SINGAPORE - Engineer Aung Khine Phyo is looking forward to turning up without a bicycle for this year's OCBC Cycle.
Instead, the 32-year-old will rely on one of 2,000 rental bicycles offered by Mobike, following a partnership between the bike-sharing firm and OCBC Cycle organisers.
"I took part in last year's Straits Times Ride (23km) and it's about 10km from my home (in Tiong Bahru) to the Sports Hub, so I want to save some of my energy," Aung told The Straits Times.
"I also saw some people riding on Mobikes during last year's race, and now that Mobike has bicycles with gears, it'll be more convenient for cyclists."
The rental service is free for participants who create Mobike accounts and sign up for the May 5-6 OCBC Cycle.
Student Niam Xing Rong, who was first in line at the event launch yesterday at Orchard Gateway and received a registration gift bag worth $758, also hailed the convenience of the rental service and said he would consider using a Mobike for the 42km Sportive Ride.
"When we cycle on our own bicycles there, it can be a bit of a hassle looking after the bikes before and after the event," added the 24-year-old, who had queued since 10pm on Sunday. OCBC Bank's head of group communications Koh Ching Ching noted that the shared bike system is something that Singaporeans are familiar with and, while more people are cycling here, not many people own a bicycle.
"We've received feedback from participants who are less serious riders that they find it a bit challenging to bring their bicycles to the venue so with the Mobike partnership, it's very convenient," she said.
"For an event like the OCBC Cycle, which is on closed roads and where cyclists can enjoy the scenic spots along the route, it's really quite rare to come by and, if you don't have a bicycle and as a result are not able to take part, I think that's a pity."
A new corporate category called The Corporate Chase has also been added.
Companies can sign up a team of four employees to ride in the flag-off wave in the 42km Sportive Ride.
The team with the fastest combined net time upon completion will win the title.
The 42km Sportive Ride, 23km ST Ride, Mighty Savers Kids Rides for families and children, and the OCBC Cycle Speedway South-east Asia and Club Championships will form this year's edition.
The event is also partnering The Straits Times Run.
Participants of this year's OCBC Cycle enjoy a 5 per cent discount off registration fees for the Sept 23 ST Run.
Online registration for OCBC Cycle is now open at ocbccycle.com with early bird discounts until Feb 28.