Riding the Bishan-Kallang PCN to Gardens by the Bay

Today I cycled the Bishan-Kallang PCN from Bishan to Gardens by the Bay.  It took me about 50 mins to reach the destination.  Not too bad considering how its all the way in Marina South.  The pictures say it all and since I am going to work, I need to think about the alternative routes there.  Its either I cycle and enjoy the quiet park connectors (there was no need to go on the road at all).

Bishan-Kallang PCN

Or hère below are the alternatives.

Crowd in MRT stationBishan-Kallang PCN

 

After the entire recce trip, I wondered why I haven’t been cycling more.  I really felt great and could feel how happy my circulatory system was.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

I was pleasantly surprised that I was on the PCN most of the time.  For some stretches, due to repairs, I had to go on the pavement for just a bit.  The nicest stretch of the PCN was by Kallang River.  There were a few turns to note but the home stretch to GB was sweet.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

Bishan-Kallang PCN

Bishan-Kallang PCN

One can navigate using the Singapore Flyer.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

Kallang Riverside Park is really quite peaceful.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

I will get to see the new stadium being finished.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

 

The stretch from here on is nice.  It skirts the F1 track and the Flyer and leads to the DNA bridge.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

 

The DNA bridge – lovely…

Bishan-Kallang PCN

And finally to the eyes of the dragonfly that is the Flower dome.  Very picturesque welcome.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

As a treat, I bought 30 sticks of satay and put it in my bike bag that is attached to the front.  The satay peeps were curious and enjoyed looking at my Tern P18.  I forgot how nice the bike looks.  I told them the bag was waterproof and ideal for transporting satay.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

The ride home seemed faster as I was familiar with the route… I think I could easily do this route in 45 mins.  The distance I travelled today was about 27km.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

 

There are 4 bridges to cross.  Two of them have narrow slopes for the bike to roll so no need to carry.

 In reference to the overall map, 

The place mark 1 is a bridge across Braddell Rd and has  narrow slopes at the sides so you can roll your bike up. 

2 is a monster bridge across Jln Toa Payoh, PIE, Woodsville Flyover and PIE slip road into the CTE!

3 is the bridge across Serangoon Rd.

4 is the bridge over Bendemeer Rd – it has a slope on one side for bikes to roll.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

The monster bridge is this one near St Andrew’s.

Bishan-Kallang PCN

Satay in the bag!

Bishan-Kallang PCN

 

 

 

Bishan Park ride to collect cake

Cycling to collect a cake is a great reason to commute on a bike.  So my mum asked if I wanted half a log cake… why of course.  So Josh and I were off…. swoosh.

Josh with his Polygon

When we reached there, I discovered my sister and Jon were back from their honeymoon in NZ and a what a nice way to catch up over some kway chap.  Noodle boy loves his noodles flat or round.

Breakfast with the honeymooners

She asked me where I would be bringing the kids in the afternoon and I thought Science centre or prawn fishing.  Somehow the cookie crumbled towards fishing.  My sis feeling bored, decided to tag along.  This farm is in Pasir Ris.  It is the least crowded and the atmosphere is pretty laid-back.

https://i1.wp.com/farm8.staticflickr.com/7004/6548575611_c84bac66bf.jpg

Its pretty fun.  Matt does well sitting there for an hour without whining.

Park Connector Ride – Bishan to Kallang waterside park

The road beckoned and I was eager to try out the new foldie to see how it would do on a long ride on Sunday. The Bishan-Kallang Park Connector Network (PCN) is a long stretch from Bishan and you can technically ride till Ford Road and hit the East Coast Park but there are the obstacles in the form of bridges; the road crossings are easy compared to having to carry your bike up an overhead bridge. Having said that some of the bridges have a narrow corridor for pushing you bikes beside the steps.

In a nutshell, after cycling to Kallang Riverside park and back; I had a most peaceful experience and importantly safe one, free from danger posed by traffic.

20111211-171216.jpg

Starting from Bishan Park

20111211-172203.jpg

The overhead bridge over Braddell Road.  Note the narrow “corridors” or slopes on either side of the steps that make it easier to push bikes up.  But even then, its going to be tough for smaller kids to push their bikes or wheelchairs to cross the road.  See this post on “Biking experiences” for some comments on the bike unfriendly bridges on this park connector – the blog is so interesting as he lugs his entire family with 3 small children on PCN rides!  His kids must be strong and healthy!

 

Photo 11 12 11 9 29 48 AM

The view that greets the eye is most pleasant and this part of the connector gives you a nice ride till St Andrew’s Village

 

Photo 11 12 11 9 34 20 AM

Those are the Potong Pasir HUDC flats.  The river here has a most peaceful look about it.

