JKR Selangor jumps into cycling

Every community needs a champion. For Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR) Selangor, one of their champions is the Director himself, Dato’ Ir. Ruslan Abdul Aziz, who grew up in Petaling Jaya. If you ever meet him, you will know within the first 10 minutes of chatting that he is all about being active within a community.

Ruslan, 57, has pretty much been an advocate of community activism everywhere he has been. This includes his time at University of Nottingham where he helped organise the famous Malaysian Students Nottingham Games, and running family activities when he was posted in Kuwait.

“I have always been happy to organise or help organise activities when the opportunity arose. Working hard must be balanced with some play hard activities too and with this everyone is happier. I like to try and do these things because I want to see people smile and be happy; one of my ultimate satisfactions in life when I can see that I have helped make this possible,” he said.

He’s even trying to setup a nursery in JKR Selangor’s new complex in Shah Alam for JKR staff, and JKR’s immediate office neighbours like Telekom Malaysia.

His recent endeavour however is a bit closer to home, the “Velo Fun Ride Selangor 2018” on September 23rd. The cycling event will be a fun-packed affair with both a 40km and 20km ride, as well as 300m push bike course for kids aged 2-6.

According to the Director, the jamboree is all about providing the ground for families to play on and for people to test their strength if they wish to do so, even though it is not a competitive event.

“We are calling the JKR cycling event Velo Fun Ride because we wanted it to sound more like fun instead of a challenge. Velo - French for bicycle - sounds a bit friendlier and we hope that the communities around Selangor can all come and have some fun on the day.

“We have the capacity to accommodate 3,000 cyclists, and have plotted an excellent route around Sepang that promises to be safe for all types of cyclists on the day. This will also show how JKR Selangor have maintained Selangor roads that will provide a smooth ride for the participants. At the same time, I hope that some funds collected on the day can also go to this nursery we are trying to build,” said Ruslan.

His recent endeavour however is a bit closer to home, because on the morning of Sept 23, JKR will officially flag off their event called “Velo Fun Ride Selangor 2018”. The cycling event will be a fun-packed affair with both a 40km and 20km ride, as well as 300m push bike course for kids aged 2-6.

According to the Director, the jamboree is all about providing the ground for families to play on and for people to test their strength if they wish to do so, even though it is not a competitive event.

“We are calling the JKR cycling event Velo Fun Ride because we wanted it to sound more like fun instead of a challenge. Velo - French for bicycle - sounds a bit friendlier and we hope that the communities around Selangor can all come and have some fun on the day.

“We have the capacity to accommodate 3,000 cyclists, and have plotted an excellent route around Sepang that promises to be safe for all types of cyclists on the day. This will also show how JKR Selangor have maintained Selangor roads that will provide a smooth ride for the participants. I also hope some funds collected on the day can go to this nursery we are trying to build,” said Ruslan.

But why host a cycling event instead of a running or swimming event?

The answer is simple. Ruslan himself cycles, and he believes that demand for a fun oriented cycling event is lacking, especially where safety is one of the concerns. “I've been cycling from a young age and I even have great stories from my childhood. One is the lamp post challenge, where my friends and I would basically push each other to wheelie as far as we could.

“To measure the distance we would see how many lamp posts we could wheelie the bike. I think my personal best was 11 lamp posts,” he said with a laugh. “We would even use metal rods to tie the spokes together to make the wheel stiffer and modify the tyres with double walled linings to make the donuts more robust.

“But that was when we were young and brave. These days I just tend to cycle my hardtail around my neighbourhood. That gave me an idea, as I think many people also do the same thing. We could have done a competitive cycling event, but we want to provide a safe environment for cyclists to have fun in, especially those who wished they had a bigger neighbourhood to cycle around. Our event can provide this and kids with parental guidance can even try a long cycling route,” said the certified engineer.

There are many out there who tend to host cycling events only for financial profit, but we genuinely believe that Ruslan and JKR are doing so to give back to the community. This event truly is something for all types of cyclists to participate in.

Every community needs its own champions, and if we all had an organisation like JKR and someone like Datuk Ruslan to organise these activities, we would all live in a much better place and a harmonious community.

The Velo Fun Ride 2018 hosted by JKR will take place on Sept 23.. The flag-off for the 40km ride is at 7.00am whilst the rest of the activities on the day will begin half an hour after. Lucky draw prizes include a Proton Iris, a couple of mountain bikes as well as an exclusive holiday for two to experience the famous Thailand L’Etape by Tour de France.

Velo Fun Ride Selangor 2018 tshirt
Velo Fun Ride Selangor 2018 medal