Leg 1: Saigon Ba-
This was the first leg of the 09’ Xuyen Viet bike ride. Our meeting point was at Thu Thiem Ferry Crossing in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City. There, we ferried with our bikes across the Saigon River to District 2. The ferry dropped us off at Luong Dinh Cua Road, which marked the starting point of our ride. About five km down this road, we turned right on to Highway 25B until we reached Cat Lai Ferry Crossing. The ferry shuttled us across the Dong Nai River, and we continued biking until we reached an intersection near the Phap Hoa Pagoda. At this point, the road scenery transitioned from house dwellings to plantations lined with rubber trees on both sides of the road. We continued to bike another good stretch down this tree lined road until we reached Highway 25B which took us through Nhon Trach, an industrial area. Further down from Nhon Trach, we met up with Freeway 51 which took us to the town of Ba-
This first 80 kilometers, although small in distance compare to past rides, should be bike carefully until you become more accustomed to biking the roads in Viet nam. A few things to be mindful while biking on this first leg are the driving pace, changing road conditions, and motor bikes traveling in the opposite direction. As you leave Ho Chi Minh City, the pace is slow and the road is congested with motorists. Outside Ho Chi Minh City, it is just the opposite. There is less traffic and everything moves at a quicker pace. It is outside the city limits that serious accidents can occur due to the high speed collisions, so be mindful of accidents. Additionally, the road condition on this leg is random. Although there are long stretches where the road is in good condition, all that can abrupty change and you find yourself on a road strewned and ladened with gravel and potholes, making for unsafe biking conditions. Finally, there are a few individual drivers on mopeds who haphazardly ride on the same side of road but traveling in the wrong direction. Be careful of these drivers due to the risk of a head on collision.