Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Geylang East Ride for Good Food

Nestled between Aljunied and Paya Lebar MRT stations is the small, quiet neighbourhood of Geylang East.

It all started last week, after a long day at work, Gwyn and I were in the vicinity, hungry and thinking of dinner. I suggested looking for this Wanton noodles stall at Geylang East hawker centre that I vaguely remembered opens till quite late at night. And the rest like they say is history.

Geylang East hawker centre, hidden gem of the east!

I first tried the wanton noodles from Quan Kee about 10 years ago and prior last week, had no idea if it was still around. Thankfully, it was and it didn't take us long to realise why.

It's the good old classic wanton noodles. Springy noodles, solid wantons and the chilli, second to none. It actually reminds us of another brilliant wanton noodles stall at Havelock Road, which until today remains one of our favorites. This is definitely comparable!

And for only $2.50, it is value for money. And if only smell could travel on cyberspace...

The signage says Jurong West but really, its at Geylang East and they make one heck of a Chicken Cutlet.

For $6, you get a generous serving of cutlet, fries and hot dog. The cutlet was so big that we had trouble focusing on it. (no kidding!)

The best part of the dish is really the heavenly crumbs on the cutlet. It's fresh and amazingly crunchy. There is free flow of chilli at the counter and the uncle is always smiling. All in all, considering all factors as a whole package, we dare say that this is the best chicken cutlet experience that we've ever had in Singapore.

While we were enjoying the good food, it dawned upon us on how bicycle friendly/active this neighbourhood was. We witnessed individuals ride by...

...and couples went by...

An elderly lady came by on her bike... take away wanton noodles! Respect...

Even at the nearby NTUC FairPrice, we noticed how the open space just in front of it acted as a temporary bicycle parking space for riders visiting the supermarket. The cycling culture in this neighbourhood is surprisingly very strong.

Just across the FairPrice is Garden Pastry and Cake Shop...

It sells one of the best curry buns that you will ever find in Singapore. Trust me. It's unlike the typical buns which are 80% bread 20% filling. This is 80% filling 20% bread. You have got to try to believe.

It's got quite a unique shop front and is hard to miss...

After dinner, we rode around the area before crossing an overhead bridge to the Circuit/Pipit Road estate where the cycling culture was equally encouraging. We also realised how peaceful and quiet it was an area to ride.

A huge piece of empty land along Mattar Road...

Riding to dinner is a great way to feel less guilty over what you're eating.

In the aftermath of our quest for good food, we leave you some food for thought: While riding runs on fat and saves you money, cars run on money and saves you fat!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Orchard Road Flashers

LoveCyclingSG rode down Orchard Road last Sunday in an effort to create awareness for cycling in Singapore. A group of about 50 riders turned up in their Sunday's red best. There was a good mixture of foldies, roadies and MTBs as we moved off from Dempsey carpark towards Ion, Orchard.

At Ion, a whistle went off and the riders knew that it was the signal to flash...their bikes. Foldies started to fold their rides before freezing and posing for the cameras.

2 minutes later, another whistle went off and everyone unfolded their bikes before heading off together.

It was kind of like a flash mob but not quite. However for a first try, it was not too bad an attempt.

After flashing ION Orchard, we dropped by the Youth Park for a safe cycling event....

...but somehow ended up doing this...

There was a small bike obstacle course and understandably, the mountain bike attempted the course...the stunt bike did not disappoint..

Then things got a bit more interesting when the Brompton wanted to have a share of the spoils...

...and so did the Moulton...(yeah you read that right)

With everyone still intact, we pedalled on cautiously, in good spirits, amongst the Sunday morning Orchard crowd, towards the Istana, our next stop. Here, we had to be extra careful as it was a heavily guarded area. There was no way we were going to flash anyone there.

So we had to be tactical, snooped in front of the gate (at a safety distance!), snapped a couple of pictures and hurried on along the way.

We headed down south along the busy street outside Plaza Singapura towards the Singapore Arts Museum (SAM). Didn't realise that the SAM was actually the former St Joseph's Institution (SJI), until that day.

We rode, we flashed and we conqured!

amazing pictures credited to Joeel, Matt, Sealion, Steven Tang and Taiwoon.

Monday, 19 September 2011


Gwyn and I first joined LoveCyclingSG for their sunday morning rides, shortly after getting our first bikes about 4 months ago. Then, we were looking for a leisure group ride which we could tag along when we stumbled upon Taiwoon's blog and subsequently LoveCyclingSG.

While we feel that it has been one of our best decisions ever to get our first bicycles, joining LoveCyclingSG is proving to be a life changing decision.

Sunday mornings would never be the same again. There would be no more lazy sundays. On average, we would get our bums off our bed way before 7 as the morning rides typically start around 730am.

Our first ride with the group was a northern ride from Khatib to Woodlands via Mandai and back. We were impressed with how well the ride was organised. The experienced riders looked out for the newer riders like us. Everyone was friendly and down to earth, with no airs about them. Riders from all ages, gender, race came together. Bicyles of all colors, builds, makes rode together. It was one spirit, one love.

It was all about riding to places with good food, landmarks, good scenary and that iconic group photo shot that is now termed as the TW pose.

Week after week, ride after ride, it quickly became addictive and before we knew it, we've been with our bikes, to Pengerang, Bali and places in Singapore where we never knew existed or imagined we would visit. We are viewing Singapore from a different angle with our bikes. There is a greater sense of pride for our country now. Who ever said that Singapore is a boring place should seriously consider taking up riding!

