SINGAPORE - Since the 2020 circuit breaker period, more Singaporeans have saddled up to ride out the pandemic blues. New riders have taken to cycling outdoors for a fix of fresh air and socially distanced socialising.
But it hasn't been a smooth ride for all. Cycling-related injuries are up and demand for foldable bicycles - "foldies" - has sometimes outstripped supply here.
From safety tips to riders' favourite routes, here are ST's highlights of the pandemic push to pedal power.
Cyclists ride out pandemic blues in Singapore
Unable to visit relatives in Malaysia during the holidays, IT engineer Zainal Noor and his wife Mustafidah Sunojo started cycling instead, enjoying picnics in parks with their daughter Wafa Khalisah.
More new cyclists are riding together to socialise, bond with family and friends and discover new sights in Singapore.
Ms Monita Sen and Ms Ana Jeremiah, for instance, started riding together in January last year to alleviate pandemic-related stress and boredom.
The ST Guide To... cycling for beginners
The first question to ask yourself is what do you want to use your bike for?
Are you looking for a speedy road bike or mountain bike to go on the road or trails? Or do you want a reliable folding bike which you can use for commuting and running errands and which you can take on the train?
Getting a bike that suits your needs and is the right size for you should be the first consideration.
Tips to prevent cycling injuries and for choosing the right bike for you
Gear up safely for your ride with these tips on warming up properly, cooling down and choosing the right bicycle.
Cycling injuries have gone up amid the pandemic, with more injured in falls or collisions, as well as strains and aches from overexertion.
Like weekend warriors who push themselves too hard at football or basketball, Covid-19 cycling warriors are also at risk of injuries arising from a sudden increase in an activity they are not used to doing.
Free LTA course aims to improve skills and etiquette of cyclists, PMD users
The Confidence on Wheels programme is open to all age groups and teaches safe riding practices, the use of active mobility infrastructure, and the rules under the Active Mobility Act.
The free 45-minute session is open to people of all ages - from primary school pupils to adults - and is customised for the different age groups.
Individuals are encouraged to sign up through organisations, such as their companies or community groups. Organisations can contact LTA for details.
New app helps cyclists plan routes on cycling paths and park connectors
The Ridenjoy app helps cyclists plan journeys using just cycling paths and park connectors.
The app taps the Singapore Land Authority's (SLA) OneMap application programming interface. OneMap is touted as the authoritative national map of Singapore, with details regularly updated by the SLA.
Ridenjoy shows other useful information, such as bike parking, bike repair kiosks and water coolers. It has a function to let users inform other cyclists of observations, such as accidents or wildlife along a route, plus an SOS function to trigger an alert in case of emergency.
The Great Singapore Cycle: Pedal from Changi to Jurong and enjoy an island tour
See some of the best sights in Singapore on this interactive cycle ride with ST. The 90km route begins with the outdoor display of dinosaurs at the Changi Jurassic Mile and ends at Jurong Lake Gardens.
Cycle through Singapore from Changi to Jurong in a day, exploring a range of sights that the island has to offer – from the iconic Gardens by the Bay to the serene quarry at Bukit Batok Nature Park.
Along the way, stop for refreshments at Satay by the Bay before riding from Singapore’s last mainland kampung in Buangkok to the new Housing Board flats in Punggol, and then enjoying the peacefulness of Ulu Sembawang.
Actress Zoe Tay cycled 5 hours plus to draw lion's head on map with GPS
Some cyclists are getting creative with the GPS apps that track their rides. Actress Zoe Tay is among several local cyclists who traced a lion's head by riding around Singapore.
The 53-year-old took on the challenge of drawing a lion's head on the map with GPS after actress-host Jamie Teo did one of a dinosaur.
Tay did it after Teo shared the lion's head route with her.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
Folding bicycles sell like hot cakes in S'pore as more take up cycling during Covid-19 pandemic
Mr Jenson Tan has more than 20 foldable bicycles in his 5-room HDB flat because he, his wife and three children are all avid cyclists.
Demand for "foldies" has jumped during the pandemic, with demand often outstripping supply.
At sports retailer Decathlon, folding bikes have been sold out since Feb 15 in 2020 "as the cycling industry is facing a huge component shortage", says its city sport leader (cycling), Mr Syed Syafiq.