Wheelies news since 2013

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The lovable Bear!!

This is the first of our weekly feature regarding our members. As part of the interview, we will ask our members a series of questions with regards to wheeling. First stop, I have the honour of speaking with Mr. Kua, who is a more popularly known as Bear.

[TWT] : Firstly will need your age and occupation?
[BEAR] My name is Kua Sin Siong and my age is a secret. You can call me Siong or Bear and I work in a foreign bank in Central Business District.

[TWT] How did you start on the EU and how long you've been wheeling? [BEAR] I am not a sporty person but i do like to workout whenever I have the time. I go to the gym very often during lunch time until my slipped disc in 2014 forced me to stop all my training. A few months after the operation, I bought a kick scooter thinking that I can use it for short distance travel. However, the kicking movement caused great discomfort to my back and I decided to give up.

I tried to look for other alternatives on the internet and managed to find out about electric scooter and electric unicycle (EUc). I didn't consider electric scooter as I noted that the electric scooter with a seat was banned a few years back and it doesn't look cool. However, when I saw a Youtube video of EUc, it was love at first sight. I did once encountered someone wheeling near my house and was envy of him. I tried to buy it off the internet but I found the wheel from USA too expensive for me to start off with at US$3000. 

When I was about to give up my hope of owning this "toy", my friend told me that there is a place selling EUc at a quarter of the price. I was delighted upon hearing this news and went to the shop with him immediately. EUc is definitely not easy to ride but I found the idea of riding it cool and being someone who like to be different, I bought it without thinking much.

When I first tried on it, it was so difficult that I can't even mount. Continuous trying resulted in "non-stop" perspirations and bruises on my leg. Contrary to my predicament, those riders in Youtube videos seems to make it so easy. I began to loose interest thinking that I will not be able to learn. However, I told myself that since I had already spent the money, I should not give up so easily. After numerous attempts and not to count the number of bruises I had, , I can finally mount on the wheel and move a few metres. You will not understand how I felt that moment. The feeling is awesome and it serves as a morale booster to encourage to try even harder.

After studying all the different Youtube videos and putting them to practical use, I can finally wheel a longer distance. I used to train at my void deck holding on to the pillars but switched to a nearby basketball court after it became apparent its too small for me to move around. The change did benefited my learning as I began to wheel longer distance and learnt how to turn left and right turn. I would normally trained about an hour a night after my kids went to bed.

[TWT] How did you find out about Wheelies?
[BEAR] My skills are improving daily and I can finally wheel confidently on the pavement. My first trip was wheeling from my house to nearby Sembawang Park and it was a huge success personally. While it is satisfying for me, I began to feel bored wheeling alone. I went online to look for people with the same interest and that is when I found The Wheelies. 

The Wheelies is a interest group which organised Sunday wheeling outings for their members. I did not join them initially because I do not want to slow them down just because I am still not proficient with the wheel. So I decided to train even more before I finally had the confidence to call Thomas Hoon and asked if I can join the. Thomas is the founders of The Wheelies and he is much friendlier than I thought. My maiden trip with The Wheelies was an outing in Sentosa.

We have many regular outings and my skills improved with their advices. The people in the Wheelies are all very friendly and I have made many new friends with common interest. I do admit that I am not an outgoing person but with this group of new friends, I really enjoyed myself in every outing.

[TWT] Why do you like wheeling?
[BEAR] I get to go to many palces e.g. Pulau Ubin, Green Corridor and trust me on this, it is a totally different kind of experience when you wheel than travel by car, buses or walking.

Wheeling is fun, you can go places that is inconvenient for car or too far for walking. A good example will be Marina Barrage. 

Now wheeling is a way of life for me. I use it to go to work as well as running errands. I can go anywhere and buy anything that my family members want to eat. I owned a car but my car is used only during family outing. I personally prefer to wheel and take public transport. I wheel to watch movie and even attending wedding dinner. I love the conveniences of a wheel and I get to many places faster without breaking a sweat.

[TWT] What is your most proud achievement of wheeling?
[BEAR]  The Wheelies has taken part in the Chingay 2016 where many of the international groups performed and this was telecasted live to many countries. They have also taken part in the Night Fest organised by the Singapore Art Museum and many other performances around Singapore. I am proud to be a core member of the performing team for the Wheelies.

Part of the joy of wheeling is able to do tricks with it. Do check some of my videos below.

[TWT] Challenges for Wheelers in Singapore
[BEAR] The challenges for people who wheel like myself is to convince the government that EUC is not a dangerous mode of transport. Even though it is new and different from those traditional modes of transportation that we know, controlling it is intuitive.

It reacts to the body movement similar how we walk. When we walk, we take a step out and lean forward and this translate to forward wheeling if we are on the wheel. When we are about to knock on something while we walk, our natural reaction is to be leaning backwards and this action will able us to stop on wheel. By understanding this logic, it is much safer than other forms personal transportation in term of reactions as well as speed. EUc is not fast in nature and we can travel as slow as a walking pedestrian.

[TWT] Any last words before we sign off?
[BEAR] Do join us if you can or if you have happen to see us along the way, do wave and  say Hello!

Thank you Bear for joining us in this interview.


  1. Very motivational ! i'm considering to start learning to wheel hehehehe

    1. Do join up the Wheelies if one day should you decide to go for it.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Neon. Its an enjoyable experience for me talking to Bear.


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