Sonny Inbaraj Krishnan chats with David Ath, the captain of Ratana Cycling Team.
Good Times2: How did the name of your cycling group come about?
David Ath: We took on Ratana as our team name because in Khmer it means ‘valuable’ – something like jewelry. It’s a Khmer name that anyone can use and for that reason we chose that name for our team.
Good Times2: When did Ratana Cycling Team start?
David Ath: We formed the team on April 1 last year. Five of us started the team and now we have nine members. We have been asked why we have been slow in recruiting team members. My answer is: ‘We’re always looking for cyclists who are passionate about cycling’.
We’re not looking for casual cyclists. We want cyclists who are serious in our team. We also have to make clear that the purpose of our team is not to just join races and win them. Our purpose is to promote tourist sites and our motto is ‘Love Nature and Love Adventure’.
We love adventure cycling and most of the time we take photos and videos to promote Cambodia’s tourist sites.
So far we have been focusing on mountain biking because I think we can see more through off-road riding. There’s also a greater sense of adventure.
Good Times2: On what days does the team cycle?
David Ath: We do short evening rides along the Riverside on Thursdays and Fridays. For our weekend ride we normally do it on Sunday, and that’s a half-day trip. Sometimes, we do a full day trip to remote areas, with a one-night sleepover.
Good Times 2: How many women do you have in your team?
David Ath: We currently have two.
Good Times2: How does Giant Cambodia support Ratana Cycling Team?
David Ath: Giant Cambodia sponsors our two women riders as Liv Ambassadors in Cambodia. The Liv Ambassador Programme is extended to women across the country seeking to develop the women’s cycling community through the Liv brand and their local Liv retailer – which is Giant Cambodia.
Giant Cambodia also gives us a better price when we want to purchase anything from their stores.
Good Times2: How do you see Ratana Cycling Team moving forward?
David Ath: We want more passionate riders with a sense of adventure to join us. As the saying goes: “While money fills your pocket, the journey will fill your soul”. So come on board for the journey.