Cycling to Kukup

21 & 22 Jul 2018. Sat & Sun.

We were to gather at Kranji MRT at 6 am to start our cycling trip to Kukup. It rained that morning at 5 am so I had serious second thoughts about proceeding. It was merely passing showers so I plucked up courage and headed to the meeting point. As it was my 1st time with this group, I introduced myself to the cyclists gathered there. My friend came shortly later.

Towards Singapore customs and immigration, we used the motorbike lane. On the Causeway, there were people on electric personal mobility devices moving on the wrong direction by side of the road which made it a bit dangerous for road users.

Around the Malaysian customs, there are plenty of bridges so climbing them needed some strength. As we climbed, everyone in my group overtook me and I found myself at the rear of the group. Fitness really counts when climbing hills.

We rode to a breakfast place called B.Point and the support vehicle was there to take our backpacks.

There were water breaks every 13 km or so. The support vehicle would replenish our bottle with chilled water, isotonic drinks and bananas.

The roads were mostly very pleasant to ride, especially when we got out of the city and into the countryside. We arrived at Kukup Fishing village just before lunch. Our accommodation for the night is a place called Kukup Oceanic Sky. It has air con bedrooms, water heat showers, sea views and all meals cooked in house.

We parked our bikes indoor and proceeded to a wide spread of lunch.

After a nap, we were served afternoon tea.

Some of us went shopping while other took a boat ride to a kelong.


We enjoyed the sunset view from the balcony.

After the scrumptious  BBQ dinner,  we had a private fireworks display.

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There was karaoke in the evening and many enjoyed themselves.

The next morning, after breakfast, we saddled up and began our journey home. The remaining durians were carried by the support van and consumed during our water break. This must be the best support ever on any cycling trip!

The weather on this return trip was again cloudy and overcast and so provided much needed shade against the harsh sun. It drizzled during our lunch break which is a good thing as  we could cycle back to the Causeway in cool air.

I’m so glad to have made this trip and made many new like-minded friends.




To the northern edge

It is a relatively long and straight route from Upper Thomson to Sembawang road to Admiralty Road to the Woodlands Waterfront. This is the northern most edge of Singapore island and across the straits is Johor Bahru.


It was a beautiful cloudy day and traffic was not too heavy.



A view of The Causeway
Chimneys of Senoko power station at the rear right

There is washroom facilities here. So very convenient to have  a water fountain to refill my water bottle.

woodld waterfront2 .jpg


Bak Chor mee / minced meat noodles at Sembawang food center for lunch. Apparently this cook was previously working at the famous Michelin-starred Crawford Street stall. The taste is very similar but without the insanely long queue.

Replaceable Presta Value Core

I learnt something new. Some presta valves have a removable core, while some others don’t.

Top: valve tip, valve core, valve stem, extender

How I learnt of this was when the tip of the valve broke off. I was pumping up the front tube in preparation for a long weekend ride. While removing the pump head, the valve tip broke off. The tube seem to be holding the air well so I didn’t change the tube then. I was surprised that it held up for the entire 2 days of riding ( see my post on Batam Baralang 6 Bridges). I did bring along 2 sets of tubes and tire levers in case the tube gave way and replacement was needed.

The photo shows from the top:

  • the tip that broke off,
  • a valve core,
  • the presta stem attached to the rubber tube,
  • an extender for deep wheel rims. 

Using a pair of pliers, simple screw off the core and replace with another core, ( I used the valve from a punctured tube.) There is a youtube video that illustrates this.

This particular tube I had on the bike did not have a removable core, so I had to replace the entire tube. But I managed to get 3 rides of about 75 km each, so 225 km with the tip broken off.  I’ve extracted the most of this tube’s life.

I managed to change the tube within 16 minutes, much better than the 1 hour it took me the first time.

I don’t use an extender but just wanted to put all the valve related items together in 1 pic for easy reference and if the core is gone without a replacement core around, the extender could be used.



Batam Baralang 6 Bridges

There are 6 bridges that link seven Riau islands as shown on the map. Our group met at Harbourfront at 6.30 am to board the 8.00 am ferry to Batam. Some protected our bikes with bubble wrap or sticky tape. The boat journey took 1 hour. There is a one hour time zone difference.

