This first segment or Singapore Round Island Route is 75km, and covers Rower’s Bay, Sengkang, Punggol, Pasir Ris, Changi, Tanah Merah Coastal Road, East Coast Park, MBS, Clarke Quay, Queenstown (MRT), till Labrador Park.
With such a big announcement, many cyclists were busy exploring the new route and detours. Alas, Nparks’ map is not really accurate, and many are left guessing with navigation.
Nparks’ link and map is here, but my stravamap is more accurate :p
In this post, I will only cover from Sengkang to East Coast Park.
Two highlights for me would be Sengkang Bridge and stretch along Tanah Merah Coastal Road.
With more folks exploring different segments of RIR, I would recommend that you wait for more details on the entry and exit points. This might save you some extra energy, unless you love to explore and do not mind getting lost 🙂
Getting Lost in Singapore can be Fun!
New Sengkang Bridge
This bridge has taken too long to open, many joggers and cyclists were curious about the other side of the bridge. This bridge does not disappoint.
Wide, spacious and quite scenic. If only future bridges could be this standard. Same applies for RIR’s wide passageways. Kudos!
Sengkang New Bridge is located at this spot (GPS 1.400038, 103.887772). You will need to ride up a mini slope, and bridge is just behind the toilet.
Cross Punggol’s iconic Lorong Halus Bridge to head towards Pasir Ris.
Take note after passing the PCN along Lorong Halus (towards Pasir Ris direction).
Take a left turn at the junction ( point “X” below GPS 1.383997, 103.936452). 99% of folks will turn right at this junction and head towards Downtown East direction.
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
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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).
128Km-Near Punggol Marina club
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)
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.
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.
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….