Cycling from home to office

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 22 Dec 2010 6:50 am

^^^^^
Word!
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

beppi
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Post by beppi » Wed, 22 Dec 2010 10:06 am

I commuted in Singapore for many years (8 - 16km each way) and also did all other errands and explored everything by bike. There's hardly any road on this island that I didn't pedal along!
Due to work (projects mostly abroad) and the birth of my daughter, this has almost stopped, but I can still give my suggestions and encouragement to do the same:

- It is hot in Singapore and you will sweat! Prepare for a possibility to shower and a change of clothes (especially in the office). Also, take along a bottle of water and remember all sugar cane juice stalls along your route (saved my life more than once!).
- There is no point in having rain gear, because in a tropical downpour you'll get equally wet (and more smelly) underneath it from sweat as without it from rain. If it rains, either wait for it to stop (rarely more than an hour) or take a taxi!
- Traffic is orderly and drivers are (mostly) reasonable, but not used to bicycles and unsure how to react. I never had a serious accident, though plenty of near misses. The only injury ever was due to road rage (A driver I stopped because he had cut into my way, purposely started at high acceleration, knocked me down and fled. I had witnesses and got several thousand $ compensation for the broken leg.), but this is thankfully rare.
- Officially you must cycle on the road, but this is not enforced. Even the police stopped me once and said I should go on the pedestrian walkway. I told them to read the traffic laws and cycled on. Most bicycles go on the walkway (and annoy pedestrians rather than cars).
- My lock was cut and the bike stolen in the basement of my apartment building! The police said bicycle theft is very common and there is nothing they can or will do. Apparently this is organised crime and the bikes are sold to nearby countries.
- Parking bikes is not allowed around malls and shopping centres, where the security guards will cut locks and remove them. You can park in most underground or multi-storey car parks.

I wish you a happy time exploring Singapore by bike. You'll see many things drivers and MRT users will never know!

Regards,
Frank

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Post by Back2Nature » Thu, 23 Dec 2010 11:58 pm

Like beppi, I too commuted in Singapore mainly by bicycle from 1996 to 2002 and reduced until recent weeks. I would say very similar things as beppi.

I also agree with Mary that the culture is improving.

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