Wheelies news since 2013

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

I am going to be a F1 Racer!

Many great Formula One drivers such as Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton et al all began their racing careers with Go Kart racing. It is almost as easy to say that in order to be a Formula One racer, you first need to be a great Go Kart Racer.

Having aspirations of a professional racer since the days of Daytona in Circus Circus and Funland, our group of friends decided to take plunge and head off to Kartright Speedway (KS) to realize our professional racing dreams.

KS is one of the two karting tracks in Singapore. Located at 511 Upper Jurong Road, KS has a state of art facility offering the best karting experience in Singapore with its 750 metre long and 7 metre wide racing track. Going there isn’t too much of a problem as it is located within Arena Country Club, which is directly opposite SAFTI and 5 mins walk away from Joo Koon MRT. We have booked two rounds of 10 mins thanks to the extremely attractive promotion by Groupon. After going through our registration (Photo ID is strictly necessary) and an eye and colour blindness test, we headed off to the track and began our briefing.

All racers are expected to wear a race helmet and proper shoes. KS does provide race helmets as well as hair nets to the racers. Of course being a hygiene freak, I decided against using their helmets, choosing to bring my own helmet instead as I cannot stand the bawu (“slang for bad smell”). Just imagine KS opens 7 days a week since 2010 and assuming they have 100 customers a day using the helmets!!!! 

You need to mount the kart from the left as you risk getting yourself burned by the motor if you mount from the right. Controlling the kart seems pretty easy, using the right paddle to accelerate and left paddle to brake. The average speed of the kart is about 50-60 km/h. There is no clutch or changing of gears to contend with. While we all decided to “take” out Colin before the race, we were told “bumping” into other karts are strictly not allowed. There goes our planning.

There were 7 of us in this race. The sounds of the engine really got our adrenaline pumping. With the “race flag” being flag, the accelerator was floored without the thought of the price of V-power / litre. While the race track does offer a couple of curves, it is generally an easier track compare to Suzuka and Le Mans. Having said that, the race did provide some heart pounding moments: Jeff’s kart doing a 360 skid and another young kid race skidded so many times till the safety car has to be brought out. After an exhilarating 2 races of 10 mins, we decided to retire into the comfort of the air-con room. We felt the soreness in our old wrinkled arms which were still vibrating after the race. Our illustrious modelling career had to be ended due to the tyre crumps that hit and mutilated our faces.

KS is definitely a great place to build some camaraderie with your friends and let off some steam. Two thumbs up for the friendly staff there too. Word of caution though: The racing experience will have an impact on you (especially if you are driving) even after you leave the place and it certainly caused me to drive and corner fast. At the end of the day, do remember to drive safely as big brother is always watching you!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

I love my electric unicycle!

“Hey, what’s that?”, “That’s cool”, “How do you balance on one wheel? I want to learn it”, “where do you buy it from”, “Is it difficult to learn”

These are some of the comments and questions I received when I hopped onto my unicycle and the lists just goes on. Generally people looked at the unicycle with amazement and interests and I must say, in a good way!
Most people looked on with curiosity because unicycling is literally standing and balancing on one wheel. While the video makes unicycling looks simple, there is a learning curve, just like cycling or inline skating. A typical person takes about 20 mins to learn basic riding techniques. The rider needs to balance by keeping their knees and body straight. It’s easier said than done though as it takes lots of practice and application.

Some friends did asked me why I need a unicycle (in fact I got 3) when I am driving a car. My reasons are:

  • I love going to the park during weekend to ride on my unicycle
  • I can now follow my niece and nephews while they cycle and kick-scooting
  • I lived in an estate where it is 10 mins walk to the town centre. However, parking is a premium given the limited lots. The unicycle lightness and portability means that I can ride to town centre and carry my unicycle around without having the trouble to look for parking lots
  • Feel good factor of riding on a unicycle and I love the challenge of picking up new techniques
  • On some days where I felt that driving isn’t necessary, I choose to unicycle and take public transportation to work. A typical journey to work begins from unicycling to the nearest train station (1km), taking a train to city and unicycling another (500m) to my workplace
  • Believe it or not, my waist line actually reduced after using it for 3 months

While I agree that unicycling isn’t meant for everybody, I must say that I didn’t regret getting mine. Below are some sites where you can get your unicycle too.

