Readers' reflections on cycling during the pandemic

(From left) Cyclists Rika Metasari, Grace Tania Wongso, Theresia Go, Rita and Mutia Destaminata at Bedok Reservoir Park. (Left) Brunei's former minister of industry and primary resources, Pehin Dato Yahya Bakar, in Simon Road. (Left) Ms Phua Sin Hui
(From left) Cyclists Rika Metasari, Grace Tania Wongso, Theresia Go, Rita and Mutia Destaminata at Bedok Reservoir Park. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MUTIA DESTAMINATA
(From left) Cyclists Rika Metasari, Grace Tania Wongso, Theresia Go, Rita and Mutia Destaminata at Bedok Reservoir Park. (Left) Brunei's former minister of industry and primary resources, Pehin Dato Yahya Bakar, in Simon Road. (Left) Ms Phua Sin Hui
(Above) Brunei's former minister of industry and primary resources, Pehin Dato Yahya Bakar, in Simon Road.PHOTO: COURTESY OF YAHYA BAKAR
(Right) Ms Phua Sin Hui and her fiance Benjamin Khew at the park connector along Bishan Depot.
(Right) Ms Phua Sin Hui and her fiance Benjamin Khew at the park connector along Bishan Depot.PHOTO: COURTESY OF PHUA SIN HUI

Readers wrote in about their cycling adventures during the Covid-19 pandemic, following an article last Wednesday titled Zen And The Joy Of Cycling. Here are some of their responses.

Indonesian housewife Mutia Destaminata, 34, and her friends have been cycling every Sunday, starting as early as 6am, since July.

Their three-hour rides starting from Punggol have taken them to nearby places such as Coney Island and Sengkang Riverside Park and further to Changi Village, East Coast Park and Marina Bay.

The Marina Bay area is also a hot spot for cyclists including financial consultant Phua Sin Hui and her fiance Benjamin Khew, an operations manager.

The couple, who declined to share their ages, bought their foldable bicycles last month so they could ride conveniently any time. They usually cycle at night after work from Bishan Park to Kallang and Marina Bay.

Ms Phua says: "I get to put aside the pressures of work and daily life for a bit and just enjoy the cooling breeze and city lights."

Retiree Chan Kum Lang, 71, has been cycling a lot more since the circuit breaker in April. Once, the former manager in a food court cycled 58km from his home in Upper Serangoon to Changi Village and Changi Coastal Road and back.

He says: "Most of the benches and beach area (at Changi) were cordoned off to prevent people from fishing, swimming and congregating. The entire stretch was deserted, except for a few cyclists or vehicles that zoomed past me occasionally."

Brunei's former minister of industry and primary resources, Pehin Dato Yahya Bakar, 66, who has been in Singapore since March as his wife is undergoing cancer treatment here, says cycling in Singapore is "an opportunity not to be missed".

The avid cyclist says cycling here has allowed him to get to know Singapore better.

For instance, he has learnt of places such as the former Simon Road Market in Upper Serangoon, which has statues of farmers selling chicken and ducks, in remembrance of the market.

"Most road users are considerate and more receptive to slower road users like cyclists," he adds.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2020, with the headline 'Readers' reflections on cycling during the pandemic'. Subscribe