Photo: Wong Kin Leong
Start: East Coast Park
End: Changi Village
Along this coastal stretch, built entirely on reclaimed land, it appears as though the whole world and her auntie are mastering balancing on two wheels. With kids running loose and rollerbladers taking up part of the path, this spot is more suited to laidback cyclists rather than speed demons.
Starting where East Coast Service Road meets Fort Road, the ride heads east along the coast towards the airport. Along the route there are constant off-the-saddle distractions, including the wakeboarding water park, a BMX/skateboard skills arena, a radio-controlled car race-track and an 18-hole golf course.
Younger swingers can try mini golf at Lilliputt located at Big Splash. If you do want to work up a healthy sweat, the path meanders along the coast all the way to Changi Airport and beyond on the 42km park connector network.
Gastronomic delights pop up along the path as well. Cold beer is on tap at Brussels Sprouts at Big Splash, but the real gems can be found at the East Coast Lagoon Food Centre (1220 E Coast Pkwy) where falling-off-the-bone grilled chicken wings (Teddy Bear, Stall 44) can be washed down with more affordable ale.
Those without wheels can hire from one of the PCN Pitstop shops located in Singapore’s parks, allowing you the choice to drop it off at a different location. If you plan a longer route, East Coast Park is connected to seven parks on the Park Connector Network.
Start: Changi Ferry Terminal
End: Pulau Ubin
A quick boat ride away, this nature reserve is quiet and, apart from the odd mini bus, free of traffic, allowing riders to explore at their own leisure. Despite its proximity to the mainland, the island is worlds away from modern-day Singapore and feels like a leap back in time to the 1970s. Ubin used to be a vital resource of granite (the literal meaning of ubin in Malay), the stone used to build the original causeway to Malaysia. After the industry died off, nature reclaimed its quarries and tourism became the island’s biggest earner.
Stepping off the boat ($2), take a left turn and negotiate your way through the bike hire shops and restaurants of the main village. Exiting the village, head east, passing the Pekan Quarry on the right. This old granite quarry is now a beautiful lake and the surrounding area home to an assortment of birdlife including the rare Oriental Pied Hornbill.
Follow the path and take the first left onto Jalan Jelutong. Continue past the island’s sole hotel, The Celestial Resort until the road forks. Take the left-hand turn, and as you bike uphill the road becomes a rocky track. This is the beginning of the international-standard Ketam Mountain Bike Park, where 10km of mountain-bike trails offer an off-road adventure for riders of all levels, from an easy white circle run to an advanced double-black diamond. The reward is a fast, albeit bumpy, descent back to sea level.
Reward yourself with seafood staples and a cold beer at the end of the day from First Stop Restaurant, a scruffy spot that has been serving the post-biking crowd for over 20 years.
Rental hire fees start at $2 per hour (negotiation is often required) for a basic bike, with higher prices for mountain bikes for those wanting to try their luck on the trails.
Start: Marina Bay Sands
End: Marina Bay Sands
With the scenic skyline to accompany you en route, this trail outlining the Marina Bay and extending down along the Kallang Basin is popular with cyclists and runners alike.
Beginning at the integrated resort, navigate your way down towards The Helix Bridge before turning right to arrive at the Singapore Flyer. With the Kallang Basin on your right, take a leisure paddle down to the Nicoll Highway. Enjoy some respite over here before making a U-turn back.
Instead of crossing The Helix Bridge again, continue straight down with The Float@Marina Bay on your left, and up Esplanade Drive onto the Merlion Park. It would be good to bring your camera because once you hit the Merlion, the landscape that emerges into view will have you yearning to click that shutter. The Singapore Flyer, Helix Bridge, ArtScience Museum and Marina Bay Sands will be positioned nicely side by side to form a picturesque panorama.
Continue on to reach The Promontory@Marina Bay where there are deck chairs for passers-by to lounge on and enjoy the view.
Remember to bring along water and some snacks. Grub in the city can be pricey and you don't want to lose steam due to dehydration.