We are now into the 4th week of Circuit Breaker (CB) partial lockdown. It’s supposed to end on 4 May 2020. But it’s extended to 1 June. We are like prisoners incarcerated in our own homes when nearly everything comes to a standstill. “Stay Home” is the order of the day. Many are getting used to the partial lockdown and adjusted their own routine going about their own business. Life goes on. Those not used to it exhibit abnormal symptoms such as stress, mild depression and other bizarre behavior. Some have gone haywire so to speak.
Never in my life and I presume all of you out there ever had to face such a difficult period with severe restrictions imposed on our daily activities. Anyway, I have learnt to cope with it quite well. Since the CB started, I’ve taken to long hours of cycling to keep myself fit & healthy and to remain sane in these crazy times.
Every morning rain or shine, I leave home at about 5.30 am to start cycling heading to the east. I’ve given up on the nearby Pasir Ris beach park where I used to cycle before. It’s getting over crowded since the start of CB with family members especially young children going there in groups playing and having fun on the main cycling lane without any consideration for other park users treating it as their own private playground. Couldn’t blame them since the beach and playground are closed and they have nowhere to go.
From my place at Elias Rd I’ll cycle all the way to Changi Village via Pasir Ris Dr 3 and cutting through Loyang Industrial Estate to Loyang Ave, Telok Paku Rd, Nicoll Dr and taking a 10 min break at Changi Coast Rd PCN just after SAF Ferry Jetty. That’s about 10 km from home. It takes me about 35 to 40 mins. I listen to music or radio on my JBL speaker attached to my bike. Once I reach here, I take out my phone to listen to audiobook via the speaker. Drink some water and prepare for the next leg of my journey – destination Changi Coast Walk SAFRA Resort. It’s a long way there but very smooth riding with few cyclists at such early hours and completely no casual pedestrians crowding the expansive PCN and dedicated cycling path along Coastal Road.
It takes about 40 mins to reach Changi Coast Walk from SAF Ferry Jetty covering Changi Coast Road, Aviation Park Road, Tanah Merah Coast Road with a distance of about 14 km. In short, it is about 24 km from Elias Rd to Changi Coast Walk with almost 1.5 hours of hard riding including that 10 min break. I usually reach Changi Coast Walk about 5 or 10 mins before 7am. Here, I take another 10 mins break admiring the sea view and fresh air. Other than few cyclists and joggers, the place is very quiet and peaceful.
From Changi Coast Walk, I would cycle back with a stop at Changi Village Hawker Centre. I usually reach there around 8.05 am. 10 mins later, I start cycling again towards Elias Rd. I normally drop by at the Pasir Ris beach park for another loop. By the time I reach home it’s around 9 am. That is my morning routine ride over the past few weeks since the start of CB.
As I cycle my bike, either my Brompton or Onipax S2 on that circuit route, it gets easier and less of a challenge. I remember when I first started on that cycling circuit, it seemed a momentous task. Now, I’m used to it. I know which side of the road pavements to take, when to cross over at the correct traffic lights and what to expect as I make my way to the destination. I really enjoy riding this route and it’s become a daily morning routine which I can’t afford to miss. Every night I’ll be in bed before 10 pm praying that it won’t rain the next morning. If it drizzles – as it happened over the past few days, I’d still go ahead with my cycling.
On that 50 over km cycling circuit which I’ve been riding over the past few weeks, I’ve finished listening to an audiobook and I’m on to the next audiobook. I only listen to audiobook when I’m cycling. If I’m at home, I’ll read instead. The 3 hours of daily routine cycling is not wasted as I also listen to audiobook. I kill 2 birds with a stone so to speak. Not only that, I get to enjoy the nice scenery and fresh morning air. It also keeps me fit and healthy. So many benefits indeed. As such, every morning I look forward to my cycling routine and also to continue the story on my audiobook via the JBL speaker.
The only thing that irks me is that on some stretches of the PCN and Coastal Rd, there are no lights at all – complete blackout whilst on some stretches the lights only go off at 7.15 am when it’s already daybreak before 7am. It’s a waste of electricity with all the street lightings on when it’s quite bright. Also there are fallen trees on some parts of the PCN.
I hate most is the disgusting sight of rubbish strewn alongside of the PCN especially on that stretch between Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal to Changi Lodge dormitory. All kinds of rubbish such as discarded food styrofoam packages, bottles and tons of empty beer cans all over the sides of the PCN cycling path. It’s a pity that so much money invested on the PCN and dedicated cycling lane yet it pains one to see so much unsightly trash along the way. It seems that no one bothers at all. No one cares to look into all these issues. When I look at other countries’ cycling tracks especially Canada’s Calgary on YouTube it’s so beautiful and envious. I wish our cycling tracks could be like them – clean and free of litter.
In the meantime, I’ll just keep on cycling as long as I could. I has become part of my daily routine as far as this CB period is concerned. I’ve got nothing else to do and no place to go except cycling. Hopefully when the CB is over, I would not be distracted by some other activities and not neglect my cycling routine.