There are a myriad of reasons for one to take up cycling. Some do it to improve their fitness and some wake up early in the morning to cycle because they love the challenge of mind over body while some others are actually born into it.
For Datin Seri Utama Anggraini Sentiyaki, chairman of Badan Amal Kasih Ibu, a Malaysian non-governmental organisation (NGO), her take on cycling is that it’s more than just a sport. Her love of cycling is there purely because it brings people together. For those moments when you’re on the road, societal classes like race, age and occupation disappear.
Anggraini, who was born in Tegal, Indonesia, was surrounded by bicycles as she was growing up. “Where I was from, many people used bicycles as a form of transportation to get on with life. You could either use a bicycle to meet up with your friends, do your chores or earn a penny doing jobs through the help of a bicycle. It has always connected people and I like that the most about bicycles,” she said.
However, like many others, cycling had to take a step back in Anggraini’s life due to new commitments. And again, as with many others, the pedal life always seems to somehow manage to creep back into their lives later on.
It’s what happened to Anggraini and whilst riding at a Putrajaya Community Ride last year where she picked up cycling once again, she thought of something big, something that would get women together to celebrate International Female Day.
“After a long hiatus, I started cycling once again last year. I tried to fit cycling as much as I can into my busy schedule and I wish I could cycle more. During a Putrajaya Community Ride in February, I realised that cycling was not only good for the heart, but also good for the soul.
“ It didn’t matter where you were from, everyone would speak to each other and have a great time. This gave me an idea to create an event that would encourage female cyclists,” said Anggraini.
After that ride, Anggraini went home and started to think of a way she could create such an event. After months of debating, planning, and getting the right support, Anggraini eventually finalised the event and through her Badan Amal Kasih Ibu organisation, created the ‘Konvoi Berbasikal Wanita 2017’ (KBW17).
Due to be held in Marh, KBW17 aims to celebrate International Female Day by getting together 10,000 female cyclists to set a record for the Malaysian Book of Records.
“After what seems like forever, me and the girls from my NGO organisation finally came up with KBW17. Although we plan to set a record for the largest female cycling congregation in Malaysia, the aim of KBW17 is more than just that. The whole point of the event is so that we can prioritise female cyclists and provide a comfortable place for them to cycle.
“Many females who have never been health conscious are starting to change and be healthier. It is hard for them to juggle family duties and recreation. This is why I thought if we can provide an introductory experience into cycling, maybe they will continue doing it in the long run,” said the passionate activist.
KBW17, which will be held mostly around Putrajaya’s Presint 3, has no fees for participation like other cycling events. All female cyclists are welcome to join for free, but their male partners will have to sit on the side-lines.
Even though it is a free event, there will still be lucky draws with 1000 giveaways. Prizes include a Proton Saga, big screen TVs, Malaysian Airlines tickets and other impressive items. The event will also feature Malaysia’s current crop of famous celebrities like Elizabeth Tan, Neelofa, Fatah Amin, Janna Nick and more, as they are the ambassadors of the event.
On the day, there will be two routes to choose from, an easy 10km which will take cyclists mostly around Putrajaya’s Dataran or the 25km route which is an extended version of the 10km course.
“I’m very happy that we have managed to pool of our resources together to finally create this event. I also hope that people from across Malaysia will come to Putrajaya and see its beauty as it is more than just the Malaysian administrative capital.
“The prizes are there so that we can give back to the females of the world for all their hard work and dedication to their families. This is the time where they can forget about everything and just enjoy themselves. I would also like to thank all the supporters of the event for believing in my vision and I can’t wait for them to come on the day and see the spectacle.”
There are two ways that you can be part of this mammoth event. You can either register online, or simply turn up on the day and register. On the morning of the event, you will also receive an event participation number, which will automatically put you in the pot for the lucky draw prizes. You can come with any sort of bicycle -- road, folding, mountain or even electric.