Strava Dinosaur ride 130km

Strava Dinosaur ride was on my to do list for 2021. The only thing I needed was to find the time.

Finally took leave in December to complete the route, 130km within 10 hours. You may refer to Terence’s Strava Map (Google Map GPX link)

My previous Strava experience was a 50km Merlion ride.

Strava Merlion Singapore GPS drawing

In summary, these were the challenges I encountered for Strava Dinosaur ride:

– I did an anti-clockwise ride. The western loops, city area, Bedok and Chai Chee slopes are best tackled with fresh legs. The eastern loop from Tanah Merah Coastal Road (TMCR) towards Changi Village and Pasir Ris, are relatively straightforward.

– Before the attempt, cyclists should be comfortable with 50km rides. 130km can be a stretch. No1 tip, DO NOT RUSH for time! And cater for plenty of rest and water.

– TMCR is 13km of boring straight ride, stretching your patience and endurance. This is especially true after you have already clocked 100km. Hope you can avoid the head winds :p

– I did not enjoy T-Rex’s “hands”. The repetitive loops in and out of East Coast Park are not fun, and Chai Chee roads are packed with slopes and single lane roads (intimidating for new riders).

How to use Strava Map (or Google Map GPX) to trace

    1. You can save Terence’s Strava map into your own Strava (then click Use Route)
    2. Or you can open Google Map GPX. Both methods allow you to trace the route turn by turn. With a map, it is still very common to miss a few turns or junctions. I will highlight a few segments in post below (Eg, I nearly cycled into an expressway!)
Strava Dino ride
Strava Dino ride

 

Start point 0km-Punggol Marina Club

Those living in Sengkang or Punggol can start from Punggol Marina and cycle West towards Yishun Dam direction.

At Yishun Dam, new riders should avoid the two-lane roads as vehicles can be impatient (peak hours) and cyclists do not have a lot of room to evade. Bumpy pavement is safer.

10Km Mark-Canberra

The link to Simpang Kiri PCN is still not ready.

Near Block 507B Wellington Circle. This plot of land is popular with families, kites and soccer during weekends.

20Km-lower Seletar Reservoir

Banana break, enjoy the MRT’s reflections.

Be careful along Lentor Ave’s filter for SLE, vehicles are travelling fast (Y-Junction here). Very hard to filter right here. New riders can go on the footpath.

Head South till Bishan Park, then follow Kallang River PCN. You will pass MRT depot and go up bicycle bridge near BCA Academy.

Bicycle Bridge Singapore

Kallang PCN will bring you to Potong Pasir and MOM (Balestier).

36Km-MOM (Bendemeer)

Ride safe.

The roads along Bendemeer, Balestier and Moulmein are always congested.
It is the same for Bukit Timah Road towards Ophir Road, you will pass by KK Hospital and Little India MRT.

42Km-near Rochor mrT

Pit stop for bao (Snacks) and 100 plus. Weather is warm and traffic is busy.

Head towards Singapore Flyer direction. You will go past MBS, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Barrage and Indoor stadium. This is the easy and scenic stretch.

Congrats, you have completed T-Rex’s tail and buttock already.

55Km-Circuit Road Hawker Centre Lunch

Al Fresco dining by the river at 1200 noon, gobbled down char siew rice.

From past experience, I need to keep myself hydrated and nourished, the weather can be punishing. Sugar boost with sugarcane drink.

Can feel my legs softened at 50km mark. Maybe I did not clock enough mileage post booster 🙂

65Km-Marine Parade near ECP underpass

After lunch, followed PCN till Breadtalk HQ, CDC (Comfort) then head towards Jalan Eunos (watch out for traffic).

You will cycle past Sims avenue and along Kembangan Park Connector.

You are near East Coast Park when you see this Dolphin sculpture (near Block 33).

From either direction (CW or Anti-CW), you will need to enter and exit East Coast Park twice to form T-Rex’s mini hands. There are many loops around Siglap, Katong Chai Chee, Bedok neighbourhoods.

(Photo below ) The stretch from Siglap Road towards Chai Chee Street would have many slopes.

Uphill and single lane, not recommended for new cyclists. If you are cycling on pavement, it will be bumpy as this is private estate and has many junctions and humps.

Go slow, safety first.

(Photo below) Along Bayshore Road, heading South towards condo “Costa Del Sol”. Be alert and look for the pavement behind condo (GPS 1.311490, 103.940759), which will lead to underpass.

*If you are cycling on road, you will hit the point “X” which leads to ECP expressway! Be careful if you are crossing the junction here as it is a blindspot for vehicles.

80Km-Bedok jetty

Second entry point to East Coast Park. You will cycle East and exit behind  Bedok Camp. Maybe desserts at Bedok Food Centre?

Do take note Bedok Road is also single lane, but the lane is wider. Keep left and ride safe. It will be more convenient when the PCN behind Newater Plant is ready.

This PCN will link folks in Bedok, Tampines and Pasir Ris seamlessly to East Coast Park.

