20101201 : next phase

Update: 2012-07-27

It is now one and a half year since I started my new “job” to promote bicycling. With the blessing of families and friends, the journey has been enriching and rewarding. Financially I am not as stable as having a full time job. But I am able to do a lot more stuffs that matter:
– Lovecycling is now a big family – we just passed 2200 members on Facebook! Thanks to the charm and leadership of buddy Taiwoon and the selfless help from many old and new members.
ISUDA Bike Share pilot started in one-north, with the support from JTC. We learnt a few very important lessons during the 3 months pilot phase. We are fine tuning our approach and is now preparing for the next phase of implementation, absolutely exciting stuff!
Totobobo mask is doing pretty good internationally, it has been sold to more than 50 countries by now.
– But most of all, I am able to spend more time with my family. Sharon and I will cycle for breakfast at least a couple of times every week. With our bikes, we try to explore different breakfast places!
All these are unthinkable just 2 years ago. Life is a gift when one decided to give.

To me, the coming December first will be the start of a new phase. I will be leaving my 21 years comfort zone in Philips and starting all on my own. It feels like jumping off a big ship and throwing myself (and family) into the open sea. This seems silly but not if you can see what I am seeing while cruising on the big ship. The vision I have is to help make bicycling an easier and better choice for many people. This vision connect to my belief that bicycle will be an important solution to many problems that we face in modern cities. Such belief is so strong that I lost motivation to continue with the same routine job. I find it necessary to follow my heart and do something more meaningful.

My close friends and family ask with great concern, β€œHow are you going to sustain financially?” I have savings but certainly not enough to sustain for a long time-if we continue to spend without adjustment. The key question is how much is enough to live a happy, stress free life? I need to find that out, together with my wife and two sons. I am blessed and thankful that they are supportive in my decision.

Leaving the financial uncertainty aside, I am really looking forward to the β€œoffice hour free” days. I should be able to spend more time riding, blogging, teaching, designing, selling and promoting bicycles, or bicycle related activities. I should be able to apply what I have learnt throughout the 21 years working in Philips, in a new way. Knowing the advantages and limitations a big organization encounter, helps. Having years of experience of working and living in Holland and seeing first hand how bicycle can be a viable transport solution also helps. I learnt a lot from my Philips colleagues and they will continue to be my inspiration and resources.

The Singapore Government has allocated 43 million dollars to improve bicycle infrastructure in seven cycling towns. This is peanuts if compared to the multi-billion dollars road construction works for cars, yet it is a fundamental paradigm shift from the authority: from ignoring to recognition! The same trend is happening in advanced Asia cities like Hong Kong, Taipei and Shanghai. There is still a long way to go before bicycling become as safe and popular as in Holland. I can see there is a lot needs to be done and I am sure there are ways that I can contribute and also make a living from by helping shorten this transition period.

– Francis Chu 2010-11-26

27 thoughts on “20101201 : next phase

  1. Sajid

    Hi Francis,
    Wish you all the best and success in cause that you are pursuing.
    You inspire me to be courageous πŸ™‚

    Keep in touch

  2. Greg

    Hi Francis.

    Wishing you and your family all the best on your new adventures on the high seas. Even though you mention that you will be persuing more meaningful purpose in life I believe that your 21years in Philips Design has also had avery menaingful impact on people’s lives. With your very clear vision of your new dream you are deserving of success and from which we can only benefit.

  3. Edward Tonino

    Dear Francis,

    Thank you for the opportunity working with you over all these years
    Finally people will envy you for the bold decision you have made.
    I wish you all the wisdom & good luck to succeed in this new journey and leave you with two quotations supporting it

    All the best, Edward Tonino

    Much of the success of life depends upon keeping one’s mind open to opportunity and seizing it when it comes.
    Alice Foote MacDougall

    Every day begins with an act of courage and hope: getting out of bed πŸ™‚
    Mason Cooley

  4. Virginia Lui

    Wish you all the best in the new adventure & bicycle the new routes and ways… admire you have the courage to make your dream come true. keep going & enjoying life & cheers,

  5. esther van houdt

    Dear Francis,
    What a fantastic adventure you have ahead of you! I wish you and your family all the best. You can never regret following your passion. [.. did you know Henry Cutler, now owner of Henry’s workcycles in Amsterdam, made a similar career move? Maybe it is nice to talk to him?] πŸ™‚
    Good luck! s*

  6. lydia Mak

    Dear Francis,
    I like cycling and hope to join you to have a tour one day with my family. Enjoy the new start, stay cool & stay fit!

    take care


  7. Loet Bouhuys

    Dear Francis,

    Thank you for the period we worked together, from which I remember you as understanding and kind, but persistent in your belief to create solutions that improve daily life. Your new quest takes you a step further, in leaving us and start your own endeavor, for such a valid and motivating area to explore.
    I wish you and your family happiness in this adventure, and I hope it will lead you to further fullfilling future !

    With sincere regards,


    1. Francis

      Thank you Loet,
      It’s great to hear from you again after these years. It has been a great pleasure to work with you.
      I have been cycling to work everyday since 7 years ago. It helps me to keep fit, minimize medical and transportation cost. It also become a family activity to explore Singapore on wheel in the weekend.
      I would be happy if my work helps to make cycling an easier choice for more people.
      With warm regards,

  8. Pei Kang

    Good luck Francis, sounds like good fun!
    Thank you for being a great friend and mentor at Philips. I’d learnt a lot from working with you – especially inspiring the way you keep a big picture and stay true to yourself.
    And it’s been a while since i rode with you, i have to join you guys one of the sundays!

  9. taiwoon

    Thank you for all ur wise words and advice. I have really learned a lot from you and enjoy esp the chats we had while riding…. Exciting times and pls do let me know how I can be of help in anyway!

  10. Roland Bird

    Hi Francis,

    Just read through you message above. Fantastic! Thouroughly reccomend life on the open road and steering your own course. Best of luck with everything and really hope to catch up sometime soon.

    All the best


  11. Shitta Natashia

    First of all, let me intriduce myself. I’m shitta from Bandung, Indonesia. I’m one of the member of BikeBdg Community that is now running a bike sharing program in Bandung.

    This October,
    My community is invited in archifest singapore to do some activities about cycling. More about the event: http://archifest.sg
    We want to ride with singaporean! Can u please help me in realizing this?
    Please send me an email.

    Thank you,
    Happy Cycling!

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