Bhutan is a small country located between China and India. It is best known for its concept of the “Gross Happiness Index (GNH)” and the fact that its king is an avid cyclist. Sonam or ST, as the kids call him, shadowed the SMBA program, in the fall of 2013, and sat down with the SMBA Executive Director and Program Director to brainstorm ways to bring a similar program to Bhutan. The SMBA Bhutan program now has 24 riders with ages ranging from 10 to 16 years old. “I Started this SMBA Bhutan in December, 17th 2013 after inspired by SMBA in Colorado. With permission from Matt to use the name SMBA I formed the club here in Bhutan as SMBA Bhutan. I run this club on volunteer basis, I don’t charge the kids for any training fee, I survive this club on small funds from local and from HRH the Prince of Bhutan. The program system is very similar to SMBA.”
SMBA could not be more proud of our sister program and all of the work that ST is doing to strengthen the cycling community in Bhutan. The value that mountain biking brings to each rider and community crosses all boarders and cultures. ST was quoted in a recent write up in the New York Times, “The feeling that you get when you’re riding on the trail, alone in nature, surrounded by all those nature sounds, it is one of the greatest feelings you can ever have. My happiness — my own personal G.N.H. — is the mountain bike and the forest.” All mountain bikers know this feeling and are bonded together by this common love. By providing opportunities for all people to experience this we can create happy people, strong communities and bring together the world. Thank you ST!
Check out SMBA Bhutan on Facebook