Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ride alongside some of the world’s top professional cyclists at the OCBC Parade of Hope charity ride

OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014 Ride alongside some of the world’s top professional cyclists on the opening night of OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014 at The Parade of Hope. The Parade of Hope is a leisurely 20-minute ride around the F1 Pit Building designed to raise funds and awareness for the event’s four official charities:
  • Dover Park Hospice,
  • Singapore Children’s Society,
  • SingHealth Transplant TRUEfund, and
  • the SportCares Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Singapore Sports Council.
A selection of the world’s elite cyclists taking part in the Professional Criterium will lead out the group, alongside Team Singapore cyclists Ho Jun Rong, Benedict Lee, Noel Teh and Travis Woodford, as well as sprinter Gary Yeo. Limited slots have now been opened to the public, with each individual entry fee of $10 donated directly to the four charities. Registration for The Parade of Hope ends on Wed 26 March 2014 or when the ride category reaches maximum capacity. Register here.

Wheels of Time exhibition and the Pop Up Store, at the OCBC Centre 10-24 Mar 2014

In the run up to the OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014, an OCBC Cycle Singapore Pop-Up Store and Wheels of Time bicycle exhibition has been set up at the OCBC Centre. Eight iconic bicycles reflect on the evolution of cycling and culture across time at the OCBC Centre Main Branch, 65 Chulia Street, Singapore 049513. Visit from Mondays to Fridays: 8.30am to 4.30pm.

01-Wheels of Time

02-1950s-Flying Piegon

03-1980s-Dahon Classic II


05-1990s-Trek Y22

06-2009-Yike Bike

07-2013-Electric Vanmoof

Thanks to Julian Lim, OCBC for the photos. At the "Pop-up store" over the next 2 weeks: 17 to 21 March: The Urban Chic YikeBike by evHUB.
"The radically designed YikeBike aims to be an alternative urban transport solution. The handlebars are positioned behind the rider, below the seat. Some users enjoy its openness and great visbility; others cannot get used to the absence of a handlebar in front of them. Find out how you fare on this modern version of the Penny-farthing. OCBC Card-members get up to 15% off for YikeBike and other accessories. YikeBike photo contest – upload your photo to Instagram or Facebook with hashtag #OCBCCards – and stand a chance to win an mPowerPad Plus 2 (worth $169)! Remember to make your profile and post public. You can’t be in the running if we can’t find you!"
The Urban Chic YikeBike by evHUB
24 to 28 March: Cycling Gets Serious by Integrated Riding
"Integrated Riding will bring in elite, high-performance brands like Boardman Bikes, along with a range of accessories to help you clock a personal best at OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014. For bicycles and other accessories, OCBC Cardmembers get 10% off. If you are a OCBC Cycle Singapore 2014 participant, flash your Confirmation Email and get a free Electron Milli USB Bike Light worth $36. Limited to first 50 participants."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"That last leg can kill you" / Make Clementi the next cycling town - in my lifetime please

See the URA Draft Master Plan 2013: "Cycling For All"

Kevin Lam Koi Yau wrote to The Straits Times Forum page (17 Mar 2014) to say,

Make Clementi the next cycling town

It is a good idea to promote intra-town cycling in selected Housing Board towns. But I am disappointed that Clementi has not been selected among the latest batch of cycling towns.

With its close proximity to the Ulu Pandan park connector - which links with the Jurong park connector, Bukit Batok Nature Park, International Business Park, Dover MRT and Boon Lay MRT - and schools such as the National University of Singapore, Singapore Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Clementi could benefit greatly from a well-thought-out cycling infrastructure, which could ease public transport woes during peak hours as well as get our young people to adopt an active lifestyle.

An avid cyclist once told me not to commute to NUS for work, though I live in Clementi, as there are no safe routes.

I urge the Land Transport Authority to consider investing in cycling infrastructure in Clementi to boost safety for cyclists and get more people to take up cycling.

That last leg can kill you

Kevin reminded me I am that cyclist who told him not to cycle to NUS. And my advice still holds. There is a great improvement in connectivity in the area compared to the eighties, carved out mostly by NParks' Park Connector Network and enhance by the Rail Corridor which we all hope is here to stay.

While there is a decent connectivity, that last leg can kill you! Approaching NUS via Clementi Road or South Buona Vista is harzadous. This is not recommended for a daily commute.

NUS' U Town has now opened up a pavement route alongside Clementi Road if you are using the Ulu Pandan Park Connector. It is not a fast route, but a relatively safe one. But this will not encourage commuting in an area filled with potential cycling commuters, parking and shower facilities. I have shared these ideas with URA through the National Cycling Plan dialogue but I do think this area is a tough one to begin a cycling infrastructure enhancement project. Not a low hanging fruit.

Still, the Clementi - NUS - Holland Village area needs a makeover. The problems in this area exceed cycling infrastructure for sure. Still, one relief to the daily congestion would be by facilitating cycling.

Will the National Cycling Plan come to town, and in my lifetime, please?

URA Draft Master Plan 2013: National Cycling Plan
Intra-Town Cycling Paths - All Towns To Be Cycling Towns

Off-road intra-town cycling paths will allow residents to cycle safely from their homes to major transport hubs and key amenities such as food centres, schools, supermarkets and community centres within the town.

By 2015, 100 km of intra-town cycling paths will have been developed in several cycling towns [Tampines, Sembawang, Bedok, Changi-Simei, Pasir Ris, Taman Jurong, Yishun, East Coast, Jurong Lake District, Marina Bay and Punggol]


Another 90 km of cycling paths will be added to more towns by 2020. The aim is to provide all 26 HDB towns across Singapore with comprehensive intra-town cycling networks for residents to cycle to and from MRT stations and neighbourhood centres.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Your Views Wanted

Are you a bicycle user? Do you care about breathing clean air while you are out there on the roads?

Then please take this quick survey.

It is from researchers Chris Zegras and Amalia Holub of the Future Urban Mobility project under MIT's SMART Centre in Singapore.

Why should you bother? 

This research project focuses on a proposal to use portable monitors to gather air quality data as people move around the city. This would generate data for an open local air quality map.

The team has already tested portable particle counting monitors in Singapore and Mexico City. The next phase includes this web survey of cycling communities in several cities.

So, what are you waiting for? Please take the survey!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Cyclists be warned: heavy traffic on Changi Coast Road & Loyang Ave, 11-16 Feb 2014

SPF have written to SCF to alert cyclists about heavy traffic on Changi Coast Road and on other roads approaching Changi Village, between 11-16 Feb 2014.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

URA's Draft Master Plan 2013: National Cycling Plan - "Cycling for All"

Unveiled on 20 November 2013, the URA Draft Master Plan has six key focuses. Transport is a key focus and identifies these issues:
  1. Transport And Connectivity
  2. Doubling The Rail Network
  3. Enhancing Bus Services
  4. Reducing Car Usage
  5. Cycling For All
  6. Creating Walkable Places
"Cycling for All" outlines the National Cycling Plan. Read at Draft Master Plan 2013 - Cycling for All

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Singapore still lacks the ride stuff

By Toh Yong Chuan Senior Correspondent
Straits Time 2013-11-09

More than 500 cities in the world have bicycle-sharing schemes. Singapore is not among them.
Although the Government announced bold plans last month to build a staggering 700km of cycling paths by 2030 - the equivalent of cycling from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back - that alone will not make Singapore a cycling city.
We have fallen behind other cities that actively promote cycling as a mode of transport. There are various reasons why we should pedal hard to catch up.
Cycling is a green option that can be an efficient people-mover for transport planners.
A cycling census in London this year found that one in four road users in the morning peak period is a cyclist. For some popular roads, as many as three in five vehicles in the morning rush hour were bikes.
Bikes take up proportionately less road space than cars. Given that the road network here cannot expand indefinitely, cycling paths provide a logical option even as we expand our train and public bus networks.
Cycling also encourages interaction and it can be a social leveller. Cars cocoon drivers and disconnect them from other road users. In contrast, there are no physical barriers between cyclists and they have to share space.
I was part of a three-man reporting team that rode some 180km of park connectors last month to explore whether they could be used for daily commute.
At the Kallang Park Connector, a cyclist on an Italian Colnago bike, which costs thousands of dollars, stopped to ask whether we were lost. It did not matter to him that our bikes cost a fraction of his. I wonder how many BMW and Mercedes-Benz drivers will stop and help a Toyota Corolla driver with directions.
The Government used to be lukewarm towards cycling. Small pockets of cyclists have lobbied for dedicated bike lanes on the roads but their calls were repeatedly rejected by the Government, citing space constraints. Tampines is the closest Singapore came to a cycling city.
But there was a change of heart this year. We are still not getting bike lanes on the roads, but the 700km of cycling paths will connect the whole island and all HDB towns will have a network of dedicated paths to MRT stations.
The Government is even exploring automated underground parking for bikes.
The hot and wet weather here makes cycling unattractive. While we cannot control the weather, there are four steps that we can take - besides building infrastructure - to promote the use of two-wheelers as a mode of transport.
First, we can re-introduce bicycle-sharing. This is not a new concept. The biggest community bicycle scheme is in Hangzhou, China, with over 60,000 bikes; the newcomer is Citi Bike in New York City that was launched in May, and Copenhagen is set to launch the world's most high-tech system this month with its bicycles fitted with onboard computers.
Insurer NTUC Income wheeled out a bike-sharing programme at four housing estates in 2004, but it folded in 2008.
There will be no lack of options should Singapore decide to take another crack at bike-sharing. Other cities have roped in advertising companies, banks and public transport operators. We have the benefit of learning from them.
Second, the current rules that restrict bikes in trains and buses should be relaxed. Folding bikes have been allowed on MRT trains and buses since 2008, but response has been poor because of restrictions.
The limitation on size can stay, but the bikes should be allowed on trains earlier, say before the 7.30am rush hour. The earliest they are allowed on trains now is 9.30am, well past the time most workers have to clock in for work.
And more than one bike should be allowed on each public bus at any one time, since there are some folding bikes that do not take up more than one person's standing room.
Third, school and premises owners should cater to students or workers who commute by bicycle by providing parking spaces or shower rooms.
This week, I saw half a dozen bikes chained to railings outside a primary school in Sengkang. I asked a security guard why the pupils could not park their bikes in the school compound. He shrugged his shoulders: "Have to talk to the principal."
Such attitudes should change.
Lastly, it is unclear which government agency spearheads the cycling policy in Singapore. National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan is a known cycling enthusiast.
Three statutory boards - the Land Transport Authority, which plans public roads, town-planner Urban Redevelopment Authority and the National Parks Board, which builds park connectors - and at least three ministries - the National Development, Transport and Finance ministries - have stakes in the cycling policy.
While the much-touted "whole of government" approach to policies should largely see the cycling policy through, small cracks are already showing.
For example, there is no consistency in how overhead bridges are designed or built. Some do not even have ramps and cyclists have to haul their bikes up and down steps. There are also eyesores at some sections of the park connectors. At the Pelton Park Connector, the fresh coats of paint stop abruptly at a rusty old pedestrian bridge that was built at least four decades ago by the now-defunct Public Works Department. NParks could not refurbish the old bridge as it does not own it.
Besides coordinating government agencies, perhaps we can also take a leaf from London, which appointed a "cycling commissioner" this year to be an advocate for cyclists as the city plans cycling policies and programmes. We do not need to copy the idea, but there is no harm for the Government to step up its engagement with cycling enthusiasts as it expands the cycling infrastructure.
These steps, taken together with the expansion in cycling infrastructure, give us a good shot at making Singapore a cycling city. It will help us pedal into the league of self-respecting modern cities that promote cycling for commute because it is green, efficient and a social leveller.