To familiarise cyclists with the 42km route for the OCBC CYCLE 2016, the organisers arranged a route familiarisation drive in Volvo cars for a few of the participants.
Click here for my post event review of the 42KM Sportive Ride.
I was one of the participants to have a ride in a Volvo car.
There were two sessions already held for the Volvo Familiarisation Drive. One took place last Saturday (3 September) morning – which I attended – and another had taken place on the afternoon of the same day. The third one will be taking place next Saturday (10 September) morning.
MET AT THE OCBC ARENA, SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB
We met up at the OCBC Arena at the Singapore Sports Hub, to begin the drive. There were two Volvo cars available for us to get into. These were a red and white one – and I opted for the red one.
The car ride started from the OCBC Arena but the actual OCBC CYCLE ride would start just outside the Singapore Sports Hub.
It must be noted that the Volvo Familiarisation Drive however, was not actually 100per cent of the full route because of issues such as the Volvo car not being able to go against the traffic flow – which riders will be doing on the day of the actual event.
TOWARDS THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT AND WEST COAST HIGHWAY
From the Sports Hub, we headed through the Central Business District (CBD), passing Marina Bay Sands en route towards the west coast highway.
Only the 42km Sportive Ride participants would be tackling the west coast highway – those taking part in the 23km Straits Times ride would head straight to the East Coast Park side and return to the Sports Hub from there.
This west coast highway would be the first of the slopes that we would encounter along the route – it is good to know where the slopes are, so that we can mentally prepare ourselves for it on the actual day of the event.
The U-turn point on event day is at the Keppel Club and the first drink station of the ride would also be located here. I suppose at least this is something that riders can look forward to when the uphill ride gets a bit tough!
But during our drive however, we headed a bit further out west towards VivoCity – the only purpose for this being that we needed to go with the flow of the traffic in order to make a U-turn.
EN ROUTE TO EAST COAST PARK
Then the Volvo headed back through the CBD, passing Marina Bay Sands and the Gardens by the Bay, on the way towards East Coast Park where the 42km riders would continue on with their journey.
The East Coast Park area would have a couple more drink stations to hydrate cyclists along their journey. However there are also a couple of slightly narrow turns such as the East Coast Park U-turn point; it may be vital for cyclists to slow down during these segments to avoid accidents.For the outgoing route, we would be cycling along the East Coast Parkway but do note that when returning we would be utilising the East Coast Park Service Road – to avoid congestion between outgoing and returning cyclists.
CONQUERING SHEARES BRIDGE
However I feel that the hardest part of the bike route would be conquering Sheares Bridge on the return leg though – in the Volvo car, this slope did not feel so bad, but on two wheels and using human power, the challenges would be definitely there in my opinion.
This would also be made worse by the fact that it is nearing the end of our journey so we would have completed quite a fair amount of mileage already.
BACK TO THE SPORTS HUBFrom Sheares Bridge, our red Volvo car then returned to the Sports Hub – and though it had to negotiate the roundabout in last Saturday’s familiarisation drive, we would not need to go through this roundabout on event day; the reason for the detour was that the actual route would be going against the direction of the usual traffic.
It was also for the same reason that the Volvo took a slight detour to the Bugis and Kampong Glam areas which had added a few kilometres onto today’s drive; this would not be needed on the day of the event.
On the actual event day though, riders would be riding into the National Stadium of the Singapore Sports Hub to end their journey; but for obvious reasons the Volvo car could not do so.
OVERALL THOUGHTS OF THE RIDE
After the Volvo drive, the participants took a group photo before we left our separate ways.
Though the route would be the same as the 2015 edition of OCBC Cycle, in which I had taken part in the 42km category, it was still good to re-familiarise myself with it again, as it has been about a year since last year’s ride.
Overall it definitely had been an interesting experience in the Volvo car – arming me with the knowledge of the slopes, the sharp turns and in general what to expect at the OCBC CYCLE event itself, come 2 October.