'Bike for Dad' procession began about 3:45PM, led by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. The number of cyclists was so great that many were still crossing the start line two hours later. (Live TV screengrab)
The 'Bike for Dad' activities attracted huge interest in Thailand. HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn led the Bangkok procession and hundreds of thousands of others took part across the country.
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"Bike for Dad," a national success
Note: Click here for a large map and a description of the route: https://www.bikefordad2015.com/history.php
Saturday morning update
Here is the best set of photos from our own photographers. It includes photos from the provinces: http://www.bangkokpost.com/photo/photo/792045/prince-princesses-lead-bike-for-dad-cyclists
Friday's day-long story
Since I covered the 'Bike For Dad' events all day, when the main bicycle event began, I decided to do it live, using images from local television where were aired in HD online.
Photos from our photographers came in a bit later, so I'll include some of them here in a more organised story from our online reporters. The live coverage then follows.
Across country, around world, Thais 'Bike for Dad'
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn led cyclists in the 29-kilometre ride, which started at the Royal Plaza around 3.45pm and travelled a loop through many areas of Bangkok, including across the Chao Phraya River into Thon Buri.
While the members of the royal family where the main focus of attention, it was ordinary people like these that made the event such a success.
Well-wishers thronged roadsides where the Crown Prince led the peloton and chanted "long live the King". HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha and HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana joined him in the event eagerly awaited by Thais in both this country and in 66 cities in 52 countries around the world.
In Bangkok alone, 99,999 people had registered on the official "Bike for Dad" website, but the actual number of riders was higher, including those who could register.
Certainly one of the favourite settings for photographers was Chinatown where the Bangkok Post's Krit Promsaka na Sakolnakorn got these shots.
The event drew hundreds of thousands of people or more across the country. About 9,800 Thais living in other nations also registered to bicycle in their country of residence, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Mirror rides were held in each of the 77 provinces at the same time, except for Trat, where about 400 cyclists began pedalling in the morning for 129 kilometres starting at Muang district to Khlong Yai district and back in what was the longest ride of the day.
Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat provinces in the Far South also organised events, including a village in Khok Pho district in Pattani which is deemed a "red zone" for violence by security authorities.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, images during the Bike for Dad event are from local television coverage, which, as you can see, is remarkably good.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has reached the Royal Plaza, just about 3 hours after starting from the same point.
Not far behind was HRH Princess Siriwannawari Nariratana. An accomplished athlete she sped through the finish line like she was in a race.
All of the main groups are rested and back on the road again on the final leg. Lights are on as darkness falls.
The first groups are now taking a rest stop at Royal Thai Navy Headquarters on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya river. Here is a chance for a photo at the starting point from Post Today photographer Seksan Rojjanametakul.
Group A, led by the Crown Prince, reaches Wongwian Yai in Thonburi.
Excited crowds have lined the route throughout.
The view from Chinatown.
The Crown Prince and the Prime Minister near Yaowarat Road.
HRH Princess Siriwannawari Nariratana leads group number 4.
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn prepares to lead his group away from Chulalongkorn University where there was a 20-minute rest stop. The other two bikes are for HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha and HRH Princess Siriwannawari Nariratana who are also leading groups.
HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha waves to the crowd after leaving Chulalongkorn University.
With almost 100,000 cyclist registered in Bangkok, many are still just passing the starting point – almost an hour after the event began.
The first two groups have now reached Chulalongkorn University, the first rest stop.
Thais in 66 cities around the world have joined in, including several cities in the United States. A group also pedalled past the pyramids in Egypt.
3:00 PM update
'Bike for Dad' will begin shortly. There is live coverage on all channels and the cameras have been moving from province to province showing large numbers of cyclists, more than 10,000 in some places, ready to begin. You can get HD coverage of the Bangkok segment online from Thai PBS http://www.thaipbs.or.th/live/
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn arrives at the Royal Plaza and is greeted by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha .(Live TV screengrabs)
Here they come! THITI WANNAMONTHA
Ten of thousands of cyclists, both in Bangkok and upcountry, have been arriving at the designated assembly points, some since 9am this morning. Many have come as families. Pre-registration had made the process quite efficient in most cases. Participants receive food, drinks and even medical checks for those who want them. Bangkok road closures will start shortly along the route.
Participants in the 'Bike for Dad' event in Bangkok are arriving early. Many have come as families. NATTAPOL LOVAKIJ
Look. No cars, No buses, No motorcycles. Pedestrians unenjoy an unusual sight in Bangkok near the Narathiwat intersection after the road was closed in preparation for the 'Bike for Dad' event. WICHAN CHAROENKIATPAKUL
The weather in Bangkok is quite hot for this time of year and today it is also quite hazy, so the many senior citizens taking part should make sure they have enough fluids to drink and hopefully they can find some shade before the event begins at 3pm. Fortunately, the humidity is only around 50 percent.
