From Zero To Hero
One month ago, 6 friends got together to form a blind tandem cycling team & we called ourselves, “BBT” which stood for BESS (Blind Empowerment Society of Selangor) Blind Team. We have 3 tandem bikes called The Black Horse, The Black Puma and The Iron Lady. The pairings are Jeffrey (Navigator) & Eddy (Blind Pillion); Gus (Navigator) & Steven (Blind Pillion); and the female pairing of Maryati (Navigator) & Siow Ling (Blind Pillion).
OUR GROUP MISSION is to demonstrate that everyone, including the blind, can ride a bicycle.
WHY CYCLING FOR THE BLIND?
Because cycling has proven effective in improving the physical & psychological wellbeing, as well as, elevate the social standing of the Blind.
Every Saturday during 4-6pm, put tandem team members train together in SS14, Subang Jaya. We also encourage other blind people, our friends & supporters to join us for a ride or see firsthand how we ride our unique tandem bikes.
CYCLE ASIA KL 2015
We will riding in our very first official cycling event at the prestigious Cycle Asia KL on the 14th June 2015 under The Challenge (48km) category. We are indebted to Cycle Asia KL for giving us this extraordinary opportunity to participate in The Challenge, and to promote our group vision too.
More details of Cycle Asia KL 2015. is provided below in the official press release below.
OUR INSPIRATIONAL TEAM CAPTAIN
Miraculously, Eddy’s bravely clung on to his undying believe that life is worth fighting for, no matter how tragically hopeless things have become. Like a heaven-sent angel, a man calledGodfrey who is totally blind from birth, rescued Eddy from the hellish pit of despair, and helped Eddy cope with his blindness and his broken life. With renewed faith, Eddy started putting the broken pieces of his life back in order, one step at a time.
For starters, Eddy was overweight, and he engaged a personal trainer to help strengthen his physique. Thereafter, Eddy was happy to be able to spend time hiking. He, even, managed to scale Mount Kinabalu with his close friend, Godfrey. Sadly, Eddy’s hiking days came to an abrupt end, when their guides quit since Eddy’s slow pace would cause them to reach the end of their hikes, a good two hours after everyone has gone home, tired and starving. At this point, Eddy was searching for a new outdoor pursuit. It was not until he visited his sister in Shanghai that he accidentally discovered his new love.
Shanghai is a huge place, and Eddy’s mother, his brother, and himself were all getting extremely tired of walking from one distance place to another in this modern cosmopolitan city. Then, Eddy’s brother suggested that they rent bicycles. Incredulous, Eddy exclaimed, “How on earth, do you expect me, being blind, to ride a bike?!” His brother replied, “We will ride a tandem bicycle together.” Still skeptical, Eddy said, “How do you know they have two-seater bikes here?!” His brother responded, “This is China. You can find everything, here!” The rest was history.
As soon as Eddy returned to Malaysia, he searched high and low for a tandem bicycle. It took him 8 months, to eventually find & buy one. Then, the next question was who was going to be his navigator. Eddy’s excitement soon diminished when he realised that there was no one around who was willing to ride with him. Undeterred, everyday for one year, Eddy would carry the heavy tandem down two floors by himself, and he would sit down by the courtyard, spinning his bike’s pedals and hoping to catch the attention of anyone who could ride with him. No one came forward.Finally, a friend from church introduced Eddy to someone who was willing to ride with Eddy. Once again Eddy’s newly-found happiness was cut short when Eddy’s navigator became badly injured as a result of a fall, while they were speeding too fast down Genting Sempah. It was not until one year ago that Eddy met his trusty navigator, Jeffrey. Together, the pair made a formidable team, taking part in cycling events such as the Klang Premier Century 2014 & the Rembau Century Ride 2015. It was during the latter event when I first met Jeffrey & Eddy. They told me about their two blind friends, Steven & Siow Ling, who could not find any tandem navigators to ride with them. So, not knowing anything about riding a tandem nor how to navigate a blind pillion rider, I took a leap of faith & joined their first training session one month ago. At first, I found it difficult to keep balance, steer and relay important information to my pillion rider, all at the same time. However, like any new skill, with some patience and practice, I can begin to see some improvements as the weeks progressed. Last Saturday, my wife, Maryati, also started navigating for pillion rider, Siow Ling. I got to admit, my rookie wife & Siow Ling showed great potential to develop into talented future riders. In just a short period, our team have progressed far, and we have set ourselves cycling goals to keep us sufficiently motivated to train every Saturday together without fail. I strongly believe that with the capable guidance of our coaches, Jeffrey & Eddy, there will be no challenge too big for us. For now, our focus is fixed on completing our first official cycling challenge as a group in The Challenge (48km) category of Cycle Asia KL on the 14th June 2015. We are thoroughly excited at the prospect of riding together with so many other cyclists, and we hope along the way, there will be more blind people inspired to follow in our footsteps and do the unthinkable.
TO DATARAN MERDEKA!
KUALA LUMPUR, 9 APRIL 2015 – Great news for all cycling enthusiasts! Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur (previously known as OCBC Cycle Malaysia) is returning to Dataran Merdeka from 12 to 14 June 2015, offering cyclists of all levels the exhilarating thrill of riding together through the heart of Kuala Lumpur on closed public roads with exciting cycling categories to boot!
Supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s largest mass participation cycling event on closed public roads having registered over 6,000 participants in 2014. True to its philosophy that “Anyone Can Ride”, it provides a fun-filled experience for cyclists of all ages and skill level, be it professionals, enthusiasts, families and children.
