Some 2,500 participants, including Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak, took part in the second Penang Fellowship Ride 2023 today.
The route took the cyclists across two Penang bridges, beginning with the Penang Bridge (first Penang bridge) and returning via the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (also known as the second Penang bridge) to the start/finish point at Queens Waterfront.
Ahmad Fuzi, who celebrated his 74th birthday today, first flagged off the cyclists on a breezy Sunday morning before joining them in the 66km ride.
The cyclists took a break at the 33km mark near the University of Wollongong in Batu Kawan to refresh themselves before resuming the ride.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was among the dignitaries present, said he believed that there must be some among the participants who had also taken part in the City Ride programme that was held on Jan 2.
The difference was that this time the route was more relaxed, compared to the hilly route during the City Ride programme.
“With the spirit of LovePENANG, I believe that such activities are not just leisure activities, but rather they are also an important unifying platform and medium in strengthening the harmony and unity of the multi-racial community in this state.
“Hopefully, the programme will run smoothly and all participants will be able to complete the cycling challenge safely and successfully,” Chow said in his short speech.
Accompanying Ahmad Fuzi during the ride were state Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee, Chief Police Officer Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain, Penang State Sports Council director Harry Chai Heng Hua, Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang and organising chairman Datuk Dr Lim Seh Guan, who is also the G Club Penang Cyclists chairman.
Before the race began, Dr Lim advised the riders not to stand on the ledge of the bridge to take photographs because strong winds might blow them off into the sea.
“This is a non-competitive event. We want everyone to enjoy the race.
“We organised the first Penang International Bridge to Bride Ride (PgIB2B) in 2019 and we renamed it to Penang Fellowship Ride this year. If we are successful in holding this second ride, we intend to hold it again next year,” Dr Lim said.
He also thanked Paramount Property and SLM Bicycle (Trek Malaysia) for helping to sponsor the event.
Paramount Property Northern chief executive officer Ooi Hun Peng said his company was both proud and privileged to be the title sponsor because the event brought people of all races, ages, and beliefs together for healthy fun and fellowship.
“Paramount Property champions healthy activities that bring communities together. This is part of our corporate social responsibility to uplift the communities where we operate.
“I can’t think of a more exciting and energetic way to start 2023 – cycling across two bridges, one of which is the second longest in South-East Asia! Cycling is a good activity to challenge your mental strength and stamina.
“I ask you to strengthen the spirit of fellowship that is being promoted today. I ask you to act as bridges, just like the bridges that you rode over, to connect people, and to build the community spirit beyond race, religion, age and gender,” Ooi said.
Also present at the flag-off were State Secretary Datuk Mohd Sayuthi Bakar, deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying, who is also the Tanjong MP, Sungai Pinang assemblyman Lim Siew Khim, Penang JKR director Ahmad Nadzri Abdul Majid, LLM northern region director Azleen Jaludin and Jabatan Kedua Sdn Bhd CEO Faisal Shahbudin.
Other notable attendees were southwest district officer Mohd Hafiz Aswad Nadzri, Ideal Property Group CEO Datuk Goh Teng Whoo, Penang Forward Sports Club adviser Datuk Tom Khoo and SLM Bicycle (Trek Malaysia) CEO Lim Yee Wei.
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi
Video by Law Suun Ting