Did you know that Škoda has always had a close connection with cycling? In fact in 1895, Škoda, then known as L&K, first produced their very first vehicle, a bicycle known as the Slavia. Since then, Škoda has continued to demonstrate it unwavering passion for mobility (whether it be driving or cycling!) in many ways.
As a demonstration of its support and commitment to the sport over the years, Škoda has had 15 years of successful partnership with Tour de France, and has once again extended its commitment as the official vehicle partner of the event until 2023. In the same vein, Škoda also runs its own cycling-related website called WeLoveCycling.com and develops bicycles and cycling accessories too!
But the brand’s commitment to the world of cycling doesn’t just happen overseas. On our sunny shores too, Škoda Singapore will be supporting a local charity cycling event named Charity Bike ‘n’ Blade 2019. This marks the second year of the brand’s support for the event and will see the provision of Kodiaq and Octavia support cars for the event.
Charity Bike ‘n’ Blade began in 2005 based on the idea that a group of passionate volunteers participating in a sport they love can be powerful enough to provide help to those in need. Since then, participants have seen 11 editions of the exciting event, with over 5 million dollars raised for its beneficiaries. This year, the charity aims to raise 350k for its sole beneficiary, The Salvation Army Peacehaven Nursing Home. To accomplish this goal, participants will cycle up to the northern part of Malaysia (Ipoh and Cameron Highlands) from 6-9 September.
The adventure will be a challenging one, commencing with a tough climb of 65 km, and 1,400 meters elevation up Cameron Highlands on the first day, and a 163 km journey around Ipoh’s rolling hills on the second.
For an expedition such as this, ensuring the safety of the participants is of course, paramount.
“Our volunteer drivers need reliable and responsible vehicles during the event to provide safety for cyclists at critical traffic conditions. These include instances such as leading the peloton out from the starting point, and also at major crossings amidst busy traffic. The Škoda cars were able to meet these expectations for our drivers in our last event,” explains Allen Lim, a volunteer and participant of Charity Bike ‘n’ Blade since 2011.
But is it just a vehicle’s reliability and responsiveness that makes Škoda vehicles a good fit for sporting events such as this? After all, there must be a reason why massive events like Tour de France look to Škoda for support.
Mr Lim provides some suggestions: “The Škoda vehicles were really spacious. There was enough room for the volunteers, first aiders, riders, and even space for important equipment like bicycle pumps, road signs and refreshments in the boot.”
He also mentions that the support vehicles had impressed him with their power, handling especially around bends, and cyclist-friendly features including roof racks that could hold the bicycles when cyclists were injured or could no longer continue the journey.
“What made the vehicles ideal for the event were also their cyclist-friendly features like lockable bike carriers and assistance technologies including Blind Spot Detection and Area View which made the road safer for cyclists. That’s probably why the Škoda brand has been synonymous with most renowned cycling event, Tour de France and for the cycling community at large.”