There is a wealth of experience within this unique cycling support group that both of us have benefitted from. Everyone is ever so eager to share their biking experience or spread their poison. Our rides with LoveCyclingSG eventually led us to start Pedal Inn; We too, wanted to share our biking experience, as well as spread the good news of cycling for life. We cannot be more pleased when we realised that our blog has somewhat indirectly inspired some of our friends and even strangers to pick up or consider picking up cycling as a hobby.

It was through Pedal Inn in which I got back in touch with writing actively again. Writing has been something that I've always enjoyed since young. Riding has got me writing and now it has inspired me to write a book, and work towards realizing one of my childhood ambitions of becoming an author.

Riding has definitely changed our lives for the better and LoveCyclingSG has been integral in keeping us going.

Last weekend, LoveCyclingSG turned one and a surprise party was thrown to honor the co founders Taiwoon and Francis. It was further proof of the strong camaraderie amongst this passionate group of riders.

Here's a custom made cupcake specially prepared by some of the members. How sweet!

We'll like to wish LoveCyclingSG a happy first anniversary and may there be many more to come. Let the love stay strong and may everyone ride on!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Pandan Resevoir Ride

Today, lovecyclingsg turns 1 and it coincided with a short 1 hr ride around Pandan Reservoir, coupled with a special workshop organised by MyBikeShop, which was in the vicinity.

If there is one thing that we've learnt through riding, it's to always expect the unexpected.

The trail around Pandan Reservoir was flat but "pebbleful". We rode along slowly and steadily (with both fingers and toes crossed). A puncture was the last thing on our minds.

I do have to say that we're delighted with how our Bromptons handled the terrain and pebbly conditions. Thumbs up!

The scenary around the reservoir was quite stunning, though the extremely hot weather conditions (near noon sun) made it a bit harder to enjoy the view.

Riders rode on...everyone determined to complete the loop.

Hide from the sun! Most riders seeked refuge in the shade...

For a while, it did seem as if the workshop had started early and off site.

It turns out that someone suffered a puncture but fret not, George Lim to the rescue, illustrating how important/fortunate it is to have experience within the group.

With the intense heat building up, we broke away from the group for a quick chill down at Ayer Rajah hawker centre.

Came across this very interesting drink. Have you ever tried ordering a "Michael Jackson"?

That's right, Micheal Jackson = Soya Bean + Chin Chow...We learnt something new today.

The workshop at MyBikeShop got underway...

Here is Gwyn's first encounter with the pink moulton poison...

Riding around Pandan Reservoir offers a mini offroad experience with quite a view of the scenic reservoir surrounding. Just make sure that you have the right tyres and preferably, do it at the right time of the day to fully embrace your surrounding.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Doggie Ride

We had plans for a ride tonight, but the weather had other ideas.

There was an itch to ride and we had to scratch it. So we took our brommies down to the void deck.

Taking a leaf out of Cesar Millan's dog whispering book, we brought our doggies along for a ride.

Once dog walker is now dog rider...

Come on...let out all that energy...

Tail wagging and tongue out flapping make an enjoyable and fruitful workout.

It was a simple, short but sweet ride. The dogs are knocked out next to me as I'm typing. Maybe we should do this more regularly...

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Bidadari, Potong Pasir and Toa Payoh Ride

Sunday mornings are probably one of the best times during the week to go cycling. It's a non-working day for most and as such, the streets/roads are typically clear of traffic, ideal for road cycling.

Unfortunately, today was a working day for Gwyn and she couldn't join in for the relaxed ride this morning. We started off at Potong Pasir, spiritual home of the opposition party.

We detoured off Potong Pasir, across the traffic junction towards Bidadari Cementary, or rather ex-cementary. This used to be a cementary before it was recently exhumed for urban redevelopment purposes. I always knew it as a popular spot for Gurkha runners. Today, I discovered how nice it was a place to ride as well.

The area was clear of buildings and coupled with the cooling morning weather, it made the ride truly enjoyable.

It gets off-road on certain parts of the trail though. Roadies beware.

Trailers were out in force. At least 3 trailers were spotted today.

Everyone zipped along, embracing the cool and relaxed ride.

It might be worth noting that there is one stretch that was slightly inclined. No worries though, if you can't make it, just dismount and push!

After Bidadari, we headed back towards the void deck of Potong Pasir Block 108. This is also where veteran opposition leader Mr Chiam See Tong used to conduct his Meet the People's sessions for the past 27 years.

There is nothing remarkable about the office, just a simple table, partition...

...and some chairs, but this is also exactly why it is so remarkable.

Afterwhich, we rolled down along the Bishan Kallang PCN towards Toa Payoh, where we came across some very retro playgrounds. How fitting it was for them to be found in the oldest housing estate in Singapore.

These are really old, but famous ducks, saved from a certain politician from the ruling party during this year's election was nice to finally meet them in person...

I can't describe how this dragon-like playground structure brings back childhood memories. This was exactly the kind of playground where I used to grow up with and it was virtually found in almost every estate in Singapore.

Sadly, these are near extinct specimens, dying breeds of playgrounds these days. Now, you'll just find more fitness corners. Wonder where the kids play nowadays?

The next pit stop was Shuang Lin Cheng Huang temple and Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastry.

So, we zipped down an ex-cementary, visited an iconic office and met some famous ducks. It's quite amazing what you can find in a neighbourhood.

Maybe it's time for all of us to get our bikes out, hit the road and explore our own neighbourhood! Perhaps we might just uncover a gem or two to share!