Wheelies news since 2013

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Car Free Sunday 3rd edition

The Wheelies participated in the 3rd edition of Car Free Sunday this morning. Here are the highlights of the event this morning. Photo credits: Kirby

Video credits: Max

Video credits: Robin Wong

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Wheelies welcome Tilmann from Germany

What does wheeling really means? It helps bring people of different background together, bonded by a similar interest. What is most amazing is besides knowing people from around us, it also bring visitors from all over the world to this little community in Singapore and this time round, Tilmann from Berlin, Germany. So how did he ended up wheeling with The Wheelies?

It all began from a post below:

We took it up and responded to Tilmann.

11th May. The day finally came for us to meet up with Tilmann. However, what was supposed to be a smashing wheeling session with our foreign visitor was almost threatened by the weather.

We were determined not to let the bad weather destroy our wheeling party and decided to proceed as plan. Thank goodness, the rain finally stopped about 6 pm and we were on our way to meet up our foreign visitor.

A group photo for the early birds

"Wheel handing over" ceremony

Stop over for the food at Satay by the Bay

Taking group photos at iconic landmarks such as The Merlion

Aerial shot of the group from Kirby's drone

Last stop at the Soya Bean store for our desserts.

Besides the memories, we also gave Tilmann something to bring back with him.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

It takes both hands to clap

Recently, there was an thread on HWZ referring to a seller of a scooter as Hao Lian (Arrogant in Singlish) and asking all to boycott the seller. While it is important in an industry where good service and reputation counts, I beg to differ on the notion based on the responses of the buyer to the seller. 

Based on the correspondences, the seller was trying to provide different options for the buyer to get his purchase. However, the one liner responses from the buyer probably irked the seller to the extend of responding "boastfully" to the buyer's message. It is not that we are endorsing the seller responses but we do felt that in this incident, the buyer has its fair share of blame too. To go online and flame the seller is so wrong, given the circumstances. As a seller myself, rather than tit for tat messaging, I will probably leave the rude messages alone and move on, not bothering myself further given the buyer apparent lack of interest to buy and rude responses.

To sum it up, it really takes both hands to clap. Buyer will always demand first-class service no matter how much they are paying but a good service works both ways. A Happy Buyer =  A Happy Seller.

* TWT is not related to the buyer and seller

Friday, 6 May 2016

All the rage or cause for road rage?

When Mr Kelvin Tay, 32, first purchased the electric unicycle in October 2014, he spent about a week and a half learning how to use the device. Now, his electric unicycle is his main form of transportation every day.

The operations manager, who lives in Punggol and works in Tampines, has since given up driving, and instead travels about 9km to work and another 9km back home daily on his electric unicycle. The longest estimated distance he has ever travelled using his unicycle was 30km.

“It’s light, convenient, and portable,” Mr Tay says. This seems to be the general consensus amongst other users of the oddly shaped machine.

Known as personal electric vehicles (PEV) or personal mobility devices, electric unicycles and their counterparts like the electric scooter and the hoverboard have recently become all the rage in Singapore.

Mr Thomas Hoon, 39, founder of e-commerce store The Wheelies, says customers are attracted to the portability and affordability of PEVs. Although his online store also sells electric scooters and hoverboards, he specialises in electric unicycles and swears by the product himself.

Depending on the model and battery life, electric unicycles typically cost about $400 to a little over $1000. Traveling by unicycle therefore costs only an estimated one cent per kilometer, making it a sound investment, says Mr Hoon.

Mr Clarence Chan, 31, an accountant, picked up wheeling one and a half years ago when he decided to switch his electronic scooter for something less bulky and more compact. He says that his unicycle, which he also uses for commuting to work, is more reliable than public transport or shuttle buses.

But more than just a means of transport, these versatile devices also provide a form of entertainment and leisure.

So far, performances on these electric unicycles have been seen at this year’s Chingay, the Singapore Night Festival, Pedestrian Night on Orchard Road, and other grassroots events.

The Wheelies also puts together weekend outings for the wheeling community to take part in. As the unicycles are capable of traveling on most terrains, outdoor wheeling activities at Pulau Ubin and The Green Corridor are made possible.

“I used to stay at home in front of the computer. But after I purchased this wheel, I’m actually meeting my friends and going out to places every weekend. It’s very much a social activity,” says Mr Hoon.

But some skeptics still worry about the safety and health risks that these PEVs might pose.

Ms Batrisyia Hassim, 27, a marketing executive, says: “I’ve seen people use these on pedestrian walkways and I think it’s irresponsible and inconsiderate. I have two young nephews, who are barely five years old. What if they accidentally get knocked down?”

Meanwhile, others like Ms Elizabeth Zhang, 21, are worried that people will become too reliant on these devices. “What’s wrong with walking and a bit of exercise?” says the art student.

But fans of the unicycle remain unfazed. The wheeling community is said to follow a set of rules and wheeling etiquettes to prevent accidents from happening, and newbies are given appropriate training and guidance before they can use the device.

Even some families have taken to teaching their children and elders how to ride the unicycles, with users ranging from 7 to 70 years old.

Says Mr Chan: “Not all kinds of activities can easily bring a family together like wheeling can.”

Article by Faith Khong
NTU Research paper

Monday, 2 May 2016

Car Free Sunday - 24 April 2016

Car Free Sunday is an event organized by Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Land Transport Authority (LTA), National Parks Board (NParks), National Arts Council (NAC), Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Sport Singapore (SportSG). SG Car-Free Sunday takes place on every last Sunday of the month for six months from February to July 2016. Roads within the Civic District and parts of the Central Business District (CBD) will be closed to traffic and the streets will be given over to walkers, joggers and cyclists. 

24 April is the 3rd edition of the Car Free Sunday. It also coincides with the first Personal Mobility Devices (PMD) carnival which happens later in the day. The Wheelies had previously attended the 2nd edition when it was first opened up to the participation of PMDs.

SG Car Free Sunday have helped bring the awareness to the nation of going car-less and promote the benefits of of other travel options such as walking, cycling and PMDs . It has also highlighted our government's commitment towards reducing the carbon footprint and  moving towards a car-lite nation. 

In my personal opinion, going around in my electric unicycle not only fulfilled my responsibilities as a global citizen to help out with issues of global warming by reducing my carbon footprint, it is also a cost effective way of moving around, helping me saving money. Last but not the least, a successful event like SG Car Free Sunday also showed to the world a model where pedestrians, cyclist and PMDs users can come together to share a common space. 

Well done organizers!!!!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Top 5 Electric Unicycles for April















* Based on estimated figures from sales of electric unicycles in Singapore http://thewheelies.sg/shop/ as well as TWG members registration

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