KAJANG: The fifth edition of the RHB Shimano Highway Ride @ Lekas 2018 saw cyclists taking to the Lebuhraya Kajang Seremban (Lekas Highway) with enthusiasm and fervour.
The much-anticipated highway night ride attracted a total of 4,496 cyclists from 25 countries, including Australia, France, Italy, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Turkey, Thailand and Malaysia.
Among the many participants were the nine-member Wild Hogs team from Singapore which took part in the 120km competitive ride category.
The ride was a first time for some of the members, and a repeat affair for others, who cited the event as being “well-organised” and “no traffic lights” as some of the reasons for participating.
The tense atmosphere was palpable seconds before flag off as all efforts went to vying for the champion title in all categories.
Even VIPs, teenagers and children looked serious in their cycling jerseys and helmets as they took part in the 17km and 12km fun rides respectively.
Flagging off the race was Works Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Abdul Razak Jaafar at the Kajang Selatan Toll Plaza, Lekas E21.
Newly-appointed RHB Shimano Highway Ride ambassador, the Terengganu Cycling Team, led the way for the 120km route, setting the pace for the other cyclists.
The race was a collaboration between RHB Banking Group, bicycle component manufacturer Shimano and Lebuhraya Kajang-Seremban Sdn Bhd – a member of IJM Corporation Bhd’s toll division.
RHB sent a team of 20 cyclists; joining in the 78km race was RHB Banking Group group managing director Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli who had looked forward to the ride with eight other friends.
“In my view, cycling should be more than just racing or winning. It should be about enjoying ourselves.
“Cycling with a group of friends is important because there’s so much fun and laughter,” he said, adding that it was also important to know one’s capability and limit.
Khairussaleh said this event was gaining international recognition, and he was happy to see participants from all walks of life coming together in their passion for cycling.
Shimano Pte Ltd director Eugene Koh said they were heartened to see so many satisfied faces after experiencing the unique opportunity of riding on a closed highway.
“The increased number of participants each year shows the growing interest and passion in cycling sports in Malaysia and other countries.
“It was worth putting in all the effort this fifth consecutive year to contribute to the cycling culture and industry,” he said.
Lekas chief operating officer Wan Salwani Wan Yusoff said they were thrilled to be involved in this unique community event once again.
“We have been supporting this event since 2013 as we believe cycling is a fun, simple way for people to have a positive impact on their health and the communities in which they live in.
“Sports is a cornerstone of IJM’s corporate social responsibility initiative and mass sporting events like these allow us to make the best use of our infrastructure assets and to give back,” she said.