25 Oct Celebrating the Spirit of Cycling and Camaraderie
In the world of competitive cycling, it’s not only about crossing the finish line first but also about the camaraderie, sportsmanship, and the joy of celebrating the sport itself. Greyhounds Cycling Club, with their boundless enthusiasm and vibrant spirit, epitomizes this ethos.
Their memorable presence during the Tour de Batam prize ceremony left an indelible mark, showcasing the power of unity and celebration within the cycling community. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the heart of Greyhounds Cycling Club to discover the secrets behind their unwavering enthusiasm and the values that drive their participation.
Greyhounds Cycling Club seemed to bring incredible energy and enthusiasm to the Tour de Batam prize ceremony. What motivates the club to participate with such enthusiasm?
It’s mostly about the people we have in the club. We have been very fortunate to recruit great people. We have a good bunch of folks that organise and participate in social engagements and then we have others who are more fanatic cyclists but it all comes together as a good mix. We have always been a social cycling club where we do a good amount of riding followed by social coffees to non-cycling related events like “FTP drinks” which translates to First Thursday Pints at the start of every month to our Fine Dining Events. It’s a club where anyone who can ride safely in a group are welcome and if you’re a newbie we try to ease you into it. Once you are in, you are part of the tribe and you get to wear our club “Flamingo” jersey. In more recent years, we’ve become more competitive and we’ve been able to challenge the major cycling teams in Singapore. Standing on the podium is a bonus and very exhilarating for all of us – this is where the noise levels elevate! Personally, I am very proud of everyone who comes racing with us – it doesn’t matter where you finish – it’s about gaining experience, enjoying the rides and supporting others.
Can you tell us about the history and origins of Greyhounds Cycling Club?
The Greyhounds cycling group was established in 2011 by a group of expat riders from Ireland, Australia, Sweden, the US and other countries. It was two small cycling groups that coincidently started at 6am outside NewtonOne condo on Saturdays. The other mob was a group of Irish blokes (aka the Irish mafia) and we decided to join forces. We regularly rode the 90km Mandai to East Coast loop finishing at Brunetti’s and later Kith Cafe at Park Mall. For the Sunday riders it was 6:30am start for a 60km Kranji loop finishing up South Buena Vista (SBV) at Jimmy Monkey cafe. The Greyhounds first kit was designed in 2012 in preparation for the Tour de Bintan.
What inspired the creation of Greyhounds, and how has the club evolved over the years?
We started riding to gain fitness and to socialise. Most people arriving in Singapore don’t always have established social networks and friends – it was a great way to achieve both. This is what Greyhounds still provides today – a place of belonging. From a sportive perspective, we now also have a very successful Triathlon Section in addition to the road bike squad. Whilst the Greyhounds will always have their roots in social rides, the race squad is now also targeting several races across the region and can assist in providing training support. What is an ambition for us that going forward, we aim to attract more members, especially female riders!
How do you foster a sense of unity and camaraderie among your club members?
At the heart of it we all enjoy cycling – we encourage people to join our rides as much as possible – and organising social events helps with bonding and to build social ties. Almost every day of the week, we offer rides led by different riders. These rides are a mix of social, but also effective training rides.
Our Saturday rides reflect our spirit the most where one can choose between Race Speed Rides, medium challenges or simple recreational rides. We are very particular about how the Hounds look out after each other one and off the bike. We aim to be friends off and on bike. New members have to fit into this philosophy.
How do you encourage and support new cyclists who join your club?
: A lot of times people approach us and we reach out to cyclists who we think might be a good fit. Our club has become quite big over the years and we have people with varying fitness levels and abilities. To encourage everyone to join our weekly rides we organise ourselves in different groups. Each group’s ride varies in distance and speed allowing members to join the most suitable group which I think allows for the best riding experience. We always understood that each member has different life phases, work challenges, travels, just to name a few.
What are your club’s goals and aspirations for the future, both in terms of cycling and community involvement?
We are now an affiliated SCF club and we try to support their initiatives in the Singapore community. In July this year we supported the Para Cycling Federation of Singapore to raise money for their cause. The Para cyclists committed to various long-distance challenges and we rode alongside them providing safety. It was a great cause and we had a great time supporting these driven athletes. Of course, we are also going to focus on racing and improving our standing against other teams.
Can you share any upcoming projects or events that Greyhounds Cycling Club is excited about?
From a competitive perspective, every race is a cool event for us to get prepared and train together, race together, gain all the wonderful experience together – and the ultimately celebrate. Our next few months are planned with designing and launching the kit for the next season, finding the right sponsors, but also easing into the year end with events like our Christmas Party that also involves our better halves.
What advice do you have for individuals or groups looking to create a vibrant and supportive cycling community like Greyhounds?
It helps to have a small group of guys with the same passion and enthusiasm to start off with – that can create enough buzz to encourage others to join. Keeping a cycling group going actually takes a lot of discipline and rhythm, and this requires enough shoulders to spread this enthusiasm on.