Saturday, September 3, 2016

Bike to work routes by Kieren Soh and his reflections


Hi everyone, my name is Kieren Soh and I am in a digital role in the financial industry. 
Me, Ann and my little one with our bikes
I started B2W in 2014 with my first folding bike and hasnt stopped since. 

I don't B2W everyday but instead aim to do it twice a week. My work area is near Labrador MRT, which is about 15km away from Serangoon. In the past 2 years, I must have easily explored at least 20 different variations in my route to my office ranging from 15km - 22km. You can see the image for a simple illustration of 9 different variations of my routes.

Yes a folding can commute too! 
As my office is away from the Central Business District, my journeys tend to be riding away from the morning traffic instead of into it.  It allows me to navigate through little lanes and neighborhoods to cut through major road arteries and expressways. One interesting fact is the time taken, door to door, between cycling and taking MRT is the same. Driving takes 15mins longer!

One of the first comments / questions from colleagues: “Kieren, riding on the roads are so dangerous! Why do you want to do it?” 

My answers, after a few variations, are now: “If you embrace cycling and ride defensively, it is not as dangerous as you think.“ The key reason of B2W is because I always never get enough saddle time due to my family commitments. 
B2W also allows me to go wherever I want after work to explore more small lanes and places that you probably wouldn’t have gone/ pass by.
For some reasons, I love to look for green open spaces or quiet little lanes, taking time to reflect on my day or just to space out. “How do you navigate around then?” That’s another joy for me. I like to stare at Google Maps the night before to look out for these green spaces and small lanes that are enroute to my workplace/home.
I caught up with something recently. There are more B2W cyclists on the roads and being greeted “Good Morning” is always so nice and makes your day. Be nice, smile and greet each other while cycling brings out the joy in even more.

Since my routes are not commonly shared, I shall attempt to create a section called "Do you know" and share the little things that you may not have noticed. I hope this is interesting enough and can encourage you to embrace cycling as a whole, not necessarily B2W but to try out the routes to discover the joy that I have gotten.

Have Fun | Ride Safe | Smile Always

Do you know? The little joys that I love to share

Toa Payoh – safer way to get across PIE (16.5km)

Route:
Lorong Chuan> Braddell Road >Toa Payoh Lor 8>Jalan Amps >Balestier Road Shan Road >Irrawaddy Road  >Thomson Road >Gentle Road >Chancery Lane >Balmoral Road Anderson Road >Tanglin Road à Alexandra Road (to wherever)
There are 3 key bicycle-friendly overhead bridges across PIE that brings you across from Toa Payoh to Balestier Road. My favourite one can be accessed through Kallang PCN off Braddell Road. (See black route). After going through the little pathway, you will arrive at Toa Payoh Lorong 8. Navigate about 500m towards Toa Payoh Golf Range. There will be a pathway opening just along the golf course and you will arrive at the overhead bridge.
This way, it beats carrying your bike up the bridge at Pelton Canel PCN or cycling along Thomson Road / Serangoon Road/ Aljunied Road / Paya Lebar Road if you are just started B2W.


Oh no, Lornie Road?! Are you sure?? (18km)
Route:
Lorong Chuan > Bishan St 11 >Braddell Road >Lornie Road (Pavement)>Kheang Hock Road>Evans /Cluny Road >Tanglin Road >Alexandra Road (to wherever)
 Yeah, Lornie Road is also a viable way to get to work for me and its not on the road. This route is better suited for smaller wheels (eg 16”/20”) as there are twists and turns in narrow spaces. Navigate along the pavement along Lornie Road (on the side with private housing). You will arrive at Kheam Hock Road where it allows you to scoop under PIE to get towards Duncan Road. Continue your journey from there. I love to cycle there to catch the beautiful sunset.

Got slopes? I climb! (16km)

Route:
Upper Serangoon Road > Bendemeer Road >Jalan Besar à Bencoolen Street >Stamford / Penang Road à Killiney Road >River Valley Close / Green (there is a little pavement into PCN >Kim Seng Park towards Alexandra PCN> Alexandra Road into Henderson Road (CLIMB!)> Telok Blangah Road (to wherever)
 One of the joys in cycling is cycling up hills, fondly known as climbing. I love the huffs and puffs climbing slopes and the wind on my face when I get down one. In one of my favorite routes, I get to climb River Valley Close and Henderson Road (along Mount Faber, near Safra Mount Faber). Both roads, due to it being off the main roads, tend not to have a lot of traffic and sometimes my rolling speed down can be easily 45km/hr.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mix between Brompton and Birdy is called a.... Bromdy?

Found this online and  wonder how it rides. Perhaps with the front suspension the ride comfort would be alot better. One thing I am sure, it will make some of the Brompton purist foam up and scream in rage. haha. Its just a bike and lets celebrate the rider's creativity and innovative streak. 
If you are the cyclist, can u let me know how it rides? Love to hear from you. 
Photo Credit  from  https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7441/16280339368_9a9dd61805_b.jpg

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

E skateboard to solve the last mile?

I signed up a local company- ArcBoards to get one this. It's essentially an E- Penny board designed and made in Singapore. Frankly, I was more bought over by the passion of the team and it made me smile. Reminded me of the energy and passion, esp when u first started out. I was told it will be ready around Nov and hope it all works out. Go go go #Arcboards!
If you are not sure and want to test it.... you can. Follow this link! 


