Fifteen senior citizens have just concluded a 5,700-kilometer bicycle ride to promote public awareness of wildlife protection.
The cyclists, 13 men and two women, are all retirees from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, said a volunteer who accompanied them throughout the journey to provide logistic support.
The senior citizens, the oldest being 74 and the youngest 59, set out from Xinjiang's regional capital Urumqi on May 18 and traveled at least 100 kilometers a day during the past two months.
The ride also brought them to the northwestern provinces of Qinghai and Gansu before they came back to Urumqi this week.
Despite their age, the group spent 24 days in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, at least 3,000 meters above sea level.
Wherever they went, they made speeches, sang songs and staged dramas to promote conservation of wild animals, Tibetan antelopes in particular. They also solicited signatures from animal protectors and by the end of their ride, more than 30,000 people had signed their names on banners that totaled 260 meters long.
The forestry bureau and wildlife preservation association in Xinjiang conferred on each cyclist a badge with a Tibetan antelope on it as a keepsake of the ride.
(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2005)