Michael Gumert prepping his Conservation Psychology class at LT23, NTU

We’re right next to 8 Flags in NTU, which has great significance to a Me@ner like me. I’m about to chat with Michael Gumert’s students in his Conservation Psychology class about the thinking behind actions at Chek Jawa.

During those events in 2001 early 2002, I coordinated surveys, recruitment, public education visits, submissions to government, emails with the public and host of other activities, and during each and every step, a lot of thought was put into the engagement, all of which is relevant to the Conservation Psychology class.

Working with Ria Tan of WildSingapore.com at the time was a joy because she was tuned in to every nuance and her outlook was instinctive – at her core, she has great empathy for people and the planet. That helps!


Sent from my iPhone

A chance to donate blood – NUS Blood Donation Drive 2012 – Tue/Wed: 31 Jan & 01 Feb and 07 & 08 Feb 2012

I came across this at YIH last week:


The NUS Blood Donation Drive 2012 is organised by the NUS Muslim Society and the NUS Chapter of the Red Cross Humanitarian Network.

  • Tue 31 Jan 2012 @ YIH Student Lounge (4th Floor)
  • 01 Feb 2012 @ YIH Student Lounge (4th Floor)
  • Tue 07 Feb 2012 @ MPSH 4
  • Wed 08 Feb 2012 @ MPSH 4

Their webpage the Volunteer Registration Form and the Donor’s Registration Form, see: http://nusbdd2012.blogspot.com/.

I’d like to donate but I just made my 107th donation on 11th January 2012 and it will be three months before I can make my next donation. Meanwhile, Singapore’s blood stocks in January remain at very low levels:

Singapore Blood Stocks Indicator 2014 Donorweb

Cheng Puay and Jocelyn write about their rides to Changi Village

Lim Cheng Puay writes…

I used to listen to Siva talk about cycling, Zendogs, and his long rides from one end of Singapore to another and joined in the Pedal Ubin rides now and then. The most memorable ride I had was probably that in 2005 where I rode a tandem bicycle to ferry a student while guiding a group in Ubin. 

So between that and reading Lance Armstrong books, I was pretty much content.

Then Siva alerted me to a old GT Vantara to be given away. Here’s the fateful email:


Hi Cheng Puay,

Bike is yours, please arrange with Rob for pickup.

Hi Robert,

Cheng Puay an obvious choice to revive the bike. Glad he’s interested.




This is what the bike looked like before I sent it for servicing:



And after a visit to Mr Tan’s bike shop (Tan Bike Shop. 142 Owen Road S(218941), Tel: 6392-2333), the bicycle was ready to go on the road. Mr Tan is a very nice owner – he fixed up my bike, added only what is necessary, threw in a free bell and lights and even sent the bike over to my place in the west after he closed shop. 

However, I only started riding last week with Siva, Kenneth, Adrian and Kevin. Siva, being one to understate things, said that they will be going slow and it is a simple ride from HV to Changi. Adrian, Kevin and Kenneth will be coming in foldies. So I said yes, thinking then, “How fast can a foldie go?” and thought that this will be a leisurely ride like one I used to do along ECP. 

I was wrong on all counts. Underestimating the time, I rushed down to Holland Village from Clementi and then joined Siva and Adrian and Kenneth there. Briefly remembered the route to be from Farrer Road, to Lornie, turning into Marymount where we waited for Kevin. 

I was glad for the break for my legs were feeling the strain. My lights were not bright enough so Adrian passed me a rear light for my haversack and Siva clipped on a front light for me. Again I underestimated the importance of good gear for safe cycling. Thankfully everyone was kind with their advice and equipment. 

Continued up Tampines where I faced my first slope, Kenneth was tellling me, “There will be 2 slopes, this and the one at Pasir Ris. After that should be a pretty smooth ride”. This was the time where I was shifting through all the possible gear combinations to get the pedals going and trying to keep up. Siva will usually hang around to wait for me. The stretch along Tampines Road was really good, flat road, industrial buildings and sun rise. You do not feel like in you are in Singapore.

