Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Taiwoon cycling profile by Huay Leng

I am very honored to  have Huay Leng  profile me on Wanpau. I keeping it here so you can read  abit about me and why I do Loveyclingsg. 
I know I sound like selling "snake oil" but its really very special thing we are doing. Come  and experience it.  
The digital link is here if you like to read. 





Chinese version from Wan Pau
云大云在一家电脑公司工作,负责打印机的设计。到了周末,他就摇身一变,成为带领骑车人士穿街走巷认识新加坡的脚踏车达人。
他在2006年左右,和友人发起一个松散的组织,相约一起骑车,然后在部落格上记录骑车的经验,包括贴文和照片。这个组织后来发展成“新加坡爱骑车队伍”,参与者越来越多,除了部落格,骑车队在面簿上大约有一万个面友,大家发布有关骑车的信息。
云大云在部落格这么写道:“骑车好玩,如果和志同道合,一心喜欢骑车的朋友一起,那就更好玩。它无关脚踏车,无关那些新奇昂贵的齿轮。只要骑着车,感受扑面凉风,那就是人生乐事了。啊,而且还会让你食欲大增呢。”
本报总编辑日前专访今年40岁的云大云,听他谈这个骑车队的由来,为什么他愿意花时间组织志同道合者骑车,他在脚踏车上看到的人生风景,以及谈骑车与他设计电脑产品的关系。
组骑车队  由吃开始
很典型的新加坡人。云大云的“新加坡爱骑车队伍”(LoveCyclingSg)是从吃开始的。大概在2006、2007年,云大云仍在飞利浦工作时,和一起做产品设计的同事中午时分,就会到公司附近觅食。从同事邀他去吃鱼丸面开始,午餐到工厂附近的觅食与畅谈让他对这个过程上瘾。有同事骑脚踏车上班,他则把脚踏车带来办公室,专门在午餐时间出游。
后来,云大云离开飞利浦到另一家公司,特别怀念午餐之约,回去找老同事一起,改而在周末骑车。因为云大云十分健谈,朋友后来鼓励他把自己的想法写下来,当时流行部落格上写东西,云大云在这个平台上记录了骑车的风景、认识的同路人,也上载一些与脚踏车相关的常识等等。
记录所见 寻访老味道
他说,他没有想到这些记录引起不少人的共鸣,到后来,几乎每个周末到来前,就会在面簿上发出关于那个周末骑车的行程。LoveCyclingSg日渐壮大,有爱骑车的人士研究好路线,在某个地点让大家聚集后出发,有人开路,有人沿途照应,有人殿后。
他们走的是“感情路线”,有时是去发掘大家所不认识的新加坡,到一些比较冷门的地方。2010年9月,加冷国家体育场开始拆除,他们一起到加冷一带吃早餐,然后骑车到国家体育场,后来记录了眼前所见:“大部分东西都已经不见踪影了,但是记忆还在,柱子、墙壁和精工牌大钟牵动着这些记忆。在体育场内,瞭望足球场,木凳都已被拆下,有序地摆放在地上(本来的跑道)。眼睁睁看着这个伟大的足球场被拆毁真是让人悲伤。没办法,我想什么都会变化,时间到了,得拆的就得拆。再见了国家体育场,谢谢所有的记忆。我会记得你的。”
他们也骑车去丹戎巴葛火车站、到马里士他路一带闻老式面包店做出面包的味道。
云大云还带大家从大巴窑骑车到波东巴西,看前老牌反对党议员詹时中过去在该区接见选民时,组屋楼下摆放的桌子。
这些对他来说,是新加坡记忆的一部分。他在所经营的部落格上,挂了许多这些骑车“寻幽探秘”的照片。
不一样的眼捕捉小历史
骑车是一双不一样的眼睛。他说:“你走路时,半径大约是2至3公里,骑车的圆周则可能是10公里,范围更大。当然,你可以开车,但是很多时候我们开车经过许多道路,往往视而不见。骑车不同,慢慢地骑,你会闻到周围的气味,看到沿途的风景。”
育有一个八岁的女儿,云大云对新加坡环境的迅速变化特别有感触。他说:“我跟其他人说,我们不必去想很宏大的东西,就做点点滴滴的记录,看到什么就捕捉那个时刻的画面。现在我们拍照时,可能觉得淡然无味,但是就像酿酒一样,慢慢地会有味道。这些照片和记录,假以时日,会形成一把声音。