Returning to the iconic Dataran Merdeka, the three-day cycling festival not only offers participants a fun-filled weekend of sweating it out but also a carnival-like atmosphere at the grounds for participants and spectators alike to mingle and spend time with family and friends.
“It’s wonderful to be back in Malaysia and we look forward to giving all Malaysian and travelling participants a truly unique and iconic experience at Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur 2015. Whether you’re an amateur or enthusiast, cycling across Dataran Merdeka and the heart of the city without worry is one of a kind,” said Chris Robb, Managing Director of event owner and organiser Spectrum Worldwide.
Accompanying Chris Robb at the launch was Wan Ahmad Lotfi Wan Ibrahim, who is serving as an advisor for Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur. Affectionately known as Pak Wan, he brings with him extensive experience from his years as Chief Operating Officer of Le Tour De Langkawi.
Exciting Cycling Categories for Everyone!
Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur will be rolling out seven different categories, ranging in distance from 100m to 48km. The 100m and 150m Tricycle Ride promises children between the ages two and five a safe and enjoyable ride, while The Kids’ Ride (5km) is open to children aged six to nine years old. The Junior Challenge, a 30 minute ride for those aged 10 to 12 years, are for those aspiring to be future Malaysian cyclists.
The various kids’ ride will be staged on Saturday where kids from two years and above will be able to showcase their raw talent on their bikes. Saturday’s action will then come to a close paving the way for the test of endurance and adrenaline pumping challenge.
Sunday kicks off with The Challenge (48km) followed by The Community Ride (24km), the flagship categories of Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur that start from Dataran Merdeka through iconic landmarks such as Lake Gardens, the Petronas Twin Towers, and Muzium Negara.
Cycling as a Healthy Lifestyle & Going Green
Having witnessed the rise of community cycling events in Malaysia, Pak Wan believes that the Cycle Asia platform can be the catalyst to inculcate cycling as a healthy lifestyle across Asia. He said, “With events like Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur, we’re beginning to see cycling become more than just a novelty for the minority. In Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, more and more people are buying into it as a lifestyle for healthier living. I do foresee this culture spreading throughout Asia which can only mean good things for our health.”
He also commended recent initiatives organised by Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur, Yang Berbahagia Dato Seri Haij Ahmad Phesal Bin Haji Talib, reiterated the environmental benefits that cycling brings to a major city. “The Datuk Bandar has been a tremendous supporter and his efforts in making KL Car Free Morning such a huge success is admirable. With more bicycle lanes to improve safety standards, cycling can be a viable alternative mode of transport to reduce carbon emissions from automobiles,” he said.
Chris Robb further commented that the uniqueness of Cycle Asia is that it not only encourages the community to develop a healthy lifestyle but as an opportunity to connect with each other through the cycling event. Having said that, he also mentioned during his speech that Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur 2015 has successfully received over whelming response of up to 2,000 registered participants and is growing strong in number.
“One of the uniqueness of Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur is that you get to meet so many different people from all over the world. We’ve had participants from Europe, South America and the Middle East all coming together for the love of cycling. It’s really amazing. This year’s ride will be astounding and to our cyclists look out for more exciting news in the near future,” he further added.
Participants and spectators can also enjoy a huge range of sports-related products, services and entertainment at the official Sports & Lifestyle Expo Located at Dataran Merdeka grounds. The Sports and Lifestyle Expo offering more than 40 booths consisting of cycling and lifestyle deals will keep the entire family entertained throughout the event and is set to offer exclusive deals for Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur participants and spectators alike.
Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur 2015 will once more work closely with Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) and the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) to facilitate the highest possible safety standards for all the participants.
A portion of all registration fees from Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur 2015 will be given to the charity project Sponsor One Bicycle for a Student. This project is run by Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School – founded in 2002 by the French NGO Agir pour le Cambodge assisting poverty stricken student mode of transportation to attend school enabling them to achieve independence towards their future success.
Registration for Cycle Asia Kuala Lumpur 2015 is now open. For all registration and event information, please visit the official website http://www.cycleasia.com/events/cycle-malaysia-2015 or visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/cycleasiaevents.
About Spectrum Worldwide
Spectrum Worldwide is a leading event management and experiential marketing company operating throughout the Asia Pacific region. For more than 20 years, Spectrum Worldwide has created and managed tailored experiences that not only bring to life our clients’ brands, but also provide opportunities for companies to showcase their core values in a memorable and compelling way.
Through long-standing partnerships with multi-national companies throughout the region,
Spectrum Worldwide has consistently delivered groundbreaking, iconic events including OCBC Cycle Singapore and OCBC Cycle Malaysia, the Standard Chartered Marathon, Red Bull Flugtag Singapore, and the Singapore Red Bull Speed Street Singapore and KL. Spectrum is also expanding its footprint across the region and cementing its foothold in the cycling market following the launch of Cycle Asia, a network of premier cycling events across Asia.
Spectrum’s approach centres on understanding clients’ needs, and designing and delivering the best event solutions based on our years of experience.
For more information, go to: http://www.sww.com.sg
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About The Author: Gus Ghani is a qualified Senior High-Intensity Interval Training Coach. His ambition is to promote an active & healthy lifestyle in order to help people live life to the fullest. In his spare time, he likes to participate in endurance sports and play with his pet cats.
You can follow BESS Blind Team daily at FB page ‘Exercise Without Barriers’