Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives
Sat 15 Dec 2007
Category : cycling
5.59AM - I'm heading out to Holland Road, Farer Road, Lornie Road, Bradell Road, Boundary Road, hmm..then Tampines Road, Old Tampines Road - Pasir Ris, Loyang Avenue - Changi Village (breakfast) - then the ECP - Shenton Way, Pasir Panjang and back.
The weather? *checks NEA webpage*
Update - Phew! Rain held, lovely weather. One rider bailed so there was no pickup along Boundary Road but Lekowala, who was early from Seng Kang, met us at the junction of Pasir Ris Drive 3 and Loyang Avenue along the Loyang Park Connector.
We slowed at this point, enjoying the park connector and looking at the way they have labeled the route with distance markers, notices to dismount and push at junctions and the "PCN" signs.
Loyang Avenue (Pasir Ris to Changi) used to be a dangerous road where drivers of cars and large vehicles behave with recklessness. Now. however, with the Loyang Park Connector, there is a surrealistic serene and scenic route anyone can take - a safe haven and treat for cyclists and joggers alike.
It has a few twists and turns on the way to Changi so you have to be alert. One section even leads across the road and comes back later before turning left into Cranwell Road and Netheravon Road past the Sindora wallachi and other heritage trees of Changi. Luckily Ladybug was more alert than either of us and kept yelling directions.
In some sections, the route follows a platform above tree roots, much like the way walking routes are protected from hikers in Buit Timah. Nice!
Breakfast at Changi was not set amidst the oily, sinful hawker centre, but instead the dosai shop along Changi Village Road. There we had the sort of Zendogs chat we have missed so much and an hour later (!) went to "Mr Bikes Enterprise."
The three of us were enthusiastic and variously bought some long-awaited accessories - a helmet, sidestand, phone holder, rear-view mirrors and a bell. I chatted with the owner, Jansen and realised I could rent bikes for the Pedal Ubin guides here and take them for a spin along the PCN, since we usually only ride on Ubin. I can also fit them out with Prowell helmets since Jansen carries them.
The Coastal Park Connector is amazing!! It is part of the Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network which was recently officially launched (see my Cycling in Singapore blog) with all parts finally completed.
This safe haven for leisure cyclists from Changi to East Coast is mind-boggling after decades of unnerving, bullying vehicles who would pass by closely at high speed. Night were not safe with the possibility of drunk drivers.
Add to that the bumpiness of the speed regulating strips and hard sea almond fruits threatening to toss a cyclist, it is not suitable for leisure cyclists. I remember pulling back a group of cyclists for safety and the sight of a passing truck convinced everyone! Leisure cyclists were thus hemmed in at East Coast Park.
Now, however, Changi and East Coast are all connected by a smooth wide lane. Many users were up and about today and they were all smiling at each other! You can see they are really happy and were grateful for this connector. Several of them were even stopping to chat, safely away from the road. Next to us, the heavy vehicles thundered past as usual!
And the final connection to ECP that involved pulling out to the road? It's yet a another scenic ride with a view of the sea straits and reclaimed land.
We met Dinesh coming in the opposite direction along and he joined us all the way to Kallang. Once we reached East Coast, however, Dinesh confessed he was hungry from not having breakfast and we relented hapily and soon piled our table with gado-gado, mee soto and nasi ayam - the single dosai earlier was simply not enough to sustain us! Anwyay it was lunch time. Dinesh shocked us by settling for sugarcane juice but eventually relented and another gado-gado joined the ranks. All that lost calories were gained, with interest, so we told him not to mix with the wrong company. Sigh!
Adrian left via the Amber Road underpass to head north and Dinesh left at Kallang after a brief vsit to the Waterways Watch Society's HQ. Our ride back was, by now, off the PCN, through Shenton Way and Chinatown so theer was no more peace but we like urban cycling. In fact, briefly along Havelock Road and Ganges Avenue, we raced a yellow Lamborghini - the traffic lights kept it competitive but the car finally pulled away on a long empty stretch as we approached Alexandra Road when a green wave of traffic lights beckoned.
Route: 6.30am - 1.45pm - a true Zendog ride so breaks were full of interesting conversations and spiced with Gado-gado, dosai and mee soto!
It's pouring now, and I'm going to snooze.