Most of us grew up watching Josiah Ng in skin-tight lycra on a track bicycle, lying in wait for that final ring of the bell to sprint ahead and quash all his rivals. Would you recognise him out of his helmet, lycra suit and without his bike?
After his retirement from professional cycling, Josiah Ng has forayed into the business world. Most recently, he was in Kuala Lumpur for the launch of a new fitness app called Fitness in My Pocket. We caught up with Josiah Ng for an exclusive interview on his life away from the handlebars.
BB: What bicycle(s) are you riding currently?
Josiah: I am riding a Colnago C60 with Super Record mechanical and lightweight wheels. Bought that last year as my retirement gift to myself.
BB: How does it feel to ride bikes with brakes now?
Josiah: I started racing on the road as a young fella so I’m used to brakes. I still race once a week on the track and once a week on the road so I keep it balanced. My primary love is still the track though as it’s the purest form of cycling in my opinion.
BB: What keeps you going after leaving the world of professional cycling?
Josiah: To reinvent myself and to achieve the highest level in whatever I do, right now I’m working on a building a platform for private dining. Essentially, ‘uber-ising’ private dining, although I’ve neither a background in hospitality nor IT know-how, but I’m good at assembling a team, like putting a bike together.
I’ve helped Malaysia’s elite cycling by assembling team, so now I want to do the same in the entrepreneur world to reach the top. Together with them, I will upscale myself and come back to the sport, and really be able to have an impact. A lot of the sporting nations are run by businessmen and sports science and I believe we are lacking that in sports, especially with cycling.
This dining platform will based in Melbourne, Australia but we have plans to expand into Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand. It essentially links you to a chef and if cooking is your passion, you’ll be able to monetize it, or you can hire your neighbour to come cook for you. It’s bringing that to the masses, in the way Uber has brought chaffeuring to everyone.
BB: Tell us about this new Fitness In My Pocket app. How this does app aim to get people on it and stick to it?
Josiah: When I was approached to contribute to this app, I thought what a fantastic idea and opportunity it would be to share my knowledge gained over those years with everyone. Fitness in My Pocket is a tool filled with our knowledge to help you with your fitness goals. It’s easy to use and everyday you will have your workout planned for you. Best of all it’s completely free to download both on Google and Apple, as opposed to Personal Trainers which are costly.
To get people to stick to it, I think that’s an engagement thing where people engage with the app and everyday you get a different workout. But it comes down to the person, where you have to have a little discipline.
The app makes it easy and fun, and in later iterations, it will get little bit more involving and we will take it to the next level. So let’s say I’m your coach, I will give you a customise program on this, and you can give me feedback. This app is launched simultaneously worldwide, although we are having the launch event here in KL and focused the marketing here but anyone can use it worldwide.
BB: How will you be contributing to the app?
Josiah: Specifically, I’ve written the training programs and showing and explaining it on video. You have to download it and check it out.
BB: Cycling fans are pretty addicted to Strava.
Josiah: This app is for everyone, whereas Strava is more for athletes. This is for people who wants something simple with some instructions and a plan, and Strava is like the next level.
BB: What can cycling fans get out of it?
Josiah: For cycling enthusiasts who want to train for an event, but don’t have a coach, they’ll have me write their programs on the app. I have 30 modules, and it customizes the programs for you, so you’ll have exact specifications on what to do on each day. You can give it feedback and it’ll give you a different program for the next day.
BB: Will people be able to create their own groups, you know how people love to workout together?
Josiah: Right now they can challenge their friends. We need people to use it then we’ll add on some more features.
BB: So does this app come with bonuses like videos of you playing violin?
Josiah: *laughs* Oh you’ve seen the video on Facebook. But that was something fun, share a little bit of my life.
If you’re still mulling about your New Year’s resolution, or just been meaning to get fitter but haven’t done something about it, Josiah has a challenge for you.
Doing something regularly for two weeks is all it takes to make it a habit. Thats the toughest part. I would like to challenge everyone in this room to use FIMP for two weeks. The 2nd challenge I would like to propose to you is to tell 5 other people about this app.
Stay tuned for our contest involving this app, where we’ll be giving away customised one-of-a-kind Josiah’s merchandise. Get on this app, and be rewarded in more ways than one.