55km of JOY, LAUGHTER and PAIN IN THE BUTTOCKS!

Last Saturday, i managed to get a slot for the night cycling event – Nite On Wheels jointly organized by U Sports and SISEU. Which to be honest, i didnt know the latter existed at all before this event. Hahaha. The event was supposed to be a 55km recreational cycle “around” Singapore. Given the amount of allocated time to complete the 55km (2130H-0600H), i was very certain its gonna be a really chill kinda pace maybe its because there will be people from all walks of life and ages who is participating in it.

This ain’t no Tour De France so i am seriously very okay with it. Hahaha! Furthermore, i’m going there to cycle with my old time friends! Its been quite a while since we last met so we decided to go for the event to catch up. How quaint i’d say – meeting up for some HEALTHY LIVING LOVIN’!

**The Flag Off**

The starting point of the event was held at the bicycle kiosk near East Coast Park’s Carpark C3. I was told to come around 9pm as “flag off” timing was stated to be at 2130H. However much delay from both the organizers and participant’s side i ended up getting my Cycling Tee, helmet and bike at 2200H+. By the way, the bike seats sucked. SO HARD! NO CUSHIONING! MATI LIAO! I guess, it must have been the huge turnout and loads of paper work registration needed to be done that caused the delay.

Nonetheless, quite happy with my gear, you can say that i was READY TO ROLL. WELL, IF YOU’RE READY TO ROCK, I’M READY TO ROLL! The whole estimated 100+ cyclists were divided into 6 groups. And each group had 4 marshals from NTU’s Cycling Team and an AETOS Auxiliary Officer on a bike to ensure safety and security along the way. Yay! I must say, i did feel like some atas person getting escorted by AETOS on the road during my journey. Woohoo!

**The Journey From EAST to WEST and the back to EAST AGAIN**

Anyways, heres the rough outline of the route that we took:-

East Coast Park (ECP) to Lau Pa Sat (CBD Area) to Labrador Park to West Coast Mac to Padang and back to ECP.

We were mostly covering the bottom half of Singapore throughout the journey of this wonderful night cycling. One of the moment which i feel was hilarious was when along Bras Basah Road (heading towards Marina Square from SMU) the whole gin gang of us had to switch from the left lane to the right most lane. Thanks to the AETOS officer, he had to stop the whole 5 laned traffic and we hurriedly switch lanes. You should have seen the faces of the drivers it was EPIC! Some where confused, lost, puzzled at what’s going on while others were pretty mad. Oooops! Sorry!

The weather, thank God was perfect. Not too chilly, not too humid…just nice. Thus, it made the whole journey of the cycle pretty pleasant. With traffic almost empty except for a few wandering taxis, we had the whole road to ourselves, but of course, safety first – thusit was left lane ALL the way!

There was however a point where i was pretty disappointed because the group splitted up too far apart and the marshals were not able to link everyone up in time thus i was with 4-5 other people and were on our own. The only way we knew where we had to go was from the another cyclist who was like 5 lamp posts away! So to cut things short, by the time we were nearing Redhill MRT Station, the front cyclist was no where to be seen AND the road was split into 2! GAAAAH! My mini-section of cyclist, had to wait around 5min before the marshal & an AETOS officer came along and guided us back on track. It was a left turn btw. Hahaha!

**Have a Break, Have a Polar Cake**

Our rest or break points during the journey (in sequence) were LAU PA SAT, LABRADOR PARK, WEST COAST MAC & lastly, THE PADANG…. Before we headed back to the End Point. Cyclists were given adequate time to rest and recuperate from the previous journey. We were given Polar cakes (chocolate & cream) as light refreshments at West Coast Mac. Is it me being uber hungry or did those cakes actually taste nice? It was good for me cause I needed some sugar rush! YUMMEH! Somehow, I was already hungry even after having Nasi Goreng Ayam (Chicken Fried Rice) at LAU PA SAT. If you think the black hole didn’t exist, look no further than my stomach. Eat eat eat but will never seem to gain weight THAT much. 😛

My friends and i chatted and cracked joked non-stop and it was hilarious much. Spirits were definitely high AND luckily we did not see or catch other “spirits” too along the way. :S People were mingling around and they too were having a good time judging from the smiles and laughter on their faces…during the breaks only! Hahahaha! On the road, they were very serious and all. I guess, they were afraid of bumping into one another like a few incidents along the journey. Gaaaah! OR maybe they were tired already! Hurhurhur! 😀

**At the end of the night**

From our last rest point, we headed back to ECP via Nicoll Highway and the rest of the road names i am not pretty sure. Through Mountbatten & Fort Road perhaps? By then the groups were pretty much separated because some of the older participants had to cycle slower than us, young guns. It was pretty much a “freedom cycle” as i would like to call it as most of us just sped our way through the groups. Unknowingly. Only realizing either after we were far ahead OR at the finishing line, returning the bikes. Hahaha! But it was fun and safety wasn’t compromised as marshals and AETOS were present.

Once we reached the end point, we returned the gears and all and collected our breakfast vouchers – $10 McDonald’s value coupons courtesy of….KFC. Of course not lah! Courtesy of McDonalds! In times like these, i would like to give a BIG SHOUTOUT to McDonalds for being awesome. Nuff said. Save $$$! Hahahaha!

Thus, after a hearty big value breakfast meal, what else better can we do than to…. catch up on SLEEP!

What i like about Nite On Wheels:

  1. I get to cycle
  2. I get to cycle at night
  3. The refreshments was adequate
  4. 4 rest points in total – which is good if you’re new to cycling and picking up the sport
  5. A great event to go with friends and meet new people
  6. The weather was with us – no rain, not humid, just perfect.
  7. The $20 registration fee is seriously VALUE-FOR-MONEY. For that amount, we received a tee,rented bike + helmet, Polar cakes and a $10 McDees Coupon!

What could be improved (logistically):

  1. Marshals have GOT TO KNOW their way around before hand (eg. what route to take and memorize the map)
  2. More traffic support could have been rendered as 1 AETOS bike to a group (which splits up) isn’t really….safe?
  3. Registration could have been speeded up so not to create delay
  4. 4 resting points (RP) were good BUT the resting period is a bit too long. Thus every time, when we set off from the RP, my body has to “warm up” all over again.
  5. The bicycle seats were hard and riding on it sure got my bottoms bruised! Gaaah!

All in all, it was a night of great fun, joy and laughter! If you had thought of going to such events in the future, one tip – BRING A FRIEND OR FRIENDSSS who would enjoy the event with you. For one thing, lets not be selfish in promoting healthy lifestyle/living AND secondly, its just much more fun with friends! Lookout for U SPORTS upcoming activities! You can get follow them on FB by clicking HERE !!

Till i write again, Guten Tag!

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