Cycling around the Reservoirs at Central Catchment area

Cycling around the Reservoirs through Old Upper Thomson Road was on my wish list. Imagine the green views, the old road and the picturesque water and flora.

YouTube video : My escapade to the reservoirs

 

Maybe do not think about the FUN Upper Peirce Reservoirs slopes first.

You can cover 3 reservoirs in under 3 hours. If add Springleaf and Thomson Nature Park, that would be at least 5 parks or reservoirs. Adventures Buffet!

This blog post will share the attractions at each park or reservoir. You may jump down to end of page for link to more photos on our Fanpage album.

Those cycling from Sengkang and Punggol can do a clockwise Bishan Park-Lower Peirce – Upper Peirce- Upper Seletar- Springleaf -Lentor Avenue – Yishun Dam and home. Loop should be around 50km.

Cycling Sengkang to Peirce Reservoir (Cycling around the Reservoirs)

Photo below, I love the cycling tracks under Ang Mo Kio MRT viaduct (same as Bukit Batok). The pavement offers connectivity and shade.

Bishan Park

Although Sakura tree no more (Refer Nparks’ March update link), there are still plenty of visual attractions at Bishan Park.

I used to go long-kang fishing with the kids when they were younger (Blog Bishan Long Kang fish).

Next, cross Upper Thomson road to explore Lower Peirce Reservoir.

Refer to Google Map below, I had wanted to explore (1)Lower Peirce, (2)Upper Peirce and (3)Upper Seletar Reservoirs.

By all means, detour and explore scenic Springleaf Nature Park and Thomson Park too.

Did you notice Macritchie Reservoir is a mere 5km from Lower Seletar Reservoir? More corners to explore and photograph.

Lower Peirce Reservoir

Lower Peirce Reservoir is easier to access compared to Upper Peirce Reservoir ( It is about 1.5km and 3km by bus and walking, respectively.)

Lower Peirce Reservoir’s scenic offerings are not inferior and there are plenty of reflections too. Pose away.

Cycling around the Reservoirs
Cycling around the Reservoirs

Do follow the winding trails and hug the nature. Boardwalk will let you walk along the water fringe.

Head North along Old Upper Thomson Road, and you will hit junction of Casuarina Road.

Do take note of opening hours for Nature Parks. We want the animals and insects to rest too.

It seems like we can still use the Park Connector, but the gates to the reservoirs will be locked.

PCN for joggers and cyclists, and one-way road for vehicles. I prefer to cycle on the road as it is less crowded.

Follow the meandering Old Upper Thomson road to explore nature up close. You will be connected to the reservoirs, and new Thomson Nature Park too.

Can you imagine how Grand Prix used to drift the hairpin turns in the 1960s?

No more racing on this road, but we are using 2 wheels for Cycling around the Reservoirs.

While cycling or jogging along Old Upper Thomson Road, you can detour and explore the trails at Thomson Nature Park.

Upper Peirce Reservoir

I noticed a detour (Meeting Point 7) at the entrance of Upper Peirce Reservoir. For those who relish a path (and mud) less traveled.


The slopes will take away your breath, literally. Fringed by marvelous green slopes and canopies, it is no joke to cycle up the slopes (x2 times!).

The monkeys will cheer you on :p

But the views are worth the sore calves! Cloud reflections bounced off the reservoir surface. The water is so clear we can see the bottom of the reservoirs.

This spot is super popular for fishing. I am just curious why otters do not navigate to these inland water bodies?

Loves these reservoir pockets of nature. Fresh air providing a respite from Urban landscapes. Awesome instagrammable shots.

Exit Upper Peirce Reservoir, and head towards Upper Seletar Reservoir.

If you start from Springleaf and head towards Bishan direction, you will encounter more slopes (Gut feel maybe 15% more).

Do take note of this “bef SLE” Bus stop. You might not see the steps at night and fly off! This Bus stop is right after you exit Old Upper Thomson Road. Be careful.

Heading towards Upper Seletar Reservoir, you will pass by new MRT line Thomson East Coast line. This is Springleaf station.

I just realised Upper Thomson Road stretches from (almost) MacRitchie Reservoir to Springleaf Nature Park (about 9km).

You will pass by Springleaf Nature Park (on the opposite side), turn left into Mandai Road. (Springleaf and Thomson Nature Park are near to each other.)

Go under this underpass to reach Upper Seletar Reservoir. (GPS 1.402488, 103.812526), follow Mandai Road Track 7.

You will have to cycle on the road and up a slope.

Upper Seletar Reservoir

Highlights at Upper Seletar Reservoir would be the Rocket and that Tree. Take more photos, climb to the roof for a panoramic view.

I have added Google Map GPX in this link, which links you from Sengkang to Yishun to Upper Seletar Reservoir.

