One of the most sought after cycling events in Malaysia, the recent RHB Lekas Highway night ride on July 27th 2019 was once again a fantastic success. Judging by some questions we threw at the RHB and Lekas head honchos on the night, we think that they are in it for the long run.
The event has become a staple mass ride affair on the Malaysian cycling event calendar and the good news is it sounds like that they will continue hosting it for many more years to come. According to Dato Khairussaleh Ramli, Group Managing Director of RHB Bank Berhad, RHB is in cycling for the long haul. That even includes a possible cycling event outside of Malaysia on top of the other two cycling events that are already being hosted locally, at Lekas and in Pulau Langkawi - which debuted this year.
“Like all the other cyclists who have signed up for the RHB Lekas Ride I feel fantastic about tonight’s event. I’m so happy to see the participation numbers increase to 4700 compared to last year, which saw 4400 cyclists enjoy the night ride. We managed to get the full 4700 participation numbers within three weeks of the registration opening, and we even had to turn down so many other cyclists who requested to be part of the event after the closing date,” said the RHB MD who was also preparing to join in.
There was however something a little different this year, introduced for a bit more fun amid the euphoria of completing a ride. “We had a mini concert headlined by Bunkface. We decided to do that so that the cyclists can relax after they finish their ride. We want to host this ride for as long as possible because we at RHB believe that cycling is becoming a big sport in Malaysia and we as a company want to take a role that will help encourage its growth.”
But what about talk of an expansion to RHB’s cycling events? After two successful ride events that pretty much sold out, there has obviously got to be more in the pipeline. Plans for an Asean ride is still on the cards, something that we can hopefully look forward to next year. In the meantime, cyclists can start planning for next year’s calendar already.
“We want to host a cycling event outside of Malaysia too but are still hunting for a suitable place. We looked at the areas around Siem Reap in Cambodia but have to makes sure that the roads are capable of handling a mass cycling event. The RHB Langkawi Ride will continue again next year as we feel that this year’s event was a complete success. At RHB, we believe in nurturing the future generation and if you look around you tonight there are plenty of youths here and that pleases us the most.”
We also managed to get a few words from Dato Soam Heng Choon, Managing Director of IJM Corporation Berhad, which owns and operates Lekas. “Although we lost around RM300k of revenue tonight we are happy to host this cycling event,” he admitted.
“Some of the cost that was incurred on top of the revenue that we lost was to appoint more marshals than last year. Safety is a big concern for us and we would like everyone to feel safe when they are riding. We learn more and more every year and we would also like to host this event for as long as possible as it is a good way to engage with the community. The Bunkface mini concert was a way to give back to the cycling community, we at IJM want everyone to have a great time when they join the ride,” said Soam.