It’s happy birthday Singapore for the weekend, and we’re all jubilant (yes I’m deliberately saying it) about it. As Singaporeans, we revel in the celebrations and spirit that is SG50, looking forward to the parties and fun times ahead in the coming couple of days. But more than that, there’s something about this momentous occasion that makes one pensive; we’ve come a long way as the history books know, from a tiny abandoned city to a bustling metropolis that is recognised globally as a leader in many cutting edge fields and the epitome of success for a nation.
It’s taken us a 50 long years, half a century, to get to where we are, and the road was not always smooth. Of course, I’m not selling a national education textbook here. There’s a sense of pride and achievement many, especially the older generation, must feel when remembering events of the past and the long journey that took us from kampongs to war and all the way to what you see now at Marina Bay; towering skyscrapers that signify prosperity and progress. Having come thus far and working hard to transform Singapore into what it is today, we at Togoparts just want to remember and be thankful for the past 50 years, and revisit some of the good old memories in a bicycle themed reflection.
A time when cars and bicycles co-existed was not so long ago, considering we’re only a young nation and still have a long way to go. Why then, should now be any different? Looking forward through the lens of our history, let’s continue to ensure that we work towards harmonious use of our limited roads. Drivers certainly feel the pinch with rising costs of car ownership, and we cyclists don’t have it any better either, as roads get increasingly congested and we get squeezed off the road into the gutter. But if everyone just gives a little way, show a little patience, we can definitely create a more gracious culture for SG100.
Cycling has picked up tremendously here. Where you would previously see one or two guys pedalling their hearts out on the road now seeing several large pelotons going past on a weekend morning has become a normal sight in places like Thomson and the East and West Coasts of Singapore. People have gone with cycling for fitness and health concerns, as well as simply just to enjoy the various disciplines of the sport. The local authorities are also constantly discussing ways to integrate cyclists into the community; with the advent of the Park Connector Network (PCN) cyclists can get around the various parts of Singapore via scenic bike path ways that basically connect up the whole island. That’s an achievement really, as don’t have much land to expand our roads but we’ve come up with bike paths that traverse the island.
Considering how we used to have to cycle on narrow pavements trying not to hit pedestrians or on the roads incurring the ire of drivers, I’d use an Audi word and say we’ve Vorsprunged.
In the light of our nation’s birthday, let’s be thankful for what we have, but let’s not rest on our laurels. There’s much to be done in the way of soaring greater heights as a nation, but it starts from the one person. If everyone does their part, then collectively we can take our pioneers’ legacy through the next five decades and let that future generation look back and appreciate our work, much like how we are appreciating the effort of those that have gone before us.
Oh and if you have no idea what to do this SG50 weekend, check out our recommended best places to ride this long weekend!