Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cycling in Singapore: East Coast Park Connector and Changi Park Connector

The OCBC cycling event will be held tomorrow (22 Feb 09), however I have unwittingly mistook the date as 22 Mar 09! Hence I have missed a chance to participate in this grand cycling event!
To make up for this lost opportunity, this afternoon, I dusted off my bicycle which has accumulated lots of dirt as a result of not using the bicycle for some months already, donned a sporting attire and off I went, for my own cycling endurance event!
The journey I have planned will be from my home to East Coast Park, then head upwards to Changi Beach and down back home. The total distance is approximately 20km! It has been one year plus since I cycle such long challenging distances!
30 minutes on my bike, I reached East Coast Park. The weather today is marvellous for cycling: cool, calm and windy. SkatePark 360 degree (sea-skiing park) greeted me as soon as I descended on East Coast Park.

Being a weekend today, East Coast Park was packed with joggers, cyclist and skaters. East Coast Park is always packed on weekends and I could tell you the probability of collisions between any of the following groups and within themselves are quite high as it is too packed: a) cyclists b) skaters c) joggers d) pedestrians... as such I eschew cycling in East Coast Park on weekends as you would not be able to zoom smoothly, you will bound to stop at times for skaters, pedestrians or other bodies.

When I reached the Changi Sailing Club, I knew I was nearing the juncture of East Coast Park which would be the start of the Changi Park Connector.

As I cycled, I observed for safety as well as admired the nice scenery unfolding around me. Singaporeans do love the vast sea, especially in this difficult period, the sea seems to offer some solace for all of us.

Ya, finally I saw the colourful trees and shrubs: this would be the start of the Changi Park connector.

To Changi Beach Park, almost 7.5km more! I have at this moment, cycled for 5 km or more, 7.5 km to Changi Beach Park!

This long stretch of road was smooth and straight (except for a traffic light), it was a breeze cycling along this stretch, however my leg muscles did give way after sometime and hence I stepped down my pace at times.

As I cycled, I was impressed at the good unhindered views of the planes taking off few hundreds of metres besides me. The aeroplanes hovered above me loudly, and this point is really a vantage point for those who are keen to get an unbridled view of the giant aircrafts.

Finally, I reached Changi Beach, my leg muscles pulling. I loved this spot of the Changi Beach (see picture below) as the clusters of trees Christmas look-alike trees make this secluded spot romantic!
Cycling more and more, I reached Changi Jetty. By then, my leg muscles were really painful.

However determination drove me on, for another 10 km down to my home!
The entire cycling stint took me 3.5 hours. Not too bad, my leg muscles not tiring anymore. I encourage anyone who would really like to relax, sweat it out and experience the rush of the adrenalin to give long cycling an attempt! Singapore is quite cyclist friendly and with the park connectors, one could just cycle from one end of the island to another. However, the hot and humid climate in Singapore is quite discouraging for most Singaporeans, I believe. For non-cyclists, you can give cycling a try as a hobby. Besides the inital cost of buying a bicycle (cost not that high typically), what you will get will be hours of relaxation, exercise and fitness at a low cost. You do not need to start off cycling long distances like what I did today, though :)


Anonymous said...

Haha .. when I read this post, I kept wondering when u gonna mentioned leg cramps bec u hv been out of circulation for a while. I know this from experience. Even riding a horse for the first time will leave u with a bow-legged-gait n saddle pain (sore bum) - haha !

I like the quiet route on Changi Park connector. Looks very new to me. Last time I went airplane spotting with my brother, it was along a gravel path ! I missed the old changi beach - it's now lined with massive granite blocks to discourage visitors from taking a dip! That's why Eastcoast park is jammed in the weekends.

I was also remembering my brownie days when we went on trips along the coast. I'm drawn to deserted beaches which we came across but I dont recall the names. Sometimes we encounter caretakers who told us that it was forbidden to traspass n we even had dogs chasing after us. Scary but all in good fun, for us kids :-)

Anonymous said...

Me and my 15 friends had cycled past the changi park connector before... one of my friends had "ying yang yan" this made him prone to seeing those colours. he told us the park connector was the so called orgin of them but they're harmless though. some of them tried to play a trick on us but nontheless we're safe. it was a good experience but me and my friends never wanna cycle there anymore!!!!

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