5 New Things to Do in 2015 as a Cyclist

CHARLES LEE | 8th Jan 2015 | Features

5 New Things to Do in 2015 as a Cyclist

For most cyclists (including myself), it seems that plying on the same cycling route on that weather-beaten bicycle will soon become a stodgy activity in no more than a couple of weeks.  Continuing with that same path is likely to familiarise you with the typical timings that the elderly couple from your adjacent apartment will be walking their Jack Russell Terrier.  Somehow, novice and avid riders alike, we cannot seem to stay put in the same place doing the same thing.  As cyclists with a ride-hard-and-play-hard attitude, we have a penchant for new stuff.  Anything.  As long as it is new to us.

Here at Togoparts, we have uncovered 5 new things that you can do in this brand new year.  All in the name of renewing your love for cycling.  At least in 2015.

New Thing #1 – Try a Different Bike Discipline

I must concede that this is an arduous task to embark on, let alone achieve.  Each biking discipline has its pros and cons and riders from their respective disciplines.. well.. ahem.. tend to support their own disciplines (hey, it’s not wrong to do that!).  Roadies will contend that adrenalin rushes come from the ability to cruise at 35 to 40 kph.  Dirt-jumpers swear that nothing comes close to the sense of accomplishment in successfully executing a Can Can.  Mountain bikers believe that mountain biking offers the best total body workout.

For the simplicity of things, we will only draw up the comparisons between 3 main disciplines – Mountain Biking, Road Riding and Slopestyle / Dirt-Jumping – and give you enough basic information on why you should try and take up the other discipline as a new sport.

Knowing how to ride a bicycle is one thing.  Knowing how to repair your bicycle involves another realm. Based on a rough estimate, more than half of the self-acclaimed avid riders (including myself) may not have the technical know-how to carry out repairs or servicing beyond the simple applications of quick-release components.New Thing #2 – Learn to Repair / Service your Bicycle

A sure-fire way to learn how to repair or service your bicycle is to work on an old bicycle.  If possible, get someone who is experienced in repairing bikes to guide you.  Otherwise, you may choose to stick around with the mechanic in your local bike shop and observe how he carries out the repairs.  The following is a list of suggested repairing and servicing competencies which you may want to be equipped with:

Repairing Servicing

 

Changing tire Replacing cables
Applying patch to punctured tyre Replacing brake pads
Replacing broken wheel spokes Degreasing and Lubrication of parts
Replacing derailleurs Fine-tuning of gear shifts

 

New Thing #3 – Cycle for a Cause

The majority of us are have been quite fortunate.  We have the means to study and work for a decent living.  We have no major disability to prevent us from riding our bikes.  Most importantly, we have been blessed with good health to do everything that we like to do.  But for some, enjoying good health is simply a distant wish.

To do your part for the unfortunate, you can consider cycling for a cause.  In Singapore, there are several cycling groups that organise cycling events for a good cause.  Epic Cyclists (www.facebook.com/the.epic.ride) is one of the prominent groups and they will be taking part in the Kidney Dialysis Foundaion (KDF) Millenium Ride 2015 from 23 to 26 January 2015 to complete 1000 km in 4 days.  The trip will take Epic Cyclists from Singapore to Thailand!

The Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) will also be organising a charity ride from 15 to 17 May 2015 whereby we will be seeing cyclists overcoming a distance of 220 km over 2 days.  TTSH is aiming to raise at least $250,000 for needy elderly patients under the TTSH Community Fund.  The charity ride will take place at Krabi and Phuket and interested parties can sign up at www.facebook.com/pages/TTSH-Community-Fund/134306973298962.

Make the year of 2015 to be a year of giving.

New Thing #4 – Go for an Overseas Cycling Trip / Race

Cycling to places beyond Singapore shores has been increasingly common.  The Tour De Bintan, for example, is the Asian adaptation of the Tour De France and it has seen an increasing participation rate from Singapore cyclists.  While it is considered an official race, many of the participants treated the event as part of their larger holidays on the beautiful Bintan Island.  More details on entering the race can be found at https://tourdebintan.com/.

For those who do not have the racing blood in them and simply desire a relaxed cycling trip, we would advise that you take into considerations the following before the next planning step:

– Who will be the ones accompanying you for the trip?

– Will you be using your own bicycle?

– What is the total projected cost of the trip (including insurance coverage for the bicycle)?

– Is your trip a cycling-centric one, or is cycling a small component of the trip?

Those who are experienced in overseas cycling trips are likely to advise against bringing your own bike due to the following reasons:

– Added travelling costs in insurance coverage for the bicycle

– Increased hassle, especially in places where cycling is not supported by that country’s community (e.g. crowded public transportation, lack of paved roads for cyclists)

– Increased costs in domestic travelling (e.g. booking a van over taking public transport)

– Increased efforts (e.g. having to pack the bicycle, looking out for your bicyle every now and then to prevent theft)

After you have given due thought to the above issues, you can then consider the following 3 options on how your trip will be made:

(a) Trips organised by your bike shop

This option has the advantage of having organisers / cyclists who are experienced in overseas trips.  They have the expertise and know-hows on logistical and crisis management.  In short, you are likely to be home safely in one piece.

(b) Trips organised by forum groups

This option, while deemed by many as a little “riskier”, provides a good platform to make new cycling friends.  It is prudent to approach the organisers in such forum groups to find out the level of experience they have had in overseas cycling trips.   After all, nobody wants play any finger-pointing game when things goes awry.

(c) Trips organised by travel agencies

The “safest” of all options (to me, at least), trips organised by travel agencies are tried and tested and agencies have the necessary resources to take care of you (and your bike).  But still, check out a few agencies to carry out price and logistical comparisons.

 

New Thing #5 – Start Buying Online from Togoparts

The thrill of buying an item online and waiting for it to be delivered to my doorstep never fails to excite me.  Just like other online retailers, Togoparts upkeep an online retailing presence by offering a one-stop platform to retailers to advertise their products.  I call it the “Carousell for Cyclists”.

The Togoparts online platform, simply called the Togoparts Store, stocks a spectrum of bicycle models and related accessories that is wide enough for anyone to do a meaningful window shopping (or rather, window browsing).  From cycling trainers to hydration packs, many opted to make purchases from the Togoparts Store because of its reliability (retailers in Togoparts Store are authorised dealers and payments are made via a secured gateway) and the relative ease of getting the item (just 3 working days).  Try it.  Or at least once in 2015.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the above suggestions are mere suggestions.  At the heart of each of the suggestions is, nonetheless, linked to your passion to ride.   A prosaic observation from Togoparts’ Marketplace reveals that many riders are selling their bicycles because they have “no time to ride”.  If “no time to ride” is your reason for selling your bike, then stop for a moment and ask yourself “what is the reason that ticked you to buy the bike in the first place?”.

Cycling is not only a fun-to-do activity.  It can be used as a catalyst or medium to do something good for somebody else.  Put it in the centre of our society and our well-beings and it will bring you more joy and meaning than ever.