Lesser crowds at Upper Seletar Reservoir, perhaps it is less accessible?
MRT will bring more folks nearer to the reservoirs in the future.

Famous Tree at Upper Seletar Reservoir

I was fortunate to catch a rainbow on 12th of July!

You can follow the path and cycle towards Mandai Road. This is more convenient compared to cycling in from Mandai Road itself.

I would not recommend this stretch for new cyclists as road is narrow. Just admire the rows of heritage trees forming a “green corridor”.

Springleaf Nature Park

Time to head home. Cross Upper Thomson Road to reach Springleaf Nature Park.

Just follow the river along Springleaf Nature Park and you will hit Lentor Avenue and Lower Seletar Reservoir.

漂亮! Nice Sunset.

Lower Seletar Reservoir

Cycle pass Lower Seletar reservoir, catch the sunset or blue hour.
From here, you are only 10km from Punggol or Sengkang, via Yishun Dam.

Hope you would find our reservoir tips useful. Cycle to enjoy more flora and fauna. More photos on Cycling around the Reservoirs can be found on our Facebook album.

Singapore Reservoir Photos

Do pop by our other related hiking and cycling posts too:

Upper Seletar climb up the Rocket with Yee
Trail running 12km MacRitchie Reservoir
-Macritchie Tree top walk!

-Cycle 70 km East, TMCR (link)
-Cycle 80 km West, Lim Chu Kang(link)
-Cycle to Woodlands and back for 50km (link)
-Cycle 50km to explore 3 Reservoirs and 3 parks (Google Map GPX from Sengkang to Upper Seletar Reservoir)
-Completed Round Island 140km!  (Click for GPX routing)
-Cycle 20km to Green Corridor (or Marina Bay and Sportshub)

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

 

ps.. if you cycling from Yishun Dam towards Mandai, take note Yishun Ave 1 Lane 3 is super bumpy and uneven. Ride safe.

Updated 29Aug : Thomson-East Coast Line opened in Aug 2021.
3 stations will bring you close to Bishan Park and Reservoirs! (Mayflower, Lentor and Springleaf MRT stations). This is exciting news.

Tips for foldies selection (2/2)

This is part 2 of my foldies (foldable bikes) selection experience. I will be sharing some Tips for foldies selection. Bear with me, as this post is written from a newbie’s perspective.

I have only tested Crius Master, Java Neo2 and Tern C8/D8.

Please share your knowledge and tips with me too.
You may read post 1 here where I shared the benefits of foldies.

*updated 2021Jun – Round island 140km completed

Just roll to your nearest MRT and explore SG!

With Covid19 and circuit measures. Everyone felt confined and wanted to explore more of Singapore! Be it Jog, Cycle, Hike, you should see the Meetup groups bookings. So many folks are queuing to walk the 36km Coast to Coast walk :p  (photos here)

I guess these sudden active lifestyles are good for individuals and families. Besides the health and sporty aspects, Singaporeans get to appreciate our freedom, nature and PCN (Park Connectors) more! We are busy exploring all corners of the island!

But tough luck if you are buying foldies :p
Supply is struggling to meet demand.

Covid19 has disrupted supply chains. Be prepared for Parts shortage, long waiting time for your “ideal” bikes. Bike prices have easily appreciated by 20 30% over the last few months.

 

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A post shared by Andy Lee (@sengkangbabies)

1.My foldies selection criteria

Everyone will have their priority. Shall we start with Budget?

a. Afterall, a foldie can start from $150 all the way up to $5,000. I set $1,000 for my bike, which is considered mid-level. (But I told the Mrs bike is under $500)

You should always ask for test ride opportunity. Only you know which bike feels right for yourself.

b. The second most important criteria is your riding style and behaviour? PCN or road? Or you prefer off-road and gravel? Maybe you are going for RI (round-island) 140km rides?

(RI 140km completed 2021May, read here)

c.Wheel size? 16″ or 20″ (20″ more cushioning on road, perhaps more comfort for longer distance)

d.Weight -Anything around 10kg should be ok. Too heavy (12+ kg) and you might struggle on public transport

e.Brands (Zoom in on a few brands. At the point of writing, FnHon, Crius and Java is popular)

f.Models and parts. Even same model might have different parts, resulting in price difference! (super confusing for newbies during shortlisting)

g.Warranty and servicing (Buy online or real bike shop?)
Most online shops would not provide maintenance or servicing.

h.You might need to take your height and weight into consideration too. Not all foldies are suitable for those 1.9m or weighs above 100kg.

2.Brands and Models

After shortlisting, I can guarantee you will have more questions.

When I first started, I did not even know about established brands like Dahon, Birdy etc. I only know Decathon and Aleoca (SG brand but recently out-of-business)

Then you will hear about brands like Dahon, Tern, FnHon and many others. Where can I touch and test ride?
As you do more research, suddenly more Brands pop up!
Vert, Crius, Rifle, Mint etc. Some of the bikes are actually OEM and replicas, that explains why some frames look identical.

