Op Raleigh Project C.A.R.E.
Round Island Cycling Singapore, 22 Sep 2002
See also NTU Bike Rally 2003





Hi all,

Well for those who weren't there - we had great plans to meet before 6am but ended up with emergency toilet visits (with Mark having to struggle the most), need for ID for registration etc and we ended up registering at almost 7am!

We left at 7.20am and amazingly the slaggarts (slack laggarts), Airani, Kok Min Yee and me led all the way to West Coast. Of course that never really happened again! Evidence in Jason's video footage (yes he mounted a Video on his rear BASKET). But it was only favourable lights that helped, and nearly let us catch up with the first group. This enthusiatic trio would later struggle at Yio Chu Kang under the mid-day sun!

Nevertheless Chi caught with us, and we saw Matthaus - a large ang-moh waiting in the west like Mark said he would. And the ending point for the first leg was lovely, a nice downslope to a bunch of enthusiastic riders who were just getting warmed up.

Well it got tougher to mid-day and then a nice cool ride with winds that sapped us towards the end. It was simple from Changi.  

As the day wore on, I grew thankful for the remedies I took or had taken - a Recipe for long rides:

  1. Slick tyres - borrowed from Mark, I felt the difference immediately.
  2. Bike shorts - good move that I bought 'em the day before; saved my ass;
  3. Power bars - most critical was the choc bar Mark gave me at NTU, my stomach was an empty pit then.
  4. Muscle gels - especially the Salon Plas Ye Chen gave me; had felt the fragility of thigh muscles acting up from West Coast onwards.
  5. Two water bottles - added the second one on Saturday; used both in a couple of legs, able to safely offer to others; once even had both used up!
  6. Support vehicle with 100 plus replenishment - Catherine came at the crucial moment, just as we needed to get continuous refills with isotonic drinks. Would have been very difficult without - they were rationing water!
  7. Avalanche 1.0 - the lighter bike and gears helped especially at Thomson/Yio Chu Kang.
  8. Sunglasses to cope with the glare - must have helped in Yio Chu Kang, but only there.
  9. Crew - morale boosting to ride to each station to reach to you guys. Would have been better if I was actually riding with you, but let me get a little practise first!


Physical achievement awards

As far as I know, these go to:

  • Kok Min Yee - the pain in the butt had a pain in the butt from Station 1!
  • Airani - desperately finished her MBA tutorial the night before and rode her heavy Montana with just one hours sleep.
  • Chi Wei - rode the entire second half with a bad headache that did not relent, which he suspects was due to his sunglasses!

I guess I win the most cautious rider award - I was able to get home and work on some beach cleanup matters last that night. Now preparing for an NParks workshop. I guess Champion Du Monde had trained me well enough. The best thing is that my knee joint is not aching! Great news because damaging that is a serious no-no.  I would not have ridden with CDM because the strain would have been too bad.

Thanks for waiting at each and every station - it turns out the rest off you must have waited about 6 mins per station because my cycling time was ONE HOUR more than yours! I rode 6 hours+ to your 5 hours+. And with the isotonic drinks and muscle gels, Airani and I were able to help several people along the way.  

