As I had been typing out this blog post, 43-year-old Donald MacDonald was at Orchard Gateway, huffing and puffing away on a stationary bike.
That is because the Head of Group Customer Analytics and Positioning at OCBC Bank was one of the four cyclists taking part in the first-ever endurance challenge put together by OCBC Bank…as the main highlight to mark the launch event of the 2016 edition of the annual OCBC Cycle 2016 event – taking place on 1 and 2 October this year.
Cycling representatives from teams around Singapore
Besides MacDonald, there had also been cycling representatives from three other cycling groups – such as the Specialised Mavericks, the Geylang Cycling Team and New Moon, challenging him at the event.
Said MacDonald on his performance so far, “I think that I had got overexcited and started out too fast in the first half hour so I will have to conserve energy for the rest of the afternoon.”
An avid cyclist himself, MacDonald wakes up at 4.30am every morning, six days a week, and does some Cycling before he makes his way to the office at 7.30am.
Said MacDonald “This is the best way to start the day and you will go into the office feeling energised and refreshed..”
Taking place for the first time at the OCBC Cycle launch event, the cyclists are currently riding for 24 hours from 12.00pm on 15 April to 12.00pm on 16 April – to challenge the Singapore Book of Records award for the Longest Distance Covered on a Stationary Bike in six hours. This record breaking attempt will take place during two six-hour time periods between 12.00pm on 15 April to 12.00pm on 16 April.
The previous records in this category stood at 142.4km for men and 123km for women. [This record was subsequently broke at 6pm by Alan Grant, from Specialised Mavericks, who had completed 217.2km].
Additionally, the four teams will be engaged in a separate team challenge to clock the furthest mileage on a stationary bike within 24 hours, with the winner of this team challenge receiving a champion trophy.
Said Koh Ching Ching, 48, Head of Corporate Communications at OCBC Bank, “We wanted to showcase the capability of Singapore cyclists and what we can achieve. Cycling is for everyone regardless of whether it is used for leisure, or as an endurance sport. Everyone can do cycling for fun.”
First 300 to register at the Launch, received a goodie bag
As well, at the launch event, the first 300 to register for the event on-site, had received a goodie bag worth $198.
First in line had been Kevin Ng Chee Kiong, 37. Said the civil servant, who had signed up for the 42km Sportive Ride, “Waking up at 6.00am is actually quite normal for me, as I have to get up at this time every day for work.” Ng had queued up from 6.45am onwards and he was rewarded with his goodie bag, consisting of $200 worth of Orchard Gateway vouchers and many more goodies.
Said Koh, “Some of the goodies that we gave out, also included Polar watches, compression socks and other types of sports wear suited to cyclists.”
Riders will be engaged with fun activities throughout the year
Though OCBC Cycle may not be taking place till October, participants will be continuously engaged throughout the year, via interesting activities such as a Learn to Cook workshop, Volvo Familiarisation Ride and a Cafe Bike Crawl. While some of these activities are brand new, such as a heart-pumping BootCamp and a BikeFit workshop, others have been modified, like the Cafe Bike Crawl.
Said Koh, “The Cafe Bike Crawl will be taking place in the Northern part of Singapore. This is not just a cycling experience but a cafe crawl where you are hopping from one cafe to another in Singapore.”
The 2015 edition of the Cafe Bike Crawl had taken riders through the East Coast and Central parts of Singapore.Koh continued, “As such it is very leisure and as we are not closing the roads, we will be cycling through the park connectors – if you are going to head from cafe to cafe, this is the safest way to do so, as compared to going on the roads. We are catering to the leisure cyclists as well as the experienced ones.”
A carnival will also be held at the NUH Sports Centre to engage the families of cyclists and interest them into the sport. Said Koh “This will be open for fun and games and there will be lots of cycling themed activities for families to come together and bond.”
She added “The finale may be in October, but these activities are for all registered cyclists – if you sign up for OCBC Cycle now, then you will get to experience all 13 activities that we are having to engage the community!”
Engagement activities will cost $6 each
Each of the engagement activities will cost a small $6 donation and will be given to one of OCBC Cycle’s four charity partners – Dyslexia Association of Singapore, NUHS Fund Limited, The Business Times Budding Artists Fund and SportsCares Foundation.
Said Samuel Tsien, Group CEO of OCBC Bank, “Today we are pleased to launch the second edition of OCBC Cycle in Singapore. Last year’s event was very successful with strong support from the cycling community, the authorities, Friends of OCBC Cycle and most importantly, from over 7,000 participants.”
He added, “Our goal is to build OCBC Cycle into the gold standard for cycling events here. We will work hard to give participants many exciting experiences, many healthy activities and many great deals. So during the weekend of 1 and 2 October, do join us at the Singapore Sports Hub for the safe and enjoyable activities we have specially arranged for all cyclists to enjoy with family and friends.”
Online Registration Begins 18 April
Online Registration for OCBC Cycle starts on 18 April at 10.00am.
There will be four main events – the 42km Sportive Ride, the 23km Straits Times Ride. the Mighty Saver Kids Ride and the OCBC Cycle Speedway SouthEast Asia and Club Championships.
The latter is the final road event in Singapore for riders looking to accumulate points in a first ever structured ranking and points system announced by the Singapore Cycling Federation in February.’
Riders can register for OCBC Cycle 2016 at www.ocbccycle.com