CNA's abbreviated headline (see below), however, ends up making an incorrect claim. This is NOT Singapore's first mass cycling event on public roads. In the 1990's DuPont sponsored Singapore Sports Council's mass leisure ride series called the National Leisure Cycle.
Anyway, this was exciting, to see news of OCBC Cycle Singapore. But then I saw the cost - its prohibitive. To ride the 40km challenge, you have to pay between between $58 - $93 (cheaper to register before mid-December and with an OCBC Credit Card). The 20km community ride would cost between $34 - $63. I suppose there is a cost to organising a ride through the city and an income to be generated so that its sustainable.
However, if you settle for the much better scenery of the Changi to ECP park connector, the two way trip will see you clock about 25km and it will cost you $10 for bike rental. Save the cash for the delectable food at either end for a net increase in calories!
Still, I am sure there are enough who will like the event jersey (40km & 50km rides) or t-shirt, the thrill of a ride through the city that they would not tackle on their own and most importantly, the pageantry and camaraderie of a mass participatory event.
I'm obviously not one of them and am probably too sold on the NTU Round Island Ride. However, the idea of this many Singaporeans venturing out on bicycles is an attractive idea and at the very least, I'm likely to cycle down to some sweet spot to take photos.
"Singapore's first mass cycling event aims to attract 5,000 participants," by Cheah Yean Ti. Channel NewsAsia, 18 Nov 2008.
First it was the Formula One. Now, another sport looks set to capitalise on Singapore's cityscape.
On February 22 next year, Singapore's first mass cycling event on public roads aims to attract 5,000 participants.
Called OCBC Cycle Singapore, participants will have full use of closed roads stretching from the bayside Formula One pit building to as far away as Changi in the east.
It will also be the first time an event will include both amateur and elite cyclists.
For recreational cyclists, routes will range from five to 40 kilometres.
While serious cyclists can sign up for a 50 kilometre challenge, subject to qualification, or even more rigorous racing events which are subject to time trials.
Organisers also plan to bring in 50 professional cyclists from around the world to compete in a special category with a prize purse of S$100,000.
Mr Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, said: "I can almost imagine everybody, young and old, cycling together. Then you have the elite cyclists on another circuit. I think this has the potential to grow into a regional event."
Organisers are looking to bring in professional cyclists who will be in the region for the Tour de Langkawi, which will be held a week before OCBC Cycle Singapore.
Visit www.ocbc.cyclesingapore.com.sg for more information or to sign up. - CNA/de