The Ride

Probably the most anticipated family sporting event in 2010, the National Runway Cycling & Skating (NRWCS), currently into its 15th year, was a great experience to change a regular Sunday morning into an extremely eye-opening one. This probably is the reason why so many cyclists would turn up. What more could you desire: a closed runway with many like-minded sporting enthusiasts, on either one (unicycles), two (bicycles), three (trishaws, handcycles), four (bicycles with training wheels), and eight wheels (skaters). Should you not be there to ride, there were many titillating things to look at the exposition booths. I went there to find what Togoparters would be interested in: bicycles, bicycles, and bicycle porn.

Of particular interest to Togoparters would be the wide variety of bicycles. This event coalesces many disparate Singaporean cyclists groups into one event. ?It is perhaps best compared to a mini-Interbike, for Singaporean standards, at least. Every nuance of the cycling can be found here:? the Cruisers, folding bicycles, fixies, road bikes, hybrids, mountain bikes, tricycles, a handcycle and unicycles!

Paramount to the success achieved in this event is attributable to the excellent planning of the event organisers. Throughout the event, there were medics to tend to people who got into accidents, ambulances on standby to send people to the medical centre. No doubt, these safety measures are excellent. Most critically, the width of the runway allowed many people to cycle and skate in safety, and what better to have no cars to threaten one?s safety. I would, however, criticise that while there were water points serving H20 and water, which was great, they got a bit sparse on the returning loop. I was well prepared, but not everyone was.

While the NRWCS was no race, the turnout by roadies were quite substantial too, could this be because they wanted a change in routine from the Coastal Loop? Whatever the case, different pelotons of roadies presented themselves on the runway today, perhaps doing their Sunday routine, with the benefit of having no forcible stops such as red lights. The best thing about today was that while you could have registered for the lower mileage routes, you had the freedom of riding as many rounds of the runway as you liked. It must be a blessing for anyone looking to do some training.

The Exhibitions

Another area of interest for Togoparters would, beside the race, be the products that were on display at the exhibition booths. There were exhibits by old-timers like Shimano, a very exciting booth by Diginexx, fixies on display and even a very British-styled cycling accessory retailer.

First off, you?d be proud to be a Shimano owner when you come here. They were offering free servicing and tune up for gears, derailleurs and brakes, of course, to Shimano components only.

There was also a booth displaying various foldies and they are available in many different configurations.

Fixies were also only display by another booth. Airwalk fixies, apparently.? Immediately eyecatching, the exhibitionism of a fixie is eyecatching: its colours, non-standard wheels and sometimes, a lack of braking facilities are merely some of the reasons why this booth was well frequented.

Last but not least, there were a few Brooks-esque products on sale here by Twenty20bikes. At first, they did look like Brooks, but they turned out not to be. Prices were lower than the regular Brooks fare, but whether their quality is Brooks-like is not clear. Nonetheless, their leather seats come in many colours and exudes a very British flair of sophistication. Even the handlebar grips look great!

Conclusion

It was a great day today at the runway cycling event of the year. I went home feeling extremely tired, as the weather was terrible today. No matter, I felt a sense of accomplishment too. A few things today kept me thinking: where did this 7000-strong crowd come from? While I?m sure our cycling community is large, it never seems to be this large, until today. Such an event is powerful in ?gathering the men?, from disparate cycling groups: the ECP recreational riders, the Holland V fixie riders, and the Changi Coastal Loopers. It seems that such events are great at attracting the like-minded, and thus leads to such a great turnout, which gave the runway, a lifeless straight road, its spirit today.