Is Dahon, Tern, FnHon, YnHon related? Is Travelo, Crius, Litepro related?

Surely Java and Sava must be from the same factory? Yes/no
Then there is Police brand too haha.

It might be harder to buy a bike than a car :p
Brompton and Birdy is out of my budget as these rides cost $3k plus easily!

3.Initially, I shortlisted either travelo or tern

Then the list quickly expanded!
Price listed below is 2020 Sep to Oct estimation, and price went up again  in November.

1)Crius Velocity (9 speed) $800+ or Crius Master V or D $650+
(Why got V and D?)

Fyi, Crius is a sub-brand under LitePro. Yes, the same brand which sells popular light accessories and parts. LitePro also label their bikes with their own brand.

2)Tern link c8 $750+ (8 speed)
I tried C8 and D8 ($1000), but prefer C8.

3)Travelo FS-S $900+ (9 speed)
Heard Travelo came from the same family as Crius. Travelo is not the cheapest but their parts are good. Sold out! (OEM, but sold as SG brand)

4)Java Aria $1200+ or Fit $700 (Some Java models got 18 speeds?), Xelo $400 or Neo2 $800+

Not related to Sava Z $1200+ :p

5)FnHon got different models like Gust $800+ and Blast $700+

Once you have shortlisted a few models, go for test rides. Head to distributors, or borrow from friends. You can then compare apple to apple, bikes parts, ride feel and gut instinct.

The experience gained will help you to prioritise your wishlist.
But, testing might be hard to arrange, due to shortages or Covid19 measures.

4.more research, more questions!

There are tons of information on Facebook, YouTube and WWW.
I would recommend you to shortlist a few models first, then dive deeper.
(Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed by all the brands and replicas)

IG Crius Hashtag

It is a chicken and egg thing.
How do I shortlist, when I am not sure of my requirements :p

More information can sometimes lead to more confusion, especially for newbies. If your budget is similar to mine, do try to research more about these brands Crius, FnHon and Java. They are quite popular for their price points.

You will definitely adjust your criteria as you learn more.

Some Facebook groups for your research (tons of friendly folks):
Generic groups: SG PCN Cyclist, Love Cycling SG, Singapore Foldies, Foldies@SG, SG Folding Bikes

Brands specific groups in Facebook (There are many more) :
Crius, FnHon, Java, Tern, Travelo (BikeActually),Brompton, Birdy

Tips for foldies selection
Tips for foldies selection

If Brompton is too expensive, you can try replicas like 3Sixty and pikes too!

I did warn you about the tons of groups online haha!

5.Where to buy?

The whole research process took me one month plus.
I could only test ride at three outlets/shops.  Most shops no stock or do not allow test rides due to Covid19 measures.

In the first blog post, I shared where you could test or buy your bikes.

-Traditional bike shops
-Online Taobao (eg, without local “presence”)
-* Online Carousell bike shops (with local warehouse)
-Second hand

I would not be comfortable buying a bike which I cannot see, touch and test. But we know traditional shop fronts might not have the brand and model which you need. During Covid19 period, our choices (bike and parts) would be limited.

Would highly recommend you to head down to test ride the bike. This investment is not cheap and you must feel comfortable. With touch, you can prioritise and understand your requirements better.

For the same reason, I would hesitate to buy from 100% online distributor. If part is delivered faulty, it is hard to fight for recourse and warranty.
A $500 bike is not exactly small change 🙂

The next best option might be Carousell, identify reputable outlets (research again). Once confirmed, you can pop by their warehouse or shop-front.

Carousell outlets (At least 20 shops all over SG! Headache):
-BZ Sport Cycles (Gavin)
-Cyclogic (not on Carousell)
-Bike Republic
BikeWarehouse (I got my Crius Master here)
-Bike companion (Or OutdoorFollows)
-CyclicWorkz
-WheelOnFireSG

I only visited one “real traditional” bike shop. MyBikeShop (Yishun Branch). Tested Tern C8 and D8, and encounter friendly chap Anthony.

If you have a few brands in mind,  it would be easier to identify the distributors and find out the reputable outlets. Link up with them, and go for test rides, clear your questions. (some would not bother to reply via Facebook messenger). This is where online peer to peer resources prove invaluable.

Lastly, I might not recommend second hand bikes for first timers.
You need to be aware what to look out for, and the quoted prices can be on the high side too. This option could be ideal for seasoned bikers.  So grab a guru to go “second-hand shopping” with you.

Cycling Jurong -> City- > Sengkang (50km)

6.Warranty, servicing, tuning and accessories

Given a choice, I would feel “safer” if bike shop offers servicing and warranty coverage, ie I can “see” the shop, and know the owner’s reviews.