在新加坡经济迅速发展中成长,属于对新加坡在世界许多基础设施排名中名列前茅“习以为常”的一代,云大云对旧的生活方式、对自己童年无限缅怀。他回去寻访在大巴窑上小学时经过的游乐场,找回小时在游乐场看到的动物塑像。
‘要走得快,还是走得远?’
他说:“其实回到一个老问题,那就是我们得问自己,是要走得快,还是要走得远?我不知道。不过,我们同龄的朋友现在对新加坡的这些成就,感情上有点抽离。一位建筑师告诉我,他已经停止捐钱给母校了,因为捐给母校的钱,是推动自己原来的母校建筑消失。”
云大云除了感伤,更希望通过骑车寻访记忆的另类方式,得到慰藉。这是较积极与快乐的方式。他说:“新加坡得要经历的改变,那些属于大历史。但我想我们也应该保留小历史。我要书写的就是小历史,捕捉那一刹那。这是我们的家,是我们认同和维护的地方,我们得去捕捉这些小小的镜头,这一点一滴。”
‘骑车让我更了解人’
云大云目前在美国电脑公司Dell工作,负责打印机的产品设计。听起来他的工作与技术和工程有关,但是如果你以为他是个只谈电脑技术的人,那就大错特错了。
云大云很清楚,产品的使用,最终都是要回归到人——用户身上,因此做产品设计不是懂得技术的问题,而是了解人的性情、需要和习惯。
他说:“我现在做的和在学校学的是两回事。我们在学校学产品设计,是要把东西做得美美的。把东西做得漂亮固然重要,但是更重要的是让产品有存在的意义,让人觉得适用。谈意义不是有形的,其实会更加困难,因为得想怎么赋予产品意义,怎么通过产品把人联系起来?”
而这些和他的兴趣,和他周末骑车是否相关?有什么关系?
设计是为了人而做
云大云解释:“虽然骑车并不直接相关,但是骑车教了我很多东西。每个星期天,当我和一起骑车的朋友们接触——许多不相识的朋友,其实这个过程帮助我了解人的不同。不仅他们的背景不同,每个人其实也有自己不同的一面。你现在是个记者,但这只是你的一面。而做产品设计时,设计师得照顾到营销者的便利。为了其他种种的便利,设计者可能就得去寻求统一需求的方式,设计出单一和简单的作品,而无法照顾个别的特质,毕竟商业产品得考虑的往往是盈利。”
他说:“做设计这一行,我们有很多人常聚在一起谈设计,谈论的就是得奖作品。但这也是个问题,设计者只能就设计论设计,很容易忽略掉设计的主体是人,是为了人而做的。”
每个星期天组织骑车,让云大云有机会接触到来自四面八方的人,有的是退休人士,有的是老板,有的是学生,他说,接触不同背景的人,让他更懂得谦卑。
问他是否有具体如何应用骑车的例子,转化到他的产品上。他没有直接的答案。
“我的工作是与打印机的设计有关。打印机正经历很大的变化,十几二十年前,人们开始谈论以后会进入无纸张时代,不再需要打印机了,但是纸张到今天还存在,人们还在打印。不过,现在我们在设法了解的是移动的技术,用移动电话、平板电脑,关键不在人们不需要打印,而是怎么在需要的时候打印。 因此,了解人们行为上的改变很重要。如果我们看脚踏车这个类别,它过去纯粹是一种交通工具,人们选择它,因为它相对便宜。但是脚踏车也有不同的用途了,现在脚踏车对一些人来说,有消闲用途,它的意义也更为多层。因此,你如果问我,我的工作和我骑车有什么关系,它可能没有直接关系,但是它帮助我了解人。”
小时成绩并不优异
现在的云大云有思考,有行动,不过他读书时候不是那种成绩优异的学生。
在大巴窑长大,小学就读于大巴窑六巷的公立培群学校,学业成绩并不理想,但是他对学校、老校长陈经源却心存感激。
他说,当时双亲都在工作,而大概是男生迟发育,对于读书他不是太在意。他对打乒乓比较有兴趣,是校队队员,结果得参加老校长陈经源每天早晨6点半为成绩不好的学生开办的数学补习班。
云大云的华文也不好,他说,老师的教学方式显然不吸引他。
小六会考放榜,云大云选择中学,被分配到他的第三志愿——中华中学。
但是云大云还是感恩于培群学校,他说,学校的环境很传统,因此现在他还是把女儿送回母校就读。
至于自己,到了中华中学之后,他并不因为这是第三志愿而垂头丧气,自暴自弃。因为很清楚自己喜欢设计和安装东西,在中华中学时,云大云发愤图强。
老师们对他特别好,照顾他的兴趣所在。他后来考到好成绩,再到淡马锡理工学院修读设计与科技。这个班只录取30人,云大云考上了。
理工学院毕业后,他到澳洲墨尔本皇家理工大学修读产品设计。
设计的兴趣维持下来,兴趣成为他的工作,而他的生活不受工作的局限。