Photo 11 12 11 9 34 53 AM

This is the crossing for Potong Pasir Ave 1 – relatively quiet.  Usually people cross look like they’ve gone to the market on weekends.  The ride from this crossing will bring you along side the St Andrew’s village and the crossing there will be a little tough as the bridge is bike unfriendly.  (I am not sure about the road crossing although that seems like a distance away).

Photo 11 12 11 9 38 21 AM

Here are the instructions to cross the Jalan Toa Payoh and PIE.

 

NewImage

Here is the map of the crossing from the NParks website.

Photo 11 12 11 9 41 13 AM

The bridge is bike unfriendly but for someone keen to burn calories; it makes for a good workout.

Photo 11 12 11 9 45 25 AM

Calories are always lurking around the corner and there is an instant reward for that crossing –  a PRATA SHOP there at Moonstone Lane-Opal Crescent junction.  Excellent excuse to have a prata and kopi break.

 

Photo 11 12 11 9 46 28 AM

Another crossing to make but this time is a low bridge across the river

 

Photo 11 12 11 9 46 58 AM

This is a place to stop and take in the river flow.  Whie this PCN ride has lots of crossings, there are some over the rivers that make it quite a scenic ride.

 

Photo 11 12 11 9 47 44 AM

Is this a longkang (drain) or a bike groove?  I used it to guide my bike up and down the bridge.

Photo 11 12 11 9 50 06 AM

This sign is quite the 60s and I can hear P. Ramlee in the air if I close my eyes.  By this building there is one road crossing to make and then an overhead bridge before passing Kolam Ayer.

 

Photo 11 12 11 9 51 56 AM

This bridge has only one slope beside the steps for pushing your bike up.

Photo 11 12 11 9 54 50 AM

 

Photo 11 12 11 9 55 55 AM

Photo 11 12 11 10 00 24 AM

At the end of the Kolam Ayer stretch is a road crossing and then a very unlikely narrow passageway to continue the PCN.

Photo 11 12 11 10 01 25 AM

 

Photo 11 12 11 10 02 26 AM

 

 

Photo 11 12 11 10 06 53 AM

This is Boon Keng Road.

Photo 11 12 11 10 07 46 AM

Photo 11 12 11 10 09 15 AM

Kallang MRT.  Somehow this landmark is where I always turn back.  Its like reaching the top of Bukit Timah Hill.  This time however I continue.

National Aerated Water Co Pte Ltd 1

To cross Kallang Road, you have to ride down to the traffic light at the junction of Kallang Road and Lorong 1 Geylang.  This is where you will get to the Kallang Riverside Park but the park is split into two by the Sungei Kallang.   I moved southwards using the eastern park and then explored then rode back the western park.   I found the latter to be nicer.  Its a bit quiet there so no really advisable to ride when its dark.

National Aerated Water Co Pte Ltd

The eastern River Side park is a bit of a bummer as it ends abruptly thanks to a few restricted areas. But there is the Nicoll Highway to use to cross over the the other side.  I used that to turn around. Would have loved to explore how to reach the East Coast Park but it was time to turn back.

Photo 11 12 11 10 26 11 AM

Odd.

Photo 11 12 11 10 33 01 AM

Licuala peltata – a very huge licuala.

Photo 11 12 11 10 35 45 AM

Fig trees seem to be immune to development in Singapore

Photo 11 12 11 10 34 29 AM

What’s left in a clearing are fig trees.

Photo 11 12 11 10 34 55 AM

The Tern Link P9 – such a smooth ride.

Photo 11 12 11 11 24 14 AM

Prata for the hungry people back home who probably were still sleeping at 11 am.

 

Some useful websites for the Bishan-Kallang Connector

http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=parkconnectors&id=22&Itemid=74

http://thebookofshadow.blogspot.com/2011/02/boating-transversing-park-connectors.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2omK1D0b8o

 

Long awaited Zendogs ride

This was a long awaited ride. As usual the impetus for the ride is the breakfast at changi. The morning was a nice one and I took lots of pictures. The air quality was good and made the sky look bluer than usual. There’s always something liberating about a zendog ride. It’s the kakis, the breakfast, the challenge of the distance and the ride into changi village via cranwell.

This morning two hornbills announce their presence mid-breakfast, busily leap-gliding between 2 Angsana trees. Biologists, distance-cycling-induced- endorphins, hornbills, kakis and prata – potent combination.

The raw duathlon

Got my endorphin fix yesterday at the raw duathlon. Did the 5k 40k 5k. I thought since there were no kakis with me, it would definitely be a lonely affair. But highlight number one was a reunion with my BMT buddy Ahmad Hilmy who saw me on FB and told me he was going for this event too. I tried looking out for him at the transition zone but didn’t see him but he found me at the start point so we started the race together, just like SOC in the Army! We chatted like it was 18 yrs ago. I used to beat him at it but now he finished earlier than I did. Well done buddy!

