Almost exactly two months ago a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the mountainous country of Nepal, killing almost 9,000 people and injuring another 23,000 (wikipedia). Many of those who were injured live in remote alpine villages, cut off from roads and communication after the quake and in desperate need of relief and supplies. It turns out mountain bikers were in a great position to help.
This article from the BBC talks about Nepali national mountain bike champion Ajay Pandit Chhetri and his teammates’ efforts to reach remote villages using their mountain bikes. We often hear about heroic runs in mountain bike races but this puts things in a whole new perspective.
The photo above from the Nepal Cycling Association shows just how real things were on the ground. The riders are still wearing their bike helmets, probably for protection against falling rocks and debris, as they attend to an injured person below. From the sounds of it, the riders were able to render basic first aid but also served as a vital communication link with remote villages inaccessible to other forms of transportation.
The country’s national championship mountain bike race had been scheduled for May 2 but was postponed due to the disaster. The Red Cross is still on the ground in Nepal and as always, they can use more donations to provide medical treatment and basic supplies to those affected by the quake. These mountain bikers did what they could when disaster struck–now we have a chance to continue their work!
Inspiring! I wish I was in Nepal to help out.