Jeremy Yeo came in at an unexpected time to clinch the “Most Well-Traveled” title in the recently-ended #TOGO817 km challenge. What was a pleasant surprise was the Vert foldable bike he’d won, courtesy of Bicycle SG. The 34-year old Regional IT Business Partner/Systems Administrator of IXIA Pte Ltd had combined his work trips with his cycling endeavors to claim the veteran biker-traveler’s title, even though he expressed that he’d won “because of circumstances rather than wanting”.
As a Regional IT Business Partner cum systems administrator of Ixia, a US company, he takes care of 14 cities across 10 countries in the Asia Pacific. Jeremy’s work requires him to travel often, yet being a cycling enthusiast, he needed time for his hobby. So, either by a stroke of genius or natural occurrence, the plan formed: he brought his Cyclocross bike across different continents and region on bike-packing trips (hiking on a bike). So far, he has traveled Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Korea, and a host of other countries wherever his work takes him.
In one single breath, he names “Taiwan round-island, Hokkaido, Mt Fuji, Shangihai to Suzhou and back to Shanghai” as some of the more memorable trips he has cycled, with Hokkaido being his longest one. It spanned a total of 2,110.1 km up hills and down mountains, and required 11 days covering 200km each day to complete with a partner. As for Taiwan, he completed 1,200km in 12 days. Jeremy also packs the Shimanami-Kaido in 2013, his first ever overseas cycling trip.
What’s really intriguing about Jeremy is the fashion of his passion (‘scuse the unintended rhyme): he likes to take his “own sweet time” on a bike instead of rushing at 50km/h.
‘Says the IT Manager: “There’s no point in going over 40km/h and then you miss everything that you wanted to see. That’s the rationale I have.”‘
His words, although simple, belie the man that Jeremy really is: a deep and passionate cyclist with a penchance for jovial conversations and well-read knowledge about the places he’s been. In fact, I found myself growing quiet and learning about his trips as our interview unfolded. One aspect that’s earned him my respect is his passion for slower cycling amidst a well-traveled background. Cyclocross bikes are even faster than mountain bikes in terms of speed; however, Jeremy goes even slower as he’d load about 20-25 kg of stuff on his “poor” Cyclocross bike (“so it gets quite heavy,” he says). In this way, he gets to savor exotic sights (such as cherry blossoms) and feel the wind as well as relax from a typically hectic schedule.
On whether he brings his bike overseas or rents one, Jeremy says he’d bring his bike as he’s “used to it already”. However, in countries like China where there are restrictions, he’d go without his bike and rent one from contacts or a good friend staying there. (After all, he’s well-traveled and the nature of his job requires him to be a socialite of sorts).
After I pay him a silent kudos, he suggests that local cyclists “keep their minds open; go out and see the world on their bicycles”. This way, they get to kill 2 or 3 birds with one stone – get to see places AND cycle at the same time. After all, it was this tagline that earned him a beautiful Vert folding bike besides a “Most Well-Traveled” title in #TOGO817.
Check out another inspirational winner of #TOGO817 here.
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