Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Singapore : OCBC Cycle Singapore 2013

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Singapore 2013 / OCBC Cycle Singapore 2013
                          AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                       
Singapore : OCBC Cycle Singapore 2013
Singapore City : 28th April 2013
A public cycle event organized by OCBC Bank.
Our route : F1 Pit Building>Changi Flyover>Tanjong Rhu Flyover>Marine Parade Flyover>F1 Pit Building.
Distance covered : 42.0 km.
Time : 6:45 am - 8:55 am
Time Taken : approx. 2:10 hrs. (including stops for drinks, photo shoots)

Route Recommendations :
1. The route is relatively flat. If you are not riding for speed, do keep left for the faster riders to pass.
2. The only serious climb is at the Benjamin Shears Bridge. Over here, do be careful as many riders stop by to take photos, and some riders who can't ride up will be pushing their bikes.
3. At the U-turns, do take care as there would be some congestion.
4. Do re-hydrate yourselves at the various drink stops provided.
5. Photo opportunities are mainly at the Marina Bay area..


PRE-RIDE

This is the one! This is the reason many of us Malaysians have traveled down to Singapore to spend a few days there; to take part in a event of some international standing. Many of us had participated in the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2013 (... see blog) and are thirsting for more!

Reflections of greenhouses of Gardens In The Bay onto the waters of Marina Bay.
Two days earlier I had arrived in Singapore. On my first day here, my cousin-in-law Thomas had taken me on a night ride around Singapore City (... see Knight Riders In The Lion City)

Happy cyclists at the Marina East Barrage.
The previous day, a small group of us - together with two Singaporeans friends as guides - had explored the Park Connector Network, a long but interesting ride that took us about seven hours (... see more at Singapore Connexxions).

The evening before, Tailim (of the hApPy HaPpY blogs) and me had checked into the Parkroyal Hotel at Beach Road.
The best thing about this hotel is that they allowed us to take our bicycles up to our rooms! The rooms of the hotels is generously large, we could easily park a few bicycles inside.

We prepared ourselves - i.e. tags onto jersey, helmet and bicycle. The timing chip is embedded into the jersey tag.

In the wee hours of the morning, the two of us rode down the hotel corridor to head for the start point.
(Just kidding, this is just a pose - we did not ride down the corridor; one shouldn't take advantage of the hotel's generosity).


THE RIDE

OCBC Cycle Singapore Ride Route Map (provided by OCBC) :
Challenge Category - F1 Pit>Changi Flyover>Tanjong Rhu Flyover>Marine Parade Flyover>F1 Pit
I have entered the Challenge category, the route of which will start from the F1 Pit Building, loop at the Changi flyover and then smaller loops at the Tanjong Rhu & Marine Parade flyovers.


At the start point, we were separated into different groups from A to E. I was in Group D, while Sin was in Group E. So we started in different groups, but it doesn't matter as the timing chips will record our actual time to complete the event - and that is all that matters.


I queued with other cyclist and did not see any familiar faces around. My friends were all separated in the sea of participants.


More than 8,000 cyclists will be riding with all sorts of bikes that were allowed. From my position I could see cyclists stretching onward below the Benjamin Shears Bridge and far, far beyond; almost a kilometer away.


6:15 am - Flag off!!!!


We rode of along Bayfront Avenue, passing by the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in the early dawn.


Riding pass the Singapore Flyer, which even at dawn looks majestic.


And then up the Benjamin Shears Bridge.


As usual, the AhPek Biker here, although pedaling at a fair speed, was looking around at his fellow cyclist. Here is a giant of a cyclist, easily a six-footer next to his normal size friend.


Tricia Leong with pink sneakers, riding her Hot Pink Brompton.


Pretty soon we were onto the East Coast Parkway.


Unlike me, many of the cyclist were taking this event seriously, cycling as fast as they could in their racers.


Even the ladies were giving the men a run for their money!


At one of the planting recess, I stopped to take photos of the cyclists.


A fairly stout cyclist rode pass me. It does not matter whether one is super size, small,tall, short. As long as one is in good health one can take part in this prestigious event.


At the Changi Flyover, we made a U-turn. This is almost the half-way point.


Another view of the U-turn from below the Changi Flyover.


Many took the opportunity to stop and rest at the road side here, including my stout friend ...


... and the AhPek Biker too.


Over here, every now and then, a plane would be landing. Changi Airport is nearby.


A little further, we reached the first of the watering holes provided by the organizers.


There were counters distributing ice-cold bottles of 100 Plus istonic drinks and mineral water to the cyclist. Most went for the 100 Plus.


I went for the 100 Plus too, downing two bottles and filling my water bottle with one.


Refreshed, we continued down the East Coast Parkway (ECP) heading back to the city center.


Riding into the Marine Parade area, we say this group of the cyclists wearing red T-shirts. They are taking part in the Fun Ride event.


Met Eddie and Yvonne, both cycling Carry Me bicycles, those with the super small wheels.


Eddie is a real champion of the Carry Me small wheels.


And we are back at the Benjamin Shears Bridge, cycling up its steep slope.


While others, after a 40 km. ride, could not manage and just pushed their bicycles up.


And yet others stopped here just to take photos of scenic Marina Bay  On normal days, one would not be able stop here at all!


One of the ride marshals on a cool super-bike.


One loop down and we are on the shady Republic Avenue.


Alright! The finishing line is in sight. I am going to make it!


Closer to the finishing line, there was a bottle neck and we had to come down and push our bicycles.


Cheerleaders with tambourines and make-do sand-shakers were there to urge us on to the finishing line.


And that's the end of the OCBC Cycle Singapore 2013 Challenge event.


The memento for the ride - a OCBC Cycle Singapore 2013 Challenge Medal.
My position was 233 under the AhPek category, perhaps I should stop less to take photos and drinks.
Well, there is always next year!


POST-RIDE


At the finishing area I manage to catch up with some of my friends like Irene...


... SuiT and Tailim.


Representatives of the Terengganu Racing Cyclists Association were here to, coming with their official van.


Promoters of the Radio Hot FM91.3.


Lunch time! Five of us rode off for brunch at Newton Circus and later got lost in Singapore City; but then that's another story (... see more @ Lost In SinCity)!



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