Monday, January 28, 2013

The Katong Park detour - avoiding heavy vehicles at the Fort Road roundabout

Fort Road is a necessary evil for cyclists entering the relative haven of East Coast Park from the west. Even if you stay on the park connectors, you have to expose yourself briefly on this road. It terminates at what used to be Area A but has been a construction site for the longest time.

If you are early enough, you won't have to meet the tipsters, dump trucks, lorries and all sorts of heavy vehicles which use the area intensively during the day. Still, the road conditions are not the best as these vehicles tear up the asphalt regularly, or drip cement, so it's no joke for cyclists.

Using Fort Road to get to ECP
Getting to ECP via Fort Road

A brief error on the part of drivers is all it takes to snuff out a life instantly. It won’t matter then whose mistake it was. See "Straits Times: "Tipper driver jailed 7 weeks for causing cyclist's death".

Well, just watching those trucks roar by the roundabout making the road shudder made me feel most uncomfortable. So I looked for an alternative and found one in the form of pedestrian paths through ECP and Katong Park.

I'm not usually a fan of pedestrian paths as you encounter intersections you have to be careful about and pedestrians whom you must give way to. However, rather than battle with heavy vehicles, I've adopted this path when riding to or from ECP.

fort road feint - Google Maps
The detour alongside or through Katong Park

The brown circles denote zebra crossings or traffic light junctions. You have to stop and look at traffic before moving on even when the green man is lit, or stop for a red. The green man appears quickly after you hit the button, but even if it is in your favour, do check that a vehicle is not bearing down on you. Drivers can make mistakes, but you pay the price. so be cautious.

Once across, you can ride alongside Katong Park. If there are pedestrians, I do not like them to feel pressured by my presence so I prefer to ride through Katong Park, slowly.

Emerging at Meyer Road, it’s a straight ride down to Tanjung Rhu Road and on to Marina Barrage.

Try to stay safe on the road!

Tampines: Two brothers killed by cement truck

Title was originally "Tampines: Cyclist(s) knocked down.

Tampines, Singapore's first cycling town, appears to have witnessed a terrible accident.

Motorists passing the junction of Tampines Ave 9 and Tampines Street 45 at about 6.15pm today report at least one cyclist appears to have been knocked down by a cement mixer.


tampines street 45 - Google Maps

Ride safe everyone.

"2 boys killed in cement truck accident in Tampines," by Jennani Durai. The Straits Times, 28 Jan 2013.
"TWO brothers were killed in a gruesome traffic accident in Tampines earlier on Monday.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said it had received a call at around 5:43pm, and that the boys died after being hit by a truck at the junction of Tampines Ave 9 and Tampines St 45. The 13-year-old male cyclist and the 7-year-old male pillion were pronounced dead at scene by paramedics.

The younger boy was found in the uniform of Tampines North Primary School.

Police said that the 56-year-old Singaporean male driver of the truck was arrested at the scene.

Although they were found outside the school's gate, Dunman Secondary's principal Beatrice Chong confirmed neither boy was a student there.

Photographs of the accident have since been circulating online.

Police are investigating."

"Cement truck kills 2 boys at Tampines traffic junction," by Kimberly Spykerman. Channel News Asia, 28 Jan 2013.

SINGAPORE: Two brothers died after they were hit by a cement truck near Dunman Secondary School, at Tampines Street 45.

The 56-year-old Singaporean driver has been arrested for causing death by rash act.

At around 6pm on Monday, the Singapore Civil Defence Force received a call for help.

But when paramedics arrived at the scene, both boys, aged seven and 13, were pronounced dead.

A MediaCorp hotline caller said that the incident happened only 50 metres from the school gates, and that he saw a smashed bicycle lying near the boys.

Speaking in Mandarin, he said it was an awful sight and very upsetting.

Some residents who live in the area say that the area where the incident happened sees a lot of traffic, and can be dangerous.

Mr Zoe Jaffar, who has lived in the area for 16 years, said: "The traffic lights change quite fast, sometimes drivers tend to speed up to beat the traffic lights."

Another resident in the area, teenager Tan Khai Feng added that people sometimes also cross the road even though the traffic lights have not indicated that it is safe for them to do so.

Resident Lim Heng Chew said: "This is a hotspot for traffic accidents... (another boy) recently got knocked down by a taxi - the boy is my son's classmate."

He added that just a few months back, a Malay lady was also knocked down at the junction, and is worried because he has two school-going children."

- CNA/xq

MP for Tampines, Mr Heng Swee Keat shared through Facebook (Tuesday, 29 January 2013: 02:35),
"I am very saddened by the passing of two boys who were hit by a cement truck along Tampines Ave 9. They were brothers and the family is extremely distraught. My deepest condolences to the family. We’ll support them as best as we can. The Police will investigate this thoroughly, and schools will step up road safety education and work with the Police/LTA on further measures to enhance safety. Let us be sensitive and respectful, and not circulate photos about the accident. Let us give our thoughts and support to the family in this very difficult time."

