Joanne Poon loves the fun and journey of cross-country biking. The 62-year-old retiree is presently touring throughout Vietnam along with her husband Yeoh Keong Kok and a gaggle of largely senior cyclists. Since she began cross-country biking eight years in the past, Poon has cycled via Thailand, Laos, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Kunming (in China).
She’s even ventured so far as France and has plans of biking via many extra nations within the coming years.
Biking, says Poon, is a unbelievable approach of seeing a spot because it permits entry to stops that almost all tour buses miss. It’s also very exhilarating, she provides.
“Once we cycle, we undergo locations at a slower tempo and might cease each time and wherever we want.
“However largely, we get to see issues that almost all vacationers miss. In Japan, we went off the crushed observe to villages and bought to benefit from the calmness and cleanliness of the countryside. In Thailand, we additionally cycled to a village and got here throughout a barbershop positioned in a barn with a cow sleeping inside, ” shares Poon.
Biking via locations has additionally enabled her to satisfy many people who find themselves very pleasant and sort and keen to assist.
“Once we go on our abroad biking excursions, we not often e book our lodging prematurely, ” reveals Poon.
“However, wherever we go, individuals have been form and proven us love and unbelievable hospitality. On ourTaiwan journey, we cycled up a hill and reached our vacation spot at about 7pm.
“We have been exhausted, chilly and hungry and stopped at a restaurant which had already closed for the day.
“The restaurant proprietor and his household have been having their dinner. However she kindly provided us a meal and in addition a spot to sleep.
“One other time, on a visit via Korea and Japan, we arrived in Osaka on the finish of Apri, l throughout ‘Golden Week’, when the Japanese have been having a protracted break. We had a tough time on the lookout for lodging and have been compelled to camp exterior, with the permission of a home proprietor who allowed us to place up our tents in her compound. Additionally, a Japanese bicycle owner invited us to remain at his home.
“We ended up spending 5 days with Mr and Mrs Yasuhiko Kuroyanagi. We cycled, travelled and cooked collectively. It was a bonus for our journey, ” says Poon.
Although she used to cycle in her childhood, Poon solely picked up biking once more after she turned 53. She was inspired by her brothers who have been avid cyclists themselves.
“My two brothers are my sifu. They skilled me with out mercy. I recall the primary journey to Taiwan with them.
“There have been 9 of us, and all 5 of the women on the journey stopped as a result of we couldn’t bear biking underneath the new solar.
“However now we have improved since. In 2013, I purchased a correct hydride (electrical) bike and cycled spherical Hualien within the east of Taiwan.
“I actually loved it and the next yr, I cycled round the entire of Taiwan island, ” says Poon who was a kindergarten trainer for 20 years earlier than she stop to start out educating pottery.
The need to overcome
Poon brushes apart the notion that touring on a bicycle is simply too taxing for senior residents. Nevertheless, she concedes that some degree of health is important.
“I don’t suppose that age is a matter. Health is. To have the ability to cycle lengthy distances, you do should be match and decided.
“Having the suitable mindset is necessary as a result of you’ll undoubtedly face challenges alongside the best way.
“However the rewards are nice. You’ll acquire self satisfaction, confidence and power. I feel I’m lots more healthy now, ” says Poon.
One of the difficult journeys, she shares, was in Laos. The panorama in Laos was breathtaking, however the highway circumstances have been poor.
“Laos is a mountainous nation. We cycled from Vientiane to Luang Prabang and the highway circumstances have been unhealthy, dusty and stuffed with small stones.
“Lengthy stretches of roads have been underneath development, which made it much more troublesome.”
Poon’s two youngsters are extraordinarily pleased with their adventurous mother and father.
“They’re very encouraging and so are lots of our buddies who’ve solely optimistic issues to say about our adventures. All they fear about is that we glance after ourselves once we are on the highway, ” says Poon.
Poon is certainly one of 12 inspiring senior ambassadors featured in a 2020 calendar to boost funds for seniors in want.
Produced by Seniors Aloud, a web based group of senior residents, this calendar challenge goals to advertise energetic residing.
A calendar to encourage
“The calendars are made by seniors, about seniors and for seniors, ” says Lily Fu, a gerontologist who based Seniors Aloud greater than a decade in the past.
“That is our group challenge to boost funds for our Grant A Want For The Aged initiative.
“The calendar options 12 seniors who epitomise wholesome residing. We now have additionally included numerous tips about staying energetic and wholesome, inspiring quotes and helpful data for seniors, ” says Fu.
The calendars price RM15 every and all proceeds will likely be channelled to our Grant A Want For The Aged initiative.
“This yr, the funds collected will go in the direction of the Vihara challenge, an initiative to buy 70 mattresses, pillows and bedsheets for the deserted aged residing at KL’s Tong Sim Senior Citizen Care Centre, ” says Fu.
Seniors Aloud, a weblog began by Fu in 2008, highlights articles and movies that attraction to these over the age of 50.
It has since developed to turn out to be a go-to website for senior residents in search of data, inspiration and a reference to like-minded friends.
Other than advocating for seniors and elevating points that concern them, Seniors Aloud offers a platform for seniors to share experiences with each other.
“Transitioning from one stage of life to the following could be fairly difficult, extra so for seniors getting into semi-retirement or full retirement, ” says Fu.
By means of this calendar challenge, the group hopes to alter outdated stereotypes about what previous age must be like.
Additionally featured within the calendar is 80-year-old retired matron Lim Lam Pheng who has travelled to all however one continent – South America. She goals to make that journey subsequent yr.
Kasummah Salleh, 70, dedicates a lot her time doing group service at numerous Pusat Aktiviti Warga Emas (senior exercise centres) in addition to enjoying gamelan, which is her ardour.
Not forgetting 72-year-old Henry Cheong who runs, works out within the fitness center, performs the piano and guitar and is now studying the saxophone to be “mentally stimulated”, whereas Andal Krishnan, who in her late 60s, remains to be busy operating her personal enterprise.
Wellness and Qigong trainer Wan Chee Wing, 69, is one other inspiring senior who’s featured. The youngest within the bunch is Dr Ansgar Cheng, 54, a runner who received the gold medal within the 5,000m race in his age group on the 2016 Asia Masters Athletics Championships.
To seek out our extra about these inspiring seniors, and to contribute to their group service initiatives, get a replica of the restricted version calendars.
They might even encourage you to affix them of their common actions, like becoming a member of the College of the Third Age (U3A) in Serdang, Selangor, to study a brand new ability or two.
“I hope that this initiative will encourage individuals to have a look at seniors in a extra optimistic approach, ” says Andal, who runs company coaching programmes.
“Ageism is horrible. The notion that when you find yourself older, you might be not related or helpful is simply not acceptable. In fact, we seniors should ensure that we preserve ourselves related and in contact with what youthful individuals are inquisitive about too.
“I don’t suppose that age ought to dictate what we will or can’t do. We’re all rising older and plenty of senior residents are nonetheless in a position to contribute to society and workplaces. There’s a house for individuals of all generations to work collectively and study from each other, ” Andal concludes.
To order the Senior Aloud 2020 calendar, name 012-306 8291.
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