The sun was not yet up when Uber driver Bernard Lau arrived at the OCBC Cycle 2016 registration booth outside Orchardgateway at 6.30am yesterday.
While there were already two men ahead of him, the 58-year-old cycling enthusiast was the first to sign up for 23km The Straits Times Ride category. For that, he walked away with two goodie bags - one from OCBC and one from the paper.
Participants of The Straits Times Ride will also get a specially-designed cycling T-shirt.
Said Lau: "I really enjoyed last year's event. The route was scenic, it made for good pictures, and it was very well-organised and safe."
The Straits Times Ride is one of nine categories of the OCBC Cycle, which is back for a second edition on Oct 1 and 2. It is the only confirmed mass cycling event in Singapore for this year.
The event will take place at the Singapore Sports Hub and is targeting 8,000 participants, up from some 7,000 last year.
OCBC CYCLE 2016
Mighty Savers Kids Ride
• 2-5 years old: $23-28
• 5-9: $36-40
• 10-12: $38-44
Mighty Savers Family Ride
• 5-9 years old: $70-78
• 10-12: $74-86
The Sportive Ride: $85-107 T
The Straits Times Ride: $45-67
Besides The Straits Times Ride, three other main categories return: The Sportive Ride (42km), the Mighty Savers Kids Rides for families and children, and the OCBC Cycle Speedway South-east Asian and Club Championships.
The public can sign up at Orchardgateway till noon today. Online registration starts next Monday at www.ocbccycle.com
OCBC Bank chief executive officer Samuel Tsien said last year's event was successful due to the support shown by stakeholders.
He added: "That support has encouraged us to create the even more exciting OCBC Cycle 2016. Our goal is to build OCBC Cycle into the gold standard for cycling events here.
"We will... give participants many exciting experiences, many healthy activities and many great deals."
For starters, there will be 13 pre-event workshops, including lessons on preparing healthy food, a fitness boot camp, and a strength and conditioning cycling workshop at the Singapore Sports Institute's new training facility, which is usually used by the nation's elite cyclists.
Said Sport Singapore chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin: "We certainly would like to encourage companies like OCBC to take the initiative to bring a great event for sports enthusiasts in Singapore.
"When a company embraces sport as part of its brand... it says a lot about their contribution to nurture our society, to grow a culture of active and healthy living."
To mark the registration launch, four teams of riders formed by OCBC's partners - dubbed Friends of OCBC - embarked on a 24-hour workout on a stationary bike to challenge the Singapore Book of Records award for the "Longest Distance Covered on a Stationary Bike in Six Hours".
The current records are 142.4km (men's) and 123km (women's).