Sunday, 4 July 2021

Motorcycle Road Trip Around Singapore - Sunset Rides In The West




Road trips on a bike has been a yearly affair for me. Yearly in the sense, I tend to go on multiple touring trips every year if possible :p

Be it hopping on my own bike and heading up North, through the causeway and into Malaysia/ Thailand, or a "Fly & Ride" trip where I'd jump on a plane and travel to the destination of my choice before renting a bike there and exploring the country on two wheels. 



Well, I'm extremely grateful that the last motorcycling road trip I did (that was completely epic as always) was just early last year in India where we rode into the Himalayas and even experienced some snow, but... LAST YEAR FEELS LIKE 1,000 YEARS AGO!!! 



Thanks (but no thanks) to the relentless pandemic, all these roads trips have came to complete hiatus since last March. We weren't even allowed to step out of our house due to the circuit breaker measures unless for medical emergencies, groceries or takeaway foods only. 


It was a really dark and gloomy year. 



Fast forward into 2021, travel bans are still on but hey, at least we can head out for a ride in a group of 5! Or 2.. or 8... depending on the different types of measures that kick in at different times of the year lah uh. 



If you'd like to head out for a relaxing sunset ride before catching up with your mates over dinner together, check out the itinerary below!

This short and sweet 45KM road trip focuses on the West side of Singapore, exactly in the direction where the sun sets so if the weather is clear, you can be sure to enjoy a scenic ride through the whole route, with the skies painted in orange, blue or purple hues. 



Doesn't matter what bike you ride, as long as it's a two wheelers, I bet ya it'll be enjoyable. The route consists of mainly tarmac, but there's a tiny section that takes you off road but not to worry, it's nothing your bike can't handle. Just throttle through only ;)



Meeting Point - Seah Imm Carpark 

Here's the meeting point because the carpark is huge and has plenty of space to cater to any group size meeting up. Anyway, with the Covid-19 measures, how big can the group gathering be nowadays right.. Haha. 



Do take note though that there seems to be two Seah Imm Carparks, be sure to head to the one that's nearest to the Seah Imm bunker. 




In the event your bike breaks down for some reason even before the ride begins (maybe cuz you too long never ride it and it decides to throws a tantrum), fret not as DirectAsia Insurance offers their motorcycle policy holders 24 hour vehicle breakdown assistance. Just give them a call and they'll arrange for a tow service while you see who'd allow you to ride pillion to continue the road trip LOL.


In fact, if your fellow biker friends is insured with DirectAsia Insurance's Any Rider optional benefit, you guys may take turns to ride the bike!


Credit to nparks

Seah Imm Carpark to 99 Bends

Once everyone is all gathered, it's time to dive right into the fun around the corners! Well, for bike and car enthusiasts, the fun is usually AT the corners right? 



Known to be one of Singapore's most dangerous roads, the twisties and sharp corners through South Buona Vista road aka 99 Bends will have you leaning from right to left. It is a two-way traffic so do watch out for vehicles traveling in the opposite direction and while you're having fun, please ride safely and at your own pace! 

It is quite an accident-prone area and if unforeseen circumstances happen, it is beneficial to be well protected with a comprehensive insurance like what DirectAsia Insurance offers that can help cover you for Personal Accident and Medical Expenses so you can focus on recovery without worrying about the bills.

But let's hope none of that happens yeah.

Credits to flickr

99 Bends to MacDonald's West Coast Park

Next, continue on through Prince George's Park and head on over to a drive-thru at MacDonald's West Coast Park to grab a drink or even some light snacks to soothe all that adrenalin that's still pumping through your veins from whizzing through the 99 bends earlier on. It's important to hydrate wherever you are, and even more so when riding. 

Have your phone or credit card ready for a safe and contactless payment, collect your order next and enjoy it outdoors with green foliage all around in the park! (Subject to prevailing Covid-19 measures at the point in time).


