OCBC Cycle: Getting to know the long and winding bike routes

Both Ravindran Retnam and Sally Lim went on the Volvo Route Familiarisation Ride to attune themselves to the OCBC Cycle ride next month.
Both Ravindran Retnam and Sally Lim went on the Volvo Route Familiarisation Ride to attune themselves to the OCBC Cycle ride next month. PHOTO: OCBC

Singapore's Central Business District may be an urban jungle but lying at its heart is a highly technical cycling course. Framed by slopes and tight corners is the Sportive Ride route, mapped out by the organisers of this year's OCBC Cycle.

And it has been given the thumbs up by cycling enthusiasts who look forward to the challenge of the 42km stretch.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful," said Ravindran Retnam, who will be participating in the 42km Sportive category in the OCBC Cycle for the first time on Oct 2.

"But in some places it's pretty technical in the initial stages - there are quite a lot of bends and turns within short distances. (Especially) those in the CBD areas, because after that we'll be hitting all the longer stretches (of road)."

A seasoned triathlete, the 56-year-old civil servant started participating in duathlons and triathlons in 2009 and cycles about 40km every other day.

He was one of six other cyclists who took part in the Volvo Route Familiarisation Ride yesterday morning, which took participants along the Sportive and the 23km Straits Times Ride routes.

Starting out from the Sports Hub, they were able to preview the challenges as they traversed the roads looping from Nicoll Highway, to the Sheares Bridge, East Coast Park and back.

The event, in its second year, will also feature a kids' ride, a family ride and a competitive OCBC Cycle Speedway Club Championship (10 laps over a 1km course), all of which will take place on Oct 1.

It has proven to be a hit with recreational cyclists, for last year's Straits Times ride saw 2,200 riders. And Sally Lim is looking forward to her first OCBC Cycle experience with her 28-year-old son.

The 60-year-old, who works in administration and accounts, not only embarks on a 20-minute ride to and from work every day, but also cycles from Bedok to Marina Bay at least once a week.

But her passion for cycling extends beyond this event. She said: "Although we will be participating in the Straits Times Ride, we'll be cycling to the event from home."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 04, 2016, with the headline 'Getting to know the long and winding bike routes'. Print Edition | Subscribe