English version kindly translated by Boo  See the best while cycling - Interviewing Woon Taiwoon

Woon Taiwoon works in an IT company as a designer. When weekends comes along, he transforms into the best guide to show you around Singapore on a bicycle.
Around 2006, some friends and him started a cycling group to explore the joys of riding on his blog. This group soon became LoveCyclingSG (LCSG) which grew into a big group.
He blogged:" Cycling is fun but it will be even more exciting when you ride with friends. It has nothing to do with the bicycle or the expensive bike parts but it is the experience that counts. Cycling also increases your appetite!"
Wanbao is interviewing Taiwoon to find out why he is willing to spend his time to organize rides, his life views and work experiences.
LCSG started between 2006 to 2007 because then he was working at Philips and he wanted to look for a good meal near the office during lunch time. Some colleagues that he lunched with rode a bike to work but he rode his bike to lunch instead. Then when he left the company, he met up with his ex-colleagues during the weekends instead. He was encouraged to blog about his experiences and about the people he met.
Taiwoon did not expect that these articles that he wrote to be very well received. As he blogged more about his riding routes every weekend, more people joined him and it became a group effort with some folks leading, taking photos and some just enjoying the ride.
In September 2010, the old Kallang Stadium was being demolished. They decided to visit it one last time and recorded what was left of it.
"Everything was almost gone but the memories were still around. The signs, the walls and the art tugged at our heartstrings. The wooden benches were almost all gone. Seeing all these made us really sad. But oh well, to make way for the future, what needs to be gone has to be gone. Goodbye Stadium and thank you for the memories. I'll remember you forever."
The group also visited the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and also the old bakeries around Balestier. Taiwoon also brought the folks to Potong Pasir where the old desk of Mr. Chiam See Tong is.
To him, these are part of Singapore's memories. In his blog, there are many photographs which document all these memories.
He thinks that by riding a bicycle, it is a vastly different experience. This is because your riding area could be a radius of 10km while if you walk, you probably only explore 2 to 3 km. Of course if you drive a car, you can go further but you see different things. Riding is different as you can slowly absorb the surroundings and sights.
Taiwoon said :" We want to record the details and capture the moment. When we look back at the photos that we have taken, we will appreciate them like a fine wine."

As Singapore grows at a very fast rate, and with the current generation putting priority on being first in everything, Taiwoon misses his childhood days and finds comfort in going back to his old playground at Toa Payoh.

He said: " To ask ourselves, do we want to go fast or go far? I don't know. However, friends around my age are a little disappointed and emotionally detached with Singapore's current achievements. An architect once told me that he had already stop donating money to his alma mater because it is the money that pushed for the destruction of the old school buidings."

Taiwoon wants to use his cycling memories in a more positive way. "Singapore has to go through big changes and this is her history. However, we should keep our little memories of the history which I am writing about. By capturing that tiny moment in time, we get to keep our home and what we treasure." said Taiwoon.

