A better ride for everyone

Clockwise, from top: Cyclists taking part in the OCBC Cycle The Straits Times Ride being flagged off at Nicoll Highway; "Spider-Man" Glen Liang and hand-cyclist Amanda Mok at the finish at the National Stadium. Project Training Wheels participant Chr
Cyclists taking part in the OCBC Cycle The Straits Times Ride being flagged off at Nicoll HighwayST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Clockwise, from top: Cyclists taking part in the OCBC Cycle The Straits Times Ride being flagged off at Nicoll Highway; "Spider-Man" Glen Liang and hand-cyclist Amanda Mok at the finish at the National Stadium. Project Training Wheels participant Chr
"Spider-Man" Glen Liang at the finish at the National Stadium.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Clockwise, from top: Cyclists taking part in the OCBC Cycle The Straits Times Ride being flagged off at Nicoll Highway; "Spider-Man" Glen Liang and hand-cyclist Amanda Mok at the finish at the National Stadium. Project Training Wheels participant Chr
Hand-cyclist Amanda Mok at the finish at the National Stadium.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Clockwise, from top: Cyclists taking part in the OCBC Cycle The Straits Times Ride being flagged off at Nicoll Highway; "Spider-Man" Glen Liang and hand-cyclist Amanda Mok at the finish at the National Stadium. Project Training Wheels participant Chr
Project Training Wheels participant Christine Lim (right), a first-timer, with her husband Wallace Tan (left).PHOTO COURTESY OF OCBC CYCLE

Even first-timer Christine Lim, who falls, vows to return for next year's OCBC Cycle

Before participating in yesterday's OCBC Cycle The Straits Times Ride, graphic designer Christine Lim had told herself: "I'm not going to fall."

Although things did not go her way as the 39-year-old fell after taking her right leg off the pedal while cycling down the slope at the Benjamin Sheares Bridge, she still enjoyed her ride so much that she vowed to return next year.

Lim was taking part in the OCBC Cycle, now in its ninth edition, for the first time as part of the event's learn-to-ride programme, Project Training Wheels.

Describing yesterday's 23km ride as her "graduation", she said: "I'm surprised as I thought that when I fell, it would be the end, but I told myself, 'It's all right, you can finish it'.

"(The ride) was very exciting... This is the 'last' event but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop here. I think, after this experience, I'm going to take note of the slopes even more."

Lim was among more than 2,600 participants who cycled in the sold-out The Straits Times Ride yesterday, which was flagged off by ST executive editor Sumiko Tan at Nicoll Highway and ended under the dome of the National Stadium.

DETERMINED TO COMPLETE

I'm surprised as I thought that when I fell, it would be the end, but I told myself, 'It's all right, you can finish it'.

CHRISTINE LIM , who was participating for the first time as part of the event's learn-to-ride programme, Project Training Wheels.

The start and end points of the 42km Sportive Ride, held yesterday as well, took place at the same locations. Both rides took participants past landmarks such as Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer.

Some participants of The Straits Times Ride came dressed in superhero costumes, in line with the theme of the ride.

Teacher Glen Liang, who completed the ride decked in a SpiderMan costume, believes the organisation made for a good maiden OCBC Cycle experience.

"I heard the OCBC Cycle in the previous years had been quite packed, but this time I didn't feel there was any bottleneck, so I think the route was very well planned," said the 29-year-old.

Fellow first-timer Divye Baid, 15, also enjoyed his experience and is keen to return next year, saying: "(I enjoyed) the challenge of going faster and further, as well as the atmosphere and non-competitiveness was quite encouraging."

Returning participants were impressed at how the event's safety elements have evolved over the years, with Foong Wei Sheng praising the improved route planning.

The 35-year-old, who cycled in the Sportive Ride, was participating in his fifth OCBC Cycle.

He said: "In the first two years that I took part, the route was not very well-planned and there were a lot of congestion points. But, as the years went by, (the organisers) really improved after receiving feedback from us."

SEA Games champion Calvin Sim, who has participated in four to five editions, agreed, adding: "There were lights and there were enough marshals, so overall that's the big improvement."

OCBC's head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching said the organisers aimed to merge the safety elements with cyclists' precautions.

Referring to the route's designated selfie points such as the one along Sheares Bridge, she said: "That's why we introduced the selfie point there, where cyclists can enter a safe holding area to take their selfies and enjoy the view."

She added that organisers would seek feedback from participants on this year's event to determine how future editions can be improved.

The two-day OCBC Cycle concluded with the community rides, after the competitive South-east Asia Speedway Championship and kids' rides on Saturday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2017, with the headline 'A better ride for everyone'. Print Edition | Subscribe