MacDonald's West Coast Park to The Hives NTU

Continue on through West Coast Highway before merging on to Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) and take exit 18 for Pioneer Road North towards Benoi Sector. 


Credits to timeout

With some energy refilled during a short break at MacDonald's, how about checking out some cool architecture next, like the "Dim Sum Basket Building" located at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.


Credits to ntusg

Officially known as The Hives, this SGD $45 million building was designed by British Designer Thomas Heatherwick and it was completed 6 years ago, in 2015. It consists of 12 eight-storey towers and houses 56 corner-less classrooms. 

Definitely an instagram-worthy spot you don't wanna miss with your bike!



The Hives NTU to 40 Lamp Posts

Lim Chu Kang road is home to where the cemeteries are, and it is also where Tengah Air Base is located at.

Credits to straitstimes

Because the road is so straight, the Republic of Singapore Air Force have actually used it a couple of times as a temporary runway for their fighter jets to take off and land. Having said that, it is actually more famously used for illegal motorcycle or car drag races in the past, like these two silly drivers who were being charged for illegal racing and speeding of up to 178KM/H


There are speed cameras installed there now to deter illegal racers so please don't attempt to be a straight road hero here. Just enjoy the scenic ride through all 40 lamp posts as the sun sets beautifully in front of you :) 


Credits to timeout


40 Lamp Posts to Sarimbun Beach (Jalan Bahtera)

Talk about taking the road less travelled, here's where tarmac ends and onto a little bit of off road we go! If you Google the history of this location, you'll learn that it was where the Japanese troops first invaded Singapore, marking the start of World War II here in February 1942. 

The terrain here consists of many potholes and does not have any street lamps so it's best to avoid arriving here at night as it can get really dark. 

Instead, I'd say try to reach here before 7:15PM, turn off your engines for awhile and enjoy a really quiet and tranquil sunset by the beach. In terms of crowd, there's usually practically no one here so you can have the views all to yourselves!


Credits to tripadvisor

Sarimbun Beach to Neo Tiew Crescent 

Time flies when you're having a good time and guess what? It's dinner time! Y'all must be all hungry by now, so head on over to a bike / car friendly parking restaurant like Garden Asia Bistro


Credits to timeout

What I personally like about this place is that it has free parking, ample space to accommodate group size of up to 20 - 30 bikers, has an idyllic setting to just chill out and relax after the whole road trip. Plus, food and drinks here are reasonably priced and the quality is not bad!

A great way to wind down the evening, catch up with friends and perhaps plans on where the first road trip would be for you once borders reopen!



Whether you're on a mini road trip of your own or just heading out on your bike, stay well protected and be properly insured! DirectAsia Insurance not only have one of the most competitive rates in town especially with NCD30, but after being insured by them for the last 7 years, I know they always have us bikers interest at heart <3 so do check them out.

Don't forget to quote "Vaunephan5" to enjoy even more savings off your motorcycle policy!



Together, we can ride out this pandemic safe and sound.


Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Setting Precedents, Standing Against Defamation - Being Awarded Over S$104,000 In Damages & Legal Costs And An Injunction


It can be terrifying to know that a person whom you’ve never met or even know existed could be so relentless in his acts of malice towards you, attacking the work you do and down to your personal life.



But for those who, like me, have been a victim of defamation, can rest assured that the Laws of Singapore does not tolerate such behaviours with this Judgement issued by the State Courts that sets an important precedent.


 

Here’s the full story in its whole truth, and how the person who defamed me was ordered by the Court to:

 

1.     Pay a total of S$104,427.80 in damages and legal costs and

2.     An injunction to remove all his past, present defamatory posts made towards me and to refrain from doing so in the future

 


As some of you may know, after my experience with Revology Bikes that has been resolved after the SCT ruling (you can read the story here), I was subjected to intense defamatory posts online by this unknown person by the name of Mark Yeow (the defendant in this suit. I also later found out that this person was actually brought to Small Claims Tribunal in 2013 by another party which you can read here). 


