EMILY Williamson was riding in a charity fundraising tour through Thailand when the ideas started to form how she could adapt the concept in Cambodia.
The Trentham local mapped out a course and has launched a 650-kilometre bike ride for charity organisation Feeding Dreams Cambodia, for which she works in Siem Reap.
Ms Williamson said it was a chance for people to explore Cambodia and help raise money to support children and their families living in the Siem Reap slums.
“I went with my dad in a van to map out the course and there is very minimal infrastructure – there will be a lot of mountain biking,” Ms Williamson said. “People do not need to be experienced, it’s more about the social aspect of it. Most riders tend to be semi-retired or retired because they have the time to fundraise and advocate for the charity.”
Ms Williamson said she has been working with the best touring company in the country to pull off this “first of its kind” ride in Cambodia. Starting down south in beach province Sihanoukville, the nine-day ride in January will take in off-road and village riding, travel alongside the Mekong River to Siem Reap where riders will ride through UNESCO world heritage site Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument.
The ride will finish in the FDC school grounds, where riders will be welcomed by students and their families in a big celebration.
Riders must pay for their flights and tour costs and are asked to raise $AU6,500 for the charity. Ms Williamson said about 20 riders would help with the running costs of the training centre.
FDC provides free education to more than 800 impoverished students, serves 600 nutritious daily meals to children, provide vocational training for 60 youth, provides community support and sports programs for teenagers.
Ms Williamson’s parents Paul and Jenny Williamson moved to Trentham and bought the pub when she was 13 years old. She said Trentham remains her home base when in Australia.
For more details on the ride or cause, visit feedingdreamsbikeride.org