Words & Photos: Adam Aubrey
Many people pick up cycling for various reasons. Some do it because they like the suffering whilst some do it because they like the lifestyle. Whatever reason someone gets into cycling for, one thing is certain: cycling is better for your health than switching Netflix on while sprawled on the couch.
For 40-year-old Yasmin Hani, who is an actress, television host, businesswoman, wife and supermum, she re-ignited her love for bicycles last year to support her husband’s new hobby. As it turns out, she is having a good old time doing this cycling malarkey too.
“I have never actually put any thought into what it is about cycling that I love,” she giggled. “But I think it’s because it was the first ever mode of transport I had when I was growing up and the greatest feeling from it was the act of balancing perfectly.
“Going down the hill feeling free, socialising with friends is also part of cycling that I love. Cycling makes me happy, the breeze on your face, the feeling of being able to stop and go without and engine is amazing.
“Last year, I picked up road cycling and it was my husband who got me into it. He started it first and although I was initially shocked at the prices of bicycles, I cave in because my husband said it would be nice if we could cycle together. This is part of our cardio activity now and to be frank I can’t wait till my kids are a bit older so we could all cycle together,” said the mother of two.
Hani can’t quite remember the first time she ever encountered a bicycle, although it was probably a tricycle that first got her pedalling. The bicycle she remembers the most belonged to her eldest brother, a bicycle that most of her siblings rode too.
“I have three siblings, an older brother and sister and a younger brother. My eldest brother was the one who had the bike. It was a big red BMX-type bicycle and my eldest brother would always put my youngest brother (who was still in his nappies at the time) on the bike and play with him. Looking at them play, I always thought to myself how do I operate this big red metal thing. It was scary as it was bigger than me. This was my earliest memory of a bicycle”.
Hani and her siblings are a mix of British, Javanese and Buginese. Her father served in the British army that was stationed in Malaysia whilst her mother was a Malaysian of Javanese-Buginese ethnicity residing in Johor.
“My parents met in Johor where my mom was working. Cutting a long story short, my mom opened the door at her friend’s house and there was my dad at the door, it was love at first sight.
“They made sure we grew up in a household where exploring and playing in the outdoors was encouraged. My dad was a helicopter engineer so he would build us all sorts of cool toys. He even built us a four wheel wagon that we all loved so much; we would take turns to push each other on it.
“My father is the type that would scout for waterfalls when he was out testing a helicopter, mark the location and we would later go to find it via car. Most of the time we had to bring a machete and cut our way there. He was the one that made all of us adore the outdoors and probably the reason why I love MacGyver. I even have my own tool set, yeah!
“My siblings and I were not the quietest kids; we would always be up to no good. We did things like jump starting a tractor, capturing snakes to bring home, chucking fireworks everywhere during Hari Raya and even sometimes try to scare people when we wore our veils for prayer at night.”
This is probably why Hani is who she is, an active person with a big personality. Coupled with her gorgeous looks, this was a recipe for on-screen stardom.
“I’m now known as a TV Host and an actress. It all started when I was spotted and was asked to be part of a commercial when I was younger. My real journey to where I am now started when TV3 spotted me while rock climbing in USJ.
“They auditioned me for the Disney Club Malaysia TV show and I was on it for four episodes. I was then introduced to a lady at Astro which is where my career really started taking off. Many opportunities for acting and hosting roles were taken up and it has led me to where I am now.”
In between all the stardom and stepping stones in her career, Hani also managed to start a family with Sha’arin Razali Wong, an awesome personality as well as great producer.
“Sha’arin has probably been the one keeping me in check when it comes to staying fit. He is a fitness buff and always encourages me to try new things. We started a family together and now have two beautiful boys. If it wasn’t for Sha’arin’s push I don’t think I would be cycling now.
“I actually wanted to cycle a while back but when I saw people becoming victims of hit and runs it gave me the chills. Luckily Sha’arin is here to help me get past that fear. I think if we have special bicycle lanes, it would be awesome.
“Right now many people have bicycles at home but are scared to hit the open road, but if we study cities that have these lanes and try to mimic them, more people would be cycling. If this is properly implemented, I bet parents would also feel comfortable letting their teens out on the road.”
Being in her 40’s Hani is a prime example of everything that you can do in life. She stays active and fit whilst juggling a family while carrying out her many roles as businesswoman and a popular Malaysian star.
“I try to fit everything in and have never neglected exercise. Cycling is just one of these activities and is something I enjoy doing. Alhamdulillah my husband and I are privileged to be able to juggle all of these things together. If I can do it, all you ladies out there can too”.