Wheelies news since 2013

Thursday, 17 March 2016

An Apple a day....

In our second weekly feature of our members, we have the chance to speak to the charismatic Edmund, who is known affectionately to the members as Apple. Because of his passion for IPS EUs, he is also sometimes called the IPS Man.

[TWT] So can you tell your audience what's your age and occupation
[Edmund] My name is Edmund but you can call me Apple or Appmund haha. I’m hitting the big 40 this year and I’m doing regional sales in the Semiconductor industry.

[TWT] How did you start on the EU and how long have you been wheeling? 
[Edmund] Let’s see. I think the year was 2013 when I happened to chance upon a EU one night around my neighbourhood. A little girl was riding it and being the tech gadget freak that I am, I was so intrigued by it that I just had to find out more. I told myself I have to have it! So I went home and starting searching for it online and came across a few brands. There were not many companies manufacturing EUs at that time and when I came across one that is within my budget, I ordered it straightaway! 

When the EU arrived, I was very excited but at the same time worried. I did not know how to ride it at all! But I told myself that since I already made the investment, do or die I must learn how to ride it. I started searching for instructional videos on Youtube and learned the steps from there. It was not easy at all but through perseverance and a lot of perspirations, the end result was so rewarding. Riding an EU is an earned experience. It’s not something that you can just ride it the moment you got it. It’s definitely way cooler riding an EU as compared to other mode of PEVs too!

Time really flies and I’ve been wheeling for almost 3 years and still loving every minute of it!

[TWT] How did you find out about Wheelies?
[Edmund] It was on a Sunday morning and I happened to go to Popeye’s at Punggol Promenade for breakfast with my family. And it was there that I met Thomas Hoon and his group of friends (Colin, Kheng Fatt, Cubie). We had a chat and that’s where I found out from Thomas that they have a Facebook group and he invited me to join them in their weekly activities.

I visited their Facebook group page “The Wheelies” and saw that they have quite a number of wheeling activities going on. It took me awhile before I joined them as I wanted to be more proficient in my wheeling and not to embarrass myself…haha.

Initially the group wasn’t big and there were only a handful of us but we have grown in numbers. We have been invited to appear on Channel 5 The Five Show, interviewed by Razor TV, Channel 8, NUS…etc. We have done events with People’s Association and most recently participated in Chingay 2016. All these events participation is our way of promoting this sport to the masses as EU is still a relatively new thing in town.

[TWT] Why do you like wheeling?
[Edmund] When I’m wheeling, it gives me a sense of freedom. It helps me to de-stress and I feel very relaxed. It gives you a good workout too if you wheel for long distances. It keeps you alert, exercise your core muscles and burn calories. EU is small and compact. It gets you to places where it’s too far to walk and too near to drive. You don’t need to find a parking lot, pay ERP charges or COE. It helps to reduce my carbon footprint as it is a green and environmentally friendly. Running errands around my neighbourhood is such a joy now that at times, I find excuses to go out of the house just so I can wheel!

Through The Wheelies, I’ve found more people who share the same passion as me in using the EU. I’ve been to many places and made many new friends along the way. I always look forward to The Wheelies Sunday wheeling sessions. I’ve been to places like Pulau Ubin, St. John and Lazarus Island, Sentosa and many many more with The Wheelies.

When you’re riding an EU, you get to see more things as compared to driving. You go to places whereby cars can’t take you and it’s a long journey to walk. You get to appreciate the sceneries in more details. Ultimately, it’s just so much fun to wheel. Period!

But the best thing that happened to me about wheeling is the greater bonding that I have with my son, Ethan. Doing regional sales took a toll on our father and son relationship as I was hardly around when he was younger so he wasn’t that close to me. We hardly talk much at home as he was always on his computer games. When I started wheeling, he got interested. He started to ask me about how the EU works and how to ride it. 

Thinking that teaching him wheeling might be a good thing as it will help to cut down on his “screen” time, I decided to teach him. Kids do learn things fast! Ethan took about under 30 minutes to be able to ride the EU where it took me like one and a half days. After both of us were able to wheel, I bought another EU so that we can wheel together. And it was such a great feeling every time I wheel with Ethan. He started to chat with me more and our relationship became closer. So not only did wheeling help to cut down on his computer playing time, it did more for me by bringing us closer together. I’m very very thankful for that! 

[TWT] What is the most difficult trick you have done? Video if possible
[ Edmund] So far I’ve mastered wheeling with one leg, reverse wheeling and some tricks combined with my son, Ethan but the most difficult trick I’ve ever done thus far will have to be jumping over obstacles with the EU. I’m still trying to improve on my skills as often as I could. You never stop learning and there’s always room for improvements.

[TWT] Challenges for Wheelers in Singapore
[Edmund] The biggest challenge that wheelers have in Singapore is the restrictions of using PEVs. Authorities find that anything that is motorised is always dangerous. I tend to differ as I find that it boils down to the user and not the device being used.

Singapore is working towards a car light society. They are pushing to reduce the number of cars on our roads, reducing carbon footprint and go green. What better way then to use an EU to provide that last mile solution? I have many friends that uses the EU on a daily basis to go to and from work and we are doing every bit we can to help push towards that goal of a car light society.

Besides the authorities, the perception of the general public must change too. We must learn to share the pathways. Pedestrians and PEV users must learn to have mutual respect for each other. PEV users must ride safe and always keep a lookout for pedestrians. PEV users must learn to slow down where human traffic is high. Pedestrians must also learn to lookout for their surroundings. They must also learn not to hog the whole width of the pathway but walk keeping to one side. Showing courtesy and consideration for one another will definitely go a long way!

[TWT] Any last words for your readers before we sign off?
[Edmund] Come join us soon and have lots of fun with us! You'll Never Wheel Alone!

An Apple a day will keep the Doctor's away but I am sure wheeling will do that for you too. Thank you Edmund for your time.

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