200 400 cyclists descended on Merlion Park in Singapore for Ride of Silence. Dressed in white and on all kinds of bikes, we rode to honour those who have been injured or killed while cycling on the road, and to raise awareness of bicycle safety.
I think the organisers did not expect this many riders to come down on a weekday night for this. It was a sea of helmets, white tops and red blinky lights. There were road bikes, mountain bikes, folding bikes, cruisers, fixies, downhill bikes, and even a couple of unicycles. Despite the large turnout, things went without much of a hitch, except maybe for some waiting.
It was great feeling to ride together with others, not in any kind of race, but just to be part of the traffic. For a daily commuter like me, it was nice to not be alone on the street for once but part of a group of cyclists.
I also think many have never been to Merlion Park before, judging from the photos being taken. A bit the swaku, we are. Singaporeans never see the need to visit the Merlion, I reckon. So this was probably a good opportunity as ever to see it.
The route we rode is pretty familiar to me. Fullerton Road, North Bridge Road, Cantonment Road, Tiong Bahru, Leng Kee, Holland, Napier, Orchard, Dhoby Ghaut and back to the Merlion Park. Many of these roads I ride almost weekly for some reason or other. But this is my first time riding with others. We were like a ragtag fleet of riders, like the ships of Battlestar Galactica.
I was in the last batch to move out, and I rode with some foldie riders and we were mostly in front of our pack. One mountain biker remarked to me that he never expected folding bikes with such small wheels to go so fast. While we foldies were fascinated with the fixie riders and their one-speed bikes that could go like the wind.
It was a hot and balmy night for a ride, but the camaraderie made up for it. Kudos to the folk who put this event together.