Around the world, almost any working person with a passion for cycling will tell you one thing: “I do not have enough time to ride!” Thanks to increasing globalization, this is especially true for 9-5ers who almost always end up burning the midnight oil to meet shrinking deadlines.
However, cyclists in Singapore are perhaps luckier than those in neighboring states. Singapore offers one benefit to them that no other Southeast Asian country can safely provide to its 2 wheeled loving citizens. In Singapore, it is perfectly fine to go for a training ride after the sun sets. Preferably after 9PM. There is absolutely no need to get on a trainer or rollers, both of which are probably the most boring activities in the word.
This perk is one I noticed not long after moving here. Travelling home late at night after missing a morning workout, I noticed that the wide open and well-lit roads were positively begging to be ridden. Add the fact that there are hardly any crash-inducing potholes in Singapore, and you have yourself a huge number of route choices to hammer the night away.
For this segment, I will feature a route that almost always has a cyclist or two (sometimes more) training on its roads even during late evenings. It is also quite conducive to ride here as the roads are usually clear of vehicles (or there are very few) at night.
Almost car-free, what more can you ask for?
Front and rear lighting required. Do not leave home without them when riding at night!
Let’s Go! The West Coast to Jalan Boon Lay Phase
During the day, Tuas is hardly an area one would recommend fellow cyclists to train on. Traffic is quite heavy, and jams are common. Not to mention the high number of container trucks plying its streets to keep the economy running. However, once the sun sets, these trucks all but disappear, and the roads of Tuas are left open for any cyclist in Singapore ‘itching’ to ride.
Busy road by day, cycling ‘playground’ by night
The route normally starts at Mcdonald’s West coast Highway where most groups tend to meet. From there, keep the pace easy and steady to warm-up and allow for some evening chit chat with your mates. From West Coast, turn left before the roundabout and head into Jalan Buroh right behind the Pandan reservoir. This is a long stretch of road that is very well lit and is an absolute treat when there is a strong tailwind. It’s fairly easy to maintain 50km/h with a tailwind, and 40km/h without along this stretch.
As you approach the Penjuru Road intersection, stick to the left to avoid the flyover. It is not safe for bicycles to pass on flyovers due to the narrower lanes and high speeds of vehicles passing over it. Once you clear the intersection, wind up your cranks immediately and get up to cruising speed before you hit the bridge. This will allow you to maintain your momentum as you crest the bridge and gain additional speed on the way down. It is particularly important to do so because the speed you gather as you go down can easily be maintained all the way to the Jalan Boon Lay Intersection. On a good day (i.e. no headwind) it is easy to cruise this section at the low or high 40s, depending on your fitness.
Intersections usually yield a green light and are spaced quite far apart
Shift to the middle lane as you approach Jalan Boon Lay. This is because staying on the leftmost lane will lead you to Jalan Boon Lay. You will have to stick to Jalan Buroh by taking the centre lane. This section is slightly uphill and is best used to take a breather as the light is highly likely to be red once you reach the intersection.