Image176.jpg

So this was my first duathlon and a highly charged event for me. The adrenaline was there for the 1st 5K so I finished that off in about 25 mins. The weather was getting real hot and I wished the start had been 7am instead of 745am. It was nice to transit to the bike leg and ride under the shade of the rain trees on the changi coastal road with the wind blowing. At about 30km and onto the last loop, I was running out of water even though I had 2 bottles in my bike cages. I had frozen one bottle but that melted way before. Being a zen dog doesn’t help the bike leg competitively as I began to get into a kind of zone with people whizzing past and started to enjoy the cycling, admiring the nice bikes that whizzed past. But I knew the heat would take its toll in next 5k run leg so I took it easy on the bike.

The next transition was really grueling running on the heated tarmac its albedo at around 10am. Not more that 100m into the run, my thighs cramped, luckily those were peddling muscles.. or the lack of. So I ran those cramps away. It was really hot and I took my time at the drinks station… The road was beginning to dot itself with cramping runners.

Image174.jpg
(this was taken at 630am.. those clouds up and disappeared at about 730am)

At the 2.5k turn, the wind../ zephyrs that had previously blown softly into my face now disappeared and I was now running away from it… Its soft murmurs in my ears now replaced by each of my feet placing itself on the tarmac. I lamented this wind of change../change of wind. Shortly at the 4k mark, a caucasian (attended by vigilant medics) had passed out on the side of the road still clutching on to a plastic cup.. and a guy who I had seen cramping up when I was on the opposite stretch was still negotiating with the medic to continue with the race. I was glad I signed up for the 5km run legs… I haven’t so much to prove anyway.

I pretty much enjoyed the last stretch.. better than the marathon or half army marathon…. at least I still had something left in me. Got a drink from the milo stand and headed for the free cup (decent amount) of beer (ice-cold Brewerkz beer after a duathlon at the Aviation park road on a damn hot day is mind-blowing, someone should do a study on this). I think I finished in about 2hrs 45mins.

Image179.jpg
(after the race… check out the cloudless sky)

Overall, an enjoyable race. $55 a bit expensive but the medics were on their toes and the beer was a nice touch. The volunteers were the best I have met in races, smiley and ready with the drinks. No finishers medal (which I don’t care much for) but something to take back would have been good.

Image183.jpg
(the relaxing ride back to the car after the race)

Moments from the Bike Rally

Image101.jpg

Image100.jpg

This was a nice part of the ride along Lim Chu Kang Road. A bit surreal riding on an open road with open fields around. Fantastic.

Image110.jpg

Aaron trying to resuscitate his tyre with the handpump, which we then christened the pump virus, it deflates the tyres with unapprenticed use and when others see you having a pump in hand they will ask for it and deflate their own tyres as well.

Image099.jpg

A nice clear and sunny day… that began to cloud and darken.

Image115.jpg

Image119.jpg

Lady bug leading

Image122.jpg

Waiting out the downpour at Serangoon stadium. We finally decided to cycle to East Coast Park after the rain subsided a little.

The most sucky part was when the bike rack with KX’s and Ladybugs bike fell off the road, luckily the cars were far off behind and stopped in time for us to retrieve the bikes and gingerly drive off to HV…

Image098.jpg

Favourite moment – MacDonald’s breakfast at West Coast – we told the marshalls we needed to go for a toilet break… half an hour later we came out and the marshall (NTU undergrad) remarked jokingly “Wah toilet break so long one ah?!”

Hat tips –
I was tweeting updates and apparently Jen was following Otterman’s tweets in facebook to get updated on our progress.

My loving wife stayed home with the 3 monsters to let me cycle round Singapore.

NTU organising body was really on top of their jobs ferrying bikes and participants who were stranded in the rain. They road marshalls were in good spirits despite being in the hot sun and then being pelted with heavy rain. There were enough snacks and drinks to keep everyone well nourished. Only gripe were the beating of traffic lights by some undergrads.

Changi ride

Its always nice to ride to Changi with the Zendogs. This time I was catching Otterman and Ladybug who were on their way to PedalUbin. I also could test out my new ride, a second-hand racer which isn’t too shabby. I had tested out the clips for the pedal as well as shoes the night before as I have heard some of my friend falling off at road junctions. The ride was great and managed to catch up with them along Elias road from Sengkang. A pity they had to rush off at the jetty.

ride.jpg

The Changi rides are the most enjoyable. Here’s the bike taking a rest while I had my Jwee Kueh which was a good carbo fix before the half hour ride back to Sengkang.