Meet FC Yong, a lone touring cyclist in his semi-retirement years as he shares his accounts on how he hops on his bike and embraces the freedom of cycling alone!
CAPTAIN OF THE FRIENDLY SKIES
Yong used to work a full-time occupation for a living! On his semi-retirement road, despite being a cycling enthusiast, Yong does not cycle for his bread and butter. Instead he takes up his calling as a freelance leadership and executive coach for corporations.
During his coaching sessions, he helps company leaders in determining their strengths and provides various advices. In addition to introducing leadership skills, Yong also guides his clients in their corporations to work together more effectively.
However, Yong’s clients are mainly employees who act in the managerial and supervisory positions. The outcome to his effort leads to productive managers and supervisors contributing to improve performance, better staff retention and greater productivity for clients’ companies.
Through leadership and executive coaching, these individuals can achieve their personal and professional goals at a higher level.
On Yong’s free days, he cycles as his pastime. On his usual working days, he commutes by a commuter bike, sometimes a folding bike. On a regular basis, he carries his bike on the KL MRT!
AN ITINERARY WITHOUT BORDERS
Riding a bike may serve many purposes to some people, however throughout Yong’s life, he understands that he just wants to cycle. Neither is he a competitive cyclist nor does he cycle for the podiums. In fact, cycling has become his main mode of transportation. Yong gets along with his bike, and likewise.
Yong at 56, has been part of a number of cycling groups for the past 20 years, especially mountain biking. By taking his bike to work, he believes that these efforts help to build a healthy community and encourage physical activity.
His passion for commuting grew when he was introduced to ride abroad by a friend. Since then, his love for long-distance cycling tours brought him to Taiwan which covered a distance of 500 kilometres in year 2012 as well as a 680-kilometre ride in Korea in year 2015. Adding to his adventurous list in 2015, Yong went on a 9-day cycling tour in Sarawak where he rode from Kuching to Miri for a total distance of 1000 kilometres without staying in a proper accommodation. Instead he lugged a tent from one town to another.
Cycling not only challenges me physically and mentally, but it also helps me create a circle of new friends.
12 COUNTRIES 79 DAYS
When Yong came to us with his tale, the task seemed as far-fetched as the goal itself. He accomplished a total distance of 4,030 kilometres across Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, towards his destination in Basel, Switzerland for a reunion with his family.
We were enthralled by Yong’s main purpose of commencing a tour to 12 countries. Married to a Swiss, Yong planned to unite with his family and celebrate Christmas together back in December 2016.
“However, I did not plan to take a flight. Instead, I cycled. My starting point was Istanbul. I managed to make this tour a success because of my adaptibility.” Yong expounded to us that he did not take minor issues into consideration, because in life, we face uncertainties. Similarly, unpredictable events do happen in a tour. Most importantly, he adapted and conquered them.
What about touring long distance that Yong loved the most? Without a doubt, his answer was the people. Riding across 12 countries, Yong was more fascinated with the local community rather than breath-taking sceneries.
Yong affectionately referred to the kindness of strangers he met throughout his tours. In spite the language barrier, the local citizens in different countries welcomed him with heart-warming hospitalities. Besides, he was overwhelmed by the Warm Showers* communities. They were undoubtedly inspirational.
To Yong, cycling is no longer a hobby, but his lifestyle. He showed us that to find his true calling, he had to undergo a personal journey with an added motivational boost. Yong, therefore, serves a reminder of why he is genuinely a skilled leadership coach. It is a reflection on figuring out what and how he decided to make his passion a way into a worthwhile pursuit and meaningful recollections.
So, what upcoming plan does Yong have in mind? “I am not certain, yet. However, this would not be my last tour. Maybe, the next one would be a 3-week instead of 7-week tour. Let’s see.” Yong concluded.
What about touring long distance that Yong loved the most? Without a doubt, his answer was the people
*Warm Shower communities is a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists.