Family bonding at OCBC Cycle

From left: Lee Boon Yee and his mother Mengchoo, sister Boon Xin and father Andy, insurance agents Patrick Teo and Sharon Ong and their daughters Kara and Joley are eagerly awaiting for next month's OCBC Cycle.
From left: Lee Boon Yee and his mother Mengchoo, sister Boon Xin and father Andy, insurance agents Patrick Teo and Sharon Ong and their daughters Kara and Joley are eagerly awaiting for next month's OCBC Cycle.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

To ensure his children are physically active and also have some downtime away from their homework, IT and project manager Andy Lee makes it a point to take his four kids on cycling trips every week.

These outings, ranging from two to three hours, at the park connectors around Sengkang and Punggol are meant to help them relax, said Lee, 45.

"They get to be fitter and healthier when they cycle. They also get in tune with sportsmanship. It teaches them not to give up. When we cycle as a family, we go together and leave no one behind."

One event he is looking forward to is next month's OCBC Cycle Mighty Savers Family Ride, in which he and his extended household - wife Teo Mengchoo, 47, son Boon Yee, 11, daughter Boon Xin, 10, brother-in-law Patrick Teo, 49, sister-in-law Sharon Ong, 49 and nieces Kara, 12, and Joley, 11 - will be participating.

While the May 11 event takes place two days before Boon Yee's first mid-year English examination, that is not stopping the Nan Chiau Primary pupil from taking a day off.

"But I'll make a study timetable, follow it and study beforehand so I'm confident that I will get good grades," said the Primary 6 pupil, who participated in the category with his father in 2016 and 2017.

Orthopaedic doctor Francis Wong said cycling also boosts muscle development in children.

"Almost all the muscles of the body are incorporated in the cycling process. As such, all muscles are utilised repeatedly and developed.

"Outdoor activities like cycling will help to improve Vitamin D production in the child and promote healthy bone and muscle growth."

But he advised that participants should be well-hydrated and well-rested and wear protective gear like helmets during the ride.

"Children should also be taught to ride at their own speed and not race beyond their capability, especially at the beginning of the ride."

The first time Boon Yee entered the 5km OCBC Cycle Mighty Savers Family Ride three years ago, he was nervous about completing the distance.

That has been replaced by excitement. He said: "I've experienced it before so I think it'll be easier. I'm also looking forward to cycling with my cousins and challenging them to a race.

"I also like cycling with my father because he's definitely faster than me and I can chase him. It helps me improve because I can get faster and be the same as him."

The 2019 OCBC Cycle is held at the Singapore Sports Hub on May 11 and 12. More information is available at ocbccycle.com and registration closes at 11.59pm tomorrow.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2019, with the headline 'Family bonding at OCBC Cycle'. Print Edition | Subscribe