My Little Metal Horse(小鐵馬)


When I tell people I cycle, this is the bike I cycle on. It is not some fancy thousand-dollar road or off-road hobby bike, it is a RM 400 foldable bike that is used for transportation. 

I've learned how to ride a bike since I was 5 years old. I distinctly remember the first time I was cycling on my own two wheels. It was my old Filipino maid, Che Che Odette who pushed me forward with words of encouragement, and off I went - whhrrrrilll for about 20 meters in a semi-circle - before crashing into the railings of a longkang. I don't remember crying but that memory ends there.

30 years later, bicycles have been a huge part of my life. When I planned on what property to buy when I could finally afford one, I chose a place where I could cycle to my future workplace - and now I am living my minimal carbon emission life. 

"What if it rains?"

"Malaysian roads so dangerous ler!"

These are some of the common things I'd hear when I tell people I cycle to work. Little do these people notice - the sweepers, the grass cutters, and the labourers cycle to work every day. Heck, even my 60+-year-old uncle cycles around here for years now with no issues! What's more for a 35-year-old like me? 

At every point of my life, I've always looked for opportunities to use a bicycle:

  • When I was in primary school, I'd have so many adventures on my bike in Kepong (these are stories for another day). 
  • When I was in high school, I'd park my bike at my best friend's house in PJ so that I can cycle to tuition after classes. 
  • When I was in university, I'd cycle to the beautiful Sydney beaches. 
  • When I started my first project in Deloitte Consulting, I'd cycle around to explore the UTP campus.  
  • And now, as I finally joined my family business, my bicycle has become my primary mode of transportation. 
I've enjoyed every moment of cycling in my life. It is very rewarding to use a human-powered engine, instead of energy from some dead dinosaurs from millions of years ago (not technically accurate but you get the point). The bonus comes with the everyday beauty I get to enjoy more - the wet smell of freshly cut grass, the gentle sound of sweeping roads, the happily nesting pigeons in the ceiling of the highway above, the contented sleeping stray dogs along the road, and the smiles of the people I greet. 

Circa 2016: Sunset at UTP