Overcoming hot, cold, rain, and tough climbs, Tarson Marketing sponsored cyclist, Roman Onillon cycled 3,300 kilometres in 40 days from France to Turkey to raise funds for the National Cancer Society Centre.
The 36-year-old, Malaysia-based dedicated cyclist, who is also a photographer by profession, did a photoshoot with children with cancer back in 2018. Following the photoshoot, he decided that he will be raising funds for these kinds during his cycling tour.
In August 2019, Roman started his journey at his hometown in France ”Les Sables d’Olonne” and ended in Turkey, in a limited of time of 2 months. He rode his bicycle to overcome every obstacle and raise funds to fight against cancer.
What inspired you to do this?
I always try to give back as much as I can while traveling and raise money for different charity.
How does the fundraising work?
I went directly to the National Cancer Society Centre in Kuala-Lumpur and told them about my cycling project and that I will be glad to help children with cancer. You can check out more information here: https://www.peoplegiving.org/cam…/giving-up-is-not-an-option
What’s TRS involvement in your fundraising?
Apart from receiving a sponsored bicycle from TRS, they could be a team of good marketers, in helping me upload my updates through social media.
I did not have so much support during my ride, touring the world. In average, I had to cycle 80 to 90 kilometres per day. There was no internet to keep my journey and process updated. When I was in a tent, there was insufficient facility.
It’s hard to market yourself when you don’t have much time to go on social. With TRS, they have been a team of people to help me on marketing.
You’ve cycled 3,300 kilometres from France to Turkey. How has your bike helped you?
During the tour, I was using TRS Hybrid Prisma. Compared to my previous bike which was a mountain bike, the TRS Hybrid Prima was so much lighter. I had to carry my tent, sleeping bag, and other essentials which weighed around 60 kilometres, so I definitely needed a steel bike.
What are the upgrades and changed you’ve done?
It was a hybrid bike, but it’s been upgraded to a touring bike. I also changed the handlebar, handlebar tapes, metal pedals, and installed a bike seat pack. When the wind was strong, I really needed a suitable bike.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your ride?
Getting flight tickets was my biggest challenge. In fact, accommodation didn’t cost much because I stayed most of the time in my tent. Sometimes, I met people who offered me their homes for free shower.
Another challenge was my bike tires. I had 9 patches in two months. I was not using touring tires, and I thought I should have gotten bigger tires. During the tour, I had to keep patching the punctured tires. Imagine, I got a puncture in every 50 kilometres, and I had to keep buying new tubes along the way.
What’s the most memorable story you’ve encountered on your travels?
My GoPro was stolen on the 6th day when I was in France. It was one of my memorable moments. It happened when I stopped my bicycle to get a coffee, in less than one minute, the camera was robbed.
Will this cycling journey ever end?
My next cycling trip will be in two years time, cycling from Mexico to Panama.
However, I would love to organise a small trip touring around Malaysia, in the mean time, promoting TRS bikes and trying to raise funds for Malaysia-based charities.