Last Sunday, cyclists in Nonthaburi join a major practice run for the “Bike for Dad’’ mass cycling campaign scheduled for today honouring His Majesty the King. PORNPROM SATRABHAYA
Everything is ready for the "Bike for Dad" activities in honour of His Majesty the King which take place today. The main cycling event in Bangkok begins at 3pm at the Dusit Palace Plaza (the Royal Plaza) and it will be followed by a Royal "Khon" performance, also at the Plaza. Both will be presided over by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Dancers practice Khon, a classical Thai dance genre, which will be performed at the Royal Plaza on Friday as a part of the Bike for Dad event. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
It is not only Bangkok, however. A total of 607,909 people signed up to take part in the "Bike for Dad" cycling event during a nine-day registration period, 498,105 in the provinces where numerous activities will be held. In addition, there will be smaller events in 66 cities around the world with 9,805 registrants.
We will be watching all day as photos from our photograpers come in.
To get things going this morning, here is a wonderful short video about a very special 11-year-old participant who will take part in the cycling event Phitsanulok. If you look closely, you will see he was born without arms.
Video by Chumporn Sangvilert
accomplished : skilled - ซึ่งมีทักษะ
activity (noun): a thing that you do for work, interest or pleasure, or in order to achieve a particular aim - กิจกรรม
actual : real; existing in fact - จริง
air : to broadcast; to send out a programme on television or radio - ออกอากาศ, กระจายเสียง,กระจายข่าว
assembly : bringing together and forming a group - การนำมาร่วมกัน
athlete : someone who is good at sports and takes part in sports competitions - นักกีฬา
awaited : waiting for something to happen - ที่รอคอย
chant : to keep shouting or singing a word or phrase many times - โห่ร้อง, โห่ร้องต้อนรับ, ร้องเพลง
classical (adj): an old and respected form of art, literature, science, etc. - ที่เป็นแบบดั้งเดิม
coverage : the reporting of news and sport in newspapers and on the radio, television or social media - การรายงานข่าว
Crown Prince : (in some countries) a prince who will become king when the present king or queen dies or leaves office - ทายาทของกษัตริย์ที่เป็นผู้ชาย
deemed : considered - เห็นว่า ถือว่า
designated : given; chosen for something - ที่ได้รับการแต่งตั้ง
drew (past of draw) : attracted - ดึงดูด
eagerly : wanting very much to do or have something - กระตือรือร้น
efficient : effective and well organised (the opposite is inefficient) - มีประสิทธิภาพ
event : a planned public or social occasion - งานสังคม
fluid : a liquid; a substance that can flow - ของเหลว, ของไหล
Foreign Ministry (noun): Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the ministry in charge of maintaining relations with other countries and looking after the interests of its citizens living abroad. - กระทรวงการต่างประเทศ
genre : a particular type or style of literature, art, film or music that you can recognize because of its special features - ชนิด, ประเภท
hazy (adjective): not clear because of haze - ซึ่งมีหมอก
humidity : the amount of water that is present in the air - ความชุ่มชื้น
intersection : a place where roads, lines, etc., join or cross each other - สี่แยก
leg : one part of a journey or race - ช่วงการเดินทาง
live : happening now, i.e., not recorded earlier - ถ่ายทอดสด
local : in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about - ท้องถิ่น
loop (noun): a circular shape - รูปวงแหวน
medical : connected with illness and injury and their treatment - ทางการแพทย์, ด้านการแพทย์, เกี่ยวกับการแพทย์
mirror : to match or express the qualities, features, or feelings of someone or something - สะท้อน
numerous : many - มากมาย
otherwise (adverb): in a different way to the way mentioned; differently - แตกต่าง,ตรงกันข้าม
participant : someone who takes part in something - ผู้เข้าร่วม
pedal : to push the pedals of a bicycle round with your feet - ถีบจักรยาน
peloton (noun): the main group of riders in a bicycle race or a large group cycling together - กลุ่มนักปั่นจักรยาน
performance : the act of carrying out some type of entertainment or sport - การแสดง
preside (verb): to be in charge of a ceremony, official meeting, or other event - (ทรง) เป็นประธานในพิธี
process : a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
registrant (noun): a person who registers - ผู้ลงทะเบียน
registration : the process of recording names or information on an official list - การขึ้นทะเบียน, การลงทะเบียน
residence : a place where someone lives - ที่อยู่อาศัย
route : the roads used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง
scheduled : planned to happen at a particular time or day - ตามตารางเวลา
senior citizen : someone who is more than 60 years old - ผู้สูงอายุ, ผู้อาวุโส
shade : an area that is dark and cool under or behind something, for example a tree or building, because the sun's light does not get to it - ร่ม
throng : to go somewhere or be present somewhere in large numbers - แห่, ไปกันเป็นพวกเป็นหมู่มากๆ, ยกโขยง
upcountry : areas outside of the Bangkok area; connected with an area of a country that is not near large towns - ต่างจังหวัด, ที่อยู่ในชนบท, ที่อยู่ห่างไกลจากเมือง
well-wisher : a person who expresses their good wishes or sympathy, often to someone who they do not know - ผู้ปรารถนาดีต่อผู้อื่น