Thursday, July 26, 2012

Steve Tan's Commuting story

No problemo!
Route from home to work
Introducing  Steve Tan of Handonsbike Blog and fellow lovecyclingsg Team mate. He works for as an R&D Engineer and walks the talk by cycling to work. Yes! It is really possible in Singapore and this is his story…

Why do I cycle to work?
Because it is fast and convenient! By bike, the journey takes 40 mins of cycling at a reasonable pace (22-25km on the flats), including a detour to get the newspaper in the morning. This is the door-to-door timing, starting from my lift lobby to my office lobby. No waiting for MRT or bus, no traffic jams, no sardine experience.
By public transport, it will take me at least 50 mins door-to-door, assuming no waiting time for the MRT or the feeder bus 255. Including waiting time, it will usually take me about one hour to get to work. 

What other benefits do I get for cycling to work?
Besides the convenience, I also get to exercise or train at the same time. On a lazy day, I just ride slow and probably take about 5-10 mins more to get to work. On some days when I feel like chiong-ing, I will push at a good pace and reach maybe 5 mins earlier.There is no need to find time outside of work to cycle or exercise. The journey to and from work is also my exercise time. Most importantly, it is fun! 
Does my workplace have bike friendly facilities?
I must admit that my company has to be one of the few companies in Singapore that actually encourages employees to cycle to work. No one bats an eyelid when you arrive on a bike in full cycling gear. Some facilities that I feel are important for people to consider cycling to work are ample and secure bike parking, proper shower facilities and a viable cycling route.There is plenty of bike parking available at my workplace. Also, we have a single shower cubicle at the nearest washroom so there is no problem there. As for the cycling route, I have tried many different routes and finally settled on a route that is relatively fast and safe. I don’t cycle to work every day of the week, because of various reasons. On average, I make 2 complete trips to and from home every week, although the to and fro trip may not be on the same day. On other days I just take public transport as I am not going straight home after work or because of rain.
How to get started... 
Start by planning how you want to cycle to work. Do a bit of recce to find out the best route (may not be the fastest or shortest). Think of how you plan to bring your change of clothes or other work documents. Does your bike have suitable carriers for commuting?

Total distance is about 12 km one way. The majority of the route will be on roads, with small sections of PCN and pavement. For example, near Lakeside, there is a very good PCN running beside Yuan Ching Road (5 to 7km mark), and thus I take the PCN which is safer, compared to the narrow 2 lane road. From the 10 km mark till I cross under AYE, I have no choice but to take the pavement as the traffic at Pioneer Road North is very heavy even at 645am in the morning. Also, there is no other way to cross the roundabout safely on the road. A little bit of bike pushing and carrying needed there. The return trip is just a reverse of the route shown here.
When did I start cycling to work? 
1 year ago
How often do I cycle to work?
How is commuting via bike different from competitive cycling or leisure cycling?
The first thing to realize is that you are not in a race! There is no need to get the lightest bike with the fastest wheels. The best commuting bike is a bike that can carry things (such as work clothes) for you, as it spares you from having to carry a sweaty backpack. Rack and mudguards are always useful to have, for carrying stuff and to help keep your bike and yourself clean. I usually wear cycling gear as it is more comfortable for cycling, although you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Any advice for people thinking of cycling to work?
Always have a plan in mind. What if it rains? What if I get a puncture on the way to work? Think of how you will handle these situations and plan accordingly.
Don’t stress yourself by forcing yourself to cycle to work every day. Start by cycling to work once or twice a week to get the feel of it. If it works out fine, consider increasing the number of trips per week. The key is to enjoy cycling to work! If it rains, it is OK not to ride. If you are tired, it is OK not to ride. If it is not convenient due to any reason, it is OK not to ride that day. No need to force yourself if you don’t want to.
Depending on your situation, you may need to start earlier in order to arrive at work on time. Plan to arrive about 20 mins earlier to give yourself time to cool down and take a shower. You will feel refreshed after cycling to work!
For more information on bicycle commuting and safe cycling tips, please refer to the links below.
Mr Brown’s Guide to Bicycle Commuting
HandsOnBike: Safe Cycling Tips


  1. Hi Steven, 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.

    1. Hi, I have shared ur comments to Steve and he should be reverting to u soon. If not pls drop me a line. Thanks