OCBC Cycle 2016: The 42km Sportive Ride

Early this morning, about 6,400 participants turned up at the Singapore Sports Hub for the second day of the OCBC Cycle 2016.

The proceedings kicked off with the 42km Sportive Ride flagging off at 5.15am, followed by the 23km Straits Times Ride at 7.00am.

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Cyclists awaiting flag off.

Took part in the Sportive Ride

I took part in the Sportive Ride. The early flag off time meant that I had to literally drag myself out of bed this morning, to reach the Sports Hub in time for some coffee before the commencement of my ride.

Me in the start pen.

Me in the start pen.

I reached the Sports Hub in good time, at about 4am, and slowly cycled towards the starting pen. I managed to snag a good starting position towards the front of Wave B – this had been the third flag off after the elite cyclists and the hand cyclists and Wave A. I eventually started my ride at about 5.21am.

The starting line

As I had been in one of the earlier waves, I didn’t really have much issues with the waiting time delay. But pointed out Scott Griggs, 40, a Manager at a Tech company, “I felt that the wait at the starting line was really long; it took a while before I could start cycling, but then again with the number of people taking part in the event, I don’t know if they can actually do anything to fix it though.”

Cyclists Wave 1.

Cyclists Wave 1.

The first few kilometres passed by quite quickly. We cycled from the Sports Hub through the CBD en route to the West Coast Highway and VivoCity.

Route seemed to be crowded

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The Sportive Ride is off!

Unfortunately the route had seemed to be a tad crowded at the beginning though, and I found myself having to weave my way past some other cyclists and occasionally having to slow down in order to avoid potential accidents from happening.

Added Justeen De Roche, 42, a housewife, “The crowd seemed to be quite mixed with some slow riders in front and the faster ones at the back; the seeding could have been done better. Perhaps they could place the returning riders according to their previous year’s timings; that may help.”

Participants seizing the opportunity to capture a selfie at the vantage points of the scenic OCBC Cycle community rides. (Photo Credit: OCBC Cycle)

Participants seizing the opportunity to capture a selfie at the vantage points of the scenic OCBC Cycle community rides. (Photo: OCBC Cycle)

Scenic views

The views right from the beginning however, were quite scenic, taking riders past the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands in the early stages of the ride.

Added De Roche, “The scenery was beautiful and I would have liked to stop, but I didn’t because I wanted a good timing.”

Participants stop for a selfie-taking opportunity along the Benjamin Sheares Bridge during OCBC Cycle 2016. (Photo Credit: OCBC Cycle)

Participants stop for a selfie-taking opportunity along the Benjamin Sheares Bridge during OCBC Cycle 2016. (Photo: OCBC Cycle)

Concurred Griggs, “The route was well lit and I enjoyed the scenery a lot – especially the beginning when we had passed the Singapore Flyer.”

Shiok feeling to be riding on the highway

I must also admit that it was quite shiok to be cycling on the West Coast Highway without having to look out for cars at all – as such I found myself thoroughly enjoying the ride.

 Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, pedals in at the end point of OCBC Cycle 2016 at the National Stadium. She took part in the 23km Straits Times Ride. (Photo Credit: OCBC Cycle)

Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, pedals in at the end point of OCBC Cycle 2016 at the National Stadium. She took part in the 23km Straits Times Ride. (Photo: OCBC Cycle)

Added Gary Gan, 64, retired, “The race was great fun because we got to ride on the expressway and roads without cars, traffic lights and pedestrians. It was just pure, smooth riding.”

We had our first hydration station near VivoCity. As this was still early though, I didn’t need to stop to refuel myself.

Then the route took us back through the CBD and Marina Bay, en route to the East Coast Parkway and the scenic East Coast Park.

As we were cycling through the MCE, the wind was blowing inside the tunnel and I had felt really shiok. It was so cooling and breezy.

Stopping for a photo at one of the selfie points en route.

Stopping for a photo at one of the selfie points en route.

Sharp u-turns 

Along the route however, I realised that there had been quite a few sharp turns; I took these with caution whenever I had approached them, slowing down so that I would not end up crashing.

Concurred Stefan Seitz, 43, a Manager at Mercedes Benz, “We had some narrow roads and U-turns so we had to be careful when riding through all of these.”

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These cyclists have completed their ride.

Added De Roche, “There were good shoutouts for the corners ahead, which had been great.”

But Seitz begged to differ though. He said “The warning flags for the U-turns could have been better.”

Sheares Bridge climb

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Happy riders with their bikes.

The Sheares Bridge climb on the way towards the East Coast Park had not been as bad, but on the way back, it became more challenging though – probably because I had been a tad more tired.

Added Gan, “Riding uphill Sheares Bridge was quite tough.”

Having been a part of the OCBC Cycle Volvo Familiarisation Drive earlier though, I had been expecting this section of the ride.

Riders heading into the post event carnival.

Riders heading into the post event carnival.

Hydration was good

The second and third hydration stations had been located at East Coast Park. As I was beginning to feel quite thirsty, I took a bottle of isotonic drink at the final hydration stop and rested for about five minutes to recharge my batteries – before the final onslaught back to the Sports Hub.

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Participants enjoy one of the post-ride activities.

The isotonic drink had been relatively cold though, when I drank it, so that had been a really welcome relief for me in the humid Singapore weather.

I also stopped for a photo on the return leg after conquering Sheares Bridge… as my reward for successfully completing the uphill climb. It was also a good breather for me.

Seeing the Singapore Sports Hub 

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Riding into the Sports Hub was a highlight for many participants.

The best part of the ride though was in the final couple of kilometres when I saw the Singapore Sports Hub up ahead… and then we rode into the National Stadium… being welcomed to the loud and enthusiastic cheers from the volunteers who had been lining the track.

Though this was not my first time riding into the Stadium, it was nevertheless a nice feeling… and to some extent, reminded me of national athletes running into the stadium… and are being cheered on by their fellow countrymen.

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Cyclists queueing up to take photos at the post-event carnival.

After the ride, I took my finisher medal, as well as a bottle of water and isotonic drink, and spent some time catching my breath and soaking up the sheer majesty of the National Stadium… before heading outside to enjoy the post-event carnival.

I did it!

I did it!

Simple post-race carnival

At the carnival, this had been kept relatively simple, with free fruits for riders, photo booths – as well as cafe-style food and drinks for purchase via pushcarts.

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Free fruits for riders.

I redeemed two Instagram printout photos for myself to bring home as souvenirs.

And there was a large inflatable bicycle on display here, which I had thought was a rather interesting sight.

A large inflatable bicycle was on display.

A large inflatable bicycle was on display.

A well organised event

Overall the OCBC Cycle 2016 had been a well organised event – and many of the riders in the Sportive Ride category also agreed.

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With a friend after the ride.

Said Gan, “Everything was well organised and the communication from the event organisers was super, from registration all the way to event day.”

Added De Roche, “The ride was awesome and I loved it better than last year’s event. The organisation was done really well and it went by very smoothly.”

Thank you OCBC Cycle for the slot.

Click here for your OCBC Cycle Phot0 Gallery

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