biking enthusiasts, the Dubai Roadsters, led by Dubai Hotelier, Thomas Tapken, completed a 1000 km cycle across Thailand and
Cambodia in October 2008, indulging a favourite pastime whilst raising much needed funds for Dubai based charity The Little Wings
Tapken, Regional General Manager
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts Dubai, who cycled an average of 300 km per week for 6 weeks prior to the trip,
getting up three times a week at 4.30 am to train for the challenge, is already planning the next venture before even recovering from this one.
What differentiated this particular trip from previous ones was the amazing fund raising accomplished.
At a post-trip Benefit Dinner held at the
Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai, Tapken presented the selected charity, the Little Wings Foundation with
over AED 30,000 raised during trip and from the dinner itself where sponsors such as Mövenpick Hotels from around the region, Wolfi’s Bike
Shop and Kenwood Kitchen Appliances had also donated a number of raffle prizes.
Dr Marc Sinclair, Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and Founder of Little Wings, accepted the money on behalf of the Foundation and explained
to the Dubai Roadsters and their guests how the donations will be used.
"In January 2009 we will be spending one week in Palestine with a team of surgeons to operate on children with musculoskeletal deformities.
This fantastic donation will allow us to fully treat about 20 children on the West Bank, as well as screen around 150 children in nearby Jericho to
identify future beneficiaries," Dr Sinclair said.
Tapken, who has organised a number of cycling trips to Thailand, Oman and Jordan for the Dubai Roadsters
added, "This was a poignant evening as we were also remembering one of our group who passed away during the trip to Thailand. Peter Graves died of
a heart attack at the end of our tour, whilst resting in bed after a fun day’s ride. He was an integral member of the group and a key fund raiser,
donating his bike to a would-be Thai cyclist even before completing the trip. He will be sadly missed, but always associated with fun and
positive actives such as this amazing outcome of our holiday from which 20 children will be offered better lives through the Little Wings
The trip participants were led in their preparations for this trip by Tapken, and Wolfgang Hohmann, owner of Wolfi’s Bike Shop in Dubai. The
training schedule involved daily cycles of up to 70km around Dubai and weekly group sessions of up to 120km every Friday morning.
"We have developed a training momentum and a group of enthusiastic participants who will hopefully continue this trend of enjoyable trips and
fund raising activities. We are looking forward to a get together early in 2009 where Dr Sinclair will update us following his mission to Palestine,
and give us another target to work towards for the remainder of the year. We are already looking at further trips to Thailand and also South
Africa for the 32nd Cape Argus Challenge in March 2009 as well as shorter regional tours – so anyone interested should get themselves up and
out bright and early to join us for the Friday morning rides in preparation for longer
adventures in 2009!" Tapken added.
Each tour is organised by Tapken and local cycle tour organisers, and includes planned refreshment breaks, hotel accommodation,
support vehicles, professional guides and technical assistance. On the Thailand/Cambodia trip there were three support vehicles, three
professional local bikers as guides – and 80 local Thai bikers joining the group for two
days. In addition, over 80 massages were enjoyed during
the 9 days by the bikers!
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