Look around you when you‘re outdoors and it won’t be that difficult to spot more and more people either cycling on their bicycles or riding their Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs).
Bicycles and PMDs are used for joy rides, short trips like getting around the neighbourhood or even commuting to work. This rising popularity has resulted in interest groups being set up to bring individual riders together. There are currently more than 100 listed Facebook groups that cater to these riders that form the active mobility community locally. Here are 5 groups to keep your eyes on.
Big Wheel Scooters Singapore (BWSS)
The biggest of these is the BWSS, which has a following of over 22,000 Facebook members to date. Founded by Mr Swen Einhaus, it initially started out as a kick-scooter group. He bought himself a kick-scooter soon after buying one for his son, realising that its compact size was more convenient to bring along when they rode together. Mr Einhaus not only used it as a form of exercise but began commuting to work because of its handy size, which made it convenient for him to carry onto public transport.
He created BWSS in October 2013 to find other fans who enjoyed kick-scooting as much as he did. After 3 months, his group had around 200 members but membership quickly rose to over 600 members in 2014 when electric kick scooters, or e-scooters, became more practical and affordable. Various topics about e-scooters began dominating the group since.
As group founder, Mr Einhaus puts in the effort to moderate conversations to ensure the group is enjoyable for his members. He said: “It gave them a proper platform to discuss topics related to e-scooters without being bombarded by spam posts.”
Since starting BWSS, he also organises regular outings on the evenings on Fridays or Saturday. Through word-of-mouth, new PMD users became aware of his group and joined too. BWSS has also been involved in community initiatives like the Coney Island coastal cleanup on Sept 23, 2017 involving Mr Einhaus and a group of eco-conscious members.
Check out BWSS!
Love Cycling SG
Another group that gained popularity through word-of-mouth is Love Cycling SG. Mr Woon Tai Woon and Mr Francis Chu founded this group for a pure and simple intention: They wanted to share the love of cycling with everyone, hence the group’s name.
“We have many like-minded members who introduce their friends, who will then introduce their own friends. So this awareness was raised purely through word-of-mouth via the power of social media,” said Mr Chu.
Love Cycling SG started simply among five friends who got together every Sunday to ride their bicycles and chit-chat over breakfast. They photographed all the new places they discovered during their Sunday Morning Rides and posted it on their blogs, including forums.
This jovial, light-hearted nature of the group, combined with the love of cycling, soon attracted the interest of others, and their participation. They now have over 17,600 members.
The group has even organised group discussions for the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) to obtain feedback for improvements to the cycling infrastructure. This was in conjunction with the National Cycling Plan, part of the overall Land Transport Master Plan 2013, which endeavours to create a car-lite society in Singapore.
Check out Love Cycling SG!
Brompton Riders @ SG
Certain niche groups have also sprung up to cater to specific devices, such as the folding bicycle enthusiast group, Brompton Riders@SG.
It recently celebrated its fifth anniversary on 1 May 2017 at Gardens by the Bay – an event which saw 349 Brompton riders taking part, according to their Facebook post.
Brompton Riders@SG even travelled to Malacca to take part in the Malacca Historical Ride, organised by MY Brompton Malaysia, on 15 – 17 September 2017. About 50 members from Singapore made up a pack of 173 riders, which included those from Malaysia and Thailand.
Check out Brompton Riders@SG!
Singapore Inokim Riders (SIR)
SIR, with over 1,300 members, helps riders who want to gain specific knowledge about this brand of e-scooters.
One of the group administrators, Mr Clifford Koh, said SIR promotes safe riding-habits as well as knowledge-sharing among its members and the overall Inokim community.
He said: “During group rides, members are educated on safe riding-habits, so that they will know what to do in emergency situations. They will be made aware of the common hazards that e-scooter riders face and how to avoid accidents.”
Check out Singapore Inokim Riders!
There is even a group for riders of electric unicycles – The Wheelies – which has over 4,600 members. The Wheelies regularly conducts meetups and activities, such as rides along Park Connectors. To introduce more people to the UNI-que world of electric unicycles, they also organise training sessions at schools and community events to promote safe riding habits.
The founders of the group are also interested in contributing back to the community and are involved in grassroots work, such as volunteering in Citizens on Patrol. They have also participated in various events like the Chingay Parade, Singapore Night Festival and Racial Harmony Day.
Check out The Wheelies!
With the host of activities being carried out by these Facebook interest groups, they are creating and reinforcing a supportive community where riders from all walks of life can come together to create a more pleasant environment for all.
And with more awareness being raised to educate people about using their bicycles and PMDs safely and responsibly, it would make the active mobility lifestyle more approachable and popular for everyone.