Going 1,200km distance in France

  • Community Sports
  • Tuesday, 24 Sep 2019

The WOW cyclists at the starting point of Paris-Brest-Paris.

A MALAYSIAN cycling team took up the challenge to ride 1,200km within 90 hours in the Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) event in France.

Civil engineer Mohamad Zamri Bin Shaari, 59, together with his nephew, Aliff Afzan Bin Rashid, 33, participated in the long-distance cycling event held once every four years.

The uncle-nephew duo was part of a team of 30 cyclists who called themselves Waghih on Wheels (WOW).

Incidentally, Zamri was the eldest participant from Malaysia, while Aliff was the youngest.

First organised back in 1891, this year’s event saw 6,551 cyclists from around the world gathering in Paris.

The cyclists had to complete various sanctioned cycling distance stages to qualify for PBP.

To prepare for the challenging event, Zamri practised cycling continuously for 24 hours as well as downloaded cycling and safety route maps to plan his stops for meals and breaks.

The WOW team arrived at Chateau de Rambouillet on the first day to collect their cycling kits and get their bikes inspected.

They set off on their journey the next day with the other cyclists and the route took participants through small towns, where locals cheered them on and provided the riders with refreshments.

The cooler climate in France proved to be the Malaysian cyclists’ biggest challenge as they are used to tropical weather.

Finding halal food for the Muslim cyclists also proved to be a challenge and that made it difficult for some of them to maintain their energy level.

Despite the challenges, the cyclists made it to the port city of Brest, the halfway point of PBP the day after their journey began.

Food provisions and water bottles were replenished and with 51 hours left to complete the challenge, they made their way back to Rambouillet without any rest or proper meals.

“I was not only tasked with being the driver of the WOW team but also keeping the family up-to-date via social media platforms,” said Zamri’s daughter Ili who accompanied them on the trip.

Zamri and Aliff arrived at the finishing line at Chateau de Rambouillet and were proud to hold up the Malaysian flag.

They cycled the distance in 88 hours and 40 minutes through sheer determination and mental strength.

WOW’s mission to cover 1,200km in under 90 hours had been achieved.
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Paris-Brest-Paris , PBP , cycling


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