We’re proud to announce we’re doing a international launch of pedalpact.cc! This means it really doesn’t matter where you live or work: you can use pedalpact.cc anywhere in the world, with the same ease of use. That’s why you can choose for an English language option, besides Dutch, the language of our home and native land.
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Header photo: Rueban Balasubramaniam
A multilingual platform was always our plan. It’s a necessary part of our mission to get people from all around the world to start riding their bikes, for networking purposes. The reason we’re doing this now (instead of later) is because of the enthusiasm of Louwke, a Dutchie who moved to Malaysia years ago, and now lives, works and rides there. He wants to spread the good word over in Malaysia, so we got a job to do. In the meantime, here’s a small interview with our first Asian part of the ‘tête de la course’.
What made you move to Malaysia?
“In 1998 I moved to Malaysia for a two-year assignment from work, at least… that was the plan. Soon two years became four, and then two more years in India after that. After India, we moved back to the Netherlands, where we lived for seven years. The intention to move back to Malaysia was always there though. Luckily, I got another opportunity to move to Malaysia for work. So now, me and my family live in Kuala Lumpur. A perfect environment for a road biker!”
What does your ideal ride look like?
“My ideal ride is definitely a group ride, preferably with some climbs in the route – which is absolutely no problem when riding around Kuala Lumpur. During the day it tends to get very warm and humid here, so I like to start around 7 AM, for a four-hour ride. A nice breakfast half way is definitely ‘a must’ in my ideal ride: wan tan mee, half boiled eggs and kopi peng.”
How does cycling in Malaysia compare to cycling in the Netherlands?
“Unlike the Netherlands, the weather is always nice in Malaysia. We can ride in our summer gear year round. No layering for mee, I just need to decide which color kit to wear!”
“Also, in the Netherlands, it can be quite hard to find a fun and safe route for a group ride. Over here this can be very easy: there’s lots of roads where you won’t see intersections or traffic lights for miles.”
“In Malaysia, cycling is rapidly becoming more and more popular, but there isn’t as much legacy, as there is in the Netherlands. So people here aren’t as hung up on ‘the rules’ as riders can be in the Netherlands. This makes it just a bit more breezy for me here.”
Would you let an important business contact win in a sprint?
“Haha, definitely! Although ‘letting them win’ might not be the case here. I know my way around a road bike for sure, but I’ll happily settle in for second place.
What role does networking play in your work in Malaysia?
“In Asia, networking might be even more important than it is in Europe. Everyone is welcome to do business here, but it’s very important you really know your business contacts. It is much appreciated if you invest in relationships, rather than seeing it as another business handling transactions. The examples of ‘getting drunk in Japan’ you might know, are probably all true. Business relations are very much mixed with personal relationships here in Malaysia.”