Video: One man and his bike: a life cycle in Richmond

Sometimes the road to happiness is as simple as riding a bike.

Richmondite Thi Nguyen now bikes to work every day on a bicycle, no matter if it's pouring rain or scorching hot; he loves it and appreciates the beauty of the city. 

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But the story of Nguyen and his bike goes back further than today – it dates back to when he was a child in his native Vietnam. 

"Sometimes we need to try hard to get the simplest thing we used to have in the past...I used to bike as a kid in Vietnam and now I am cycling again as an adult in Canada. Simple, but hard to make," said Nguyen.

Nguyen, who immigrated from Vietnam only a couple of years ago, told the Richmond News that he got his first bike almost 30 years ago while he was in Grade 9. 

Before that, he walked everywhere with his friends in Hue - an old and beautiful city in central Vietnam.

Getting his first bike was as exciting, indeed, but the exhilaration didn't last very long. 

"Then my next dream was to have a motorcycle in Ho Chi Minh City (the largest city in Vietnam). That was in the early 1990s when the city was full of bikes, only a few cars and motorcycles on the road," said Nguyen. 

Then Nguyen finally had his first motorcycle after saving lots of money, before getting a hankering for a new-car smell. 

"Someone told me at that time, owning a car is a sign of success," said Nguyen. And eventually, he got a car when cars were barely seen on roads in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Several years later, Nguyen was tired of driving and hoped to get on the bike again to travel around the city, but there was no more room for bikers. 

It wasn't until he moved to Canada that he saw people biking to work, taking in the mountain and sea views. He was inspired by the lifestyle here and decided to rekindle his love of the bike again. 

"In Canada, you barely find someone looking at your car as a 'sign of success.' Instead, they look at your bike as a sign of well-being and sustainability. 

"The feeling of riding a bike now is almost the same as the experience of a 15 years old kid," said Nguyen, adding that "life is a cycle."
 

 

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