Upon arrival, our support vehicle driver greeted us and we loaded our overnight luggage onto his truck. We started cycling from the ferry terminal. From this point until the tip would be 77 km where we would stay for the night in a kelong ( wooden hut on stils built over the sea, usually for fishing)

We started of cycling at about 10.30 am. The first straight leg of about 13 km within town had heavy traffic, not unlike the traffic in Singapore. Once we turned left, the village and countryside roads were a welcome cycling paradise. No traffic lights to stop, hardly any vehicles to contend with.

The weather was mostly overcast and cloudy, although the sections with scorching sun did make the climbs more difficult. The terrain is undulating for the entire 77 km. There was hardly any section of flat roads. So it was really important to maximise the downhill speed to allow that momentum to carry one up the next slope.

BB6B elevation
Undulating elevation for 77 km. It’s known as  dragon’s back


WhatsApp-Image-20160626 (5) At bridge number 1.

All the other bridges are not as spectacular in structure. As you will notice, there are no vehicles in this picture.

There were several breaks for refueling with isotonic drinks, bananas and lunch. “Just one more slope” was what they told me, about a dozen times. Towards the last section, the slopes seemed to become hills with steeper gradients. I was tired, the sun was hot and the support vehicle was conveniently behind me. Was it pride or pure stubbornness that kept me from hitching a ride? I asked myself why I subjected myself to such torture. I should have stayed home.

Between the 6th bridge and the end point, there were about 8 sections of the route that had construction. The path was filled with gravel which made it a little difficult for road bikes to pass through but nothing a mountain bike can’t handle. These tended to be at the bottom trough of the wave so the downhill momentum was wasted having to brake and go slow over the gravel.

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We finally arrived at the end of the road. A little off road from this tip is the beach and this kelong. We had lunch, freshened up and then took a speed boat to a little island about 10 minutes across.

There was no one else there so for that moment it was our private little island. As we entered the water near the beach, we were surprised that the water was rather warm – I was thinking of poaching an egg. We had to waddle out about 50 meters before it became cooler.

Fresh coconut and sea food.


At night, the skies were filled with stars.

Enjoying the sunrise the next morning before we set off for the return 77 km journey back to the ferry terminal in Batam townhighres_451584070

Somehow knowing what to expect of the undulating hills, the return journey wasn’t as difficult as the outbound. I’m glad I came on this adventure.


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Cycling through causeway into JB

My friend was born in Kota Tinggi and naturally is familiar with Johor. I went along with him on one of his cycling trips into Johor Bahru. We met up at Woodlands at 5.30 am as there is less traffic and the weather much cooler. We wanted to cycle out of JB city before the traffic got in.

We used the motorcycle lane to go through immigration and customs. It has drain gratings parallel so we had to angle our wheel sideways to cross. It has many humps to slow the motorbikes, but these can be very painful for cyclists’ butts.

The usual passport checks at immigration only this time we were on bicycles. Over on JB side there is a steep climb up the crooked bridge so change gears down early and spin up.




The famous bak kut teh in Kota Tinggi. People come from all over Malaysia, and some from Singapore, for this herbal version slowly cooked over charcoal. It is unlike the peppery version found in most bak kut teh stalls in Singapore. It is an open air kumpung, hut sheltered stall surrounded by plantation. Seems like a gem in the middle of no where.


We cycled 100 km from Singapore and back for this delicious treat!


Lovely to cycle in vast the open space with so much blue skies and greenery everywhere.

On another occasion, we changed our minds about the bak kut teh and instead went to Kota Tinggi waterfalls. As this wasn’t pre-planned we didn’t have change of clothes nor swim suits. The waterfall was so irresistably tempting that we took a  spontaneous dip in the pool. The water was clear, cool, refreshing and rejuvenating! We felt like little children playing!  IMG-20151113-WA0005

As we rode, the sun dried up our wet jerseys. We were really fortunate that the weather was mostly cloudy. The sun came out to sufficiently allow our clothes to dry then it was overcast again. Thank God for the perfect weather!

IMG-20151113-WA0056Kota Tinggi



Bye for now. See you again Kota Tinggi!




