'I'm still able, so why can't I cycle?'
Within the first month of joining a cycling group in 2012, she was warned by two members to stop cycling because she was deaf.
The two confronted her when the other group members were not around, and said: "You are deaf! How can you cycle when you cannot hear everything! You better not think about cycling again."
They repeated the same message over Facebook Messenger the same night. But this incident did not dim her love of cycling and she hascompeted in at least 10 competitions despite being born deaf.
Ms Charmaine Chua, 36, a customer service administrator in a logistic and shipping company, said: "I'm still human, I just lost my hearing. I still have legs, I still can see, and I make sure I'm safe - why should I stop cycling?"
Fellow cyclist in her Terai Melayu group, Ms Jennifer Lem, 40, said that Ms Chua cycles just like a hearing person.
Ms Lem said: "Deafness did not stop her from cycling. In fact, she is stronger than any of us and I am so proud to cycle with her."
This year, she joins another deaf cyclist, Mr William Chew, 55, in Singapore's largest cycling event, OCBC Cycle 2016 on Oct 1 and 2.
Mr Chew, a cycling competition veteran with at least eight competitions under his belt, said that being born deaf has not impeded his cycling.
On the contrary, he finished all his races, and bagged a gold in the Freshmen Distance Individual Male Veteran category at the 2013 Tri-Factor Series in triathlon.
Mr Chew, a senior technical officer in an architectural firm who is married with three children,said: "Because we are deaf, (our) other senses are hyper alert.
"We look back quite often, use hand signals to indicate direction, put on our hearing aid, and I also installed a rear view mirror on my bike handle."
Their confidence was bolstered after years of learning road etiquette.
Ms Chua had anxiety attacks before her cycling practices back in 2012.
"But being with a group of cyclists has slowly built my confidence," she said. "I know road manners and rules to keep me safe."
Mr William Chew (right) and Ms Charmaine Chua. TNP PHOTO: AHMAD FARUQ BIN ROZALI
Mr Chew also gives credit to cycling groups for starting his competitive cycling journey in 2009 and he now rides primarily with the Joyriders cycling group.
Mr Chew said: "I didn't have many hearing friends until I joined cycling groups. We eat in between our rides and they communicate to me using their phones."
To gear themselves up for the OCBC Cycle next month, Ms Chua cycles on weekends for 80km to 120km, and runs or swims after work.
Mr Chew cycles three times a week, for 45km each time.
He said: "I plan to complete the 42km race by 1hr 15min if there's no overcrowding."
OCBC CYCLE 2016
WHEN Oct 1 and 2
REGISTRATION: You can register at www.ocbccycle.com before Sept 11.
COST: The last 350 tickets at $67 for the 23km The Straits Times ride, and 850 at $107 for the 42km Sportive Ride are available. Both are non-competitive rides. Tickets for the competitive ride, OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship, are sold out.