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Cycle on the Right Track
Posted date: 30-Jul-2017

By: Norzailailah, Social Media Ambassador

 

Have you tried growing your hobby to something bigger?

 

Our social media ambassador, Norzailailah (NZ) caught up with our cycling champion, Andrew, 29, a Tax Manager in an integrated physical commodity trading firm, who has recently led our cycling team to an overseas ride at Kukup.

 

NZ: Hi Andrew, thanks for taking the time to share about your experience in Cycling. Tell us more about yourself and how your passion for road cycling came about.

 

Andrew:  Cycling has always been my hobby since young. Now I see it more as a fitness passion to build up my health stamina, improve cardio vascular fitness and a positive channel to relieve stress.

 

I first took up road cycling in November 2015 due to an ex-colleague’s influence. After he convinced me to buy my first road bicycle, I was hooked to the thrill of cycling and never looked back.  On typical days after work, I enjoy riding along the tracks from my place to MacRitchie Reservoir, taking in the evening breeze and scenic sights.

 

NZ: Can you briefly describe your involvement in the U Sports Cycling Group?

 

Andrew: Currently, I am one of the lead cyclists for U Cycling Team, the cycling interest group of U Sports.  U Cycling is one of the few cycling groups in Singapore which offers various speed packs catering to both newbie cyclists as well as seasoned cyclists.

 

As lead cyclists, we are the pacers and ‘sweepers’ during our weekly rides. When the rides get tough for members, we find ways to keep them motivated and spur them on to complete the ride. The last rider in the line (also known as the ‘sweeper’) oversees the general safety of all riders and ensures that everyone in the group ride arrives at the destination safely.

 

In addition to our weekly rides, we are also actively involved in events planning and sponsorship negotiations with potential partners for the team.

 

NZ:  Have you had any interesting experiences with the U Sports Cycling Group?

 

Andrew:  That has to be my first ride with the team. It was a rainy day and we were cycling uphill to Mount Faber. I got to admit that I wasn’t great with slopes at that time and had never taken on that route before. I had to overcome my limits and keep pushing on – myself and the bicycle, up the hill in the face of the wet weather. Through the ride, it was heartening to see the kindness of the cycling group where everyone waited patiently for each other to reach safely and ensured that no one was hurt.

 

NZ: Understand that you had spearheaded an overseas cycling trip to Kukup recently. Can share your role and challenges?

 

Andrew: It has always been part of our plan to organise a group ride outside of Singapore. After much consideration, Kukup became our preferred choice as the terrain is less hilly as compared to other parts of Johor. About a month before the event, we started with route planning and recce rides. During the recce, we were fortunate to meet cyclists from Malaysia who provided us with much help on the event day.

 

As we embarked on the actual ride on July 8, there was an unexpected heavy downpour in the morning but we still had close to 50 cyclists who joined us. After waiting out the rain, we grouped them into two different speed packs for safety reasons. We managed to clock a total distance of 155km by evening time upon reaching Singapore.

 

 Andrew (third from right) with the other lead cyclists during the recce ride

 

NZ: What are some of the lessons learnt from this experience?

 

Andrew: Organising an overseas ride is not an easy feat. While it’s a fun experience, there are many things to take care of and we have to deal with multiple concerns such as the weather, mechanical issues, rider’s safety, and most importantly to ensure that everyone is accounted for and no one is falling behind. Spearheading the event has definitely helped to broaden my perspectives and way of handling unexpected situations.

 

     

 

Fixing the bikes

 

NZ: What are some misconceptions of Cycling which you have heard?

 

Andrew: We have heard a lot of news on traffic accidents involving cyclists these days. Road cycling is not all as dangerous as the media has reported. As a cyclist, I feel that it is important to share good knowledge and practise road safety at all times – such as abiding by safety traffic rules and to break up large cycling groups into smaller numbers to have overall control and pacing. Both vehicles and cyclists on the road have to play their part and be considerate of each other.

 

NZ: Now that you’ve successfully organised an overseas cycling trip, what are your future plans?

 

Andrew: Besides cycling, I started to run and swim these days. Maybe I’ll train up for a triathlon in 2018?

 

NZ: Do you have any final words of cycling passion to share with us?

 

Andrew: Cyclists need to be educated on traffic rules and routes. Apart from being an active cyclist, I would like to advocate safety in riding. I also hope that there will be more trails built up for the cycling tracking community.

 

NZ: Lastly, before we end the interview, can you share with us your goals for the U Cycling community?

 

Andrew: We want to portray a safety image for cyclists and encourage people to join the cycling community. Whether you are a leisure or competitive cyclist, if you have a cycling passion, we welcome you. We would always advise newbie to start off slow and small by getting basic tips from other cyclists and make it better in your own way. For competitive cyclists or those who are more active, we do encourage them to ride with us and participate in races together as a cycling team.

 

NZ:  Thank you for your time to join us for the interview. I am looking forward to join you and the U Cycling team on one of the weekend rides soon!

 

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