Have you ever imagined a life without parents? Well, life wouldn’t be as easy as it could be, for most of us who are granted with a loving parents sure sometimes we forgot that there are still unfortunate people within our surroundings. Here at Southernfixed and JOHO, we are glad that how happy we are, we managed to remind ourselves that world would be a much better place if we could lend our hands to those who are in need. With the aid of supportive people from Starbucks Johor Bahru and Iskandar Region Development Authority, in conjunction with Earth Hour 2011, we managed to gather almost 120 cyclists from all over Johor, Penang, and KL to join Southernfixed x JOHO | Ride for Charity. It’s amazing to see these cyclists from various clubs and bicycle types ride together in contributing their energy in giving back to the unfortunates.
The event started at Laman Tun Sri Lanang Public Car space, where registered cyclists checked and confirmed their names for the ride. We couldn’t be more than pleased to see people from all over Johor cycle to the registration booth. It was 10.30, the sun shines, and the venue was filled with cyclists with an open heart to ride their way for a good cause. These cyclists then were distributed into a much smaller group with 3 marshals from Southernfixed. After some final arrangements at approximately 11.30, these 5 groups kicked off gradually making their way to Rumah Anak Yatim (Rumah Barkat), Jalan Gertak Merah escorted by Malaysia Red Crescent and Traffic Police. We cycled through the official route, alongside Jalan Stulang Baru, straight to Jalan Stulang Laut.
Cycling in a pack wasn’t easy as some of the riders aren’t really familiar with hills and split expressway, thanks to our experienced marshal and traffic policemen, the ride runs smoothly till we reached Rumah Barkat at 1.15 pm. As soon as we reached there, we were welcomed with smiley faces from friendly people of Starbucks Coffee. It was hot, and some of us seemed exhausted, but thanks to Starbucks, there are loads of drinks and foods prepared for us! We munched and glupped, it was hot but no we don’t really care. We are excited to meet the resident of Rumah Barkat!
After lunch and zohor, the kids of Rumah Barkat finally arrived at the hall, with joy and cheers together we merged into one big family. JOHO alongside Starbucks and Southernfixed have arranged a few activities for these kids and around 2.30, the activities started with speeches from their house principles and Starbucks District Manager. As soon as the speech ended, the hall was cleared and off we go! First it was ‘Baling Selipo’ game, as one of the most popular game during our childhood; most of us were quite enthusiastic on participating. Mind you, the kids of Rumah Barkat were real good at running, and throwing and marking! Most of the team cheered hard, there were 6 groups and each groups represented by 3 kids from Rumah Barkat and 2 cyclists who volunteered to partake in the activities. This game has reminded us on how happy we were back then during our childhood, however it is also a way for us to let these unfortunate kids know that they are not alone as we are always there beside them.
As soon as ‘Baling Selipo’ ended, we gathered some of the cyclists to join an activity called ‘Basikal Paling Lambat’. We know we know, most of fixed gear cyclists love to pedal hard and fast on the free road, so this is a chance for them to show their slowest paddling skills. It was hilarious, fun and happening as these cyclists went all out to prove they are the slowest cyclist all over Johor Bahru! Subsequently, the last activity we had during the day was ‘The Best Group Cheers’. This activity requires a complete participation from the cyclists and the residents of Rumah Barkat in creating the best group cheers. There are various types of cheering; fascinating acts presented by each member from the 6 groups participated show that communication is the best method in creating union between people and we are trying our best to create a cheerful environment for these unfortunate kids.
Right after the prizes given ceremony ended, all of us gathered in front of the hall for a group photo shoot session. Throughout the event, we didn’t realize that we were making new friends, friends who are struggling in living their lives on their own. It reminds us of what we have now, a loving family, supportive friends, and a conscious community who always find a way to provide the most unsurpassed support especially to these unfortunate kids who have lost a shoulder to cry on. Deep inside us, with open heart we are more than happy to tell them with our existence as a friend, a family they don’t know they could have.
It was 3.30 when we all said goodbye to those kids we cheered with before, there’s these emotion of contentment, sad and honored to left this house of thousands hope. Some of the kids even hugged us, told us to come by again soon. We cycled back in one massive pack to Laman Tun Sri Lanang to finish what we have started. During the journey back we were accompanied by a responsible Traffic officers and Malaysia Red Crescent who made a well done job in monitoring the group as well as the flow of the traffic. As soon as we arrived at Laman Tun Sri Lanang, we gathered everyone to join a few competitions that has been arranged by JOHO Concept Store and Southernfixed. The first was a track stand competition, with participation from Southernfixed themselves and all the other fixed gear cyclists, then a sprint which has to be stopped due to the limitation of space, last but not least the most happening activity called the foot down which participated by other types of bicycle such as bmx, and mountain bike. It was fun to see a sporting attitude, attentive friends and families to contribute in such small and positive event organized by people who care about the progression within their hometown. The prized were sponsored by Crossover Concept Store, Grip Reaper, JOHO and the best local bike store in Johor Bahru, Khass Machinery Trading. We ended our event at approximately 6pm with a massive group photo shoot consisting of almost 150 cyclists, crews and sponsors. It was indeed a tiring but worth full event done by JOHO and Southernfixed.
As a fixed gear cyclist, we are proud to witness the remarkable progression of track bike riding here JBC as out of 120 cyclists, 80 of them ride a track bike. This is a proof which are vital in the development of youth movement here in Johor Bahru, a mark that fixed gear scene has become a positive activity for youth to fill their past time. Optimistically, this could be a solution to the social delinquent which has been transpiring within the youth population and hopefully the government could view us as somewhat a benchmark of a positive youth movement. Till the next ride, ride safely!
pictures credit to Khairul Akmal
write ups by Khairul Anuar
Charity Event Organizer: Starbucks