The Wheelies

I am open to sharing my learning experiences with you too if you need additional guidance about using your unicycle, regardless of where you buy it from on which brand you using. Please feel free to drop me a note at thewheeliesasia@gmail.com. Have fun!!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Please help our friends in Philippines!

We would like to take a moment to deviate from our usual Wheel sports post to offer our solace to the recent tragedy that has struck Philippines.

We at "The Wheelies" were saddened and shocked by the devastation that the Typhoon Haiyan had caused and the countless lives that were lost. Once again, we humans stands helpless and defenseless in the face of the forces of nature. Typhoon Haiyan has affected about 9.5 million people across Philippines and the official death toll is 2000 till date and the fear is that up to 10,000 lives could have been lost.

The world is never too big in this global community that we live in. The Wheelies would like to offer our prayers for the people of Philippines that is affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Stay strong. You are not alone in this fight.

Below is a list of organizations you can contact if you wish to donate:


Please visit the Red Cross House at 15 Penang Lane Singapore 238486, from 9am to 7pm (Mon-Fri) 9am to Noon (Sat-Sun), or post your cheque to ‘Singapore Red Cross Society’ at the above address.

Please indicate ‘Red Cross Haiyan Relief’ on the back of the cheque, along with your name, contact no. and address.

Note: In-kind donations (food, clothes, etc) are not accepted due to logistical considerations. Tax deduction is not applicable for overseas giving.

Mercy Relief has deployed its second response team to the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan this morning. The three-man team will be assessing ground zero in Tacloban City, in Leyte province and other affected areas within the Visayas region, to address the critical needs of the survivors such as water, food and shelter.

Mercy Relief will deploy its manually-powered water filtration systems, PedalPure, to provide clean and potable water to the affected communities. The team will also personally procure S$30,000 worth of supplies such as food supplies and blankets/tarpaulins from nearby unaffected areas within the Philippines. The public can assist in the following ways:

1. Cash donations personally presented at Blk 160, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, Singapore 310160
2. Funds transfer to Mercy Relief’s DBS Current Account 054-900742-0
3. Credit Card donation via www.mercyrelief.org (GIVE page, Pledge to “Foreign Fundraising 2”)
4. Cheque crossed to Mercy Relief Limited, with ‘Typhoon Haiyan Relief 2013’ written on the reverse, and mailed to Blk 160, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh, #01-1568, Singapore 310160

Habitat for Humanity is appealing for funds to assist families and help them rebuild their lives and gain access to decent shelter. Habitat staff are on the ground assessing the situation and coordinating with government agencies and other partners on the disaster response operations. The organisation’s country office in the Philippines is raising funds to distribute 30,000 Shelter Repair Kits for home repairs and 50,000 clean up kits to families affected by the disaster. A Shelter Repair Kit comprises: plywood, lumber, corrugated GI Sheets, sets of nails, hammer, handsaw and screwdriver. Each Habitat for Humanity Shelter Repair Kit costs 15,000 pesos (S$430) and is good for one family.

To donate, visit:http://www.give2habitat.org/philippines/ReBuildPhilippines

UNICEF staff in the Philippines are rushing into position to deliver aid. More emergency experts are on the way. In Copenhagen, 60 metric tons of emergency supplies — for the health, medical and shelter needs of children — are being readied for an emergency airlift, to arrive within 48 hours. Every moment matters for these children. Please, support UNICEF's emergency response in the Philippines: $50, $100, $250, $500 or any amount you can give will help save kids' lives. Please go to this link 

Hi dear sisters and brothers, do u have old clothes, blankets or slippers to give away? U can help the Filipino victims of the typhoon. We have a friend who owns a cargo shipping company & is collecting items to be shipped there.