Months after months, he was persistent in his attacks towards me, my work, my clients/sponsors whom I work with and he simply refused to stop. 



It was actually rather scary to see someone behave in such a manner like he has some sort of personal vendetta against you, especially when you’ve never met or know this person. Furthermore, he was never a part of the Revology Bikes incident so it was absolutely bizarre seeing him on the loose this way.



When he refused to remove his defamatory posts and continued them, to protect myself as well as the clients that I work with, I felt I had no choice but to take legal actions against him for defamation, in hope to bring his excessively destructive actions to a stop.



As of 15th December 2020, I’m so thankful to share that I’ve been finally vindicated.




 

Deputy Principal District Judge Wong Peck found the defendant to have acted in malice, and delivered judgment on my case in open court. She ruled that:

 

1.            The defendant’s 4 internet posts were indeed defamatory of me.

 

2.            There was no valid justification or other defence for the defendant’s defamatory posts.

 

3.            The defendant is ordered to immediately remove his 4 defamatory posts and is further ordered not to make such defamatory posts about me in future.


Quoted from the Judgement

 

4.            The defendant is to pay me in total of S$104,427.80, with the breakdown as follows:

         a.     S$40,000 in general damages.

         b.     In addition, because the defendant’s actions were motivated by malice against me, the defendant is ordered to pay me a further S$20,000 in aggravated damages.

        c.       Finally, the defendant is ordered to compensate me a further S$38,000 in legal costs and S$6,427.80 in disbursements I have incurred.

 

The total sum of S$104,427.80 in damages and legal costs that the defendant is ordered to pay does not include interest (which will continue to accrue until full payment is made).



I believe this may be the highest award of damages and legal costs a social media personality has received from the Singapore Courts to date and I’m very very thankful for the due justice that was carried through. I would like to stress that social media personality or not, NO ONE should be subjected to defamation in any form.


I hope this incident helps the defendant realise that there are other less expensive and foolish ways to get a girl’s attention.



I am extremely grateful to be represented by Partner Mr. Suresh Divyanathan and Associate Ms Cherisse Foo from Oon & Bazul LLP who argued my case successfully in Court and ensured that justice was done. Throughout their representation for me, their advice was always prompt and correct.



In my personal opinion, Mr. Suresh Divyanathan has a gift for strategic thinking and clarity of expression that allowed him to accurately present my case to the Judge. It was his extensive knowledge and clear articulation displayed in his oral arguments during the trial that helped me and the Judge to always understand the points he was making, and see the real truth of the matter.

 

One of the key reasons behind this suit that I took on stands in line with what Mr. Suresh Divyanathan has quoted, 


“This judgment sets an important precedent in showing that social media personalities who are wrongfully defamed online can recover substantial damages from the perpetrators. Netizens should take this as a timely warning that their behaviour online should be no less civilized than their behaviour in person because Singapore Courts will not tolerate internet defamation."






The full copy of the Judgement will be available shortly but meantime, you may like to read a copy of the Straits Times’ article on the case here.





Thank you so so much to those who have stood by me through and through (you know who you are), it really means a lot.


Like I said, think twice before you decide to slander someone because at the end of the day, you get served what you deserve.

 

You're officially #blackmarked.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Stepping Out of Comfort Zones - What Life Is Like As A Food Delivery Rider


Stepping Out of Comfort Zones - What Life Is Like As A Food Delivery Rider.



I never saw this coming.



The severity this pandemic has caused, the economic and mental chaos it has thrown the world into and drowned many alive. I know the crisis is far from over, and it is painful. 

But when all these have passed, we will look back and be proud that we #survived.



Meanwhile, I’m still in a little disbelief that we’re already in the third quarter of the year.
Last I recalled was opening 2020 feeling superb. I went skiing in Korea,



before jumping on an epic motorcycling trip in India, traversing through the mountain valleys.



Next thing I know, everything changed within a flip of the switch.

