A ride through the countryside

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The inaugural Father Ray Charity Bike Ride took place recently on a balmy Sunday morning.

The sun was barely up when several hundred cycling enthusiasts, young and old, Thai and foreign, gathered at the Father Ray Children’s Home in Nong­prue to take part in a thirty kilometer ride through the countryside.

Some of the several hundred riders who took part.
Some of the several hundred riders who took part.

The event was organised to raise much needed funds for the Education Fund at the Father Ray Foundation, Pattaya’s largest charitable organization which today cares for and educated 850 underprivileged children and students with disabilities.

As the sun rose and the crowds gathered, the chefs from the Chef’s Association of Pattaya were on hand to provide a healthy pre-ride breakfast and also a post-ride brunch, and as usual the food they cooked was delicious.

Former MP Poramet Ngampichet presents a donation to Father Michael and Ajima, event organiser.
Former MP Poramet Ngampichet presents a donation to Father Michael and Ajima, event organiser.

Mai Chaiyanit, Mayor of Nongprue, together with former MP, Poramet Ngam­pichet, as well as Father Peter and Father Michael from the Father Ray Foundation, welcomed the gathered riders, wishing them luck, offering words of encouragement and gave a blessing.

Prior to the start of the ride, the cyclists, mostly all dressed in black, stood in silence to remember and to pay their respects to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol.

The ride started before it got too hot and as the riders departed the sun was shining and there was a slight breeze in the air. Leaving the Children’s Home they cycled past the elephants eating breakfast at the nearby Elephant Village, past fields of fruits and vegetables, around the nearby lake and along the dusty lanes until they returned to the Home where they received a small memento.

Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit presents a donation to Father Michael and Father Peter.
Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit presents a donation to Father Michael and Father Peter.

For all those people who live in Pattaya and never venture over to the ‘dark side’, you are only a short distance to the beautiful countryside; it’s a shame not to take advantage of it.

More than 300,000 baht was raised during the event, and it is never too early to start training for next year’s ride.

The children from the Home helped serve breakfast.
The children from the Home helped serve breakfast.
The chefs produced delicious food, as always.
The chefs produced delicious food, as always.
The young had it easy.
The young had it easy.
Two local riders.
Two local riders.

Not all bikes had only one rider.

Not all bikes had only one rider.

Remembering and paying respect to their king.
Remembering and paying respect to their king.