One more cool thing...If you use the below link, you can get a $30 and I will get a discount on my boards too!  Win! Win.  https://www.arcboardsev.com/products/the-arc-board-pre-order-woon-taiwoon





 
Paid up and looking forward to see the board!

Monday, August 8, 2016

The taiwan 7-11 coffee and what it means to me

I first experienced this drink at our cycling trips to Taiwan and I will attempt to explain to you the craze that is hitting Singapore shores from my perspective.   
The Taiwan 7-11 coffee/milk tea drink that is blazing its way to Singapore
It has a special place in our hearts because we really had a great time cycling in Taiwan. One of the "attractions" cycling in Taiwan was their amazing 7-11 and Family mart culture. 
This is how it looks outside 7-11 when we "raid" the shop

Esther and her "loot" 
Singapore cycling continent reviewing the product lineup at the 7-11 
for the kids.. it was a ball of fun sticking the coupons!
So much so integral to Taiwanese culture, the Taiwan convenience store have been actually written about at the Wall Street Journal! 
It's not like the your usual Singapore version but imagine a POWER packed one that u can find many choices of snacks, hot food, Onden(like our yong tau foo on sticks), pay ur bills, free wifi and just hang around. Yes, its nice to chill around the place. Sounds crazy but it's true.
If you are big on buying online stuff, u can also get it delivered to, or send from the 7-11 store. Its the ultimate "Swiss army knife"- everything can be done, found there!
Specifically for the aspiring Taiwan Round island cyclists.This relative nugget of information is really helpful. Imagine you are cycling for 5 days and you are too tired to carry your panniers. Don't worry, you can send stuff u don't need, like your laptop, dirty underwear, clothes forward to your preferred/nearest spots. 
BTW,  Read how fun it is to ride in Taiwan from Chris Wee.
unforgettable route 9
rolling with good company and views... 
So imagine when you had a great time cycling, looking at the lovely views and then popping into the 7-11 to grab a drink (usually for me, the blue cofffee bottle). The combination of the pleasant cycling memories, chats with friends and coffee fragrances became merged as one and becomes "MAGICAL!" It's something really to be experienced to understand. 
And I still can't get my Taiwan coffee fix at the local 7-11.....  haha. 

Getting Serious about cycling in Singapore

This made me very happy as it is the first time that Straits Time have covered normal folks who made cycling as their way of life in Singapore! Woohoo! 
Taken from Strait Times, thanks Duane! 
Cycling have indeed been going through a lot of changes in Singapore and its getting really popular, not just as a form of recreation or sport. To dispel the conventional notion of cycling(for lycra clad only or just those crazy pple), I have been doing my part to document the riders I meet at Lovecyclingsg so that I can share their stories to more people and even to our governmental agencies.  You can read their stories here   Do message me if you like to contribute to adding to the Singapore context.  
Thank you Byrna for writing this. Its a good step forward!  In the mean time, keep on cycling! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Bamboo Kar at Car Free Sunday 31st July 2016

As part of the effort to bring in more smiles and laughter to the Car Free Sunday event, the Bamboo Kar came and was a rolling success! Many who saw it smiled and gave us a thumbs up! 
Here are some of the photos taken by uncle KC while I was riding the rig. More cool funny photos here.  and by Christine 

Rolling at CarFreeSunday
Sharing with fellow cyclists why we did this

can u see how many bicycle can use a car space? 
It was a blast to see joggers, skaters, cyclists all sharing the road and having a really nice time at Car Free Sunday event. Behind the fun, there is also a meaningful reflection. Imagine if we can use this space more efficiently for living. Not just simply used as a road. That's a real paradigm shift in space planning! 
Skater cannot believe his eyes... 
Pas with his Wong Fei Hong suit! 
Cheern lin with his customed built kid front rack bike 
every one rode. What ever wheels size and brands
Another reason to be cycling!
Now, Singapore is undergoing a big transformation to be more liveable, more cycle-able. I have seen big improvements with the continuous effort of agencies and community effort. Its looking really good!
Doing Da Lovecyclingsg pose!
No, it will not change overnight. But if we continue to support and give our ideas and suggestions to our agencies folks. I am sure more good will happen. Lets keep on spinning and smiling!



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Love cycling SG Bamboo Kar

We support the CarfreeSunday initiative because its a paradigm shift in usage of the environment.  With the past CarfreeSunday events, we have seen many folks coming to run, skate and cycle. Some just to walk, stroll around the area. Its nice and I love it.
So to support the event, I came up with the idea of the Bamboo Car which is a visual demonstration of how much space a car takes up in comparison with a bicycle and person.  The name is called Kar Chia with direct inspiration from hokkien. "Kar"- meaning Leg and "Chia" meaning Car.
Here's some photos of on this Sat where my friends and I did the first test ride. It worked fabulously!!!  So relieved and we are ready for the 31st July 2016 #CarFreeSunday!

Come ride and see the BambooKarChia at CarFreeSunday!

LCSG angels Andy and Christine running along me, just in case I get into trouble. Thank you folks!
More really nice photos and videos here. 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1115512355172778&type=1