Almost all our movements and activities were restricted; schools, malls and offices shut, work from home orders issued. Basically none of us were allowed leave the house for the next three months except to get the most basic essentials.

Many were retrenched too, with countless people and families abruptly left struggling to stay afloat.

Credit: businterchange

Even the world’s busiest border crossing between Singapore and Malaysia has ceased operations and remains closed even as I'm writing this, on top of the travel bans implemented worldwide. 



As an adventurous traveler and a motorcycle content creator where content production relies heavily on moving around outdoors and around the globe, this #quarantine period has been indeed a challenging one.



While I am thankful to be living in a country with decent levels of hygiene standards and having a roof over my head that has kept me safe from the virus that was out on a rampage, it doesn’t deny the struggles of being made to feel like a prisoner of my own home.



On the 7th April 2020, our government implemented the circuit breaker (CB) as a preventive measure to fight and curb Covid 19.

I still remember thinking to myself, “It's not gonna be that bad. We can still virtually meet our friends and family, go to the supermarket for essentials, and still enjoy our favourite cuisines via ordering food delivery even though dining out is no longer allowed”.

Anyway, it’s just a two week period, how bad can it be right?



The first few days of lockdown went by alright. Spent time with my dog, watched plenty of Netflix, baked some cookies, even took on #ChloeTng exercise challenges feeling all ready to emerge the end of this lockdown with a post-circuit breaker hot bod.


Credit: straits times

On 21st April 2020, just when we thought MAYBE this circuit breaker was coming to an end (who were we trying to kid), our government announced an extension up till 1st June 2020. 

The list of essential services available shrank further and restrictions on entry to more spots such as wet markets were tightened.


Credit: today online

We were forced to bid goodbye to Hotcakes and Double McSpicy burgers when McDonalds had to close down their stores islandwide in response to a number of their employees being infected.

Even our simple pleasures derived from a cup of BUBBLE TEA was suspended.



Before April came to an end, I was already feeling increasingly restless. I've ran out of shows to watch on Netflix, I'm done baking and I'm tired of exercising challenges. 

I need to get out of the house. 

I can't even recall when was the last time I rode my motorcycle out. Maybe its battery is already dead? Maybe it'll get cranky and faint on me halfway if I take it out now? 



Uhh but if (touch wood) that really happens, at least I know I can rely on DirectAsia Insurance who provides 24 hours motorcycle breakdown assistance so I'd have one less thing to worry about.



From days to weeks, it wasn’t long before my free-spirited mind found it exceptionally hard to come to terms with being contained in an enclosed space. Not being able to travel or head out to create content like I used to, I felt discouraged and unproductive yet there was nothing I could do….



And then I remembered: We’re always just one decision away from a completely different life.

Instead of drowning in negativity, I started to ask myself, what can I do or learn? How can I be of any help to the current situation? 



I decided to let go of all the apprehensions that held me captive in my head and gave myself a chance to adopt a fresh new perspective of things by trying something out of my comfort zone.

And I decided to do that by….. 


Enrolling to be a food delivery rider during the circuit breaker period.

(Note: This is not a sponsored post nor a collaboration with any specific delivery company. It was done purely out of my own initiation.)

You may wonder, of all things, why a food delivery rider?

Well, firstly, there’s not a lot of options to choose from considering the fact that I like motorcycling right haha.


Credit: malaysiakini

Secondly, why not?

I need a legit reason to get out of the house to ride, I'm a foodie so maybe I can explore more yummy places along the way, but most importantly I'd like to lend a hand to this essential workforce which I feel many may have overlooked the significance that they play in our current lives.

Without these delivery heroes, we won’t get to enjoy food delivered to our doorstep whenever we want, especially when its pouring heavily outside, or when our movements are restricted because of this pandemic. F&B would lose out on so much revenue too since dine-ins are not allowed and not everyone will want to head out, queue, then pack the food home.

Think about how much time and inconvenience these food delivery riders have helped us save.



