The Tenth Anniversary
You might not have noticed, but Togoparts is ten years old. Singapore’s hottest cycling portal did not become as such overnight, rather, its origins were truly humble.
The story starts in a university hostel. One fine day, feeling that there was a void for cyclists, Evan Lee (aka Zishin) decided to start Togoparts.com, and so through the days and nights, Evan coded the different sections that you see on the website now – starting from the Forums, it then moved to the Marketplace, and Editorial.
The key thrust of creating Togoparts lied in the fact that there wasn’t exactly a place on the web where Singaporeans could meet like-minded cyclists. People looking for group rides, used bikes, or even a place to discuss about bike-related topics had little alternative, until Togoparts came to being.
Over the next few months, Togoparts would then grow exponentially. In the first month, Togoparts.com got 500 members on the forums, and then the rate of membership registrations increased even more through the months. Word of mouth went out that a new Singapore-based cycling website was created. This spread virally, even though in the principal years of the millennium, cycling was not as popular as it is today.
This was Togoparts in 2005…
As this grew, we realised that cyclists abound in Singapore, however, there was a need to make a push to get these disparate groups together, which is the reason why merely six months after Togoparts was launched, we had our first Team Challenge in 2011, which was a very tough treasure hunt in western Singapore. This continued with a few other big events such as Hentam Ketam and the largest event in our history – Togoparts 11 in 2007.
At the same time, we were writing reports, doing reviews and guides, then the idea came up to create an editorial section, which would fill a void where locally-based cycling news and reportage is concerned. At the beginning, Editorial didn’t have the credibility that it has today, so was difficult to get parts or bikes in for review. But starting small, we slowly gained our credibility. Increasingly, more merchants were interested in getting into the scene, which was a great win-win for us and them, since Editorial would have interesting things to write about, and merchants would get exposure.
Togoparts has come a long way since 2001. Today, Togoparts is the leading website that is made by cyclists for cyclists. The website has gone through many changes, and new cyclists ride alongside the more experienced crowd, all in the name of enjoying cycling as a hobby.
The forums are filled with people of all skill levels and of all disciplines, the marketplace is a booming bazaar of bikes and bike parts, and Editorial is growing as the most credible source of information regarding cycling. The Marketplace has always boomed as a second-hand bazaar where people get good deals on bikes and bike parts. With 7.1 million page views a month, it is truly a far cry from its humble beginnings ten years ago.
Thank you, everyone.