A fun and scenic ride for all

Clockwise, from top: Riders of all ages and abilities taking part in the 23km Straits Times Ride, one of the OCBC Cycle's community rides yesterday. Hand cyclist Prashant Arkal enjoyed the more technical aspects of the ST Ride while Khushnam Badshaw
Riders of all ages and abilities taking part in the 23km Straits Times Ride, one of the OCBC Cycle's community rides yesterday. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
Clockwise, from top: Riders of all ages and abilities taking part in the 23km Straits Times Ride, one of the OCBC Cycle's community rides yesterday. Hand cyclist Prashant Arkal enjoyed the more technical aspects of the ST Ride while Khushnam Badshaw
Hand cyclist Prashant Arkal (above) enjoyed the more technical aspects of the ST Ride while Khushnam Badshaw was delighted to bond with husband Kaizad on the scenic route. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
Clockwise, from top: Riders of all ages and abilities taking part in the 23km Straits Times Ride, one of the OCBC Cycle's community rides yesterday. Hand cyclist Prashant Arkal enjoyed the more technical aspects of the ST Ride while Khushnam Badshaw
Hand cyclist Prashant Arkal enjoyed the more technical aspects of the ST Ride while Khushnam Badshaw (above) was delighted to bond with husband Kaizad on the scenic route. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

OCBC Cycle allows participants to bond with close ones, set goals and push limits

During the OCBC Cycle Mighty Savers Family Ride on Saturday, she had to watch her two children have fun from the sidelines as her family car could transport only two bicycles at once.

Yesterday, it was homemaker Khushnam Badshaw's turn to have fun as she had the perfect start to Mother's Day, riding in the 23km The Straits Times Ride with her husband Kaizad Badshaw.

And she enjoyed her first OCBC Cycle experience immensely.

"I was really excited and it was good bonding time with my husband. We took many photos on the Sheares Bridge as well," said the 36-year-old.

"The enthusiasm from everyone is contagious and the energy from them spurs you on to finish the ride."

Kaizad, also 36, added: "It's fun because you can go on the city roads and you don't get to do that on a daily basis.

"I had good company this time as I normally cycle alone, so it was good to be able to chit-chat and ride at the same time."

The couple were among nearly 6,800 people who participated in the 11th OCBC Cycle's community rides - The ST Ride (23km) and The Sportive Ride (42km) - at the Singapore Sports Hub yesterday.

The riders rode past landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay.

The ST Ride also attracted cyclists from the Para Cycling Federation of Singapore. One of them was hand cyclist Prashant Arkal, 33, who spent about three months preparing for the event.

"It was quite a different experience because normally, in other para-cycling events, there are not many participants. With the crowd and climbs on this route, it became a technical race for me while other races were more focused on speed," said the IT software engineer.

Student Evan Chng felt pedalling up the Sheares Bridge was the most challenging part of the ride.

"I haven't cycled uphill before, but it was a good challenge. Most of the time in Singapore, there are a lot of cars around, so cycling in such events is nice and I really enjoyed the scenery," said the 17-year-old.

Educator June Tham found that the climbs made it more exciting.

"It's the adrenaline rush you get when you're cycling up the hills," said the 37-year-old, who took part in the 42km Sportive Ride for the first time.

"This event encourages people to practise healthy living and gets the community to exercise together. I enjoyed that aspect. You could feel everyone's spirit and resilience as they wanted to finish the route together and not give up."

Retiree Simon Teo, a participant in The ST Ride since the first edition of the OCBC Cycle, sets a time target for himself every year and hopes to encourage more people to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"When you cycle, you can go long distances and you can see a lot of things most people do not see. Cycling takes you anywhere you want," said the 71-year-old, who is teaching his four-year-old granddaughter to cycle and aims to sign her up for next year's Family Ride.

"Age is just a number. You just need to set goals for yourself, pace yourself and anyone can do it.

"It's a personal challenge for me and builds personal discipline and endurance.

"I'm also trying to set an example for my family members to be active."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2019, with the headline 'A fun and scenic ride for all'. Print Edition | Subscribe