Cycling: OCBC Cycle will prove a challenge for some, but rewarding for all

SINGAPORE – The non-competitive categories of the weekend’s OCBC Cycle may be challenging in parts, with riders having to negotiate winding roads and slopes during their rides.

But national cyclist and SEA Games gold medallist Calvin Sim, 29, says the sights and experiences that cyclists get along the route will be well worth the effort.

He will be participating in the competitive OCBC Cycle Speedway SEA Championship on Saturday (May 11), as well as the non-competitive 23km The Straits Times Ride and the 42km The Sportive Ride a day later.

The latter two categories will take riders through the Central Business District, and past iconic landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, and Gardens By The Bay.

“It’s going to be fun because the roads around MCE (Marina Coastal Expressway), Marina Bay Sands and Fort Road are normally just for cars but for OCBC Cycle you can ride through there and I think the closed roads are the most unique part of cycle,” said Sim, who has participated in the event six times since it started in 2009.

“The Gardens by the Bay area is really beautiful and usually people only get to pass by it in a car but cycling through the area really brings out a different perspective of Singapore.”

But, riders will have to earn their right to enjoy the sights, with Sim pointing out that certain parts of both non-competitive routes could be challenging for some riders.

He said: “The roads around Marina Bay Sands are winding with sudden curves so riders should slow down there.

“There are also narrow roads towards the Pasir Panjang terminal area and at the last two kilometres near the Indoor Stadium which can get crowded so riders who are not aiming for speed should keep left and slow down.”

Last year’s edition drew 6,500 participants in the community rides.

Sim added riders should take their time while cycling up the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and enjoy the sights, despite having to go uphill.

“You get to see the Flyer from the Sheares Bridge and those in the earlier waves might not get to enjoy it but once the sun rises it’s definitely going to be very scenic,” said Sim.

Riders should also take care of their safety and that of others during the event, he added.

“People tend not to drink enough while cycling because they’re afraid that they’ll get stitches but taking small sips of water is important,” Sim said.

“Safety is also very important and riders should to make their intentions known, instead of just stopping abruptly.”

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