1,000km in 4 days in aid of kidney dialysis charity

Civil servant Saripin Samingan (far left) and businessman Ivan Yeo, are among the group of 72 cyclists who will be riding 1,000km to raise funds for KDF. Both men have been riding close to 20 hours a week in preparation for the event.
Civil servant Saripin Samingan (left) and businessman Ivan Yeo, are among the group of 72 cyclists who will be riding 1,000km to raise funds for KDF.PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Cycling group riding from Malaysia to Singapore to raise $330,000; $230,000 has been raised so far

A thousand kilometres is a distance often travelled by plane or long-distance coach.

But a group of 72 people here are looking to cycle that distance over four days in the name of charity.

They will ride 1,000km from northern Malaysia to Singapore from Jan 15 to Jan 18 to raise funds for the Kidney Dialysis Foundation (KDF).

The non-profit group, called Epic Cyclists, is hoping to raise $300,000 to subsidise dialysis treatments and medication for the KDF.

So far, they have raised $230,000.

This is the third year in a row the Epic Ride has been organised in benefit of the KDF. Last year, the group raised $322,000.

The cyclists have to raise a minimum sum of $500 each to join.

Organiser Clifford Lee, 44, says the maximum raised by a participant so far is about $7,000. Corporate sponsors have chipped in, too.

"A lot of these guys love riding long distance, so why not do it and help somebody at the same time?" said Mr Lee, adding that all the money goes direct to the KDF.

He started organising the event three years ago after noticing more and more friends joining him for weekend cycling trips across the border.

This year, the group will start at a rainforest resort in Belum, Perak, and skirt the east coast of peninsular Malaysia - riding through Kuala Besut, Cherating and Mersing - before ending in Singapore. They will ride between eight and 10 hours each day, covering about 250km.

Third-time participant Ivan Yeo, 47, says overcoming the baking heat is one of the main challenges.

"After riding about 100 or 150km, it's all mental from there on. You need to take it step by step," said the businessman.

Also riding is civil servant Saripin Samingan, 55, who is the ride's "sweeper". He said: "It is my job to motivate everyone, and to tell the front rider to maintain a certain pace so everyone can keep up."

Both men have been riding close to 20 hours a week in preparation for the event.

"There will be times when we feel like giving up, but then I will tell myself that my suffering is nothing compared to what these kidney patients go through," Mr Saripin added.

The KDF supports about 300 patients at three dialysis centres around the island.

Its founder and chairman, Dr Gordon Ku, said: "Once again, I am deeply grateful and humbled by the dedication shown by the Epic Cyclists group for the coming ride."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 03, 2016, with the headline '1,000km in 4 days in aid of kidney dialysis charity'. Print Edition | Subscribe