Our club is comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds and age groups, united by a common goal to inspire others through the power of positivity and kindness.

Exploring Saigon

In June, members of the Sai Gon French Club gathered at a bikeshare station in Tao Dan Park, located in District 1.

By 8:15 am, the participants were engaged in introductions and reviewing the itinerary for their 27-kilometer bike ride. The ride includes stops at significant landmarks like the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, the Quang Trieu Club House, a fruit festival in District 8, and several iconic bridges throughout the city.

Club members have embarked on over 30 bicycle trips together, exploring Ho Chi Minh City and nearby provinces including Dong Nai, Binh Duong, and Long An.

Nguyen Thi Phuong, 56, has been cycling with the Sai Gon French Club since its first outings. Photo: H. Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thi Phuong, 56, has been cycling with the Sai Gon French Club since its first outings. Photo: H. Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Our group is comprised of individuals ranging in age from 12 to 70, with the majority falling within the middle-aged category. One notable member, Nguyen Thi Phuong, is 57 years old.

Phuong expresses gratitude for the collective willingness of each member to accommodate a pace that is inclusive for all, regardless of age. This inclusive trait has been a defining characteristic of the group since its inception.

Empowering Others

Due to health concerns, Phuong’s participation in trips is limited to a maximum distance of 30 kilometers.

Although she has limitations, she is recognized by the group for the dynamic energy she brings to its atmosphere.

During each meeting, she captivates the group with anecdotes from her childhood, Tet Festival experiences, and reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

On weekends, young people from all walks of life join the French Club to tour the city by bicycle and practice their French. Photo: H. Hanh / Tuoi Tre

On weekends, young people from all walks of life join the Sai Gon French Club to tour Ho Chi Minh City by bicycle and practice their French language skills. Photo: H. Hanh / Tuoi Tre

Like many residents of bustling cities worldwide, Phuong had never taken the opportunity to explore her own city as a tourist, even though she had spent her formative years cycling 25 kilometers each day for her job.

Now, as she has matured, she is able to engage in recreational cycling and foster a deeper connection with the city she has called home since her early years.

Phuong has leveraged the Sai Gon French Club not only to connect with the city but also to foster relationships with individuals of her generation who reminisce about the past. Hoang Minh, a 60-year-old resident of Hue City in central Vietnam, is among those with whom she has formed a connection.

Cycling is a great activity that can be enjoyed for pleasure purposes. It is a fun and exciting way to explore outdoor environments and stay active. Whether you prefer leisurely rides along scenic paths or challenging mountain trails, cycling offers something for everyone. Not only does it provide physical exercise, but it also allows you to connect with nature and enjoy the fresh air. So grab your bike and helmet, and get ready for a cycling adventure!

Nhan, a resident of Ho Chi Minh City, consistently attends the Sai Gon French Club regardless of the distance of her commute. She is dedicated to participating in both short 30-kilometer trips and longer 50-kilometer journeys.

The unwavering poise and determination she displays during the arduous journeys and sweltering conditions serve as a source of inspiration for the entire club.

During a previous journey, our group embarked on a cycling expedition to visit the final resting place of the legendary musician, Trinh Cong Son.

The 40-kilometer ride included challenging climbs under intense sunlight. Despite the difficulties, Nhan skillfully navigated the steep and slippery hills, while some of the younger participants struggled to push their bikes upwards.

During a subsequent excursion up a challenging incline towards the summit of a deserted park, Nhan motivated the team by proclaiming, “In the event that ascending proves unattainable, we shall resort to crawling.”

Thanks to Nhan, the group has developed a newfound appreciation for strength, endurance, and resilience. They also value diversity and are open to exploring the environment with individuals from all backgrounds.