Moving forward, I am experimenting with having eNEWS in email-lite version; text based only. Complete version with photos, where available, shall be kept in our www.shpa.org.sg website. This is to minimize double handling. It requires you to <double click> on link provided to access complete version. This is that first version!
Cheah, President of HPA, reminded all at gala dinner to each co-opt 2 new persons into alumni. With 330 members, we should be 1,000 strong in no time. Then, every event organized will materialize even with 2-5% participation rate.
Come next year, HPA shall be 10 years young. Is there any thing special you like to see happen? Would you like to step forward, dream a dream and say let’s just do it? Nothing is going to happen if we sit in our rocking chairs thinking if only…
HPA Gala Dinner 2010
Miraculously, we pulled through gala dinner event with 370 guests inclusive of 15 corporate sponsors. Although the location was a little far, compared to Orchard Road, the dinner hall was majestic, parking a breeze. The fashion runway adds to the glamour and those huge corporate banners were outstanding. There was ample space for mingling and quality of food exceeded expectation.
A bevy of 10 lovely ex-HP ladies took to the fashion runway. They rehearsed, rehearsed and then took half a day off on the day itself to ensure everything goes according to plan. True to HP spirit, they came together, worked in tandem to make this happen.
Elvis came back! Elton accompanied him.
Our MCs of Alex and Bernard were “wonder men”, busy transforming the whole evening from Men in Black to Elvis and Elton and finally to 2 middle-aged hippies.
When it came to Joyce, artist from HP got talent, she almost brought the house down in under 5 minutes. Muscle control was awesome and hip movement hypnotic. Her performance was belly good, bringing smiles to many faces.
While “wonder woman” looked her role, Marilyn Monroe was a tad skinnier, looking a little anorexic.
The foldable 2-wheeler “smooth hound” was successfully auctioned off. I would have love to drive the Jaguar XJ home even if it’s only for that long weekend; those sleek, aerodynamic curves.
Patrick sang 3 songs in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. His rendition of It’s My Life by Bon Jovi got everyone humming along reliving the ‘80s.
Having fun, doing good. Post 3rd Charity Ride, we collected in excess of $70,000 exceeding target of $50,000. Many thanks to all donors who stepped forward, make this world a better place.
Fund-tastic ride, having fun and doing good
The night before our charity ride, my family and I were out having dinner with Amy, a friend from the US. We had a sumptuous carnivore dinner; unfortunately wine was crap. I went to bed a little anxious as weather forecast read “showers with thunder over many areas” in the next 12 hours. The revised weather site at www.weather.nea.gov.sg is excellent, accurate up to 3 hour forecast. I slept less than my usual 7 hours.
After picking my brother in the morning, we headed North towards meet point. As we passed McRitchie, there was slight drizzle and likewise along Upper Thomson. By the time I turned into Yishun stadium, NL was ahead, ready to flag us off. I was impressed with the large crowd, ahead of schedule.
We assembled, hang our banner and I then conducted a safety briefing. A few other members chipped in highlighting various vulnerable spots. Soon after, we organized ourselves into groups of 15 and NL blasted us off with an air-horn.
I expected turn up of 40 riders or so. Final tally was 75 riders.
Safety briefing. It’s not a race, so no prize for coming in first!
Wee Yeow leading the first pack. NL holding the air horn and “blasting us off”! This is the Speedy Gonzales group.
As I was arranging the second group, Bernard from NParks (looking restless), whispered telling me that I was required at Woodlands Waterfront by 8:50am. Apparently, I was to converge with GOH and his entourage at Waterfront, 13 km away with 45mins to get there. By then, the ground was wet, stage set for thrills and spills.
Guess you know who is the supervisor; the one who points is Bernard.
Darric, who is taking a photo shot, took two tumbles getting me on time to Woodlands Waterfront. He is quite a stunt man.
Darric, a burly guy, was my outrider and Benjamin, as rear sweeper, is to make sure I move my butt fast enough to keep pace with outrider. The only problem was that I had to pedal my own machine and these guys are half my age! Typically, this undulating route takes an hour and ten minutes and we only had 45 mins. After some hard pedaling, we over took the first group and then it happened. Darric skidded on algae coated cement pavement and fell. He is trained, landed on his side, no open abrasion. We soldiered on at a fast clip, safety in mind yet mindful of meeting schedule. I felt a little like Ryan in Saving Private Ryan except this time the elements were our enemies. Water, cement, algae is bad combi for cyclists. Water, tarmac, algae is no better.
When going down slope, never brake hard under wet conditions. Hold on handle bars tightly, gun straight and if you must shift direction to avoid debris, turn very, very slightly. Never cycle across metal grating or drain covers at an oblique angle when it’s wet. Always keep a safe distance from the front rider. If not, it’s game over if the lead rider blinks and brakes.
Having passed the second zebra crossing, I crossed a cyclist coming in the opposite direction. His exact words: “watch out, dead zone ahead” and I was thinking, gee, we just passed the crematorium.
Having ridden that route several times, I got his message: down slope, water, cement and algae make a lethal combi. True enough, Darric bit the dust, as he skidded and tumble on dead zone. Stoically he stood up, again with no abrasion, charge forward to get me onsite, on time.
Then after, we tiptoed deftly across dead zone, cross Mandai Roadand entered Jalan Ulu Sembawang. The initial stretch is a painful upslope climb on rubbles and stones. Once we tipped over, it’s an exhilarating ride better than the Galatica on RWS; thanks to NParks freshly minted tarmac strip. At end point, we took under pass of SLE, in proximity of the recent Apache chopper incident. Before I could catch my breath, it’s another winding uphill climb behind the sports school and eventually a fast roll down into the heartlands of Woodlands.
From here on, it is largely urban, frustrating having to stop-start at traffic lights. Soon, we were outside Republic Polytechnic and then after a fast cruise skirting around Admiralty Park, we could almost see JB. After a short distance, we crossed over onto Woodlands Waterfront, arriving minutes ahead of schedule.
I was tired out, pushed to keep time and to think that I reminded all at the start point that it was not supposed to be a race! All the same, we got there safely. We were rewarded with a bottle of cold drink each and a secure place to park our bicycles. In all, I am told, the group of 75 took 6 tumbles; thankfully no serious injuries.
Soon, we proceeded to unfurl our specially designed banner, picked a spot and mounted canvas. It looks grand and before long, I was ushered forward to shake hand with GOH. I then took the opportunity to explain to him our 3rd Charity Ride, in the midst of all the noise from drums from welcoming party. Then after, 2 Gen Y journalists, arranged by NParks, wanted to know a thing or two about our biking group using the park connectors.
The young and the not so young at Woodlands Waterfront.
As usual, age crept up. The neophyte journalist thought me 45. He made my day for a new old!
BTW: Park connectors are safe, usually on tarmac surface and/or cement pavements or tiled. They are designed away from vehicular roads, meant for multiple users including pedestrians, runners, roller-bladders and cyclists. To date, Nparks completed some 150km of PCN. There is another 150km more to go island-wide.
The challenge of keeping PCN algae free is daunting especially next to forested areas. There’s element of humidity, rain, shade. NEPCN was water-jet washed the week before charity ride as we witnessed during our recce trip.
Welcome On Board HPA Nov10
HPA-Bob Ang Hong Chuang
© 2010 (Han Jok Kwang)