LCSG featured!!! Photo credit - Matt Chia
Photo credit - Matt Chia
"There are numerous local cycling groups in Singapore, so whether you are into regular road cycling or off road trekking, you will find a group which caters to your interest.
Standing out among these groups is LoveCyclingSg. They don't care what kind or make of your bike, or what speed u are riding at. So long as you enjoy riding leisurely with a big group of people, explore interesting places in Singapore and be a "tourist" for a day, you are welcomed to join them. If you see a large group of cyclists in colorful apparels and some with family in tow and posing like superman for photos in the weekends, you will know that this is the rapidly growing cycling group known as LoveCyclingSg.
The founders of LoveCyclingSg are Mr. Woon Tai Woon (36, IT Design Consultant) and Francis Chu (51), who is from Hong Kong and has been living in Singapore for the past 16 years. They were colleagues who cycle together with some other friends on a regular basis and discovered many interesting places sin Singapore on their bikes. Woon said: "I realized that I was not familiar with many of the neighborhood and places until I started exploring them on my bicycle. Thus, we decided to go for rides every Sunday morning with planned routes to discover the beauty of Singapore."Woon also upload photos and write about his rides in his blog (www.smallwheelsbigsmile.blogspot.com). LoveCyclingSg was formed in May 2010 as the number of riders joining him increases.
The Sunday rides welcome riders of different fitness, with different style or make of bikes. It's about slowing down to enjoy the people, scenery and the flora and fauna around us. LoveCyclingSg's weekly cycling routes includes city rides, eastern coastal rides, northern parks rides, etc. Points of interests they visited includes Kranji Farms, Sembawang Hot Springs, the Dragon Klin and the ex-National Stadium before it was demolished. Woon mentioned that they also do organized theme rides such as Round Island Night Ride, or to visit a particular neighborhood for its sumptuous food. Once, the group rode to Potong Pasir to visit its ex-MP, Mr. Chiam See Tong's HDB void deck office where he held his meet-the-people sessions. He also said:"To make the rides more interesting and fun, we sometimes include some small challenges in our rides. Such as the recent "King of the Hill" ride where riders get to challenge themselves by riding up Mt. Faber and other hills in the southern region.
At present, LoveCyclingSg's online forum has more than 400 registered members. Its rides usually attracts about 30-40 riders on an average. Some popular rides like the night rides can attract more than 80 riders.
Another founder, Mr. Francis Chu, quit his job in the IT industry to devote himself into bicycle designing, running of LoveCyclingSG as well as promoting cycling in Singapore. He said that LoveCyclingSG is useful in letting both our government and people know that riders are aplenty in Singapore.He said:"The government doesn't track the number of cyclists in Singapore. A cycling group like ours creates awareness for the public sector as well as other road users. He feels that this will educate the people to realize how affordable, environmental friendly and efficient to use the bicycle for transportation in our small island. It also urge the relevant government agencies to build and improve better cycling facilities, e.g. PCN. He said:"Cycling is great for health. We always say that if the government wanna build less hospitals, it should build more PCN so that we can all keep fit via cycling.
While local rides are popular, Woon is also starting to organize some overseas rides as well. In October, they will be cycling 80km from Woodlands (Singapore) to Kukup Island (Malaysia). There's also a 6 days trip to Taiwan in March next year.
Juggling between work, family and LoveCyclingSg for the past 1 year has been very rewarding but nonetheless tiring. Fortunately, he and his co-founder's passion for cycling has rubbed off other members who also help to run the group
At the LoveCyclingSg online forum, anyone can suggest or recommend the route or theme of future rides. They can even volunteer to lead the ride themselves. At present, there are about 15 active members who share the "work" with Woon. They include route planning, ride organizer/leader, traffic controller, safety marshall, etc.
One of them is Mr. Steven Tang (41, Tennis Coach). He joined one of LoveCyclingSg's trip to Bintan Island, Indonesia, at the end of 2010, where he cycled 70km. Prior to that trip, he hardly cycles twice a year. Despite the physical torture he went through, he fell in love with LoveCyclingSg and started bringing his 13 years old son, Tiger along on all rides. He became so obsessed with cycling that he now owns 8 bicycles.
Steven was touched by Woon's contribution to LoveCyclingSg. How he tirelessly organizes the rides, leading the rides, promoting cycling and showing everyone our beautiful island. Thus, he decided to give Woon a hand by becoming a safety marshall. He even cancelled all his Sunday's tennis coaching just so he can join every Sunday's ride. Steven said:"I think what Taiwoon is doing is simply great and noble, so I wanna help him grow LoveCyclingSg and do my part for the cycling community in Singapore. To me, attending the rides every Sunday is like going to the church.
Clarence Chang (36) who works in the logistic industry, acts as a "Sweeper" for most of the rides. He stays behind the last rider on his mountain bike equipped with loudspeakers blasting techno numbers, making sure nobody get left behind as well as warning the riders ahead if there is any danger on the road. Clarence used to join another group of faster and more "professional" riders.
Then he bumped into Woon while riding last October in the heavy rain and was invited to join LoveCyclingSg. The group's easy-goingness and friendliness attracted him and some of his riding pals to "switch camp". He said:"We try our best to make LoveCyclingSg bigger and better. I hope we get recognition from other road users (especially car drivers) so as to make the road a safer place for everyone."
Miss Chen Shuyi (34, AKA Boo) who works in a cafeteria, first rode with LoveCyclingSg in September last year and it was an unforgettable experience for her. She said:"We sneaked into the ex-national stadium while it was being demolished. We cycled and snapped lots of pictures." Boo, who helps to organize and lead some of the rides goes everywhere on her two wheeler. She loves the sense of freedom which cycling offers and loves the relax pace of LoveCyclingSg's rides. She said:"When u slow down on your bike, the view you see is just different."