I started cycling to work back in 2007. The average cycling journey to office took about 30-40 minutes. I stopped for a year when I went back to school to further my study. Moving to the Hougang does make the distance from my house to school longer and the hectic study schedule just make it impossible for me to cycling to school.
After graduated from NUS, I found a job near Raffles Place; I started to cycle to work again December 2010, this time it last about 5 months. These were few challenges I think worth mentioned if you want to cycle to work:
This is the distance I need to travel if I want to cycle to work from my house at Hougang to office. From the number, it seems really big, but it’s those slope and traffic that really post a challenge at your cycling journey.
There are one steep slope and several other minor slopes along my way to office. Steep slope plus large number of cars producing exhaust does not give you the breezing feeling you have been seeing on the news paper or blog.
Traffic: A big mix of friendly and unfriendly people
When talk about driver in Singapore, me as a cyclist have a mix of feeling. I met very polite driver who will slow down when they saw me cycling on the road and give me enough space when overtake me, I also met driver who will try all their means to squeeze me on the road or horn at me for being too slow.
Another concern for potential cyclist is safety. Because of the speed and size, cyclists are a group of disadvantaged traveller on the road, and with the absent of bike lane in Singapore, cyclist will have to learn how to cycle defensively and take care of their safety.
After cycling for a while, you will appreciate hot sunny day more than a “refreshing” rainy day. If it is a hot day, moving faster on a bike certainly helps brings me some wind to cool me down.
But if it is a rainy day, there is nothing I can do about it beside put on my poncho raincoat (But that is just me, if you have some serious interest to keep yourself dry under all circumstance, you can try getting one of those breathable rain coat).
Shower facility: Very important
Out of all the challenges I mentioned, this is the only one you can have some control, and you should plan for some serious control on this. Cycling distance is more or less the same even you have chosen the shortest route, you can’t really tell the driver to give up one lane for you, and I assume you don’t possess supernatural power that can control the weather.
Unless your working place is really very near to your house, a proper shower facility is crucial to your cycling journey.
Cycling to work in Singapore was not easy. Evaluate your choice and make plan if you are serious on cycling to work.