Best moments

  • Freshness - first leg that ended at West Coast park: roads empty and flat, we were feeling fresh and fine and optimistic and hopeful that we would make it; and the morning reflected the feeling. Saw the Terry Fox run people walking towards Sentosa, and getting video-taped by Jason.
  • Barriers broken - I had always felt Kranji was too far away. Now I might try it before work!
  • Friendly chatter - talked to lots of people along the way!
  • Good plan - eating and replenishing at Woodlands!
  • Nicest rides - Neo Tiew Road- I liked this stretch and time the best. A very familiar route to me, but on a bike this time. A surreal feeling.
  • Grand Prix Racing commentary - complete with crisp English accent well what I could manage at any rate) that spurred Min Yee and Airani to jostle for pole position. Quite exciting, considering how exhausted everyone was and it all happened on the slopes!
  • Relief, Pretty and festive - the worst was over and the tree-lined Loyang Avenue was such a relief from the sun and a beautiful sight. Changi beach had a lovely festive air.
  • Butt first aid - Kok Min Yee bought a gel seat cover at Elias Road.
  • Sympathetic riders - who rang their bells in support when I stopped to apply gel to cramping thighs; something I learnt and used subsequently,
  • Considerate riders - in obvious distress, but who only drank our istonic drinks after we reassured them we had resupplies.  
  • Most fun - East Coast Parkway - dodging and weaving between bikers, skateboarders, bladers, little kids etc. The Avalanche 1.0's controls help me go faster with its superior braking control.
  • Greatest relief - knee not strained and not much post-race aches! I was careful enough in my weak condition. Ample protection from bike shorts, almost wearing off in last few stations.  


Tough moments

  • Toilet hunt - Morning before we started, no one was there at 6.15am, queuing up to no avail (they need ID), hunting for a toilet, hunting for tissue, stomach not ready, problem detected in tyre minutes before start (inner tube too broad), when are we leaving?
  • Slopes and Sun - Yio Chu Kang tops the list. Good to know this, for I used to 'break in' new riders there. I must tell them  
  • Cramps - almost all the way, from after Station 1!
  • Wind resistance - Changi Coastal Road, and just after East Coast.
  • No reliable data - Well, Kin Wee come close with about 10 mins lost. Mark's is for entire time, nit not biking time, I forgot to compensate for slick tyres; can still salvage some bits. This would hav ebeen the worst part for data junkie me (really) if not for the next point:  
  • Back to reality - Having to deal with beach cleanup debriefs, plan and prepare for a workshop on Tue-Wed, send in reports, etc.  

Mark is asking for a post-ride BBQ. Airani already volunteered to make chicken wings. We should view Jason's video that day as well.  All must wear their XS t-shirt!




Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 20:06:14 -0700
Subject: [zendogs] U guys had fun?

Hi there,

Thanks for the ride, guys. It was a great experience. I will definitely do it all again. Hopefully they sort the badly organized logistics. And the lucky draw thing was a con-job, don‚t you think?

How here‚s the hard truth. My computer data would be more reflective of the intensity of work we put in:

Distance: 124.24km
TOTAL time: 10hr 31min
Average speed: 11.83km/h

How‚s the condition of your respective bodies? We all know that Kok Min Yee‚s suffering like hell, like he just got caned by a discipline master. Surprisingly, my body‚s not acheing too much. Suppose the rest stops did the trick. Cycled home from Ye Chen‚s place last night as a recovery ride, so legs are as good as new.

We‚ve done the hard part, now we have to keep up the good work. Chi Wei & Airani & Siva, we have to establish regular rides, man! Thursday evening? Weekends? Lots to discuss during the BBQ/makan fest.

Now, about that BBQ/makan fest. I can‚t make it on Thu, Fri or Sat this week. Got dinner with ex-labmates/friend‚s wedding/Grandma‚s birthday dinner, respectively. Sunday‚s good, especially after a ride. Must be road tho. Ankle's still paining.

I dreamt that we had a nice BBQ at the carpark outside NUS LT32 (Blk S1A). Anyone got 2 zinc sheets & I can build a makeshift BBQ pit. I got all the wire meshes and stones. I‚ll volunteer to start the fire and probably contribute an assortment of shellfish, if enough of you guys eat such stuff.

Okay, enough blabbing. At least mine is not as long as Siva‚s. Haha!!




Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 12:43:47 +0800

Hi, I think I have some interesting footage of the ride. I've got Interviews, shots of cyclists in action, hope to be able to put it all in a 15 min video. I could output the video in MPEG2 format, cut it in a CD-ROM and distribute to interested parties.

