Cycling To Work 101
Stay active and reduce your carbon footprint by cycling to work.
As Singapore strives to become a car-lite city, we’re seeing increasing efforts to encourage alternative modes of commuting like cycling to work. For instance, office spaces such as the new Frasers Tower and revamped Alexandra Technopark are taking this step forward with fully furnished End-of-Trip facilities. This includes designated bicycle parking, along with shower and locker rooms.
More folks have also hopped on the cycling trend and we can see why. It gives you a refreshing start to the day and helps you save on transportation!
Even if you’re not ready to cycle all the way to work, or if your office is on the other end of the island from home, you can still include cycling in your commute. With developments like Northpoint City – which has over 500 sheltered bicycle lots, it’s super convenient! Northpoint City acts as a first/last-mile transportation facility, as it's directly connected to the Yishun MRT station so you can easily ride and park your bike, then hop on the train to work.
Still, good on you if you’re determined to cycle to all the way your office! Trust us, you’d get a huge sense of achievement after each journey. Just make sure you’ve ticked all of the below before you get on your trusty two-wheeler!
Scout your route a weekend before your ride to work. If you’re just starting out, it’s best to stick to the Park Connector Networks and footpaths, and avoid riding on the road. There’s a total of 6 Park Connector loops in Singapore, covering different regions across the island. Finding the entrances to Park Connectors may be tricky at times, so check out this map for easy navigation.
Doing a recce of your route will also help you to gauge how much time you’d need to get to work, though be prepared that traffic will be different on weekday mornings. Take note of petrol stations and convenience stores along the way, which will be useful when you need to pump your tyres or get a perk-me-up!
2. Put Safety First
Read up on road regulations
Just like other motorists, cyclists in Singapore also have a set of road regulations to abide by. Some important ones to note are the different speed limits for riding on shared paths and footpaths, along with these rules for road cycling:
Always wear a bicycle helmet
Cycling on Expressways is strictly prohibited
Cycle according to the flow of traffic
Cycle in a single file on single-lane roads
Turn on your front and rear bicycle lights at night
Fix a bell and lights
Be a considerate cyclist by keeping your bike well-lit at night.
Both a bell and lights are the most essential add-ons to your bike. For clear visibility when riding at night, fix up a white light at the front of your bike and have a red light attached to its rear. A bell will also come in handy when you need to alert pedestrians while riding on pavements, but remember that they have the right of way. Gently ring your bell when you want to overtake.
Even if you don’t plan to ride on the road, it’s always best to wear a helmet when you cycle. Here’s how to know if a helmet fits you right: It should sit level and comfortably on your head, with its front covering most of your forehead. If there’s room for the helmet to tilt back so that it exposes your forehead, then tighten the strap or choose a smaller size. When you fasten the chin strap, make sure it’s snug enough so that you can barely fit a finger between the strap and your chin.
Another useful tip is to wear shades or glasses when you ride – this will protect your eyes from soot and dirt when you’re cruising along!
Check out bike helmets at Royal Sporting House and Sportslink.
3. Prep & Pack
Don’t forget to also fix up a basket or install a bicycle rack and panniers to hold your belongings. A cute straw basket would work on classic bikes with a vintage feel, while getting a rack and panniers would be a more streamlined option for sporty looking bikes.
Other than packing along a set of work clothes, the three things you should never leave home without are: a raincoat, a face towel and a tumbler of cold water.
4. Dress the Part
When you’re pedalling your heart out up that steep hill, you’ll want to know how many calories you’re burning. You deserve that sense of achievement for making it all the way to the top, so strap on a fitness tracker! This will also help you monitor your speed progress as you ride more often. Two fitness trackers that are great for cyclists are the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and Garmin Forerunner 935. The first is an easy-to-use device that works well for beginners. It’s packed with functions including external heart-rate monitors as well as cycling speed and cadence sensors (that records your pedalling speed). For the more serious cyclist, the Garmin Forerunner 935 has a longer battery life and a slew of sophisticated features such as pairing compatibility with pedals, bike lights, route navigation and more.
Check out the Garmin Vivoactive 3, Garmin Forerunner 935 and other fitness trackers at Courts. Courts is located at Causeway Point and Eastpoint Mall.
5. Get ready for Work
Secure bicycle parking at Frasers Tower gives cyclists a peace of mind upon completing their commute to work.
You’ve completed your ride to work and while you’re feeling super accomplished and pumped up for the work day, there’s just one thing...You’re drenched in perspiration. It goes without saying that you should wash up before saying “Good morning” to your boss, so remember to factor shower-time into your commute.
If your office has shower facilities like Frasers Tower and Alexandra Technopark – then perfect! Keep a few bottles of travel-sized toiletries in the office so you won’t have to lug them around daily.
If you can’t shower at the office, you can still freshen and tidy up. Rinse your face with a facial cleanser and wipe down with a small towel or wet wipes (these will be your best friend). Then, change out and spritz on a refreshing scent. For ladies, have a couple of makeup essentials in the office – they’ll come in handy on many other occasions too! We’d recommend not to wear jewellery on days that you cycle, but if you want to accessorise, pack along those without long chains such as earrings or bracelets, as necklaces get entangled more easily. Store your accessories in a pouch and make sure they’re in a safe compartment of your bag so they won’t get crushed by other belongings.
You’re almost all set to take on the day with your post-workout glow, but before you power-walk into your morning meeting, don’t forget to warm down and get an energy boost.
Do simple stretches for your calves, thighs and shoulders, and grab an isotonic drink or coconut water to prevent muscle aches later on (you’ll be needing less of this as you cycle more, we promise!) Our favourite way to replenish our energy is to eat a banana – it’s simple, healthy and really fills you up.
With that, we wish you a fun and safe journey as you take on your new adventure!