Continue reading Cycling through causeway into JB

Small adventure in my backyard

Singapore is so small and I’ve lived here all my life yet this was my first time cycling through NTU, Mt Pleasant, Depot road and Orange Grove Road. So grateful for cycling friends who brought me to these places. Hence I call this a small adventure in my backyard.


Pre-dawn puncture at Seletar. 1 person fixes, 10 others supervise.
Yeah! we conquered the NTU climb!
Lim Chu Kang rest stop
South Bouna Vista & NUS climbs
Total km


Our little adventure around this little red dot.

We saw horses while cycling through Mt Pleasant – which made it a pleasant ride 😉

The joy of cycling with friends.

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PCN to Coney Island, return on road

Our first time exploring the relatively new Pelton Canal PCN, Balam PCN, Hougang Av 3 PCN, Serangoon PCN leading to Coney Island. Google maps shows it as Serangoon island. I used the map provided by Nparks as it details the PCN routes. This PCN Google map provides bicycle friendly information – credit to Jon Hiew.


There are 2 overhead pedestrian bridges to cross over Aljunied road and PIE . This means rolling the bikes up the side ramp. There is a underground crossing to pass the TPE.

imageAt the bridge over PIE

Serangoon PCN is very scenic as is by forested area and feels countryside.

The path on Coney Island is gravel and sand, more suited for mountain bikes but a road bike could get through if handled well.

imageThe famous bridge at Lorong Halus


imageThe gate at both east and west entrances are regular photo spots.


imageThe main path that traverse through the length of Coney Island.



Leading off from the main path, there are 5 short paths  to the beach, these are marked with signage as Beach A, B, C, D  and E – very creative names.

Punggol Road connects directly to Upper Serangoon Road and to Bendemeer Road. This is a straight forward route by the road. Traffic was fairly light during mid-afternoon but some cars and trucks sometimes come within 1m of the bicycle, which is too close for comfort.   Cycling on  bus lanes while it is  in operation actually keeps cars a lane away so these sections were pleasant to ride.

The entire journey of 37 km  took 2.5 hrs moving time. We enjoyed this little adventure in our own backyard. Grateful for the cloudy, overcast weather which allowed cycling in the afternoon possible.

Consolidated Journey Log 2014 & 2015

My Strava heat maps for 2014 and 2015. It has been a celebration of life!

So grateful for the opportunity and privilege to explore near and far.

2014  – Penang, Bintan, Tuas, Sentosa, Desaru. Read my write up on each of these in past blog posts.



2015 – Taiwan,  Desaru, Kota Tinggi, Skudai, Pontian, Ubin

Most serious single day climb was in Taiwan with elevation gain of 522 m and total climb of 2,497m. Strava Twn mostclimb

If I had known of this long hill climb before signing up for this trip, I would most certainly Not have signed up and pay to be tortured! Haha .. ignorance is sometimes bliss.

Thank God for journey mercies, a wealth of great friends, exploring new places  with bonus of an improvement in health.

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9 days of Pedaling Paradise – Taiwan Round Island 904 km

The 9-day route Cycling Round Taiwan Island
The 9-day route Cycling Round Taiwan Island

Yes, this cycling tour covered the entire round of Taiwan island. Including the outbound and return flights, the total trip took 9+2 = 11 days. The total cycling distance is 904 km. There was a short 2 hour train ride on the 8th day as that was mountainous bike unfriendly terrain.

Taiwan Round Island route and elevation:

Twn Day1to3

Twn Day7to9

Elevation of climb up the hills on Days 6 & 9.

TWN elevation days 6&9


The legs ached so much that there were many times I felt like giving up. But the thought of a 67-year-old couple in this tour group completing these climbs spurred me on to finish the climbs, albeit slowly.

Our group had 30 cyclists. The support provided by Giant included 5 staff, 2 vans for our luggage , water and generous amount of snacks. There was a ride leader, marker and sweeper cycling with us while the vans were driven by the tour leader and technician mechanic cum 1st aider. Every morning while we have breakfast, these guys will faithfully check our bikes, pump the tires and ensure its ride-worthiness. They change the tube when there is a puncture, they make all the necessary adjustments. I appreciate their service.

