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….

Cycle to Woodlands and Mandai, around 50km

I have blog about cycling to the East and West, this post is about Cycle to Woodlands (about 20 to 25km from Sengkang).

Cycle Sengkang Punggol Park connector

I am training for my Round the Island trip (RTI), which will be around 130 to 150km.

By the time you read this post, I have successfully completed my first 100km target. Click on my Relive Video link on Youtube.

As I stay in Sengkang, I am more familiar with the East and North side, compared to the West side.

Refer map below, cycling route would be anti-clockwise Sengkang-Yishun-Woodlands-Mandai-Yishun-Sengkang.

Cycle to Woodlands
Cycle to Woodlands

Starting from (Point 1) Sengkang Swimming Complex, head towards Yishun Dam. I would recommend (Route 3, Google Map above), as it is 80% Park Connector and 20% pavement. You will loop South of Seletar airport.

Seletar West PC
Seletar West PC

Alternate (Route 2) will bring you through sand and dusty terrain through Seletar North. The pavement is uneven and packed with construction sites (Previous experience looping around Seletar Airport)

Cycling on Seletar North road is not recommended for new riders, due to traffic and plenty of pebbles.

(Point 4) Yishun Dam. Take a breather and enjoy the sight, be it low or high tide.

Yishun Dam
Yishun Dam

Detour. I would recommend Rower’s Bay Park for the fantastic sunset.
This is actually one of the Coast 2 Coast checkpoints.

Sunset at Rower’s Bay

(Point 5) Sembawang Hot Springs. Since we cannot go to Japan or Taiwan for Onsen, this might be your open-air hot spring experience in Singapore.
(Read my Sento experience in Tokyo)

After Yishun Dam, just head North on Yishun Avenue 8 and turn left to Yishun Avenue 7.

Below photo is pre-upgrade from 2015. Only taps, no cascading pond and the kids were still so small.

Old Sembawang Hot spring

Meanwhile, my first foray North was caught in a thunderstorm!

It was too late to U-turn  and the rain might last hours. Totally drenched but huge sense of freedom as no more reservations. Woohoo!

Could barely see JB’s skyline. So near yet so far.

Woodlands Waterfront
Woodlands Waterfront

I did not expect to see so much rubbish across the straits.

If you are taking Marsiling PCN back towards Mandai or maybe Kranji. Take the path on the right side of Block 37 (picture below).

Head South along Marsiling PC followed by Woodlands PC (Park Connector), you will go behind Singapore Sports School and reach this junction (GPS).

Go across SLE and route behind MRT depot. Take note cars exiting/entering SLE travel fast, be careful. Secondly the direction from Woodlands towards Mandai, is packed with steep slopes.

Woodlands PCN
Woodlands PCN

(Point 8) Lastly, Ulu Sembawang is totally dark at night, and eerie 🙂
Otherwise, you should enjoy the climb and scenery. (Ulu Sembawang PCN has nice Sunrise and mist, read post here)

(fyi, Sengkang to Woodlands, you can only choose cutting across Yishun or Ulu Sembawang)

Go easy on the down slopes as the bends might block your view from runners and visitors.

Scenic Ulu Sembawang
Scenic Ulu Sembawang

Once you reach Mandai, cross the road and cycle towards Yishun, Seletar direction.

I would recommend taking the Park Connector pavement (picture below), the other side of the road is pavement (not PCN), and can be slippery (mossy) and littered with fallen branches.

Mandai Road is famous for leg and lung workout. I would recommend newbies to go in a group (and you do not need to cycle on the road).

Mandai Park Connector
Mandai Park Connector

A few openings provide scenic photo opportunities. Do look out for Pumas and Chinooks from Sembawang Air base.

You are very near to Mandai Zoo and popular T15 trail (not recommended for foldies).

SLE image below. The rain never stopped for the 2nd half of my trip.

If you are only heading towards Mandai (and not Woodlands), you can reach Mandai area via Lentor Avenue too (Take note Lentor Avenue pavement is uneven and narrow)

*If you extend your trip to Pang Sua PCN , you can connect to Choa Chu Kang, Chestnut Nature Park, Bukit Batok etc. You can also hop onto the “Coast to Coast trail” towards Jurong West (Lake Side).

Singapore is that small!

(L-Yio chu Kang and R-Lentor avenue)

Lentor Avenue will run parallel to North-South MRT viaduct. Lower Seletar reservoir forms a nice backdrop (Location of image below).

Lower Seletar Reservoir

Little kids would enjoy the wading pool at this corner, or just walk to the end of the bridge (our old blog post)

Bonus and warning, more leg trainings needed :p

If time and energy permits, you may wish to dedicate some time for the beautiful reservoirs nearby Lentor Avenue or Central Water Catchment.

Blog post – Cycle 50km to explore 3 Reservoirs and 3 parks !

Go google MacRitchie, Lower Pierce, Upper Pierce. Exercise caution along old Upper Thomson road, lookout for vehicles, monkeys and sharp hairpin turns.

Springleaf Nature Park and Thomson Nature Park are new. And take note of multiple steep slopes at the two Pierce reservoirs!

Central Catchment reservoirs
Central Catchment reservoirs

Hope you and family will have fun exploring more corners of Singapore. I might try to share some essential upgrades and basic maintenance in the next post.

Do pop by our other cycling posts too:

-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!  (Click for GPX routing)
-Cycle 20km to Green Corridor (or Marina Bay and Sportshub)

-Jogging one round Sengkang, Punggol Buangkok PCN (link)
SengkangBabies cycling

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