The Uso Bike Ride Group are back in Samoa.
They are joining forces with the Samoa Cancer Society to help raise awareness in promoting prevention of cancer through early cancer screenings.
Leading the Uso Bike Ride are Chris Te’u, Tofilau Talalelei Taufale and his wife Meriama Taufale. They will be leading a group of 18 riders and support crew here around Samoa from July 24 - August 3.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Tofilau said the idea to come to Samoa was raised last year and the trip is self-funded with Uso members paying their own way.
“The idea of the trip was raised last year by some of the Hawke’s Bay members who were keen to come to Samoa,” he said.
“Following discussions with the Samoa Cancer Society, plans were set. Uso members were invited to take part and 18 took up the opportunity. The riders come from Wellington, Hawke's Bay and the South Island in New Zealand. The goup are mainly Palagi, Maori and the only two Samoans are Tofilau and Owen Taumua.”
Joining forces with the Samoa Cancer Society, they hope to add their voice to the Vave campaign.
“The message is simple ‘vave iloa auga-Know the symptoms vave vaai se foma’i’,” said Tofilau.
“It’s a message that is one of the key cornerstones of the establishment of Uso Bike Ride in 2012 by founder Christopher Te’o to get a health check as well as helping to spread the message the members are taking the opportunity to learn more about Samoa.”
For many of the non-Samoans in the bike group, it is their first time in Samoa and Tofilau says it’s a great opportunity for them to visit historical sights, learn about Samoan history and experience the culture.
According to Tofilau, the team has taken proactive steps to prepare for their bike ride around Upolu and Savaii and get used to the elements.
“Since we arrived on Saturday to get used to the heat, the dogs, pigs and chickens, we have started early morning rides up to the Bahai Temple and to Piula Pool.”
Today the Uso bikers will visit Avele College and plan to cycle and stay at Lalomanu and Faimafili to connect with schools and churches out there.
On Saturday 28 July, Uso Bike Ride will also support the Samoa Warrior race in Lalomanu run by Seti Afoa.
Tofilau wanted the members to mix with the locals and share. The USO Bike team will provide cyclists and swimmers for up to seven teams and the locals will provide the runners.
Next Monday the team will depart for Savaii to continue their vave campaign awareness bike ride.