Living close to a nature reserve in a very built up country, one would think that I’d make more use of this huge ‘green lung’ more often. Not. People from near and far, mostly far would ride their road bikes on the fringe roads of Singapore’s largest fragmented forest, while the more gung ho would try their their off road skills or lack there of, on dedicated mountain biking trails and shared paths close to the housing estates (lots of bike / pedestrian / roller blader conflict here) Sometimes park rangers are involved doing Sly Stallone’s Judge Dredd impresonations of, “I AM the law !” Google it, it was a futuristic judge, jury executioner  kind of movie.

On a recent skirmish, I had to plead ignorance, or illiteracy, saying that all these trails were open to bicycles, er 10 years ago. While there’s some truth in that statement, fast forward 10 years later, I was told to walk my bike out a few kms to the main road. What a nice chap. Of course he declined my invitation to follow me home to take a peek at my ID which he vehemently asked for.  I just can’t remember whether it was at home in a drawer or in my wallet I had with me and didn’t bother looking. As we both knew that walking a few kms seemed ridiculous, I cycled out when he was out of sight.

4 signs, 1 destination

Drivers have to be reminded of other users down the food chain

C'mon, save some $ and go to the zoo down the road

Lower Pierce Reservoir and the jungles beyond

The more adventurous amongst us ie. those who interpret rules more holistically, would ride off road on any trail ridable, period. (hand raised 😉 ) There were many, in the days before the ‘National Parks Board’ was even heard of. Single track along the water’s edge of 3 big reservoirs, into and across the whole water catchment areas and some sensitive areas deemed as off limits military training grounds. Sigh now we really have to ‘share’ all these with a variety of interest groups. Joggers, hikers, bird watchers and men in green sprouting vegetation from their helmets toting automatic weapons.

Of late, sharing seems OK, ‘we’ can all just get along, as long as the mountain bikers are not in on it.  We’ve  just got to be more shall I say, innovative with when to ride. You fellows with high powered lighting systems will know what I’m talking about 😉  For now I shall do this in broad daylight. The photos will turn out nicer too.

A manicured walking trail, great for cycling before it was officially opened...oops

Required reading. Can dogs read ?

Required carbo loading, 5 kms after leaving home

3 kms of quiet along Old Upper Thomson Road

The end of quiet as I exit along the new road, at times on the road bike, I just turn back but not today

a glossy map

I’m going to do the loop, anti clockwise starting at the bottom at MacRitchie reservoir, and venture off road at the Zoo, 18 kms from home. After 10 kms cycling off road,  I get out at the Bukit Timah reserve, pump my tyres and ride another 12 kms on traffic ridden tarmac (yawn…) home. 18 kms to warm up, digest breakfast, only about 10 kms off road and 12 kms left to fling the mud of my tyres = 40 kms, 2 kms shy of the length of our whole island.


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