Yunnan Cycle + Service

From riding past tea plantations on the Burmese border, to residing in spartan village home stays every evening, to leading and participating in activities with a wide cast of characters – from local schoolchildren to local mayors to local tea factory bosses – this daring group of riders from Concordia Shanghai experienced the diversity and splendor of Xishuangbanna, all the while traveling perched on their bicycles. While they all had different personal highlights, there was one thing the group as a whole agreed on: this was the best interim program they had ever been on (with the underclassmen declaring it was the best they would ever be on).

The feeling from The Hutong’s program leaders was mutual: the Concordia students jumped into the culture activities and school exchanges, acting as impeccable ambassadors and never complaining about the trip’s many challenges. Even more impressive, each and every student biked every kilometer of the trip without ever resorting to the bus; a first for any group The Hutong has brought on its Yunnan Bike Journey!

While it didn’t come easy, the best trips never do. To that end, this outstanding group from Concordia Shanghai came up with a song to capture their fighting spirit, which we would like to share below, along with their testimonials:


The Hutong Team: Thanks for delivering a trip of a lifetime for Concordia! You helped to “light a spark” in each of us and went the extra ‘li’ (mile) to make this an unforgettable journey. God’s Blessings to you always! – Sincerely, Becki Bishop + Sean Dwyer


The best way to start my senior year. Thank you for making this trip the best of the four interims I’ve been on. Although I got unlucky at times with injuries and flat tires, this trip has given me the maturity I need for my life in the future. – Eric Li


This was the best interim trip I’ve ever been on, thanks to The Hutong! I learned so much about culture, myself and others. Thanks so much for this trip. – Sarah Jonick


Easily the best interim trip I’ve been on … Thanks so much! – Mason “Bear Grylls” Flack


This will be the best interim trip I will ever go on. It was challenging at times but it was very fulfilling by the end. Thank you for a really great time. – Harry


Thank you Bruce, Jake and Morgan for leading such a fantastic trip. This experience pushed me more than anything else! – Kimberly Yang


Thank you so much for creating such an amazing and unforgettable experience for all of us! This trip has been challenging at times, but you guys have been vigilant and watched out for us. This is the main reason we’ve made it through. Thanks so much. – Aaron Chow


Thank you for making this week the most memorable week of my life. You made this trip all possible! Thanks for everything! – Caitlin S.


I loved the opportunity to challenge myself and every person on The Hutong team left a deep impression on me. Thank you so much for your openness and passion for China; it was extremely inspiring – Elizabeth Brandt


Thank you so much for this amazing experience. I’ve never seen or done anything like it. – Sara Li


This was such an unforgettable trip. It truly challenged me and helped me discover how strong I really was. Thank you. – Sabrina


Thank you all so much for your hard work to make this trip such a success! This is for sure one of the best experiences ever – Kai Hin


Thank you so much for this unforgettable trip. It has opened my eyes to the ecological issues of monoculture and helped me realize I have much more in me than I thought while going up those hills. Thanks for everything and I would definitely do this trip again! – Violet


Thank you so much! This was the best trip I’ve been on, challenging, yet fun. – Ashley Taylor


Thanks for making this trip so amazing. The three of you and Wendy and Echo are awesome! – Marcus


This was one of my favorite trips of all time. It was challenging, rewarding and fun at the same time. I have to thank you for giving us such a nice trip, and I hope to go on another trip with you in the future. – Aaron Teh


We Will Survive

(In the style of I Will Survive)


At first we were afraid, we were petrified

We thought we’d never complete the Yunnan Cycling Service Ride

But then we spent so many nights among the roosters, pigs and dogs

And we grew strong, we learned how to ride along


And we bounced back, we kept the pace

As long as no one rode the bus we all would win the race

We had to change our gel pad seats and pedal through the rubber trees

Climbing higher up the hillsides where they grow the sweetest tea


And how it flowed, Jake at the pour

Played duck-duck-goose with Manbo kids and every spirit soared

Lots of bandages and broken chains and tires

But we didn’t crumble, we finished helmets held up high


Oh no not I, we will survive

As long as we apply our brakes we know we’ll be alive

We’ve got all our lives to live, we’ve got Frisbee toys to give

We will survive, we will survive, hey hey


It took all the strength we had not to fall apart

The day of five bike crashes stressed out Morgan’s heart

And then Ms. Bishop spent the next night with high fever aches and chills

She had to cry, but she re-saddled up to ride


And if you catch wind of some ripe perfume

It’s just the smell our old bug spray, sweat and sun screen goo

We had to bring our wooden chopsticks or else pay an ice cream fee

And while Bruce took lots of photos, Echo–n-Wendy served valiantly


Oh no not I, we will survive

As long as we keep to the right we know we’ll be alive

We’ve got all our lives to live, we’ve got jump rope toys to give

We will survive, WE ALL SURVIVED! Hey hey


Lyrics by:

Sean Dwyer

Concordia International School of Shanghai

September 2013

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