It is that time of the year again when our country starts preparing to celebrate Singapore’s birthday, as we begin to see many signs, banners and posters being put up all across the island to mark this annual celebration, it is no wonder that many people, places, businesses and organizations are keen to also jump onto this celebratory bandwagon to celebrate Singapore’s 54th year of independence.
Not to be left out of these celebrations, Togoparts is also proud to launch the 2019 National Day Challenge, which is a virtual cycling challenge that is open to cycling teams and individuals all around the world. All that is required for participation is to register for this virtual event, then complete a certain predetermined distance within the challenge period and get rewarded with finisher items upon completion of your chosen category.
There are basically only two categories that you can register for, the 54km distance and the longer 96.5km distance, with all rides requiring the use of a Strava account to accurately log and record your ride’s distance. You have to record your ride between 12 o’clock midnight on 3 August 2019 and 11:59pm on 18 Aug 2019, Singapore time, so basically any cyclist in any part of the world is able to register and take part in this challenge.
The 54km distance category costs only SGD$9.90 to register and upon completion of this distance during the qualifying period, you will receive a finisher’s medal. The longer 96.5km category costs SGD$39.90 requires you to clock in at least 96.5km, and completion of this distance will qualify you for both a finisher’s medal as well as a finisher’s cycling jersey.
But that’s not all, for all registered participants, if you complete at least 300km, you will also get bragging rights together with a Randonneur Badge, and to up the ante another step higher, if you have a team of at least five cyclists, and as a team, you have averaged a minimum 300km distance during the challenge period, all team members will receive a SuperRandonneur Team badge with your team’s name embroidered on it! Talk about achieving the ultimate in bragging rights!
However, if you are a resident in our little sunny island of Singapore and would like to participate in this event, but are worried if you are even able to cover such a distance here, fret not my cycling friend, read on for further tips on some of the regular local cycling routes which will enable you to easily clock these distances.
Tanah Merah Coast Road
Perhaps one of Singapore’s most popular road cycling route, the new Tanah Merah Coast Road has long been a favourite with enthusiastic road cyclists and groups, no matter your level of fitness and average speed, anyone will be able to enjoy this lone stretch of road to put their riding skills to the test, and of course common sense, road etiquette and courtesy to all vehicles and other road cyclists will ensure that everyone will be able to ride there safely and happily.
Starting from the T-Junction before the small road leading into the NSRCC and following along the road past 2 left bends, you will end up about 12km later at the end of Aviation Park Road and reach Changi beach, 4 loops on this stretch of road will already ensure you have clocked enough distance to cover the 96.5km category.
Another popular route amongst road cyclists is the Thomson/Seletar route, which starts from basically along Upper Thomson Road, head north up towards Lower Pierce Reservoir where you can then decide to detour and take the curvier Old Thomson Road as you continue on towards Nee Soon, from there a right turn towards Yishun Ave 1 will lead you along Lower Seletar Reservoir until you reach Yishun Ave 8 where you will be able to enjoy some cool fresh air as you ride across the Yishun dam.
Once you cross the dam, the open road is yours to claim, and if you are riding here on Sunday, then the amount of traffic around the Seletar Aerospace Park will be almost non-existent, so group riding here with 2 abreast should be very safe. Depending on how many times you decide to loop around the Seletar area, you will also be able to easily clock enough kilometers to reach your targeted goal.
Park Connector Network
For the more leisurely riders in Singapore, the many different park connectors along the outer areas of Singapore provide ample distance to complete either of the 2 categories easily. The Eastern Coastal Loop from Marina Barrage to Changi Beach along the East Coast Parkway is already about 30km in one direction.
And if you really want to take advantage of the PCN network, you might want to consider doing an entire round island ride instead, some avid cyclists have posted their routes onto the internet, with distances averaging about 100km, so 3 loops of this round island ride should cement your team’s name onto the SuperRandonneur Team badge!
National Day Celebrations
If you need further motivation to clock your distances, perhaps you might want to also join the many celebrations that are happening around our entire island in the weeks leading up to our National Day. If you happen to be riding along the East Coast parkway, maybe you might want to make a pit stop at the Marina Barrage or anywhere around the Marina Bay area to catch the fireworks display, there will be fireworks shows during the previews held on 3 Aug at about 8pm at night, likewise if you will be riding on National Day itself, the fireworks display will be at about 8pm too.
And if you happen to miss the fireworks displays on both the preview on 3 Aug as well as the actual day itself, not to worry, you can still catch fireworks displays at the heartlands areas on the next day 10 Aug when the mobile column reach these destinations, the fireworks displays are scheduled to start at about 8pm at night, apart from the fireworks displays, there will also be carnivals at each of these sites for everyone to participate in the celebrations.