When someone mentions Vietnam it would be no surprise if your first thought wasn’t ‘cycling’. But let David Lloyd of Velo Vietnam introduce you to some of the epic riding opportunities Vietnam has to offer.
Photograph: Son Doong cave photographed by David Lloyd
When I first came to Vietnam I was working freelance as a travel writer and photographer, for publications including The New York Times and Travel + Leisure. I also wrote the Insight and Footprint guidebooks on Vietnam and Laos for some years.
The above photograph is Son Doong, the largest cave in the world. This was back in 2014 when it was still off the tourist radar – indeed, when I first updated the Footprint guide on this area the province barely merited a mention. The cave then went onto the NY Times ’50 places to go in 2015’ and the area has changed radically since. This is a graphic illustration of how much Vietnam has changed in my time here.
When I was out researching in Vietnam as a writer, I’d always take my bike. Typically for guidebook work I’d have a driver, but I would give him my bag and ride. That’s how I got to know the roads, and how I realised that more people needed to see them; somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to start a company to make that happen.
I knew I wanted to to do it with someone, but for a long time I didn’t know who. I eventually met my business partner, Ashley (the two of us are pictured above), through a mutual friend. I took him on my favourite ride in the far north and over those three days saw how open he was and how much he knew and loved Vietnam; I realised he would be ideal for the type of company that I wanted to start. That’s how it all started, on the road, back in 2015.
Photograph: David Lloyd and Ashley Carruthers – VV co-founders
Read the full article over on the Unfound site and while you are there, get On The Hub and join like minded riders from around the world