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Straits Times: "Tipper driver jailed 7 weeks for causing cyclist's death"

"Tipper driver jailed 7 weeks for causing cyclist's death," by Elena Chong. The Straits Times, 21 Jan 2013.
A tipper truck driver was sentenced to seven weeks' jail and banned from driving for five years on Monday over a hit-and-run accident last November.

Sun Xiangjian, 37, was driving along the roundabout at Fort Road on Nov 17 when failed to keep a proper lookout ahead while approaching the slip road of East Coast Parkway.

The Chinese national hit a cyclist, Mr Li Jinwei, 46, also from China, who fell and was then run over by the the vehicle ran over him and his bicycle. He was pronounced dead at the scene about 20 minutes later. It was raining then.

Sun admitted to causing the death of Mr Li by negligence and failing to render help after the accident. Two other charges of failing to stop after the accident and removing his vehicle without police authority were taken into consideration. His sentence was backdated to Nov 19.

"Hit-and-run truck driver arrested over death of cyclist," by Karen Lim. Asia One, 18 Nov 2012.
SINGAPORE: A 36-year-old male truck driver has been arrested for his involvement in a fatal hit-and-run accident at Fort Road, which resulted in the death of a cyclist.

The victim, a 46-year-old man, was cycling along the roundabout of Fort Road on Saturday night when he was hit by an unknown vehicle.

He succumbed to his injuries and died at about 7pm.

Investigators from the Traffic Police started to trace the truck driver and learned through extensive interviews that a tipper truck had driven near the accident scene around the time of the accident.

After four hours of the accident, the tipper truck was found at Sungei Kadut. Damages on it matched the broken glass fragments found at the accident scene.

The truck driver was placed under arrest and his licence has been suspended with immediate effect. He is also facing hit-and-run charges.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Straits Times:: "Delivery driver jailed for causing cyclist's death along Changi Coast Road"

"Delivery driver jailed for causing cyclist's death along Changi Coast Road," by Elena Chong. The Straits Times, 14 Jan 2013.

"A delivery driver who fell asleep at the wheel and caused the death of a cyclist along Changi Coast Road was jailed for three weeks on Monday. Kong Shyh Pyng, 39, was also banned from driving for four years.

He pleaded guilty to falling asleep, failing to keep a proper lookout ahead and failing to exert proper control of the lorry which rammed into the back of Mr Tan's bicycle. Mr Tan was flung forward and run over by the lorry. He died on the spot.

The court heard that on May 26 last year, Mr Tan was cycling 150 to 200m ahead of three other cyclists when Kong's lorry hit him from behind. Kong's lorry was seen slowing down slightly and veering to the left. It mounted over the left kerb and veered right back onto the road and ran over Mr Tan who had landed on the centre right of the left lane.

Further investigations showed that Kong had fallen asleep while driving. Despite having driven past eight pairs of speed regulating strips, he had only woken up after hearing a loud bang and saw the back of the deceased's body on the centre of his front windscreen. Kong, the court heard, was also very familiar with that stretch of road and knew that cyclists frequented the road, especially on weekends."

See also news and letters about the Jude Alphonso Tan tragedy. E. g. from reports by May 2012.

See and Be Seen is back on 02 Mar 2013; register now!

See and Be Seen is Singapore's first night cycling event, organised to emphasise the importance of cyclists being well lit for safety. The event returns in Saturday 2nd March 2013 and registration is open now.

The year there is a 42km ($27) and 84km ($37) ride as participants are offered one or two loops of the Eastern Coastal Park Connector Network. Hop over to to find out more, register for the ride and secure your $50 goodie bag.

See And Be Seen

Today Online: OCBC Cycle Singapore, Malaysia; next, Cycle Asia with Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia

"Cycling boost with launch of Asian circuit," by Philip Goh. 18 Jan 2013.
KUALA LUMPUR - It started in 2009 with OCBC Cycle Singapore and was followed two years later by its Malaysian equivalent.

Yesterday, Singapore-based event management and marketing company Spectrum Worldwide announced a further expansion into the region for its popular community cycling carnival with the addition of three new stops - Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia - under a new Cycle Asia banner.

It also hopes to expand the Cycle Asia network to Cambodia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam in the next three years.

At its announcement in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, it was also revealed that a Cycle Indonesia is being planned for this June at Sentul City outside Jakarta, and a Cycle Philippines in Manila in October.

Chris Robb, Managing Director of Spectrum Worldwide, told TODAY the expansion caters to the growth of cycling across Asia and meets the demand for events from recreational and serious cyclists.

"The experience for participants will be similar to that of OCBC Cycle Singapore and Malaysia, where there will be community rides for kids and adults and events for serious riders," said Robb.

"Our festival format of mixing both amateur and professional-elite elements, combined with a Cycling and Lifestyle Village, a carnival and premier hospitality, has provided a growing number of cyclists with a fantastic platform to enjoy the sport."

The Gold Coast Festival of Cycling in September, organised by three-time Tour de France green jersey winner and festival ambassador Robbie McEwen, will also come under the Cycle Asia banner.

"Robbie is a big fan of Singapore; he sees the synergy of us being able to cross-promote his event on the Gold Coast, which is well-organised and has a great vibe about it," said Robb.