But it is hard to find a shop which sells your ideal bike (ex Stock) and also provide maintenance.

95% of those under Carousell will only provide limited warranty. And no servicing. Better test and ask all the questions before you cycle off from shop :p

I am still new to accessories and servicing, so my recommendations are limited. But these few outlets have received good reviews.

UCIG (Yishun) – No hard sell, friendly boss and mechanic. Would go back again for accessories.

* Lew Bikescooter (Popular in Sengkang Hougang, might need to queue)

308 Cycology (Punggol, by appointment only)- Tuning and servicing, and they seem to be popular in Facebook groups. Will bring my upgrades over for them to fix and tune (soon)

Jet Cycle (Changi Road) – Like a bike minimart, with plenty of accessories

Minimotors (Woodlands, parts and accessories)
New Era Cycle (Macpherson)
* Cyclogic (Friendly mechanic and boss, no hard sell. They entertains your queries!)

More accessories shops are listed online portals like Carousell/Shopee/Lazada/Taobao. Do buy with caution, not all parts are genuine!

7.First tip. Do not think about Upgrades first

Poison is never ending, 没完没了.
Some well-meaning folks will tell you to buy the best bike you can afford.

The best bike is the one you are riding with today

For newbies, take the time to understand your bike, the parts and mechanics. You will then know what is your wish-list and upgrade accordingly. No rush.

One good example is the lack of Shimano groupset now. Mid-level bikes might only have China-made Sensah groupset.

But my SenSah is good enough for newbies. Yes, the gear transition might be less smooth than Shimano, and there is no resale value.

But my 9 speed Sensah brings me to places effortlessly!
If I do upgrade to Shimano eventually, I would better appreciate the differences. (even Shimano has different grades from Sora, 105 to Ultegra!)

Another example would be wheels profile.  Some will start with 20″ 406, then upgrade to 451 (thinner profile) for speed.

Upgrading (aka poisoning) is very subjective, and expensive.

Some hardcore folks will only buy the frame, and everything else piecemeal!
Some will upgrade all parts to titanium, to shaved an extra kilo off the bike.
Other folks will mod until their foldies cannot fold (my neighbour haha :p )

In short, get the bike which has options to upgrade in the future. (eg from 9 to 10 speed), and within your budget.

First priority for me is to use my bike for exploration, enjoy your ride.

8.Best Tip. Wait for supply to stabilise

If you can wait, please wait a few more months. Supply (bikes and parts) will slowly catchup, offering more variety and price points.

But to wait, means I would lose months of Cycling joy. I convinced myself that the upgrades can come later (dilemma haha).

9.Gears and Speed

7, 9 10 or 11 Speed?
How much speed is enough for me?
With low speed, can I climb hills easily?

Eg my Btwin foldie (6 speed) struggled with Sentosa’s hilly terrain, and I had to push. But my Crius Master (9 speed) scales the slopes much more effortlessly.

This is the part where the gurus will come in and urge you to train your legs and stamina first :p

I believe 8 and 9 speed is more than enough for newbies and PCN rides, 50 km rides and slopes. Foldies generally do not have as many gear\speed selection as Road bikes.

Train your legs and stamina, then upgrade the bike. Some would say bike is only 40% of the equation, and human power 60% !

10.Tyres and Brakes

Then you might also think about tyre profile differences between 406 and 451.

For travel and sand or mud, a 20″ bike (406 with minimum width 1.5) would be easier to ride than a 451 profile! 451 will keep slipping in the sand.

V Brakes are those traditional brakes. Easy to maintain,  cheap and effective. Disc Brake provides better braking, but might require more maintenance.

Last Tip:
If two bikes feel the same, choose the cheaper one.

11.What is next?

I will continue to explore more of SG on bike and MRT. This mode allows me to ride beyond my physical and time limitation! MRT and Grab cabs can ferry me home in the event of thunderstorm.

I hope to roll my foldie oversea too (in a 29″ suitcase). Would be super contented if the Mrs joins more of my wheels journey.

 

Do pop by our other related hiking and cycling posts too:

Upper Seletar climb up the Rocket with Yee
Trail running 12km MacRitchie Reservoir
-Macritchie Tree top walk!

-Cycle 70 km East, TMCR (link)
-Cycle 80 km West, Lim Chu Kang(link)
-Cycle to Woodlands and back for 50km (link)
-Cycle 50km to explore 3 Reservoirs and 3 parks
-Completed Round Island 140km!

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Do pop by my Round Island cycling adventure too

Disclaimer : I am sharing my bike shopping experience as a newbie. I hope the Tips for foldies selection would be useful for your own research too.

What is your Tips for foldies selection? Please share.

Do follow my family’s cycling experience here . The best trip was 4D3N Hualien to Taitung . Choosing between Mountain, road or foldable bikes, read here.