Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ros for Jude ride feelings by Derrick

This is from Derrick and I want to capture his thoughts so that we don't forget. 
Impromptu Ride of Silence
- 140+ Riders, 4 Support & Safety Escort Vehicles
- All Cycling Groups represented
- 1 purpose, to pay our respects to a fellow cyclist Jude Alphonsus Tan

8.45pm we gathered at the Park Connector Network (PCN) by Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk. I was expecting no more than 60 cyclists but I severely underestimated the unity of Singapore's cycling community. This RoS was created in less than a day and we had a whopping 94 turn up which eventually settled at about 140+ cyclist.

Why so many? How? I don't know really, but I'm sure sick of dumb-fucks spewing inhumane remarks simply because they have zero sensitivity to a life lost. Yes he rode safely, yes he had safety lights turned on and yes he is resting in peace now. I attended this ride because I wanted to honor a fellow cyclist that perished.

Tonight's event is by far the strictest and safest ride I've ever partook. We had 8 volunteers, 3 lead riders, 3 sweepers and we were crawling at a pitiful 15kmh. We took the PCN where available but even at a laughable 15kmh, rocks threatened to throw us off balance, drainage covers waited to catch our road bike 23c tires. Most of us managed to avoid these hazards but parts of the PCN remained unlit, uneven grounds promised to wreak havoc on our rims and pedestrians questioned our presence on the PCN.

After seemingly forever, we arrived at Changi Village. We rode on the leftmost lane and continued crawling towards Changi Coastal Road, Lamppost 157 with Safety Vehicles escorting us. It was a very solemn episode and we observed utmost silence albeit with safety as our priority. At the lamppost that Jude perished, we had a minute of silence for him and the event concluded with requests for interviews by the media, speeches from members of CycleKakis, as well as Mr Steven Lim, the president of the Safety Cycling Task Force – who also happens to be my neighbour, hence I call him neighbor Lim.

Neighbor Lim drilled safety cycling into me, literally, and I am a firm believer of his pet phrase, “cyclist & drivers alike, we should learn to share the roads”. His pet phrase is always then preceded with repeated utterances about safety cycling that is already etched deep in my mind by none other than himself. As Neighbour Lim gave his speech, I can’t help but let my attention be veered towards a trailer truck speeding evidently past its speed limit. A moment later, cars zoomed by like F1 drivers in a race.

I then realized that a cyclist in Singapore has very fragile existence and there are only so many precautions we can take. No doubt, we have cyclists who pedal dangerously; they are a hazard to everyone including themselves, but even with pedestrians & drivers, we have stupid pedestrians obstructing cyclist and drunk drivers manoeuvring behind the wheels.

Pedestrian killed Cyclist:
Drunk Drivers:

Just this evening as I made my way to this impromptu RoS, I was squeezed to the curb by an SBS bus and on my way home with several cyclists, a car honked at us repeatedly as it sped past us at a speed I can’t tell for it was a blur. Is the driver crazy? Might he knock us down? Do we stop, slow down or pedal on? How are we to react? We were already observing safety riding!

So for all you douche bags and couch potato who continue to condemn all cyclist for a handful of bad apples, condemn yourselves too. We cycle, we walk & we drive. When you criticize cyclists, do you know our point of views like we know yours? Be reasonable.

PS: Support & Safety Escort Vehicles were provided by fellow cyclist, thank you for your time.

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