Please collate your items and bring them down to:
Gaden Shartse Dro-Phen Ling Buddhist Centre
12 Guillemard Lane, Singapore 399878.
Tel: 63449521 / 63420806
Opening hours: 9:00am to 6:00pm

Important note: Please bring your items down to GSDPL by 16th Nov, this Saturday 5pm.

Friday, 8 November 2013

You are very orbit!!!

In the land of Sing-Ka-Por where Singlish is widely understood and commonly used, having the right branding and name is even more challenging due to the diverse nature of the market. However, a lot of brands selling in the market has been ridiculed for their translation or pronunciation in local dialects and accent 
  • DBS: Don’t be Singaporean
  • PRADA: Roti Prata?
  • Subaru: Just Lost 
  • Honda: Win(d) Big 
  • Pepsi : Die for nothing
  • Shell: Crazy
  • Volkswagen Passat : wet market
  • NTUC: Auntie You See
  • SENTOSA: So expensive Nothing to see actually
  • BMW: Bring More Woman
  • Dior: Tio Toto or 4D
  • Peugeot: Pang Jio means peeing
  • OG: Old Generation, Old Girls
  • Chanel: Channel 5?
So how does the Orbit Wheels compare to the above hilarious translation in Singapore context? 

Orbit in local context means something that is old fashion or out of fashion. Alternatively, it could also means serves your right. Definitely not a start they are looking for fashion conscious Singaporean

In terms of design, it does remind me of the wind fire wheels used by Chinese deity Nezha. That aside, weighing at 5 pounds, it means that I can carry around wherever I go.

AS for the usability, based on some of the video presentation on the web, it uses a completely new technique for skaters to move. Rather than moving in a V-shaped forward thrusting action in inline skating, Orbit wheels moves sideways with twisting forwards and backwards momentum. It certainly looks like it can only be operated on a smooth surface. The movement does look unnatural too. Based on general feedback on the web, it certainly does not look easy to learn and it does appear the learning curve is going to be steep for most.

While it does looks like a wheel for a perfect workout if you want to burn some calories, I will probably not be seen using it as it seems too much of a torture just to move a short distance. Last but not least, the investment of USD145 is definitely keeping casual users away. Till the next upgrade of Orbit Wheels where i can levitate and move forward and backward like Nezha, I will probably stick to my trusted bicycle and unicycle.

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Good quality
  • Steep learning curve
  • Expensive as compared to kickscooters / entry level inline skates
  • Unnatural movement
  • Unwanted attention when using it

Monday, 4 November 2013

All I want for this X’mas is…….

Most of us long for a white X’mas, regardless of your gender, age or where you are from. There are no words to describe the sensation of waking up to your surroundings covered with layer of snow (lest the BIG FOOT staring at you when you wake up). It’s simply out of this world.


Unfortunately for most of us in Singapore, that reality will never happen unless there is a significant change in the climate where the El Ninos, El Nanas or whatever et el devastated our topology so much that Singapore suddenly shifted to Northern hemisphere.

For us Singaporeans, the idea of a X’mas is about 
coming together for gift exchanges as well as a sumptuous X’mas feast. For others, its about snapping pictures at giant X’mas decorations and getting excited over chemical foams passing off as snow in shopping malls. God knows what that foam is made of... 

Well, if you belong to the earlier group and if you are still shopping for that perfect X’mas present that is fun, cool and revolutionary for your family and friends, do consider the “White Wheelies Electric Unicycle”. It is a fun and cool ride where you can spend hours using it at a park with your family and friends. It's lightweight and handy design makes it convenient and easy for you to carry around; from classrooms, national parks, MRT stations, offices etc. The usage of this Unicycle can also lead to a whole range of other benefits such as improvements to your concentration, confidence, co-ordination and muscle strengthening. Besides, you are playing your role as a global citizen as it is environmentally friendly, using only electric power.

For a limited time only, The Wheelies is offering the white electric unicycle at a promotional price of $828. Prices valid till 25 Dec. Drop us a note at thewheeliesasia@gmail.com if you are keen to find out more.

The Wheelies

The Wheelies
Click to visit our store!

The Wheelies Times Editors