No Bull...this S'pore team's going racing

No Bull...this S'pore team's going racing

Almost half the participants will not finish the five-day Red Bull Romaniacs race. Riders have to clock between 100km and 250km a day over harsh terrain and obstacles in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. One team from Singapore is battling to beat the odds this July.

Biker Boy catches up with Braap Brothers' team manager Muhammad Alkhatib and its two riders Peter Grinsted and Ben Crookenden, and asks them if they've had their heads examined.

TEAM PROFILE:

Mr Peter Grinsted, 40, Singapore permanent resident, energy sector loss adjuster; Mr Ben Crookenden, 36, Briton, insurance broker; Mr Muhammad Alkhatib, 39, Singaporean, owner of a digital firm.

WHAT SPONSORS SAY:

LIM AH BOY: IT'S THE LEAST WE CAN DO TO SUPPORT SINGAPORE IN AN INTERNATIONAL RACE... WE WANT TO SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ENCOURAGE ASPIRING POTENTIAL RIDERS TO PURSUE THEIR RIDING DREAMS.

WHY TAKE PART IN RED BULL ROMANIACS 2015?

Peter: The race is on my bucket list. At 40 years old, I figured it's now or never. I mentioned this to Muhammad and he was all over it like a bad rash!

WHAT WILL YOU BE UP AGAINST IN THE RACE?

Ben: I have been most concerned about the skills needed for getting up the mountains, the obstacles and the general endurance needed to complete each day. We don't have much time left. Peter: We will be crossing streams and rivers, dragging our bikes up and down insanely steep hills and all the time navigating our way to various checkpoints. The navigation side of this race will be huge - one mistake could mean we "timeout" and are done.

HOW MANY SPONSORS HAVE COME ON BOARD?

Muhammad: So far, we have eight sponsors - Mitas tyres, Airoh helmets, Elite Pro Nutrition, Lim Ah Boy, Novik gloves, Ipone lubricants, Evans coolant and Sky Rich batteries.

IS THE TEAM GETTING ANY PROFESSIONAL HELP?

Peter: 2010 Red Bull Romaniacs winner Chris Birch has been a huge help to the team, on and off the bike with tips on preparation, training and even nutrition.

MUHAMMAD, WHAT'S YOUR ROLE IN THE TEAM?

Muhammad: As team manager, I do the stuff they (Ben and Peter) don't want to do! Well, as they say, those who can't, teach. Or manage, in my case. Challenges are sticking to a training regime and getting sponsorship.

PETER, HOW SINGAPOREAN ARE YOU?

Peter: I am about as Singaporean as an ang moh can be! I do an awesome Phua Chu Kang impression. I served two years of national service at 5 SIR (Singapore Infantry Regiment) after high school here. I have lived in Singapore for about 35 years.

WHAT CAN SINGAPORE RIDERS LEARN FROM YOUR ROMANIACS ATTEMPT?

Peter: I want people to see us trying, working hard, struggling between work, family and training, and still getting it done. If we can do it, so can you.

Ben: When this is over, we can look at opportunities to bring more Singapore-based riders and Singaporeans on board and help to make this awesome race a reality for others.

Follow the team at

www.facebook.com/braapbrothers

zaihan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on March 22, 2015.
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