Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Sun 05 Jun 2005

Catching up with William Tan

Category : cycling

Dr William Tan, with whom we ride on the fund-raising Ride for Hope met up with ride leaders and marshals yesterday evening at the Bike Boutique and swapped stories of our recent ride experiences. Usually, we meet just before one of his charity rides, start riding and attending to our roles, chat briefly before going home, usually exhausted. So this was a rare time for us.

He updated us with stories from his seven-continent marathons challenge as he has been since last year. The event had pretty much been under wraps for the sake of pursuing the world record.

With that over, NUS issued a press release which led to to the Straits Times article last Friday, followed by a Sunday Times article.

Unfortnately neither articles were able to capture the spirit, tenacity or excitement of the ride. William is quite a good story-teller and we were kept laughing and fascinated by his tales and expressions. It was an achievement just to coordinate the itinerary and flights, travel to 10 cities in 70 days and register for 10 marathons!

But they point out the purpose of his efforts were in aid of raising $1.5 million to set up a professorship in paediatric oncology at the National University of Singapore.

Donors can send a cheque made out to the National University of Singapore, to: NUS Development Office, University Hall, Lee Kong Chian Wing, UHL-03-01, 21 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119077. Donors should write their name, address, identity card number and contact details on the back of the cheque, and indicate it is for the professorship.

As we talked last night, William revealed how, along with Eric Tan, Lynten of the Bike Boutique had been provided a wonderful home-based pit stop between each international race. Of great importance was changing tyres! Some were specially designed for the conditions William would face. This was done in such a rush that in Bangkok, he arrived the day of the race, ufortunately in a taxi with a clueless driver!

His special puncture resistant snow tyres designed by Lynten never reached him in South America, lost in transit! Nor did the replacement tyres Lynten sent after a desperate phone call. He made do and levered some locally bought tyres onto his wheel reams with a spoon!

He also had his wheelchair damaged by luggage handlers, manoeuvered his luggae and racing wheelchair-laden trolley through airports and crowds, making me remember that air travel can be fraught with problems.

With injuries picked up during his marathons, he questioned his ability to cope with the 24 hour 300km Ride for Hope. A fascinating point the newspapers missed out on, the Ride fo Hope was a super-marathon which took place immdaitely after the 10 marathon effort! So all in all he clocked about 700km.

Well, the 24 hours ride was accomplished and we managed to raise a decent amount for the homes, while Eric ensured logistsic costs were covered by sponsors. As we reminisced about the operations later that night, I looked around and revelled in the fact I was in the company of a rare bunch of adventurous and reliable cyclists. [photos]

Posted at 5:39AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .