol Pot in 1979, Luy and his family fled to Thailand before emigrating to the U.S.

Luy returns to Cambodia in July. Apart from coaching his team, he will train to compete in the 100 Km Angkor Bike Race, held in December. Last year, Luy won the Championship for the 55-Years-Old and Above category. The QBP Video Team will premier a short film about Luy’s extraordinary life on the new QBP public website.