Well, since I know how privileged it feels like to be a customer, I’m curious to find out what it really is like behind-the-scenes and I'm enthusiastic about what it can teach me.

Time to get that fatty booty movin’.



Enrolled, and off I went on my delivery quest with my little 200CC scrambler. I took it on with an open mind, and it opened up my eyes to many things.

I'd observe how people of different households are like, how we can never judge someone based on the type of housing they live in, how a small act of kindness can make all the difference, how adopting an appreciative attitude and an understanding mind can change people and our very own lives.



I still remember vividly the customer of my very first delivery order.


Credit: wiki, photo for illustration purpose only

It was an 80 plus year old grandma who lived in a HDB flat in Bedok. When I took the lift up and arrived on the level of her unit, she was already standing by the door as she called out to me gently from behind the gate, “Over here, over here”.

I walked over and saw that she had a small table set up just right outside her door, specially arranged for delivery orders where she told me to leave the food at. 

There was even a bottle of hand sanitizer prepared on the table which she told me I could use.

She paid in cash for the order and with a sweet smile on her face, she handed me an extra $2 tip, saying “For you, you keep ok”.

Honestly that kind gesture of hers made me so happy, while still feeling amused at her cute concierge set up :D



From day to night, rain or shine, delivery riders would have to brave through it all to bring food across to hungry people.

There was one time during a night shift, I got caught in a heavy downpour with threatening thunder and lightning everywhere as I was making my way to deliver a food order located at a private condominium. 

On the roads, I could barely see because my helmet visor was all blurry from the rain and vehicles that drove past fast had rainwater splashing every which way onto me.

By the time I arrived at the customer's place, I was completely drenched. The lady who received the order felt so bad for seeing me in that state she kept apologising to me and thanked me profusely for delivering the food despite the weather.



For the remaining hours of my shift on those days where I witnessed and received these little acts of kindness, it doesn’t matter if it came in a form of a tip, or even just a genuine “thank you” or “hey, ride safe” message via the delivery app, it warmed the cockles of my heart and all that physical fatigue I was feeling would instantly melt away.

I could be sweating buckets from within my helmet or soaked in the rain zipping from one place to another, but I had a spring in my step as I felt happy being able to deliver food to people, adding convenience to their lives and in a way, help keep them safe from the ongoing virus.


        

But of course, I’m only human and there were days where I didn’t feel as motivated.

Apart from riding under all sorts of harsh weather conditions while ensuring food orders are delivered on time and presentably, 



we (as riders) also have to put up with the attitude of nasty customers who tells us off or slams the door in our face when we deliver the food late due to piling orders or long queues at the restaurant (which really isn’t our fault).

On top of that, we skip our meals so customers can have theirs, yet we have to swallow the lousy treatment of some restaurants which can really come across as absurd.

I do believe that there are some who are nice, but quite a bit of my personal encounters were witnessing restaurant staffs treating delivery riders (including myself) like we owed them a living. Either that or we were invisible to them. 




While I can understand during this difficult period where manpower may be reduced yet having to handle an overwhelming amount of orders can be stressful to the restaurants, delivery riders should not be the receiving end of their frustration especially when we're doing our best to deliver their food to their customers.  

We shouldn't be told off when we, on behalf of the customers, ask how long more an order is going to take, just so we can advise the customer accordingly. It would not be fair as well to make us spend a chunk of our shift just waiting for the restaurant to clear their backlogged orders.

Instead, I personally feel restaurants could consider taking measures to put the influx of orders on hold (such as making it unavailable on delivery apps) if the staffs can barely cope anymore.

After all, everyone is trying to make a living here and it really wouldn't hurt to exercise basic respect, understanding and graciousness. 


Credit: straits times

Now if you haven't realised, it’s not an uncommon sight to see clusters of delivery motorcycles near a mall or an eatery because delivery riders grab and go as quickly as possible. 

Sometimes, due to limited parking spaces, riders would have to park their motorcycles really close to one another.



