Monday, September 17, 2012

Basic Folding Bicycle Touring Workshop

Leading the newcomers
After concluding the basic bicycle recovery workshop a couple of months ago, I floated the idea of conducting a basic folding bicycle touring workshop for beginners to Ed Foo of atmosphere outfitters.
He jumped at the opportunity and I got to work right away.
The first thing I did, was to inform Ruey Chan of Le Run Industries. 
Chan represents Dahon Bikes for Malaysia and had agreed to support the workshop by bringing some Dahon schwag and two sample bikes.
Ed, on the other hand, supplied drinks and light snacks.
He also convinced the building maintenance people from Subang Avenue to provide tables and chairs for the event.

Networking with the foldies
We had the Malaysian Foldie Forums which serves as an important domain for inputting a knowledge base on folding bikes.
Sadly, none of the dealers and distributors were interested in using it.
Its free anyway.
I can see the same people who are active on the forums as well as Malaysian Foldies' Facebook page participating in the programme.
The aim is to educate newcomers on the aspect of bicycle touring.
I had to make it very simple so that even those without any background on bicycle knowledge would understand the brief presentation.
 
Setting up the venue for the workshop
My regular cycling kaki Toh and television host Chris Ng

 Keeping things simple
I don't really know the level of expectation among the attendees for the workshop, so, with the assumption that most of them are new to long distance rides and being a cycling tourist, I have designed the presentation with a series of simple to understand point-form slides on the Microsoft Powerpoint software.
It took me about an hour to complete the presentation which is kept to its bare minimal. No jargons, fancy-schmancy technicalities. Just plain English and I have about 30-minutes to execute the job.


Giving introduction to the crowd at the beginning of the workshop


Making my presentation
Crowd reaction
Right from the beginning, I told Ed that I had expected no more than 30 people at the event.
And true to my anticipation, there were more than 20 people who came to listen to my talk.
I paced myself to 1 minute per slide and maintained eye-contact with the crowd.
Most of them were paying close attention to what I had to say and I managed to maintain their attention span throughout.
There was brief question and answer session at the end of the talk and I am glad that the attendees were quite cooperative.
Ed Foo took the floor after my presentation and Ruey Chan had his shot by introducing the crowd to Dahon's products.


Ed Foo explaining his products to the crowd
Posing for BaikBike.com
Summary
Both Ed and I were pleased with the crowd turnout at the workshop.
This was Malaysian Foldies' second outing and we hope to conduct more of such events in the future.
I think what's in store is a practical touring workshop for advanced cyclist and I just know where to plan the route and conduct the event.
After wrapping-up, I rode back to USJ26 with my Dahon Speed P8 and took a lunch break in USJ7 with my fellow folding bike cyclists.

Late lunch with the gang...
 
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