Round island #1, from National Stadium to National Stadium (and Ang Mo Kio to Ang Mio Kio). Supposed to be at National Stadium at 7pm. But I'm working today though it's a Saturday. I reach the stadium at 8 pm and of course everyone is gone. How ironic. I join the ride because I haven't really cycled to south and south-west Singapore and now I have to chase everyone without even knowing the route. I don't even have the tail lights of the last rider as a directional beacon. But thank God for mobile phones; Gentle Giant and Togoparts rider J help put me on the right track.
This is a training ride for a National Police Cadet Corp charity ride for the bike leaders - plus some Togoparts riders (some of whom have been up Mount Faber like me last night). Tonight's ride is supposed to be a leisure ride, but I'm impressed by the discipline, caring and teamwork. They're of different ages (some secondary, some tertiary students) but they've bonded because they've cycled around this little red dot that's Singapore about six times. And this is my first round island - looks like I'm the newbie, not them. Most of the time, I don't even know the route, so after I race ahead, I wait for them or the safety vehicle.
At Tampines, I hear this is where the fun-loving Togoparts riders break off. As for me, I keep going though I'm tired - poor sleep for three nights in a row. While waiting for the rest, I try to snatch some sleep. The bike leaders sail on by, keeping a "slow-and-steady wins the race" pace of about 20 km/h (some on rental / borrowed low end bikes too, which makes it all the more impressive). But at Changi Coastal Road, all of us end up racing, because of a pack of dogs. No one panics, no one crashes. That's discipline. But I laugh at myself how my speed jumped by 10 km/h. At East Coast Park, it's still dangerous even at 6 am. People walk and ride regardless of race, language and collision. I have a close call there. I really dislike cycling there.
So, another dream fulfilled - cycling around Singapore (though I note this is a smaller "circumference' than the routes I've been checking out eg we didn't go that far west or north). Other dreams that came to pass: cycling 100 and 200 km. Dreams that have yet to be fulfilled: 400 km ride - and solo round island.
Tech note I really have to do something about my rims. Might as well change the wheelset to some decent hubs. The bearings in my no-name hubs must be shot by now.