Cyclists were enthusiastically preparing on Sunday morning for the “Bike for Love and Warmth” ride to be led in Bangkok by His Majesty the King and coinciding with other rides starting simultaneously around the country in the afternoon.
Citizens are expected to line the King’s 39km route from Dusit Palace’s Royal Plaza to Lat Pho Park in Samut Prakan.
The bicycle ride officially opens the second annual “Un Ai Rak” fair taking place in Bangkok from Sunday through January 19.
Immigration Police Bureau chief Maj-Gen Surachate Hakparn affirmed that officers were ready to facilitate both Thais and foreign tourists participating in the rides.
Immigration officers will be at Dusit Police Station ready to help foreigners.
Surachate urged people to wear appropriate clothing and beware of pickpockets in the crowd.
Uttaradit was already bustling on Sunday morning as an estimated 6,000 people began gathering at City Hall, many wearing commemorative yellow shirts, ready for a 29km ride.
Among them was 65-year-old Prasopsak Sornlam, who’d already cycled 60km from his home in Pichai district, starting out at 6am, and five-year-old Plairung Akarapitak, participating with her family.
In Chiang Mai, some 10,000 people have registered for a 27km ride from the International Exhibition and Convention Centre, passing various attractions before returning.
Provincial health official Dr Thoranee Kayee said 10 ambulances, 26 first-aid bikes and 40 medical personnel were ready if needed, and participants could undergo health checks and get medical advice prior to the start.
In Lampang, 5,400 people had registered for a 29km ride from the Government Complex past the city pillar shrine, Wat Saen Muangma, the train station and the Prince Bunyawat Wongmanit Monument to the Lampang Clock Tower.
Merging with the main riding group at different points will be disabled riders starting from Bunyawat Road, elderly cyclists coming from Ban Chiang Rai and Tha Krow Noi roads, and a youth group starting from Chatchai Road.