Currently, Taiwoon is working in Dell and in charge of designing printing products. If you think he only talks about the technical aspects, you are wrong. He is very clear that the user of a product is still human. Hence the product designer needs to understand the user's habits and wants. "What I am doing now and what I have learnt in school is totally different. During school, we learnt how to make things perfect. Although that is very important, I feel that the product should have a meaning afterall. The product should make people very comfortable to use it and somehow I need to link the product and user." said Taiwoon.
So how is his work related to cycling?
He explained, "Although it is not directly related, but cycling taught me alot. Every Sunday when I get in touch with the cyclists from all walks of life, it helped me to understand different people. Everyone is unique with their own backgrounds. For example, you are a reporter but this is just what you do. It is like you are a product designer and you need to take care of how the product can bring in profits. However, the designer also need to seek out a solution and come out with a design that can be both beautiful and profitable."
In the design world, we gather and talk about winning products. This is, however, a problem as the designer can only talk about the design and easily forgets what was his original idea which was to create something for the people."
The Sunday rides allowed Taiwoon to get in touch with so many kinds of people which included retiress, business owners, students and this made him very humble.
"My job is related to the design of printers. This product has undergone many big changes since 20 years ago. People no long need a printer which just prints on paper but the humble paper still exist till now. Now, we are trying to undestand how the mobile world works as the people needs to print on the go. Hence the most important thing is to find out the behaviour of the users. If we use this as an example on the bicycles, you will see that the bicycle used to be just a cheap form of transport. However, it has many other uses as well. To some folks, it is now a hobby. So if you ask me, the bicycle helped me to understand the relationship between people." said Taiwoon.
Taiwoon grew up in Toa Payoh and attended Pei Chun Public School and was not the top student. However, he is very grateful to the school and the principal. He mentioned that he used to be more interested in playing table tennis than in studying. Being in the school team but as he did not have a fantastic result, he had to attend extra classes at 6.30am which was conducted by the principal. He finds that the school has a really traditional culture and hence he has sent his daughter to the school as well.
He did not make it to his first choice of secondary school but this did not stop him from working harder. Taiwoon was well taken care of by the teachers and made it to Temasek Polytechnic for a design course. After that, he went on to take up a product design course in RMIT in Melbourne.
As Taiwoon's interest grew in design, it became part of his work. His life is now filled with both his passion for design and cycling.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Cycling on pavement and why I do it

Cycling on pavement. This topic will draw a lot of comments on social media. Reason being legally in Singapore, cyclists are supposed to be cycling on the road. With the exception of Tampines, cycling on pavement is illegal.(but not enforced strictly).
However in the actual day to day conditions, we can see many people taking the pavement for mainly safety considerations.
These are the young, the elderly, the folks who are not confident of their riding skills. 
The most common reason given is "vehicular traffic is too fast and aggressive. I am scared of the cars."
I do this too with my gal for the same reason. 
My question when being questioned is always...."would you let your child to ride on the road? Why not?"   

I hope this paradox can change in our sunny island sometime in the future. In the meantime, I will still take to the pavement if the road situation is too dangerous. 
The wide pavement near my home @ Pungool
However, I always keep this 2 points in mind when I am riding on the pavement. Its simple. 
  1. I will give way to pedestrians.  They are the priority. 
  2. Be nice and polite. Do not ring the bell. 

Pedestrian have right of way.
This is a sign I saw in Taipei which I feel works in communicating the direction forward. Cyclists need to give way to pedestrians. There is no other way about it. I hope our agency can adapt for Singapore condition.
The onus must be for cyclists to adapt and walk the bike if the conditions are too crowded. 
Please also do not ring the bell as it irritates the pedestrians. Instead, use a nice apologetic tone with a smile. "Hello, sorry excuse me... passing thru".  I do this all the time and most are very understanding.  
Hope it helps you have a safer and pleasant ride with your loved ones. If there are other good tips, pls drop me a comment so I can edit this to allow better information sharing.

Some good links on the topic
Some more discussions on this topic in UK 
Another good article on children cycling on pavements 
An good article on common sense. Would u let you child ride on the road? 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Building a cycling culture in Singapore

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/mobile/video/balancing-act-what-s/1933680.html

Punggol to get cycling paths by 2017

This is fantastic news and good to see more progress for cycling infra in Singapore.  I am very happy as it happens at my town, Punggol! 
This is how Pungol PCN looked in 2010  http://smallwheelsbigsmile.blogspot.sg/2010/08/pungol-pcn-in-progress.html
I use the bicycle to get around my neighbourhood and sometimes with my gal as well. We were also featured with our friends doing a leisurely family ride at Pungol waterway. yeahh! It has never looked for cycling in Singapore!
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/punggol-network-of/1931208.html

Friday, June 19, 2015

Ride to see Gundam and a nice art effort by social creatives - LCSG sunday ride 14th June 2015

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Gundam and LCSG! 

