Going whole nine yards in virtuous cycle| Terence Chang 18 Jul 2019
I went to talk to We Cycle guide Chuen Sing at the Cheer Lutheran Centre in Sheung Shui.
Greeting me were center-in-charge Chan Hiu-fai and We Cycle project head and social worker Dennis Cheung Pak-shun.
They told me Chuen Sing has just completed his training as a guide.
Chuen Sing was waiting in the reception room.
Sporting a healthy tan, he was a bit reserved at first, giving terse answers to my questions. Then he warmed up and opened up.
Cheung told me about the We Cycle program: "All our guides 'had been there.' They used to be drug addicts or having abused drugs."
Chan added that addicts suffer ill effects like hallucinations, low self-esteem, feeling like a loser and finding life empty.
"To help them rid of the addiction, we change their outlook of life by training them as a We Cycle guide, doing volunteer work and sharing their experience of fighting drug addiction with students," he said.
The guides lead students on bicycle trips to explore border areas, studying ecology and learn history.
There are three routes to choose from.
Route A runs through Liu Man Shek Tong Ancestral Hall, Ng Tung River, Man Kam To and the Lo Wu border restricted area.
Route B goes to Tai Tau Leng Village, Tsung Pak Long Hak Ka Wai, Long Valley Wetland and Hau Ku Shek Ancestral Hall in Ho Sheung Heung.
Route C covers Kan Lung Wai, Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall, Tsung Kyam Church and Tin Hau Temple.
Each of the routes take about three to four hours to complete, and routes A and B are more popular, Chan said.
Chuen Sing told me what he had gone through: "I abused sleeping pills. Without them, my ears would ring, and I would be irritable.
"I started to swallow the pills at noon every day, and I felt quite hopeless until I found out about the We Cycle program which made me understand that I would have to do something if I wanted to save myself."
With willpower, the support of social workers and engaging in cycling, he turned his life around.
"Saving yourself doesn't happen overnight," he said.
"By being a We Cycle guide, I share with young people how I overcame difficulties in life, hoping that it would inspire them to lead an active and positive life."
Terence Chang Cheuk-cheung is the retired headmaster of Diocesan Boys School