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)

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)
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)

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.