Mohd Shafari Abdul Malik, better known as Awie, has more than 20 years of experience as a professional cyclist, earned a number of top finishes under his belt, and recently done a handful of amazing performances at cycling races.
The 36 year old cyclist decided to quit his full-time job three months ago and turn his focus to racing and coaching. Having triumphed over several criterium, road races and mountain biking races, there is no question how huge his influence has been on Malaysian cycling.
Having stayed within the industry for long, that spirit still shines in his eyes, alive with the endless and astounding stories that he can tell about his experience with cycling. During our catch up over a dinner, Awie touched on his future in cycling.
Why did you decide to quit your job and focus on racing?
I have signed up and will be taking part in plenty of competitions in the next few months. Maintaining my employment would detract from my cycling performance. I decided to quit my job temporariliy until I finish my races, so I will have more free time to focus on training and racing.
You have been active in cycling for more than two decades, what keeps you going?
My love for cycling makes me remain passionate and stick to a single career and field for a very long time. Living off passion is not easy, but success takes time and hard work. I have learned, from the many athletes, that success most certainly does not happen quickly.
In fact, it usually takes many years of dedication and determination. Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and greater. And I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without failure and consistent effort.
What are your achievements to date?
The most recent ones were Langkawi MTB Challenge 2019 (Second Place), Eldorado 5.0 Sungai Lembing MTB Challenge 2019 (Champion), JCM Critirium Putrajaya 2019 (Champion), Kota Tinggi MTB Challenge 2019 (Second Place), Johor Port MTB Jamboree 2019 (Champion) and more mountain biking races.
Do you have any long term plans?
Sometimes, beginner riders seek advice from me. I would give them a structure training plan, based on their training time availability, objectives, weaknesses, and fitness levels, which in turn help them achieve goals.
With my many years of experience working in bicycle shops, networking is my advantage and bike servicing is my skill. This career has also given me access to the latest equipment, contacts, manufacturers, race organisers, race teams, and local community.
People trust me and value my skills. Other than sharing my cycling knowledge, I would also give them advice on the best bicycles, components, and accessories that suit their needs. When someone needs help, I offer mobile bike maintenance and bike repair service.
My long term ambition is racing, so for now, I will be focusing on training, racing and winning races. With the support from Tarson Marketing, I am confident that I can do well.
How did the collaboration with Tarson Marketing come about?
My collaboration with Tarson Marketing happened pretty naturally. It began about two months ago, when I was looking for a bicycle brand that would not only support me with products and funding, but would also want to build a long lasting partnership.
With Tarson Marketing, things are going quite swimmingly. There is a strong connection between us, and we share not just a passion and commitment for cycling, but also a vision on the partnership.
I can’t wait to test TRS bikes, will keep everyone updated, and share my experience.