The rain was falling “infront” of me, I was concerned that it will be wet and sandy ride along Tanah Merah Coastal Road (TMCR).

Well, better for the rain to be infront, instead of pouring over me.

Another impromptu pitstop at the canteen at Bedok Industrial Park E (Just before Changi Hospital’s junction). I needed to refresh before I attempt Xilin Avenue and TMCR.

Expo MRT, dark clouds loomed.

Be alert along Xilin Avenue. Whether you are heading towards ECP or Simei (either direction), the Y-junction is challenging.

Fast moving vehicles (trucks too), upslope filtering (lanes) and blindspots. Ride safe and take care of less experienced cyclists.

Refer to the two Y-junctions (mark “X”) below.

95Km-Start tmcr

Since I am doing the Strava Dino Ride, I should pose with a dinosaur.
It was a Thursday afternoon along TMCR. Even though I was on the bicycle lane, you can feel vulnerable when the endless lorries and trucks roll pass.

One of the check points for RIR 150km walk

108Km-Toilet 4

Appreciate the greens and shade 🙂

For those attempting Strava Dino ride clockwise, “Toilet 4” would be the last pitstop before you start TMCR.

At Changi Village, I am just 20km from completing my challenge.
For those regulars, you would know that even 5km can be a stretch when you are tired.

No1 tip, No Rush.

You can choose to chill at Changi Village Hawker Centre or maybe Pasir Ris Park. Take note CV does not allow you to bring foldies inside.

Congrats, you have completed Dinosaur Head (T rex)

 

Take note that Pasir Ris Drive 3 is full of road works, leading to uneven pavement and road congestion. The metal plates are dangerous for bicycle wheels and can be slippery during rainy days.

-Try shortcut behind Loyang Tua Pek Kong temple (Google Map link , skip Loyang slopes)
-Take a small detour and cycle parallel along Pasir Ris Park, exit here (slope at Overseas Family School) or here

Follow the pavement, enter Lor Halus Park Connector at the bend (GPS), slow and easy back to Punggol edge (Lorong Halus bridge).

Punggol red bridge

128Km-Near Punggol Marina club

Punggol dormitories

Strava Dinosaur ride completed!

It took me almost 10 hours. Something fun and novelty, happy to cap another cycling episode. (Thank you to Terence and other cyclists for their creative Strava maps)

Strava Dinosaur ride
Strava Dinosaur ride

Tips and next challenges:

1)During the ride, I have cycled on many PCN and shared paths.

The worst “shared paths” could be those outside Yishun and Khatib MRT.  Narrow, bumpy, sharp turns and tons of speed bumps. Very uncomfortable ride experience along these tracks. Somehow, the pedestrian pavement is much smoother than cyclist track.

Are the designers and architects of these after-thought tracks even cyclists? 

Compared Yishun with Canberra’s shared paths. Which is spacious, smooth and clearly demarcated. I hope future towns will have better shared paths.

Punggol New Town
Punggol New Town

2) Do bring power bank and light (for rain or evenings)

3) Next up for 2022 Q1 and Q2, I will be walking Singapore (150km) with a few kakis, hoping to complete the loop by early April.

Class 2b license Singapore

4) Cycling has also reignited my freedom spirit, will be attempting to get a Class 2B license. Riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car. The sense of liberty and freedom….

Upgrade Square taper to Hollowtech and upgrade to 56t

Just completed a mini project to upgrade my crankset and bottom bracket from Square taper to Hollowtech.

This is inclusive of crank and bottom bracket, refer YouTube (link).

Disclaimer: I am a newbie and some of the steps might be wrong, please guide me if I am wrong.

The upgrade is not straightforward for a newbie (2 days exercise), but I had fun researching the tools and techniques. Have LEVEL UP my bike maintenance skills too.

Old Square taper chainring 53T

Upgrade: Square Taper to Hollowtech and Chainring from 53T to 56T

1)Why Hollowtech?

I still cannot tell the performance difference between Square taper and Hollowtech.

But I know Hollowtech will be easier to maintain and clean. It is tedious to remove the square taper bottom bracket.

Hollowtech is much lighter than Square Taper, I assume it is more efficient to channel leg power to speed? (Need to quantify)

Shimano is a more established brand, but I chose LitePro for my trials. The same skill and tools would apply should I decide to upgrade to Shimano in the future.

2)chainring sizing? 56T,58T or Oval

(All things similar before and after the upgrade)

The improvement is tangible. You will feel the additional effort needed to pedal, but bike seems faster on straights.

Some will recommend 58T, 60T or even Oval!

-Effort for 56T 7th speed feels like 53T 9th speed. You definitely need to pedal harder to reach 56T 9th speed.

In other words, 58T and 60T are for FITTER cyclists and not leisure PCN riders! With 56T (+), it will be more strenuous to climb hills too. Some claim oval chainring will help with climbs.

56T is a step up from 53T, to train my legs and lungs. Looking forward to improve my average speed too.

Pedals removal, you need 6mm allen key and take note of CW and CCW directions.

