Tuesday, May 19, 2009


He rolled in his bike to our usual meeting place in the early morning last Sunday. He was clad in a white t-shirt, a black short, donned a helmet and wore gloves. An antique Raleigh was his bicycle.

He said he was looking for a group of cyclists and was on a look-out for his friend. He could not find his friend and asked Zaba whether he could join our ride. BJCC (Bkt Jelutong Cycling Club) is a friendly club. We welcome anyone who wish to join us. I overheard Zaba calling him "uncle". I too approached this "uncle" and introduced myself. He introduced himself as Ng.
This Sunday ride was planned for a U-turn stop at Mok Su Nasi Dagang. We rode off with Uncle Ng in tow. On group rides, I usually stationed myself at the rear, especially when a new cyclist is in the group. I therefore took it upon myself to ride at the rear with Uncle Ng, on a LSD mode. No, I don't do drug. LSD stands for Long Steady Distance, quite similar to FM Radio's Light & Easy!
I noticed Uncle Ng loves to spin, i.e. cycling on light gears. I would correctly guess his cadence to be in excess of 100 revolutions per minute at those times when he was spinning fast. That's pretty fast for a new cycling Uncle. I could hear his heavy breathing at times when I cycled by his side. I was a little concern that he could be trying to catch up with the group in front.
The front group waited for both of us at the exit to Paya Jaras and we stopped for a breather. Continuing on, we headed for Nasi Dagang Mok Su, 7 kms away in Kuang. Again I stationed myself together with Uncle Ng at the rear. A surprise came my way. 3 kms before our stop, a small lorry passed us and Uncle Ng bolted behind the lorry and kept pace with the lorry. In cycling term, he was "drafting" behind the lorry. He overtook everyone and I was concerned that he may overshoot the traffic-light junction to Mok Su. We caught up with him at the traffic light and proceeded for our breakfast.
On the return journey, we both remained at the rear and I chatted him up. In bits and pieces, he was narrating his past. As his story unfold kilometre by kilometre, I realized that I was cycling with an Olympiad!
His full name is NG JOO PONG, older by 1 year to Ng Joo Ngan, the Malaysian cyclist of yesteryears. Somehow, Joo Pong did not ring a bell to me.
At 17 years of age in 1964, he represented Malaya in cycling at the Tokyo Olympic! I did a quick arithmetic. In 1964, I was 14 and Joo Pong was 17. How could I call him Uncle?? He was only 3 years my senior. He is therefore 62 now. And he was a top cyclist. And here I was, chaperoning "abang" Ng!
In 1968, he was again representing the country at the Mexico Olympic.
So, Mr Ng Joo Pong, that was why your spinning was very fast. That was why you drafted behing a lorry.
It was therefore my pleasure cycling alongside a legend.
None of the BJCC cyclists knew who they had in their cycling group last Sunday.


Al-Manar said...

If NJ Pong did not ring a bell because you were too young, you surely would have no clue who AK Hassan was -- even further way back beyond your time, an olympian of sort!

oops did I just say that? said...

hahah..bah nasib baik u didnt give him any adivce on cycling.hiksss

ARZ said...

AK Hassan,

Yeah..indeed. AK Hassan certainly was and still is an Olympian. Olympiads have something in common - they persevere!

Glad that I got to know AK Hassan.

ARZ said...


Yeap. Lucky I was not on a teaching mood that morning. Otherwise, NJP would have given me a lesson or two.

mynameiskoko said...

Its good to learn about the past, especially for youngsters like myself. Searched for more info on Ng, and found this article.


I'm in awe of the man. Thanks for sharing.

Sham Wahab said...


I have today started following your blog and hopefully follow and learn much more about blogging.

For a start, I now realise that posting without photos makes an article seem a little dry.

see you around Saturday then.Thanks

ARZ said...

Hi Koko,

Thanx for dropping in and thanx for the link to the Ng brothers. However, it featured Joo Ngan, not Joo Pong.

ARZ said...

Bro Sham,

Welcome to the world of blogging. You write well bro and the pictures will be the toppings for a great feast. I'm glad I started early. Otherwise, most of my journeys would be "gone with the wind"

See you @ the potluck.

nadya.s said...


Olympiad tuh.. hanya insan2 terpilih je dpt ride dengan dia.. hehehe!

ARZ said...


My lucky day!