A wheel fun day at OCBC cycle

Left: OCBC's head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching, ST news editor Marc Lim and Singapore Cycling Federation president Hing Siong Chen flagging off The Straits Times Ride at the Sports Hub yesterday morning. Top: Sports masseuse Tan
OCBC's head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching, ST news editor Marc Lim and Singapore Cycling Federation president Hing Siong Chen flagging off The Straits Times Ride at the Sports Hub yesterday morning. ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN
Left: OCBC's head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching, ST news editor Marc Lim and Singapore Cycling Federation president Hing Siong Chen flagging off The Straits Times Ride at the Sports Hub yesterday morning. Top: Sports masseuse Tan
Sports masseuse Tan Geok Mei, 35, recently learnt to cycle through Project Training Wheels and was thrilled to complete the 23km ST Ride.ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN

Annual event draws 6,500 with many happy with route and new bike-sharing initiatives

Sports masseuse Tan Geok Mei could barely find her balance on a bicycle a month ago. But yesterday, the 35-year-old was one of 6,500 riders who took part in OCBC Cycle's community rides at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Waving one hand in the air as she crossed the finish line of The Straits Times Ride (23km), Tan later said: "It feels great to finally accomplish this, the ride was excellent and the distance wasn't as bad as I thought."

She had picked up cycling through Project Training Wheels, the OCBC Cycle's learn-to-ride programme in March and April.

"I was nervous, but I knew that worrying doesn't change the end result so I told myself to just do my best," added Tan. "It's all about having the right mindset."

Participants of both The ST Ride and The Sportive Ride (40.8km) cycled past iconic landmarks such as the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay before completing both routes at the National Stadium.

Radiation physicist Roger Soh was impressed with improvements to this year's route for The ST Ride. He last participated in it in 2015.

"The roads are wider and there is less congestion. The scenery is great, you don't really get to cycle past all these iconic places on a normal day," said the 29-year-old, who completed The ST Ride.

Insurance agent James Chua had stopped at one of the two designated selfie points on Sheares Bridge to snap a photo with the Singapore Flyer in the backdrop.

Cyclists setting off for The Straits Times Ride at yesterday's OCBC Cycle - one of Singapore's biggest mass cycling events. About 6,500 riders participated in the 23km ST Ride and the 40.8km Sportive Ride. These community categories took them past ic
Cyclists setting off for The Straits Times Ride at yesterday's OCBC Cycle - one of Singapore's biggest mass cycling events. About 6,500 riders participated in the 23km ST Ride and the 40.8km Sportive Ride. These community categories took them past iconic landmarks like the Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, before both routes ended at the National Stadium. The partnership between bike-sharing firm Mobike and OCBC Cycle, which saw 2,000 bikes being rented for free to participants this year, was also well received by all. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

"It's a very exciting and scenic ride, it gives you something to look forward to every year," said the 61-year-old. This was his fifth time cycling in The Sportive Ride.

A partnership between bike-sharing firm Mobike and OCBC Cycle also saw 2,000 bikes being rented out to participants this year.

The initiative was well-received by riders.

Soh, who was joined by several of his friends yesterday, all using a Mobike, said: "It's so much more convenient for me, it really saves the hassle of bringing a bike here."

Among the other new additions to the event were the OCBC Cycle Weekend Market, which featured more than 20 vendors selling a wide variety of bike accessories and cycling gear and the the inaugural OCBC Cycle Corporate Chase.

The latter drew 23 corporate teams and was won by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) team. "We've been training extensively for this ride for some time," said SCDF's Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team section commander Ridhwan Dahlan. "To complete the 42km course, we had to rely a lot on teamwork and we are very happy with how the ride went."

There was plenty of drama as well on Saturday, the first day of the OCBC Cycle.

Myanmar emerged as surprise champions of the Speedway South-east Asia Championship after favourites Malaysia crashed out while Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines incurred time penalties and finished behind Myanmar.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2018, with the headline 'A wheel fun day at OCBC cycle'. Print Edition | Subscribe