"It's great for us to be able to help encourage people to go to Robbie's event and, increasingly, cycling has bigger tourist implications.

"For example, we're working together with the Singapore Tourism Board to find ways to encourage more cyclists to come to Singapore and this network will provide opportunity for people to travel around the region and have family holidays (structured around cycling)."

Singapore Cycling Federation President Suhaimi Said believes Cycle Asia can boost the growth of elite cycling in the region.

"We can expand on the pro-criteriums to have nation- and Asia-wide criteriums to enhance the carnival beyond its community role," he said.

"We can also further strengthen the Asian Cycling Confederation, with these carnivals supporting the cycling events organised by the various national governing bodies in the region."

Singapore Cycling Fest 23-24 Feb 2013 - deadline extended for Guinness Cycling Convoy and The Green Day rides

There are two rides during Singapore Cycling Fest 2013 - the 28.6km Guinness Cycling Convoy (Sat 23 Feb 2012) and The Green Day (Sun 24 Feb 212).

Both have extended their deadlines so hop over to!

Singapore Cycle Fest - Event Details

Cycling the City with Druther's Bicycle Rental Singapore

When I visit cities overseas, I try to find a bicycle rental to ride around the town. It's a lovely way to discover interesting places, and lovely when there are safe routes for cyclists.

When friends visit Singapore, however, I usually suggest they cycle at Pulau Ubin. In recent yeas, however, park connectors have been gradually encircling Singapore and linking up. There are now safe routes through the city, which has many more interesting places in a small area and lots of great food. Ideal for a casual exploratory ride for locals and tourists alike.

I've always though, wouldn't it be great if there was bicycle rental in the city itself?

Well I was pleased to discover Druther's Bicycle Rental Singapore ( right in the city at Boat Quay!

Andrew Goh wrote me late last year to talk about his business. Druther's provides quality folding bikes (i. e. they aren’t $100 bicycles) and a map for self-guided tours. He can organise group rides to get to the city and good places for food stops, of course!

It's exciting to see a business like this open to locals and tourists alike. And just like bicycle rentals / city tours overseas, Druther's relies on Trip Advisor for reviews to spread the word.

From the comments there it seems Andrew has been delivering foldable bicycles to the various hotels and hostels which carry his flyers or notices. One reviewer said they received their bikes in 20 minutes so a spontaneous urge could lead to five hours of cycling! The rentals are available at night too.

Ash393 from Hong Kong says,

"I cycled from Boat Quay following the water around, crossing over bridges and seeing sailing boats in the harbour, passing by joggers running in the afternoon and walkers too.
I saw a lot of bars and restaurants where I could easily stop by and take a break. When I got tired of the the harbor, I went inland and cycled by parks and historic buildings and down city streets. I got some directions from helpful locals along the way.
I stopped at a food market and ate local Singaporean food. Singapore is relatively flat so cycling is always easy.
I thoroughly recommend cycling in Singapore, it made my trip unique and unforgettable, and it gave me another perspective of Singapore."


Andrew is keen that locals working in the CBD think about cycling after work, to enjoy foldables and a healthy lifestyle. Viewing photos on their Facebook page, I see some have begun to do so. It could be a nice way for me to meet up with my non-cycling friends in town after work, to get them to go for a spin before dinner.

(1) Druthers Bicycle Rental Singapore


Cyclists can venture further afield with a foldable bicycle, by going aboard the MRT and buses during off-peak hours [Mon-Fri: 9.30am - 4.00pm & 8.00pm to end of service; all day on weekends/public holidays.]. NParks has setup many Park Connector Networks around the island. Some are ideal to explore with interesting place to visit.

With a smart phone and data plan, Google Maps will free you up to explore many parts of Singapore - Druther's provides a bicycle lock. I'd suggest downloading a taxi booking app just in case you want to bail out for a ride and head back to town. With a foldable, that is easy.

How surreal that what I love doing overseas is now available in Singapore!

Druthers | Bicycle Rental Singapore. Hire a bike

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Four recreational cycling events in Singapore

A flurry of local cycling events suitable for recreational cyclists are listed here. Click the images to visit the source webpages. Jut a few yeas ago, NTU Bike Rally was the only event but too challenging a ride for many.

A few notes - Singapore Cycle Fest is new and aims to secure a Guinness Book of World Records listing. The ride coincides with NTU Bike Rally which has integrated this event into their route. Cyclists on the round island ride will contribute to the world record convoy with the rest of the 5,000 cyclists before heading off for a tour of 'outer Singapore'.

OCBC Cycle Singapore has added a foldable category this year in response to the many foldables at the previous year's event. Expect to check out various bicycle bling that day!

The second OCBC Cycle Malaysia is already sold out but it is included as a reminder to look out for it later in the year. It can be part of the local cycling calendar as KL is just a short bus ride away these days.

  1. 19 Jan 0213 – OCBC Cycle Malaysia - registration closed
  2. 23 Feb 2013 – NTU Bike Rally - registration open
  3. Singapore Cycle Fest - registration closes 10 Jan 2013
  4. 28 Apr 2013 – OCBC Cycle Singapore - registration open