Cycling: Couple queued for 22 hours just to sign up for ST Ride at OCBC Cycle

Engineer Bryan Phyo, 33, and his wife Michelle Myat, 35, posing with the road bicycles they redeemed for being the first two people in the queue to register for OCBC Cycle.
Engineer Bryan Phyo, 33, and his wife Michelle Myat, 35, posing with the road bicycles they redeemed for being the first two people in the queue to register for OCBC Cycle. ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG
Ms Lee Yulin, sports editor of The Straits Times, Mr Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of OCBC Bank, Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO of Sport Singapore, and Mr Christopher Lim, digital editor of The Business Times, place their hands on the LED board to officially launch
Ms Lee Yulin, sports editor of The Straits Times, Mr Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of OCBC Bank, Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO of Sport Singapore, and Mr Christopher Lim, digital editor of The Business Times, place their hands on the LED board to officially launch OCBC Cycle on Jan 11, 2019.ST PHOTO: JASMINE CHOONG

SINGAPORE - They arrived at the launch site 22 hours before registration for the OCBC Cycle began at noon on Friday (Jan 11).

Engineer Bryan Phyo and his wife Michelle Myat spent the time wandering around Orchard Gateway throughout Thursday afternoon after arriving at 2pm and 33-year-old Phyo secured the first spot in the official queue when it started at 9pm.

Their wait entailed them taking turns to have dinner and spending the wee hours of Friday morning snatching 10-15 minutes of sleep occasionally on the floor of the mall as well as playing games with other would-be participants to keep themselves entertained.

They were rewarded for their efforts. Phyo and Myat each wheeled away an Aleoca hybrid bike worth $400 as well as a GoPro camera worth $440 for being the first to sign up for the May 11-12 event.

Phyo was awarded a second gift bag as he was also the first to sign up for the 23km The Straits Times Ride, which is part of the OCBC Cycle. The goodie bag contained books written by ST journalists.

Said Phyo: "I like the ST Ride because you can cycle at your own pace so you can enjoy the scenery and stop to take selfies.

"I also like cycling on the car-free roads because we don't normally get to do that. I always cycle on park connectors so this is a good change."

Inspired by her husband's first experience in 2017, Myat decided to sign up with him the next year. It will be her second ST Ride this year.

"He told me about his experience on roads and the different views so I thought we could do it together as a bonding activity," said the 35-year-old. "I enjoyed cycling with him last year because we could relax and chit-chat and that also made it easier to complete the 23km."

For first-time ST Ride participant Janice Goh, signing up is a chance to push her limits.

"The most I've ever cycled was 12km three years ago. So I wanted to challenge myself to see how far I could go," said the 27-year-old Singapore Institute of Technology student.

Despite having an examination on Monday, the criminology student still joined the queue at 11am yesterday and was rewarded with a 15 per cent discount off her $45 registration fee.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the different sights of Singapore and I hope this event encourages people to cycle as it's more eco-friendly," she said.

Goh and the couple were among 230 people who turned up for the launch of the OCBC Cycle 2019 on Friday.

The other categories are the 42km Sportive Ride ($99), Mighty Savers Rides for families and children ($27-$74) as well as The Business Times Corporate Rally for corporate cycling teams.

Online registration will open at ocbccycle.com on Monday(Jan 14) with early-bird discounts up to Feb 12.