So I was pretty much hitting my limit and exhausted when we turned in from Pasir Ris to Changi. But the boys were looking very relaxed and enjoying the ride.


As Kevin wrote:

Woke up late, so I biked to the Holland Village circle line to catch up with the rest at Marymount. Siva, Kenneth, Adrian and our new rider, Cheng Puay, waited patiently for me. We carried on through Bishan, Kovan, Tampines, Pasir Ris, and eventually Changi Village, which was our breakfast pitstop, and little bike shopping place. 

Was really glad that Airani joined us and gave me a lift back from Fort Road. I do not think I can cycle back from Changi!

Thanks Siva and Adrian for the lights and everyone for being so patient with a newbie. 

Lessons learnt:

1. You need good gear for long rides. Every piece of equipment matters and has a function. Good quality comes with a price and it is worth it.

2. You need good riding buddies for long rides. 


Jocelyn Sze writes…


Photo by Siva

The Intern blogged about her ride:

We started off at 7.30am, and I was keeping up with Siva, who was leading the pack. He commented that my bike frame was too large for me and I was stretched out. And true enough, halfway through the ride, I started feeling an ache in my lower back. By the time we reached the long stretch of road along the airport runway, I couldn’t wait to reach the destination (Changi village) and relieve my butt ache, on top of everything else!

Read the rest of her post.

Zendogs converge on Changi Village (Sun 29 jan 2012)

Today was lovely – I set off for Fort Road from Holland Village at 6.15am only to see Kevin Lim arriving on the Surly Big Dummy which he’s trying out. While I took off towards Orchard Road, he took a bite while Kenneth Pinto tweeted that he had woken up too late to train down via Circle Line. So Kevin took off for Bishan after his waffle to merry up with Kenneth there and they were taking the usual route through Tampines.

Meanwhile, I put my Brompton through its paces at Nicoll Highway and then Fort Road which I reached just before 7.00am. “The Intern” Jocelyne Sze turned up promptly on a somewhat ill-fitting but inherited bike. We chatted and the Zendogs gradually appeared – Yap Chi Wei, Aaron Chia, Catherine Chew and Airani S.

Last night a few of us had cajoled and finally ordered Kok Min Yee to turn up this morning. After a detour to the lorry park nearby, a large blob of orange appeared in the distance! 

It was Min Yee and we mounted up to head off for Changi at 7.24am. 

The runners Adrian Loo and Alvin Wong, both woke late, so tweeted to warn of their absence. Adrian eventually opted for a run with his wife, clocking 13.05km By 8.30am the rest of us had merried up and were tucking in to breakfast at Changi, where we saw Maximillian Mager at Changi and his posse of mountain bikers. Changi Village in the morning is lovely and more so amidst breakfast with a large group of bikers!

Jocelyne had put up a good ride down for her first ride with us, and the lovely morning was made even better when her dad was summoned and agreed to rescue her. Meanwhile, Chi had adjusted her seat positioning and height, and recommended that she shorten the stem for a more comfortable ride in future, with much less punishment. She can feel the difference just cycling in a small circle, already!

Later Kenneth did some trials with the Big Dummy, transporting Kevin and we all decided we were not likely to go camping with that hevy-duty tank! We headed back south with Yi Ling, Kevin’s old classmate, who had come by and found her friend Chia Yi on her way up to Changi. We said goodbye to Max and company who headed to Pulau Ubin and the trails and Airani chatted briefly with Cheng Puay who had made the Fort Road-Changi run with some colleagues too. 

At the head of the pack along Chngi Beach Park, Yi Ling and I were chatting and missed the condiderable excitement outside SAF Ferry Terminal – a lady on a racer apparently crashed (endo-ed) on the road heading towards Changi Vilage outside the PCN. Catherine exclaimed, but turning round I saw that everyone looked fine on their bikes and carried on.

