akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Mat Sikal?

Read the article by R.S.N. Murali here.
 
Okay, so this is the first time I heard the term 'Mat Sikal', and it was being spread nationwide through Murali's article. I'm not really sure if the term is coined by the boys that he interviewed, or merely penned out to sync with 'Mat Rempit'. Well, the correct term, I guess (because he didn't mention about the bike being fixed bikes either) it should be 'Fixies', instead. This is judging by the description of the bikes mentioned, and the photo. I bet none of them would downgrade their bikes to a non-fixie thus branded as not being true to the tribe.
 
I missed TV3's 360° exposure on bikes (including Fixies) a couple of week earlier, so I could not comment much on it. However, I'm sure there's no mention about 'Mat Sikal'. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Paste the link of the video in the comment box if you have it, please.
 
All in all, of late there's much highlight in our mainstream media already on public cycling. It's a good thing, really. Just that the public should also made known that there are different types of bicycles, different types of cycling sports and different groups who cycles, too. Exactly the same as motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses, airplanes and horses.
 
I don't feel anything about the article, to be honest, simply because I do not belong to that group. Malaysians generally can appreciate the distinction between Mat Rempit and superbikers or those riding Harley Davidsons. Heck, even between Mat Rempit and those who ride the same sort of motorbikes they are using. Such is the case with 'Mat Sikal' and Mountain Bikers, Roadies, Commuters, Bangla cyclists or even other Fixies. I'm not sure if Fixies in general would even agree with these 'Mat Sikals'. But you get my point, right?
 
However, I do understand the sentiment of the general cycling community with this kind of image. Cycling is on the rise, currently. Some may hate Fixies for this kind of negative exposure which could tarnish the overall image of cycling in the eyes of general public.
 
Well, what can we do?
A few, actually.
 
1. MNCF and state cycling talent scouts could approach them for proper grooming for our next Azizulhasni Awangs.
Heck, they could generate $ by making it a reality show.
2. Educate the public that 'Mat Sikal' is a different type of cyclist than Mountain Bikers, Roadies and Commuters.
The one in Rexona ad is a Moutain Biker, Anuar Manan is a Roadie, Akmal Hizam is a Commuter (well, he's trying. And a Mountain Biker, too).
3. Legislate the usage of helmets and safety aspects of cycling on public roads.
Make helmets, lights and secondary brakes a must.
 
To me, in order for myself to be respected as a cyclist, I must respect myself first. Helmet, blinkers, headlight, and a decent bike with safety in check. It may look 'poyo' or perhaps overkill to some, but the security guards at the gate often let me pass through without checking through my bag. They know I'm a different kind of Commuter, much different from the Bangla riders.
 
Read also:
TRISTUPE's reply on the article here.
BaikBike's response on the article here.
 
Ride safe, y'all.
Yes, including you 'Mat Sikals' in Malacca or wherever you may be.

4 comments:

koh said...

Nice article. Very interesting. Also want to comment a bit on helmets (change topic sikit). It seems that the general non cycling public also views gearing up as overkill. When talking to my non cycling colleagues about my cycling, a couple of them go "what? you even wear all that stuff and helmet too?? hahaha. cycling where got knock head one??". Sad to hear...

Pulau Ubin is also one place where a lot of singaporeans go for recreational cycling. I read one article saying that the bike rental shop owners commented that unlike the westerners, most asian who go there could not be bothered renting a helmet when they rent a bike. They dont see it as necessary. Even though there have been at least one fatal head injury cycling accident there.

Akmal Hizam said...

I am a bit paranoid about helmet. Must wear when I'm riding. Especially offroad. Well, it is also a symbol of self-respect. People know that you're a real rider when they see you sporting one.

Hehehh.. and those people who gave you such comment must've dropped their jaws to know how much a good helmet costs.

TriStupe said...

Thanks for the shoutout. appreciate it.

Ride safe.

Akmal Hizam said...

TriStupe,
No probs, man.
Thanks for your visit.
Keep on crankin'!