Monday, 21 November 2011

Heng Ooi Khiang, Singapore's PBP Randonneur Extraordinaire

Meet Heng Ooi Khiang, Singapore's PBP Randonneur Extraordinaire.

If you're wondering what PBP stands for, it's not Pasir Ris Bishan Punggol but Paris Brest Paris. It's one of the oldest cycling events in the world and is held every 4 years in Paris. As suggested by its name, the ride will take the rider from Paris to Brest and back. The monster ride is 1200km long.

1200km is no mean feat. If 128km denotes iron butt status, surely 1200km falls under superhero class. And to cap it up, there is a time difficulty of 90 hrs. 1200km in 90 hrs, which is the average speed of 13km/h (not including sleeping time). Insane, if you ask me!

Before, you get too excited and leap off your seat to sign up for the next PBP, there is a time trial for interested participants. 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km, all under time controls.

Clear all four and you'll be rewarded with this qualifying medal...

Mr Heng shared his inspiration and words of wisdom with the 20 odd group gathered at Lifecycle@Punggol. One of the more notable advices we took home was that " it is not about the bike, but the rider."

From his testimony, you've got the fixies, recumbants and market bikes that managed to complete the entire PBP so it's definitely not about the bike. Some of us might be guilty of focusing too much attention on improving our bike specs and neglecting the real engine behind the ride - our legs and stamina.

The session also redefined how we look at things. There was a rider twice our age, a handicapped rider who participated with a prosthetic leg and a billow on a bike (lady that rode with a skirt). All three of them managed to complete the grueling 1200km in under 90hrs. This really makes you wonder if they can do it, maybe with ample training, you can too! It's all about the mind and making it work!

It was a fruitful and inspiring session and we were very privileged to be able to hear from the legend himself.
some stunning shots credited to Taiwoon

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