Wheel power

Read about what Resident Val and Siang Hui is up to and their singlemindedness in pursuing their dreams.

The Straits Times
Mar 14, 2010
By Kezia Toh

Two Singaporean women are so determined to cycle around the world, they have sold their possessions to pursue their dream

They have raised only about $2,000 but Miss Tan Xin Hui (left) and Miss Tay Siang Hui will go ahead with their trip. -- ST PHOTO: JOYCE FANG

Two Singaporean women have a dream: to spend five years cycling around the world.

Miss Tan Xin Hui, 25, and Miss Tay Siang Hui, 31, have sold off most of their possessions and ended the lease on their rental flat. They are ready to hit the road but there is just one snag: money.

They have raised only $1,905 - from their garage sale last weekend, during which they sold off things such as furniture, clothes and books at their two- bedroom walk-up apartment in Tiong Bahru.

That sum is only enough to get them to their starting point of Taiwan.

But undeterred, the duo, who are former television producers of independent company Simply Is Productions, are now tapping sponsors for support. So far, they have lined up sponsorship deals with companies such as health club Fitness First and sports label Puma.

They are also canvassing the public for cash: They will hold a 24-hour cycling challenge on Thursday, where companies and individuals pay to adopt one minute of the cycling, which will be streamed online.

Starting at 10am, they will embark on a test of cycling endurance with 24 hours of stationary cycling. At any one time, at least one bike will still be running.

Sports gadget company Polar Electro Singapore is the first organisation to come on board, paying US$100 (S$139) for a minute. Its marketing executive Lin Yue Yun, 27, says: 'What struck us was the women asking us, do you have a dream, and what happened to that dream? We were moved by their sincerity and passion.'

In addition, their website, www.ibelievethatdreamscancometrue.com , asks the public to donate directly.

But some people find the push for sponsorship deals and funds a little too freewheeling.

'My first thought was, you're asking me to support your lifestyle?,' says assistant manager Selena Ang, 51. 'But if I had a daughter who wants to do something like this, I would give her a chance to prove herself.

'I think people are supporting them because, for the sponsors, it might gel with something that they've always wanted to do, but did not. So it is like supporting them to live through them.'

The duo plan to cycle across Taiwan, Japan, the Americas and Europe. So adamant are they about going that Miss Tan says: 'Even if we have to go on just this amount, we'd still go. We cannot sit and have a discussion to plan the trip - we'd get too scared.'

It is a determination that has resonated with some firms they have approached for sponsorship.

Fitness First, for example, gave them a two-month membership each and personal training sessions.

Its marketing manager Sarah See, 34, says: 'We are supporting them because it is fitness related. We did tell them at first that we do only charity-related sponsorships but we saw that they needed help and fitness advice in preparing for the journey.'

She adds: 'For us, there is value in these sponsorships because they are doing publicity for us as well.'

The women have documented their experience with the health club on their website.

For sports label Puma, which has given the women a pair of sports shoes each and six sets of Dri-Fit attire costing more than $800, it was the aspect of fulfilling a dream that caught its eye.

'We believe that dreams can come true and we would like to spread this message,' says a spokesman. 'We are a sports lifestyle brand. What they plan to do - cycling round the world to meet people who have realised their dreams and using their experiences to inspire others - is a perfect example of sports and lifestyle.'

keziatoh@sph.com.sg

What do you think of the duo's canvassing for cash for their trip? Write to suntimes@sph.com.sg

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