(coverage by Nash A. and Nabil. R.)
4th March 2012 – Its 6 in the AM and its a Cold, Wet and Loud at the F1 Pit Building.Three words to describe the arrival of the “dream” team. Mass groups of avid cyclists, mothers herding their kids fully attired in their cycling kits. Over on the left, the slightly pudgy office worker psyches himself up for the race ahead while his wife does the last minute safety checks. On the right, a grandfather tells his grand daughter to stay close midst the crowd, trudging forward. Truly, this is a race for all, big or small young or old.
As i type this post at the media room, i must say the view overlooking the F1 grid is outstanding, same goes for the journey throughout. Time, 0700hrs, we slowly made our way to the starting line, after the mandatory bike and safety checks (kudos to the organizers for making it thorough without making it to taxing). At this time, the 59km cyclists sprint to the finish, definitely strong. At that point i figured, “this should be a breeze” boy was i wrong.
Time: 0730hrs – Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Ministry of Community Development Youth & Sports, flagged off the start of the 24km Community Ride. From the F1 pits, we made our way down the road towards ECP. View was BREATH to the TAKING!
After that, comes the climb. At this point, i felt like singing Miley Cyrus “The Climb” and that thought just made me nauseous(seriously). Luckily, we had our Philips Headphones on with excellent noise cancelling and solid bass, we were practically dancing on our bikes up the slope (Grooving to “I Wanna” by All American Rejects, played over 91.3FM, Official radio coverage for OCBC Cycle 2012, you know that feeling right?). Just had to share, these Philips ActionFit Sweatproof and Washable headphones were great – well fitted and the bass was gooooood. 🙂
Down the highway, i think most cyclist would know the feeling of almost never ending road. At this point, Nabil was almost a goner, not because of the ride, but due to lack of sleep from the night before. He had been awake since 0730H the day before! Luckily, we kept each other motivated pushing harder as we inch towards the water point. After the U-turn at East Coast Park Service Road….there it was…… The Pit Stop!!
Nabil regained his energy and off we sped through East Coast Park, making new acquantances along the way (yups, we were kinda high after the 100 PLUS). The road was smooth and the closures were planned carefully, thus perfect! Then came the Sheares Bridge yet again. Fuuh, this slope, after the 20km, was quite a thriller. I felt the great burning sensation on my calves and thighs as i trudge through the crowd who were mostly pushing their bikes. After about 10mins sprint down the F1 route, and after clocking a total time of 1hr 14mins, we were done y’all! Hahah felt really great, slight wobbly feeling though – its just the muscles getting use to walking again. 😛
Overall, the ride was superb and if i could point out any learning lessons from OCBC Cycle it would be these:
- Enough rest the night before, atleast 6 hours( like me) or you end up shutting your eyes midway through the highway(hint-hint Nabil)
- Hydration– Keep yourselves hydrated way before the race, and during the race. Not too much though cause not many toilets along the way plus the inertia of the water in the tummy will affect the cycling experience.
- Motivate each other. We had each other to push us through the challenges. Even when you are going out there alone, its okay to push and motivate other riders, c’mon..we are all aiming for the same end.
- Check your kits! To prevent abrasions, dangerous falls and bike breakdowns. We noticed several riders stopping at the side fixing their bikes. Even with their Neutral stations, it’ll be great to have portable pumps or tool kits, just in case.
- Good accessories!! Philip’s headphones definitely made my experience worthwhile with the sound cancellations and great bass.
- Enjoy the view – when you are relaxed and enjoying your environment, the journey is very much enjoyable
- Lastly, an event to make NEW friends and also still keep in touch with the old ones. 😉
So, there you go, OCBC Cycle Singapore 2012 in a nutshell. Nabil and i can’t wait for more races like this, and more than ready to take on harder challenges ahead. And thats WHY WE RUN.
P.S, To view more photos of the event captured by us, click on the icon below!