Meet our #TOGOChallenge Participants
DREW UY | 4th Oct 2016 | EVENTS
In our last challenge, #TOGO920, Togoparts.com we asked our followers to cover 920km in a span of nine weeks. This was done to invigorate the biking community -among them, Allan Yeo a.k.a. UcleTamiya. Allen was first place finisher in the last challenge clocking in a whopping 7,714.63. But it was not all laurels and medals at first.
“I am currently 53 years old and am a semi retiree” Allan started.
“My journey to taking up cycling seriously began with my younger brother, Ivan, who got me hooked into riding a bike when he participated in a charity event for the Kidney Dialysis Foundation to cover 1000km – this was way back 2014.” Allan said.
“It was at that time when I thought to myself, this brother of mine is big enough he should be having problems with cycling long distances. Instead, he gets to cover challenges and come out unscathed. If he can do it, why not me?” he joked.
It wasn’t easy for Allan and any of our participants at first. Just ask Sinnappu Moorthy, our second place finisher:
“You will have to figure out first what you want. This was my first step. I was targeting 50km first since I was out of shape. I then realized I could ride to work and then to small distances like the market among other places. It wasn’t as serious as I thought until I registered for #TOGO920. I was pushed a lot farther than I expected especially from all the motivation of the other guys that were cheering me on every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without their support.” said Sinnappu.
“Easy? it was never easy for anyone who started out cycling,” adds James Tan, a new participant under the #TOGO1050 banner, “it was tough. I bought my first road bike in 2008. It took me 6 months of constantly training and riding to get to 100km per session. Now that’s my minimum.”
“Add to that the Singapore heat. Seriously, there’s no way to avoid it. I’ve just gotten used to it by training under it when I ride from 10am to 2pm just to cross the 12noon mark.” added James.
When asked what were the benefits of cycling for them Allan was the first to answer.
“Things that have changed for me was that I used to be 63kg and am now down to 52kg. I’ve trimmed my waistline from 32 to now 27 inches – I could fit into clothes from my younger years now. These and more have been the benefits of cycling for me. It has changed me not only physically but mentally as well. I am now fitter and healthier as if a 180° change to a better, happier me” he said.
“It’s been a big difference. I feel much healthier, fitter than, say, a 1 year ago and even further the year before that. It’s more expensive but I ended up needing a wardrobe change. Also, my friends are saying that I’m looking younger now which I can really feel to be true.” added Sinnappu.
“My leg looks more beautiful and hot more than ever before.” Mukyo, his username, another new entrant into the #TOGOChallenge joked, “Stamina definitely improved a lot for me, I can easily observe by how fast my body recovers and cools down. And Singapore seems to get smaller and smaller, as it is getting easier for me to get around even in blind morning. I like the way it made me more disciplined to wake up every morning and start the day with cycling.” He added.
Finally, they had this to say to budding cyclists and beginners:
“Don’t stop. Just don’t stop. Whether it’s about cycling, or whether about life or career. Just keep going. Go slowly if you have to so long as you don’t stop. No shortcuts, either, the internet can tell. Keep on going, keep on cycling, keep on pushing forward. One day, without you realising it, you’d have reached you goals and achieved your dreams already.” Allan wanted to share to those just starting out.
“Start slow and short.” added James, “There’s no need to want to compete in the Olympics when you start. A 10-15km ride is a good pace to begin in. Never forget to wear safety gear, and be responsible for your own safety and you’ll be OK. You also don’t have to get the most expensive bike. There is no such thing as a perfect bike. Just get one that suits your budget and ride. Just ride.” he ended.
This and similar other stories are abound amongst the participants and all you will have to do is ask. You can ask Mr. Foo who is our most senior elite finisher or Les Sow Fong our most senior female finisher.
“That’s what the #TOGOChallenge is for. It’s never been just about Togoparts.com. It’s about the idea the whoever puts their mind into something they want to pursue, it will be possible. No matter the circumstances” encourages Evan Lee, co-founder of Togoparts.com.
“It’s about our participants, yes, but it’s also about how we can push them to do better, to be better” continued Evan.
The “#TOGOChallenge has collectively amassed 1300+ participants within the year spanning 8 countries altogether.
The latest and last leg for the year 2016 will be #TOGO1050 where participants are tasked to cover 1050km in order to secure for themselves a limited edition finisher jersey. Additionally, reaching 2515km earns them the coveted limitied edition elite finisher jersey and bragging rights.
In case you see one of our participants along the streets, give them a good nudge of encouragement. You never know what stories they might have in store for you.
For more info log in to www.togoparts.com/togo1050