Cycling: Ideal time for fun and family bonding at this year's OCBC Cycle

(From left) Lee Boon Yee, 12, Teo Mengchoo, 47, Lee Boon Xin, 10, Andy Lee, 45, Patrick Teo and Sharon Ong, 49, and their children, Kara Teo, 13, and Joley Teo, 11, will be participating in next month's OCBC Cycle Mighty Savers Family Ride.
(From left) Lee Boon Yee, 12, Teo Mengchoo, 47, Lee Boon Xin, 10, Andy Lee, 45, Patrick Teo and Sharon Ong, 49, and their children, Kara Teo, 13, and Joley Teo, 11, will be participating in next month's OCBC Cycle Mighty Savers Family Ride.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - 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 two-to three-hour outings at the park connectors around Sengkang and Punggol are meant to help them relax, said the 45-year-old.

"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 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 in 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 and registration is available at ocbccycle.com. Registration closes at 11.59pm on Friday (April 12).