Indiscipline in Sri Lanka deflates cyclist Chen’s ambition

Published : 9:10 am  January 25, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (253) reads | 

Cyclist Chen Ming Hsien (Albert Chen) of Taiwan, who has a mission to ride across the world is in Sri Lanka! Chen’s intention is to enter his name in the Guinness Book of World Records. He also intends to popularize environmental and cultural protection whilst promoting peace among people. Up to now he has cycled in 23 countries. Professionally he is hotelier and a director of a school. Chen who is 67-years-old was presented with the award for the Best Teacher in 1995 in Taiwan. He has cycled six times around Taiwan between 2008 – 2011. Following are excerpts of an interview the Daily Mirror did  with Chen. 

Q What made you to accept a challenge of cycling around the world with the intention of entering your name in the Guinness Book of World Records?
I was hospitalized for a serious operation in 2007. Whilst lying in the hospital bed, without much hopes to live, I prayed to God for my recovery. I made a promise that I would cycle round Taiwan once I am discharged from the hospital. My prayers were answered and in 2008 I fulfilled my promise to God.   

Q How many countries has your cycling taken you to? What are the other countries you intend to visit after Sri Lanka.
I started cycling around the world in 2012 and cycled in China, Israel, Vatican, Italy, France, England, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. In 2013 I was in Brussels and Korea, in 2014 in Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Philippine, in 2015 Africa and Switzerland, and in  2016 I once again cycled around China. In 2017 I was in Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka. In 2018 I intend cycling in Nigeria and Australia and also intend in coming back to Sri Lanka. In 2019 my plans are to ride in America, Texas, Canada, Japan and to enter China.   

Q At your age, it is not an easy task to cycle the entire world. How long have you been cycling now?
Though I am 67 I am young at heart. I believe in myself and my successes give me immense satisfaction. With a positive mindset nothing is impossible. This is the background to my cycling around the world which began in 2012.   

I was hospitalized for a serious operation in 2007. Whilst lying in the hospital bed, without much hopes to live, I prayed to God for my recovery. I made a promise that I would cycle round Taiwan once I am discharged from the hospital. 

Q Can you recall some memorable incidents that took place in other countries?
I met with an accident for the first time in Israel. It was so serious and everybody thought I would have died on the spot. There was God’s hand during this incident and I was miraculously rescued sans a scratch on my body. Holland is the best country I have visited so far. They are very systematic and the place is very safe. The people are friendly and helpful. Life is very easy and people in this country are free of stress. 

 

Q What are the responses you have got in this endeavour?
I receive a lot of response and I am surprised to note how people identify me. They encourage me and are becoming very friendly. I have pleasant memories in many of these countries. I receive generous sponsorship. The Catholic Association of Taiwan is an extra special sponsor of mine.   

Q Once this challenge is completed, what will be your future aspirations?
My next mission is to form a youth circle that would love the environment and the globe. As of now, unprecedented pollution is taking place in every form in the globe. We also live in a risky world. I will get humans, specially the young blood, to think far and to implement the ‘go greener concept’.   

Q Where did you ride in Sri Lanka?
Traffic congestion coupled with not complying with traffic rules has stopped me from cycling in Sri Lanka. I was not able to set my mind for the purpose. I had plans to ride to Galle and Kandy, but it may be during my next visit to Sri Lanka. If I had a companion to cycle with it would have been different.   

Q What are the memories you would carry back from Sri Lanka?
Friendship and beautiful memories of kind hospitality. I appreciate Mrs Sunethra Nugawela, Executive Director Academy for Administrative Professionals, and her family for the lovely gestures and making my short stay pleasant. I would also like to thank Captain Lee of Evergreen for sponsoring my accommodation. These wonderful people have given me hopes of visiting Sri Lanka again.