Didn't know the extra weight of camera and water bottles will take such a toll on me, my legs were screaming up the slopes. Sun block on the face was no help either, its so stinging on the eyes I was crying most of the way from westcoat road to woodlands. Better to wear cap and sun shades next time, no more sun block above the cheeks. he he

But its really fun, looking forward to another tirp.

regards Jason


Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 16:35:03 +0800
Subject: [zendogs] The 140km... 126km... 130.5km... 120km... Round island cycle.

Okay, while we wait for the data junkies to get the distance right, here is my take on the whole ride (in point form).

  1. Woke up feeling ok after 4 days of flu. Cat got up at the same time too as she was taking part in the Terry Fox Run. Had simple brekkie of 2 bananas and 2 slices of peanut buttered bread, carbo drink. Most important activity - took a dump before leaving.
  2. Picked up Ye Chen, racked up her bike with strips of inner tube to protect bike's paintwork. Drove like controlled maniac to stadium to meet early birds. Car tissue box came to the rescue of the toilet brigade. Catherine left for Terry Fox run.
  3. Found that best laid plans had gone south due to Toiletgate and ID requirements. Registered, formed group Phantom, 1.5 (in between first and second groups), or whatever, and cycled together (sort of) anyway.
  4. Started off with 2nd group after Daniel rounded everyone up with shouts of "lai lai", and "ka kin ah". Immediately, Siva, Airani, and KMY raced off into the distance. It would be sometime before I see them again.
  5. Rest of us took it easy, kept pace with Daniel. Passing the Durians (Esplanade Theatres) early in the day with glow of the rising sun illuminating the Merlion on the waterfront, I felt that everything was okay with my world - kind of Zen-like.
  6. Traffic lights - to stop or not? Stopped at some but not at others. In the end, only stopped at those that would have prevented us from getting a bad case of road rash.
  7. Went by World Trade Centre and saw the foxy Terry Fox runners. Wished for Cat to have a good run.
  8. I broke away from group 2 to catch up with those up front (Siva, Airani, and KMY). Lights in my favour. Caught them near Pasir Panjang. Met Jason on his Videobike, made stupid faces at camera.
  9. Regrouped at West Coast with ang moh (Matthau), left for NTU. At NTU, fuelled up on carbo, 100+, energy bars. Left for Kranji.
  10. Nice long(?) ride. Got to practice cycling with no hands. Chatted with Matthau. Matthau followed close to me and Kin Wee.
  11. Arrived at Kranji. Tse Lynn and Athena already there. Short rest then off to Woodlands.
  12. We were early so no lunch. Cat arrived with much needed 100 plus. Lunch was good (fuelled up on carbo). Airani bought tons of 100 plus to leave with Cat. Left for Thomson.
  13. Cat (you beaut!) went and got some ice and stuck it in cooler box with our drinks in it. Thereafter, we had cold drinks, beer even, if we had wanted.
  14. By Hougang, it was HOT HOT HOT! I had a splitting headache, took all my willpower to continue. Bloody lousy sunglasses. Time for a pair of Rudy Projects. Gave 100+ to guy who had cramp.
  15. By Pasir Ris, I could barely focus. Got off bike and almost fell over coz felt dizzy. Put head down and rehydrated some more. Nose full of crud from haze and dust. Developed one handed gold digging bike control technique as a result.
  16. Arrived at Changi. Sea breeze was a relief but also a bane. Coastal Road wasn't that bad due to some coordinated drafting with Mark, Ye Chen, Matthau, Tse Lyn, Athena, and Kin Wee. Did this until ECP when Mark, Kin Wee, and Matthau shot off into the distance. Totally bonked. Found out that Daniel had it easy coz he drafted Cat's vehicle!
  17. ECP was a nice stop. Recovered just enough to finish the ride. Bloody lucky draw con job.

So now that the actual distance is all screwy, how about we do this again this Sunday with calibrated computers.... NOT!