Hi res photo link of event here.
Lovecyclingsg Sunday ride is an effort to connect with riders. New riders who just started out, who are worried to be riding in traffic and not sure if they can do it.  It been happening for 5 years and last sunday even when weather wasn't too good.  Folks still came to join the ride. 
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with the drizzle... there were no one around. Thats perfect for riding

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Coolest dog with his boss...  matthew
We started at Orchard MRT station, out side Ion. Matthew brought his VVIP (Max) who is a super friendly cool dog.  
We rolled slowly to Takashima to see the Gundam exhibition, but didn't roam around too long as it was drizzling. Quite a sight if love Gundam. 
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glad to see Bless after along absence! 

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I was told this is the baddie

The bicycle made it very easy to roam round and before we knew it, we were at Scape.
_DSC1645

This is the place which did the first bike handling workshop with the help of Simon(lifecycle), Kenneth (Singapore bike school) and of course LCSG angels.

Then I took the folks for a roll to Dempsey road where many cafes and drinking places are located. 
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This church still look the same
It didn't look like that 15 years ago. Do you know that Dempsey road used to be the place for National Service and army folks adminstration? Here's the history behind the place  .
For myself, my memories are Singapore Junior flying Club. This is the place I spend a lot of my secondary school days building balsa planes, crashing them and rebuilding them. I was actually quite good at it. And for awhile I actually taught aeromodelling to kids. Good fun but tiring. More on this link. Hmmm maybe I should return to this and teach once more :) 

DSCF0383
making it fun for kids 
Grace_friends_flying
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It rained quite abit... so we went to have a bite
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The rain was coming down quite heavy at Dempsey and I cut short the ride and headed toward the comfort of Holland village food market. We had breakfast and then Andy led the way to Blk 8 where there was an art initiative by Social Creatives.
The idea is to bring art to the neighbourhood. Expose children and all on art and the believe that art should be everywhere. Its a very nice and noble idea and I salute their efforts.

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Andy sharing abit on this art initiative


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Andy looks sad.... bo jio(ask ur singapore friends what it mean) 

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Andy inspired artworks 
This is why I like to attend Lovecyclingsg sunday rides. There is always a place I did not know or see. And they are all right here at our own "backyard". Waiting to be explored and appreciated. 
Combined with a folksy easy going attitude, the group continues to pull in new folks every week. Interested? Don't worry... we don't bite. Come and ride with LCSG. Its really an amazing experience! 

Rider Profile Han Jok Kwang

This is a senior whom I have the utmost respect for. He is Jok Kwang and we first met during 2011 raising funds for Japan major earthquake.  We also did this rally video for our friend in Japan
Anyway, back to Jok Kwang. I have seen him several times in LTA, URA workshops and others form of feedback sessions. 

Taking time off his busy schedule to give good, well articulated suggestions. Always very calm and collected.... but at the sametime passionate.  He also got down and dirty to help improve the PCN paths!

sweating it out
His favorite phrase is "Its more useful to engage and participate then play armchair critic."  

Thank you sir for your passion and continued advocacy in promoting cycling! Read more about him here.
D
igital copy 




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

PM Lee rides a bicycle during his holidays in Japan

This is really nice picture of our Singapore PM, taken during his holiday in Japan. I think its awesome to see him on a bicycle! Cycling really is a nice way to get around during holidays and even just getting everywhere! 
Taken from PM Lee FB
https://www.facebook.com/leehsienloong/photos/a.344710778924968.83425.125845680811480/928377873891586/?type=1&theater
Later the day, I received a call from Lester of Mypaper asking for my opinion. I hope GC would be a place for all to enjoy. Not overly cleaned up, respecting the history and inherent unique ecosystem.  In case u like to read more, its here 
article @ Mypaper 18June2015




Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cycling in Taiwan 2015

This is a marketing campaign for the launch of the Taiwan round island cycling route. I love it because its more then just cycling.
My wife summarised it very well.
放自己一个悠长的假期,以时速每小时15公里慢慢地解放自己,重新找回“我”。
Riding along slowly, and listen to your inner voice.  Rediscover yourself @ 15 km/hr. One crank at a time.