His name is Jansen Chew, and he isn't just another Singaporean cyclist. He loves all things cycling, his life revolves around the bicycle. He is a cyclist, of course, but he is also a photographer and digital marketing specialist, and his life revolves around two wheels.
This short clip from LinkedIn provides an insight into the person behind LGNDS, "Singapore's most talked-about cycling club". It may be far away, but Singapore is home to a growing cycling community, passionate about the sport, and working to unite "followers" of this "religion".
Jansen Chew is the person behind this group. He uses his experience to "grow the cycling community in Singapore and connect those already part of it. My role is to monitor those who may be interested in supporting us in our mission, sponsors who see a chance to communicate and improve our community. I try to give them a good return, plan activities and ensure that the link between LGNDS and their brand is solid."
Singapore for Cyclists
This is all happening in a place where few of us would imagine a bicycle on the streets. But nothing could be further from the truth: "Singapore is close to the equator, so it's a tropical climate which is ideal for cycling all year round," says Jansen. But not only that, it's a place with all kinds of terrain, from flat roads to challenging hills.
Although it is a small area, some 700 square kilometers, "Singapore is an economic giant with an excellent infrastructure to host visitors in a safe and sustainable way".
To give you an idea, a bike ride around the edge of Singapore would be 170 kilometers. It's not easy for that reason, we are on an island with a lot of traffic, and sometimes the traffic is stopped by the numerous traffic lights, "but that doesn't stop us from wanting to keep on riding. Also, when we stop at crossroads, others see us and wonder what LGNDS is".
"Be prepared for cycling in the tropics, with temperatures from 33 to 40 degrees Celsius, and where, at 9 in the morning, the sun is so hot that it is advisable to leave with at least two water bottles for your ride. And at the end, we will have good coffee and places to refuel and chat during the ride". That's cycling in Singapore.
Cycling in Singapore
A day's cycling here must start with the magic hour of sunrise. "What cyclist doesn't love that moment?" asks Jansen. You start your ride in a jungle of buildings and island icons and finish in tranquil countryside. He describes this unique experience as "a joy".
One of the founding principles of LGNDS is anything goes: "We prepare ourselves for Gran Fondos and we enjoy cycling. No dramas. We want cycling to become a part of our lives with every turn of the wheel. There is no question of valuing the cyclist for his bike, it is about enjoying cycling and getting as many people as possible on the rides "even cyclists from other clubs, who come with us, spend the day with us and then everyone goes home".
Then there are the skills of the LGNDS members: "Some of them are very good photographers and know how to capture the essence of what we do and where we live which is a real pleasure. We immerse ourselves in our area, we are not content to just go out, we enjoy the complete experience. We are mavericks in this sense, weekend warriors who get up early to take to the streets to avoid the traffic.
"We seek to inspire brands that are with us and take advantage of our cycling habits, but also young people want to copy their parents and go out cycling. We aim to be a professionalized amateur club, as we set our goals, look for sponsors and take care of ourselves on a daily basis".
"If you're fast, you have to look fast".
"Non-conformists". This slogan that is in line with Gobik's idea of the bicycle and its universe. The LGNDS group wears white with black sleeves, or vice versa, which the brand designs for them from Yecla: "We knew about them thanks to some teams that wore Gobik, such as Cube-Shimano. We were looking for something unique and original, and we tried several brands, but only Gobik managed to capture our spirit".
For Jansen "clothing is an extension of the bike, the way to capture your way of living this sport. Once we were clear about the location of the logo, the colors and the design, everything else came naturally. We've made some compromises, such as time difference, but I think we've achieved a timeless garment, made of quality materials and excellent breathability".
In short, as they say in cycling circles in Singapore: "If you go fast, you have to look fast".