‘Among the best sports ac­tiv­i­ties’

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - People - By TAN SHIOW CHIN star2@thes­tar.com.my

MON­I­TOR­ING your heart rate while cy­cling is a prac­tice ad­vo­cated by avid cy­clist Dr Al­fred Goh Yong Soon.

The Si­ti­awan, Perak-based ob­ste­tri­cian and gy­nae­col­o­gist says: “I see a lot of sports­men who just col­lapse and die dur­ing sports.

“Some­times, cy­clists or other sports­men have a very com­pet­i­tive mind – they want to win at all costs, and they don’t bother about their heart rate. So now, we are into mon­i­tor­ing our heart rate.”

Dr Goh, 47, who ini­tially started cy­cling with just his wife, Dr Diong Mee Nee, a 47-year-old gen­eral prac­ti­tioner, now has a cy­cling group of around 50 peo­ple.

They cy­cle for about two hours every week­day morn­ing be­fore work along a set route of about 30km, and most have a fit­ness track­ing de­vice to mon­i­tor their heart rates.

On the week­ends, they like to ex­plore the ar­eas around Si­ti­awan, like Pan­tai Remis, Pasir Pan­jang and Beruas, typ­i­cally av­er­ag­ing about 50km-60km.

Both Dr Goh and Dr Diong have also joined cy­cling com­pe­ti­tions, with Dr Goh achiev­ing his goal of com­plet­ing a cen­tury ride (100 miles or 160.9km) in 2015 and Dr Diong go­ing even fur­ther with a 300km ride.

Dr Goh shares that he started cy­cling in 2012, about three years af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with a pro­lapsed in­ter­ver­te­bral disc, which caused nerves in his back to be com­pressed.

The then-ac­tive bad­minton player had to switch to a non-weight­bear­ing sport af­ter his di­ag­no­sis, and pre­ferred cy­cling to swim­ming.

It also helped that his 70-year-old fa­ther-in-law is into cy­cling, av­er­ag­ing about 20km-30km every day.

One of the things Dr Goh en­joys best about cy­cling is the fact that he has lost about 20kg since he started cy­cling reg­u­larly.

“It is a good ex­er­cise to lose weight,” he says.

Dr Goh said that he also en­joys the scenery when they cy­cle.

“If you cy­cle at home, the ‘scenery’ is your room. If you cy­cle out­side, you won’t get bored – that is what mo­ti­vates you,” he says, adding that he and his group typ­i­cally cy­cle past padi fields, the beach and sea, as well as rub­ber and palm oil plan­ta­tions.

He notes that the Ride for Malaysia event is an ex­cel­lent way to help pro­mote cy­cling.

“Cy­cling is among the best sports ac­tiv­i­ties. A lot of peo­ple avoid cy­cling be­cause they say there is a lot of traf­fic and it’s dan­ger­ous.

“But as cy­clists, we know how to an­tic­i­pate traf­fic and take care of our­selves – it’s about how you an­tic­i­pate dan­ger and man­age it,” he says.

— AL­FRED GOH YONG SOON

Dr Goh (left) and Dr Diong pos­ing for a photo at Pasir Pan­jang, Perak, on one of their week­end cy­cling trips.

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