Image credit GCN

3) Difference between bike shop assembly and diy

It took me 2 days to assemble the new hollowtech crankset (includes removal of square taper). Professionals would complete it within one hour.

It was an opportunity to know my bike better and understand what might be needed for the next upgrade (poison).

Estimated price difference, the crankset would cost me $60 but a bike shop would charge $90 (excludes tools). I have included the Shopee and Carousell links at end of page for the parts.

Square Taper tools
Bicycle A-Stand

4)Dismantle chainring and square taper

Refer to my YouTube for the sequence.

Steps to remove Square Taper components (* means tricky) :

4a) Remove pedals
4b) *Remove Chainring
4c) #Remove chain (optional)
4d) *Remove Square Taper
4e) Hollowtech Bottom Bracket (use spacers only if necessary)
4f) Mount Drive-side Chainring and Crank
4g) #Mount chain

Do remember to set chain to the smallest cog.
It is recommended to remove the chain too (maybe can clean chain and cassette too).

The challenge for me was remembering the clockwise (CW) and anti-clockwise (CCW). For both driveside and non drive side.

Refer to image above for the Square Taper tools. Ensure ALL tools are available before you start. Including WD40 and minimum A-stand.

After pedals are removed, proceed with chainring dismantle. You need 8mm allen.

Removal of chainring retainer (CW for Drive side). This step is tricky as the tool might not seat in with the groove.
Repeat for non drive side (CCW).
View of Square taper bottom bracket after Chainring removal.

Remove square taper bottom bracket from non drive side first (CCW).
You might need to spray WD40 inside if “ring” or “groove” is dirty. This might help tool to grip onto the groove.

Refer image below.

The tool will keep slipping off. You might need palm to “push” tool in before you turn the wrench CCW.


Ring removed from non drive side.
Repeat on drive side (CW)
The old square taper bottom bracket.
Clean the frame and apply grease for hollowtech bottom bracket insertion.
Tools needed to mount Hollowtech bracket.
The bottom bracket spacers are optional. Use only if chainring is not aligned with cassette (chain line).

Next, assemble chainring (5mm allen) and crank from drive side.
Refer image below, the “screw silver plates” should be behind the chainring.

Upgraded Square taper to Hollowtech

Image below.
Grease axle and insert chainRing. Ensure flush with bottom bracket (no gap).
Grease non drive side before inserting the crank. Ensure both cranks position is “straightened”.

Tighten non drive side crank, there should be a “dust plug”.
Done. If gear changing is not smooth, you might need to tune the rear derailleur.

I will share the chain maintenance in another blog post.

Meanwhile, you can try “Fast Orange” to get rid of the stain and grease effectively.

Shopping list:

-$60+ Litepro Hollowtech set (includes chainring, cranks and bottom bracket)

-$10.90 Square taper tool set (+ cassette removal)
(Just borrow from friends if you are not going to go back to square taper)

– $5.90 Hollowtech bottom bracket tool (many more variants online)

-I am still looking for a good torque wrench (any recommendations?)

Additional Square taper to Hollowtech tips and tools recommendations:

1)Ensure tools (including grease) are available before start (torque wrench and bike stand are nice to have). Chain Quick Link plier is recommended.

2)Just borrow Square Taper tools, since we are unlikely to reuse them once you go Hollowtech

3) First timers will find the clockwise and anti-clockwise confusing. Follow YouTube experts.

4) If you need someone to fixup the bike, I would recommend a friendly mechanic (Tampines). Ace is a home-based mechanic, friendly and helpful. His Litepro Hollowtech parts are priced competitively and no hard-sell  (Carousell @eaBikes).

5) Cool videos: Very helpful to understand more about Foldies
*Mount Hollowtech Drivetrain (https://youtu.be/yorKtxwbxYY)
*Build a Crius Velocity! (https://youtu.be/AOVcbuYfcSI)

It is harder to find maintenance videos on Foldable bikes. YouTube mostly covers road bikes and mountain bikes. And bulk of Foldable bikes videos are from non-English sources, like Indonesia and Philippines.

5) Have added reference videos for your homework:
-Free to Cycle ( https://youtu.be/9che9-kfW0Y)
-GCN (Pedals) (https://youtu.be/YmPkYMPVqQU)
-GCN (Bicycle chains) (https://youtu.be/rWchudX-Tqs)
-Bike Sauce (https://youtu.be/ditD5cZ8dP8)
-Park Tool (Bottom Bracket) (https://youtu.be/xUtOeFJJycg)

My own YouTube – Removal of Square Taper, installation of Hollowtech

As I have indicated at the start. I am still learning, and I would appreciate more sharing from the experts out there.

Will be trying to remove my cassette for the next project.

Happy cycling!

Do follow my cycling journeys too.

* MTB\RoadBike\Foldie selection, & Foldable bike shortlisting
-Cycling around Singapore (YouTube)
* Follow my family’s cycling experience here .
-Instagram SengkangBabies #skbCycles or #skbHiking