SINGAPORE: More cycling events are being planned — possibly one every month from next year.
The Singapore Cycling Federation is rolling out these plans as the sport’s fan base increases.
Singapore’s biggest cycling event, the OCBC Cycle Singapore has doubled in participation since 2009.
June’s National Championships has also seen a 50 per cent jump in ridership from last year.
All this as more ride the cycling wave or craze.
Victor Yew, president of the Singapore Cycling Federation, said: "It is going to be a big thing in the future. We are going to have smaller events leading up to the OCBC Cycle which is our biggest event of the year."
But it’s more than just a sport or recreation.
"People have been using cycling as as a mode of transport to work and I have seen the growth slowly increasing. People are more environmentally—friendly nowadays," added Mr Yew.
Singapore’s very first professional cycling team has also contributed to the growth, especially in developing local talent.
Team manager Justin Cheong said: "In that I would say we are pretty successful. We have a few good cyclists who are coming up through the ranks... a couple of junior riders in Singapore who are inspired by the successes of our Singaporean riders in this team, who want to come onto the programme from next year onwards."
Besides professional cycling, some, like Tomas Tay, founding member of GP Riders, are also cycling for charity.
"Last year we had a few riders take part in this charity ride called the "Ride for Rations". We actually promoted some money donation pledges for the families in Marsiling. This year we are also doing it, and the ride will be from July 6—8," said Mr Tay.
And at Asia’s first multi—rider virtual reality cycling studio, Athlete Lab, riders can cycle rain or shine.
The screen projector has some of the world’s most challenging courses, including those of the Tour de France.
Eduardo Finkelstein, the lab’s head coach, said: "This environment is a good thing for beginners, because it is a safe place and we can teach them... The session will always have a coach. We can race against each other and it’ll be a fair race because the computer can equalise different fitness (levels)."
At the moment, there are about 30 to 40 courses in the system mainly from the US and Europe.
But the operators are looking at designing courses in Asia in places like Thailand and Indonesia and even Singapore, where about three to four courses are in the pipeline.
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