Friday, July 27, 2012

Noel Tan Cyclo commute to work

Noel Tan 
Noel Route

I would like to share my experience of cycling to work. Here's the route  
Bikely is a useful tool to plan routes. I see some LCSG'ers are using them too.

Mode of transport: Tern Verge P18

Why cycle to work?
The thing that makes me chose to commute via bike is because of my job. I'm a programmer and there is never a 9am to 6pm day.I wanted to incorporate exercise into my daily regime but it's difficult when I have to work past 6pm everyday. So I decided that by biking, I can take those time I use to sleep in the bus and use them for exercise!

Cycling attire for the commute
My cycling attire is a t-shirt and cycling pants. To transport my stuffs, I carry a back pack. But recently I purchased a front bag to put my stuff as it's much more convenient. If you sweat a lot like I do, your back pack will stink of sweat. It also takes of the load you carry on your shoulders without a back pack. As for work clothes, I'm lucky as I do not need to wear formal, so Monday and Friday, my back pack would be the heaviest, other than that, it's usually just extra shirt, packed lunch.
Monday: Extra Clothes, Milk & cereal pack: breakfast for the week, Jacket: cold in the office
Friday: Jacket and dirty clothes.
I will leave my pants in office so I don't need to transport them everyday. (Jeans no need to wash every day, haha).

I ride my foldie to work and the routes consist of half road and half PCN. On the roads, I usually try to stay on bus lane, which is much more safer, or not. I cycle at a pace of 25km/h - 30km/h. I ride faster when I need to cut across to avoid cars having to drive in front of me to turn to the left, but sometimes I just ride fast to see how much can I go. One time I manage to go up to 58Km/h on straight roads. The first half of my route is roads, so I take that as my training ride. When I head into the PCN, I just relax and enjoy the scenery, especially Bishan Park. Usually If I take a bus, my whole journey will take me 1 hour and 20 minutes or more. By biking, If I want to go fast, I can reach office in less than an hour, but usually I will just take it slow when I reach PCN, so total journey is about 1 hour.

Office Situation not too bike friendly...
My office does not have a shower point. I use a trick widely adopt by fellow commuters = Baby wipes!. I will first cool down at the last few KMs to my work place. When in office, I first wipe down with a wet towel, then use baby wipes to clean any dirt, leaves me smelling good. I also apply deodorant and that's it, I'm ready to work. There's no sticky feeling or whatsoever. As I really sweat alot, I'm initially worried about how uncomfortable I will feel, but it didn't affect me much after a proper wipe down. So baby wipes = approved! I leave the wipes, deodorant and a small sports towel in office, so stock up on these things to avoid transporting them up and down.

My experience on the road is good, as I can see a lot of drivers are quite considerate. There are some more aggressive drivers (driving to close, refuse to give way), but I will make sure to give a signal when I'm about to turn or stop. Also I always try to ride defensively, slow down when required and give way when needed. Just have to beware of other cyclist, especially the banglas, as they don't stop at the red light. I was stared a few times for stopping. Sometimes, I make mistakes as well, but just have to be aware of the surroundings and be safe. Do bring a pollution mask as it might get bad cycling beside trucks and buses. I use one from daiso.
For my ride back, I just change to my cycling pants and wear the shirt I wore for work. I only bring one shirt to change after my morning commute, and ride back in that same shirt. As cycling pants dry quick, I can wear it again when I leave work. Always remember to bring back the sweaty clothes or your drawer will stink.
I'm quite new to commuting by bike (past 1 & 1/2 months), so there is so much more to know. However I really do enjoy cycling to work as It wakes me up for the morning. However, it's not an obligation to bike to work, sometimes when I'm tired I still take the bus. But I would say that cycling to work is the first thing I look forward to in the morning. :)

So that's my experience for cycling to work. Hope it can help others to start doing the same.

Thanks and regards


  1. Thanks for sharing the experience.

    My office does not have shower point, too ... and i also sweat a lot, so am hesitant to bike to work.

    However, after reading your post, I might try it one of these days ... haha :D

  2. I too commute to work daily. Its only 4km away. Unlike my previous office (an hr journey by public transport but cycle in less than 20min), current location is Taiseng and its so convenient for me to just take a sweatless MRT ride but I choose cycling instead, both reachable within 20min. Noel is right, treat it as integrating exercise in it and save $ to buy more accessories!!

    My office does not have shower facility (used to have but management decided to remove it as they dunwan to bear the responsibility of damaging the building). So I will come earlier. Aircon is cold enuff to dry my clothing. I have spare in office in case I need to change.

    Be prepared, such as raincoats, multitools and sparetubes. Had encountered 2 punctures and managed to fix it. Something to wipe sweat, eg a towel.

    You may also need to check with your company HR as well as Building management and my encounter was that my company HR is supportive, but not the building management. So in the end, my HR managed to convince them and allow my bike to be brought up via their lifts.

    1. Good inputs Boon. My office also renovating... and we going to have secure bike parking!!

  3. Thumbs up. Good job. Nice attitude.

  4. Bike commuting really helps me get ready for the day mentally, even if I am a little sweaty sometimes when I arrive.

    1. Good to be on a bike. For me it help to destress and enjoy the journey. Pls do share more on ur cyclo-commutes as I want to use this as a plattform to dispell the myth of cycling to work in Singapore is not possible

  5. Hi Noel, I am producing an online video that pits a cyclist against a public transport commuter during morning peak hour. wondering if you would be keen to participate? If so, kindly drop me a mail at Thanks.