PERSONALITY: CHEE KEONG
THE AGGRO BACK-FLIPPING
Everybody can claim to adopt an aggressive riding style. But how does an aggressive rider really rides? We ambushed Chee Keong during one of his late nights from work and convinced him to do a short interview with us. Here's what he shared with us – words from an old-skool homie and lots of photos! Get to know this aggro rider!
Name: Ng Chee Keong
Nick name: CK
Years Riding: 15 years
Current Riding Discipline: Not particularly focusing on any discipline, but I have been actively riding mountain bikes for the past 2 years. I used to be more active with riding BMX previously.
Sponsors: Oakley Singapore (Eyewear), 20inchO (BMX), ReEvolution
Affiliated Riding Group/Team: I am with THC Racing, but I ride with many other teams as well
Current bikes: Santa Cruz Nomad
Daily Grind: Self-employed, helping out in my family's business
How often do you ride: 1 to 2 times per week
Any favorite trail locally or around the world: Perth
FROM BMX TO MTB
Please tell us about your cycling experience
Started my first ride on a BMX when I was 16, and was scouted and subsequently sponsored by MacNeil Canada. I was scouted by Jay Miron, the founder of the brand. It happened while I was taking part in a competition that was held in Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And, Jay was the judge for both competitions. I was actively into BMX then, and it lasted for over a decade, 13 years to be exact.
I toned down on BMX riding after getting married and having a kid.
My passion for riding was re-ignited when my good friend, Tan Hong Chun, asked me to join him for some mountain biking – and that's when I started actively riding mountain bike and into competitions again. I joined THC Racing and till now I am happily riding mountain bikes.
Tell us some of your interesting/funny/near-death experience during races or rides.
There are many but I will share a few…
One of the funniest experience happened during one of my first wins at the Asian X-Games about a decade ago. After receiving the trophy, a bunch of my friends who were equally excited came running towards me, trying to "congratulate" me. Anticipating their "good intention", I ran the other way, trying to run away from them. And then, in the chaos and confusion, I ran straight into a railing! I spat out 3 teeth!
One near-death day in the life of a BMXer. I was competing in 3 categories in Asian Indoor Games in Macau during my BMX days. During the high intensity and pressurizing day, I had 2 concussions (aka black-out) in a same day of back-to-back competitions. Ironically, I still managed to get 2nd in 2 categories out of the 3 in the end.
You have been a regular face at races locally and around the region. What do you like about joining races?
I love racing because its fun. Fun as in.. I get to meet and ride with many friends whom I don't get to ride with often. And, this is even more so when it comes to joining overseas races where I get to meet some fellow riders from other countries. We don't get a chance to ride together that regularly.
How do you train yourself? Is there any training regime your are following?
I don't have a fix training regime but I just make sure that I keep on riding as regularly as I can.
During races and rides, you are one of the few guys that the crowd can always expect a cool trick. How do you practice and master these tricks?
I think it's got to do with my BMX riding background. I used to ride Park and Street BMX bikes, so those tricks tend to root off from there.
Your race style is often described as aggressive and powerful by those who know you. Can you share with us some techniques in racing urban courses?
Practice makes perfect but having the guts to take on that challenge still is a major winning factor.
From what you have found out about Urban Wheels 2015 to be held at Singapore Sports Hub, how would you advise a new racer to tackle the course?
It's good to know that the competition is going to be held at the Singapore Sports Hub, though I have yet to see the course. A good piece of advise to new racer is… try walking around the course before attempting to ride it.
What other fitness and training tips do you think would effectively help riders improve faster?
Having a balanced & healthy diet, and exercising regularly (such as going to the gym) would help riders improve faster. This is exactly what my good friend, Tan Hong Chun, is doing. I would not advise riders to be like me, who prefer sleeping and would rather spend time taking care of my kid than doing exercises. (LAUGHS).
In your opinion, how do you think gravity races in Singapore should improve on?
I think there is a lot of things to improve but one key priority is.. a good location, as it plays a major role in gravity races. The next important aspect is the organizer. A good organizer would ensure the success of the event through many other factors such as event promotion & awareness to potential participants, event logistics, etc.
Are there any location(s) that you would hope that races could be conducted at?
Any message your wish to share with the riding community?
Ride safe and have fun!
Special thanks to Ng Chee Keong for the interview and photos