Salina Osman was a novice cyclist when she bought her first road bike in October, during the Movement Control Order (MCO). But over the past seven months, she has improved her bike riding skills and conquered some of the steepest hills in the Klang Valley.
The mother of three has cycled over a thousand kilometers. It includes a 45 km ride from Sg Besar to Sabak Bernam to Teluk Intan, a hilly cycle to Genting Peras in Hulu Langat, as well as Genting Sempah from Pahang who tests his driving skills and endurance.
“Before the pandemic, I was involved in outdoor activities like rafting, hiking or abseiling waterfalls. My regular exercise program at the gym has also taken a break, especially with the increase in Covid cases. -19.
“When the MCO was implemented, I had to think about new exercise methods. With the encouragement of friends, I bought my first road bike at the end of last year. was one of my best decisions to stay fit and healthy, ”Salina, a director of a pharmaceutical company, explained in an interview in Kuala Lumpur.
The evolution of cycling
The United Nations declared June 3 as World Bicycle Day, a special day to recognize the versatility and durability of this steerable two-wheeled machine.
The bicycle is also considered to be a simple and affordable means of transport. The best part is that it serves to strengthen one’s physical and mental health and to develop a culture of cycling in society.
Bikes have undergone many technological advances over the years. The evolution includes pneumatic tires (inflatable tires), tandems, electric bikes and electric gears.
Bikes today are made from titanium, carbon fiber and aluminum, providing a smoother and more comfortable ride.
Nowadays, there are many cycling apps and virtual cycling events that allow cyclists to stay fit while staying safe in the midst of the pandemic.
Salina says cycling has kept her in the pink of health while physically distancing herself from others during the pandemic.
“Cycling is fun because I exercise outdoors. I like having the sun and feeling the fresh air on my face. Cycling is a low impact exercise that can help strengthen the muscles in my legs. . “
Back to riding
Salina is not the only one to have adopted cycling as a new form of exercise during the pandemic.
Businessman Harry Kok, 62, who had not ridden a bike for more than three decades before MCO, bought a new road bike to stay in shape during the pandemic.
The Puchong-based 60-year-old makes it a point to ride a bike three to five times a week in his Puchong neighborhood.
“Years ago I owned two mountain bikes and used to cycle around the neighborhood. Over the years my exercise regimen has changed – I switched to golf, the gym and swimming. But during the MCO, almost all activities were prohibited except cycling and jogging.
“With the influence of some cycling friends, I got the urge to buy a new bike. Bikes these days are more advanced in terms of material, brand, gearing system and variety, ranging from mountain bikes to road bikes to folding bikes, “said Kok, director of a KL-based medical supplies company.
Most of the time, Kok rides the bike solo as he decides how fast or how slow. Between cycles, he likes to make short pit stops to reconnect with nature.
“One of the best benefits of cycling is that I spend time outdoors, soak up positive energy and feel revitalized. Cycling helps improve cardiovascular health. I love cycling. because it helps build my strength. In addition, it is good for mental health and strengthens your heart and soul, ”said the father of two, who also joins friends on group walks around Kuala Lumpur.
Kok believes that cycling is the perfect activity for everyone, regardless of age. For those who want to buy a new bike, he advises them to spend time researching and buying one based on their preferences.
“It all depends on your budget. Some people prefer mountain bikes while others prefer road bikes or foldable bikes. Find a bike that suits your personality and budget. Ask another rider for recommendations in depending on your skill level and requirements. “
Bike shop owner Lim Mee Meow, 38, saw a 30% increase in sales for his business throughout the motion control order.
“There is a growing trend for folding bikes and road bikes. People especially like foldable bikes because they are portable and easier to transport. “