Dear2 and I have talked about night cycling since our university days. Night cycling was the in-thing back then and many university clubs would organise them. Somehow, we just hadn’t participated in any together.
I, however, had participated in one with another friend. It was a fun night cycling and visiting the various famous supper spots around Singapore. I very much wanted to share this experience with Dear2.
When we first saw the banner for Jurong GRC Night Cycling last year, we were tempted to join. But due to the fact that Baby2 was still young and we were uncomfortable with leaving her with the grandparents overnight just yet, so we gave it a miss.
This year, however, Baby2 is old enough and easier for the grandparents to take care of overnight. So we decided to sign up for this year’s night cycling, to fulfill this unrealized ‘date’ of ours.
Come actual day last weekend, we packed Baby1 and Baby2’s sleepover bags and brought them over to my parents’ place. It was the first time that both of them were having a sleepover at my parents’ place together. They each carried their own newly bought purple backpacks and were eager for their sleepover.
After dropping them off, Dear2 and I set off to Jurong Green CC to commence our first ever night cycling date. We were early and quickly registered and chose our helmets and bikes. We also bought some juice from 7-11 and 3 breads from Baker Talent as our supper.
Some time between deciding to participate in this year’s event and the actual signing up, I realized that this night cycling event was not going to be a foodie event. Sobz. I was so looking forward to suppering with Dear2 at all the famous supper spots. Anyway, we still decided to go ahead despite it not being a foodie event.
The event itself was not very well organised despite the fact that it was not the first time it was held. From the onset, during the splitting of cyclists into groups, our bib numbers were left out, leaving a large group of us with no group.
Next, there wasn’t a proper briefing of our route. It was only minutes before setting off that we knew there was to be 3 stops – West Coast Park, MBS, and National Stadium. Or not. More on that later.
The first 30 mins were punctuated by lots of stops for the group to catch up and to cross the roads safely. Apparently, one of the objective of the event was to inculcate good cycling habits. However, with the safety police from Cisco helping to stop the traffic for us to cross even when the traffic lights were red, I don’t see how we were shown good cycling habits.
At our first stop, we ate the first of our bread and took a breather. So far so good. Pace was a bit slow, in fact I didn’t even sweat up till that point. There was free bottled water being distributed.
The next leg was slightly faster. However, the group leader stopped frequently at traffic lights for everyone to catch up. We rode through the CBD and ended up at the Marina Barrage for our second stop. I couldn’t agree with this stop very much. It was too much out of the way. We spent time and effort to cycle to the barrage only to cycle out again.
Anyway, we ate our bread and drank our juice. Yum.
We stopped too long at this stop and I could feel my body cooling down by the time we were setting off again. At the beginning of our third leg, I was nearly falling asleep. However, the third leg was where things went haywire.
The group leader went way too fast without waiting such that a large gap was created. At one point, the leading pack turned right and disappeared from sight. Dear2 and I was with the chasing pack and we didn’t know at which junction to turn. One of the other event leaders took leadership of the chasing pack and… led us the wrong way! It took great efforts and a big detour to bring us back to the main pack.
From there, the group leader did not learn his lesson and continued with his fast pace, spreading the group too thin once again. Dear2 and I decided to move the the front of the pack to avoid being left behind again.
The group was so thin that the Cisco police couldn’t cover safety for everyone and so they covered only for the leading pack. At some points, Dear2 and I were no longer able to enjoy the the privilege of occupying the entire left lane as a large group of cyclists but have to cycle as lone cyclists which we thought was dangerous for such a large event.
Curiously, we cycled through National Stadium without stop. We had caught up with some of the groups before us and we continued to press forward in fear of getting left behind again. We had lost sight of our leader. We were just following the trail of brightly neon yellow coloured event t-shirts along the way.
We hit Fort Road and turned into East Coast Park. We continued cycling and suddenly we were at the end point. We asked around and found out that they had decided to skip the third stop at the National Stadium because the pace was too slow and the return bus was arriving soon. Talk about poor time management.
We rested, and we ate our last bread. Yum yum.
We stumbled around for a while and found the place to return the gears. After more stumblings, we found the goodie bag collection van and also the lucky draw box. After the lucky draw, which we weren’t lucky, we boarded the first bus back to Jurong Green CC.
For $20, we got an event T, rental of gears, return bus ride, 2 Sunshine buns, 2 cqns of 100Plus, and some cereal bars. I guess it was quite a good deal.
We cycled from roughly 11pm to 4.30am and covered about 42km from Jurong to East Coast Park. Good effort! It was definitely the furthest that Dear2 and I had cycled together ever.
Will we do it again? Maybe. I thought that the pacing was erratic. At the beginning, it was so slow that I didn’t even sweat. Then, it was too fast to take in the scenery towards the end. Communication was poor as we didn’t know what was happening and what to expect most of the time. However, it was decently fun for us and it was good value.
Dear2 and I would probably like to join another night cycling event again in the future. But we will likely be more selective about the route and the nature of the event. I’m hoping for a foodie one. :P