It was lunch time when I went to pick up an order but when I returned to my motorcycle, I found it sandwiched in between two other motorcycles and a bicycle which made it difficult to manoeuvre out because:

my Suzuki DR200 weighs 120KG, and 
I have tofu weak arms, plus I was already 
carrying a heavy bag of Marrybrown enough to feed a family of 10 people, 
while dealing with sweat rolling down my face and it stinging my eyes, 
while trying to ignore the food delivery app BEEEEEPing me to prompt me of the time.

Ahhhh!


Just before collapsing all the motorcycles like a domino-effect while trying to extract my motorcycle out, a friendly food delivery rider came forward and helped me move it out to freedom.

I was like "omg thank youuuu!!!" before hurriedly getting on my way.

I felt so grateful because if he didn’t help me, I foresee a string of negative things potentially happening;

I may take a longer time to get my motorcycle out, which means I would try to ride faster to avoid delivering the food late. But by doing so, it would affect my safety on the roads which may result in an accident where if an at-fault claim is made against me, I would lose all the NCD I’ve collected the past years and all my earnings from the past week made from 50 deliveries would go down the drain.

That would be SO bad.



Good thing I’ve got DirectAsia Insurance’s NCD Protector Plus to help safeguard the loss of my NCD if an unfortunate at-fault claim is made against me, and not just that but my NCD can still advance to the next stage the following year so that means I get to enjoy more savings!

For now, let’s just be thankful that no motorcycles and no one got injured thanks to that fellow delivery rider’s help!


Credit: carlist

Many of us may have witnessed food delivery riders riding like MOTO-GP fast, and that's because they're constantly racing against TIME (don't we all too?) 

In this line of job (like many others), Time is Money.

The more orders clocked, the more money we'll earn, the better our performance would be, which would entitle us to receive extra cash incentives and priority queue when it comes to booking our next delivery shift.


Credit: today online

When I'm out doing delivery, I found myself riding noticeably faster too when I’m trying to make up for lost time which, directly compromises my safety.

This happens when I can’t find locate the food stall, or when the restaurant takes longer than usual to prepare the order resulting in a delay, or when the delivery app malfunctions.

Time delay (even though it's not rider's fault) affects our performance which ultimately would affect how much we'd earn.

These are factors beyond our control as riders but it still eats into the stipulated time we are given to pick up and deliver the order :( 

What we (as riders) think we can control is the speed we ride our motorcycle albeit still being subjected to the speed limits. 



Be it riding a motorcycle for work or leisure, I still cannot stress enough the importance of bearing safety in mind first when we are on the roads.

Like myself, you may be insured by one of the best motorcycle insurance companies like Direct Asia who always have riders interests at heart by providing a listening ear before offering tailor-made comprehensive coverages and benefits that insures us up to $100,000 under their Personal Accident optional benefit as well as other Medical Expenses.



But even with that, please never take road safety for granted. Try to make a conscious effort of reminding ourselves the importance of safe riding above the race against time.

Being well-insured can really alleviate huge financial burdens so you can focus on recovery in the event of an accident but the downtime from any injury is never worth the rush. 



After experiencing the full spectrum of what it is like being a food delivery rider, I can assuredly say to you it really isn’t easy at all.

It is laboriously intense, there are significant risks involved, you can't make a lot of money unless you slog for like 24 hours, yet I believe these riders are striving to deliver foods as fast as they could to satisfy our grumbling tummies and like the rest of us, they too, are doing their best to make ends meet. 

So, cut them some slack if your food runs a little late, try to be a little more forgiving, practice little acts of #kindnesstoriders and you’d just never know how positively you can make someone’s day or even change their lives!



To all delivery riders, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for your hard work. You have my utmost respect and you are undeniably part of an essential workforce that our lifestyle could no longer imagine without. 


     

Kindness doesn’t cost a dime but it goes a long long way, so pay it forward if you can, in your very own way. 

That’s how we will tide through this difficult time together and triumph the year, doing more than just #survive.