The 5 staff from Giant bicycles.
The 5 staff from Giant bicycles.
Support van with assorted snacks, Pokari Sweat, water, sun screen lotion,
Support van with assorted snacks, Pokari Sweat, water, sun screen lotion,

The accommodations were mostly in fairly new 4-star hotels except for 1 day up in the nature reserve where it was a cottage type.

The food was amazing! Breakfasts were mostly  buffet, lunch or dinner were 8 or 10-course Chinese meals.

8 or 10-course sumptuous meals everyday! Don't expect to lose weight.
8 or 10-course sumptuous meals everyday! Don’t expect to lose weight.

The scenery in Taiwan is gorgeous. I especially love cycling down slope aided by the gentle coastal breeze, sea view on the left and mountains on the right. My heart was just filled with such unspeakable joy and gratefulness. I celebrated life!

Celebrating life!
Celebrating life!


Cycling on a coastal road with a view of the Pacific Ocean on the left and mountains on the right. The feeling is wonderful!
Cycling on a coastal road with a view of the Pacific Ocean on the left and mountains on the right. The feeling is wonderful!
Huuraay! Thank God for a wonderful time, fantastic cool weather and cycling paths.
Huuraay! Thank God for a wonderful time, fantastic cool weather and cycling paths.


Being the 2nd week of March, the weather was cool. Although rain was forecast for some days, I’m truly grateful that it only drizzled on 1 day.  The was sun on a few days but it was not too hot.

There are bike paths on most roads so cycling is much safer than in Singapore.

Along the way, it is common to have strangers cheers us along with encouraging shouts of ” Jia Yu !”

I am particularly fond of the time we rode in a park, being cocooned in the midst of trees, with butterflies flying around us. The feeling was simply enchanting. Watch the video for a clip of this tour at the bottom of this page.

The cyclists in the tour came from Germany, Canada, East and West Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Taiwan. After 9 days of bonding, we naturally became good friends and are keeping in contact even after the trip.

The cost of the Giant tour was about S$1650. Budget airfare was about $300. Total just under S$2000.

Giving a helping hand up the steep mountainous climb
Selfie at the KaoShiong sports stadium. Taken spontaneously.
After completing the last climb on Day 9, everyone was feeling ecstatic. Plenty of photos were taken in celebration of this great time.
Flower power. The females on this trip were strong riders. We were told to wear the Giant jersey on Day 2 for a formal photo shoot. But on the last day, everyone spontaneously wore the jersey to mark the camaraderie

Video clip My Taiwan 9-day Cycling Tour


My 1st Trail and 1st Green Corridor ride

Waiting forever but must have missed the last train
Waiting forever but must have missed the last train

I had never cycled off road before so this introductory ride on a flat course is the perfect initiation. Despite being on a flat track, I found it very bumpy compared to tarmac. It had rained the day before and there were still some muddy patches. Some of these were avoidable by going around them but sometimes the entire section was muddy and there was no other choice but to cycle through it. During such moments, there is a second where I can feel the tires spinning without any traction. Needless to say the whole bike became muddy.

The former railway tracks from Singapore to Malaysia had been removed on most parts in Singapore. This has now been termed the Green Corridor. It starts from Tanjong Pagar Station at the South of Singapore city all the way to Woodlands at the North of Singapore. I got onto the tracks from Kampung Bahru, opposite the Singapore General Hospital, under the Alexander Expressway.

The blue line is half the Green Corridor. It is about 13 km and took me about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The blue line is half the Green Corridor. It is about 13 km and took me about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Certain sections under wide roads are covered with gravel. These parts require a lower gear and higher cadence in order to increase traction. Otherwise, just dismount and walk the bike.

I found myself wondering which part of Singapore I was in as none of the sights were familiar. In fact, being surrounded with so much lush greenery for the entire ride, one could easily mistake this for any where else except urban Singapore.

After one and a half hours of bumpy riding, we arrived at The Railmall for a well deserved bowl of laksa and coffee. My return journey was by regular road. It was a satisfying first experience of trail riding.

Here is a home-made video of the ride. Hope you enjoy it.

Hope to do more off-road riding and discover other parts of this little red dot.


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Cycling in Singapore & beyond

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