Apparently what happened next was that Min Yee nearly crashed into the same pylon I did crash into two weeks ago! And as Aaron detoured to check on the lady lying on the road, a distracted Airani drifted right, and a halpless mountain biker was unable to avoid her – she hit his handle, then tossed her bike to escape with just a bloody forefinger and bruise on her inner thigh. The mountain biker was not struck and turned out to be a very nice lad who was only concerned about her condition –  but she was okay and ex-medic Kenneth had her confirm all her hand functions were intact. Phew!

With everyone safe, they rode on and evetually met Yi Ling and myself who had been waiting, and beginning to wonder. We clustered at the far bend of the Changi Coastal PCN just before the turn to the Tanah Merah shore =- and there the arriving party reglaed us with much excitement! We realised then, that amongst the lot of us, we had a doc, a medic, at least three first aid kits, a bike mechanic, an ambulance (Kevin’s trial Surly Big Dummy) and papparazzi. 

We were glad everyone was safe and rode on back to Fort Road and home. I did fine on the Brompton today but at the NTU BIke Rally with its more hilly terrain, I will stick to my ten-year old GT, which is in the shop right now. Still, the Brompton is certainly an elegant bike and it was a lovely ride! Meanwhile, Kevin did 118km that day, on the Big Dummy and was pretty much exhausted. He will return the bike but has our respect for the mileage he put in with it today, and some of that with the brake being applied on the rear wheel too, just like Airani on her Norco Charger last week!

Airani and I did a spot of  Chinese New Year visiting in Tampines where we dropped off Aaron Chia who set out in the hot sun to Sengkang. We made ourway to the home of former Pedal Ubin guides, Ivan and Tammy. We showered and took turns to nap on their comfortable sofa, where I chewed Kyser’s ear briefly, in between telling some cycling stories!

Oh that every Sunday should be this lovely!

Use arrows to navigate through the gallery below.

A very special shirt

This shirt was purchased from Parkson Ria Penang, in the mid-90’s during my otter days. When summoned to Mediacorp studios as a guest in the Channel 5 and CNA news sessions in December 2001, this is what I grabbed as I left he house. They had guests during the news in those days. I remember the seat was too small and I was sliding off. At that point, it was just another stop in a ceaseless list of things to do. We didn’t realise the significance of the news ourselves.

And the news? It was the media release by the Ministry of National Development about the deferment of reclamation at Chek Jawa. The needed someone there to say something, it was all a rush, and we just winged it. At some point, I did say “Chek Jawa is alive!” – the counterpoint to the “Remember Chek Jawa” message we started out with, emblazoned on buttons Ria Tan had made for all and sundry.

2001 was a period of little sleep – the first Semakau Environment Education Workshop, opening of the RMBR Public Gallery, the Chek Jawa salvage collections, public education and submissions, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore, Toddycats ver 1., etc.

These days I wear it to meetings with my research students to cheer them up. It seemed to work today.

Otterman and his Taz Tribal shirt
Photo by Amanda Tan

It’s been some twenty years since I got this shirt. Who says things don’t last anymore?

Thanks to Amanda Tan for persisting in taking and Facebooking the photo, while I was telling Buloh staff I’d be over in a jiffy.

Brompton under the table finally sees the light of day

A birthday gift from 2010, this Brompton languished for over a year under my table, in a box, while I ran myself ragged with overwork and hardly played. The determination of new year resolution two years in the making has finally have it come out to see the light and me to regain my sanity.


It will have to seek a niche against the 10-year old GT Aggressor. The three speed gear is too cruel on the knees right now to become my primary vehicle. Still, it folds elegantly as it is famed to do and after some persuasion to separate mudguard from wheel, it was put through its paces along the similarly lovely Ulu Pandan Park Connector.

I can’t generate the power of the GT for sure and will avoid battling urban traffic, and instead navigate walkways and pavements between safe roads. Never at the expense of pedestrians, though.

The inbuilt dynamo powers up a pretty decent front and rear light  while a computer bag which completed the birthday gift slips in the  front comfortably, screaming cycle to work! “You won’t be able to sprint up Pepys Road with this bike,” my fellow-Zendogs warned. Well, I’ll be much less ambitious for starters. And with the GT is in the shop, Changi Coastal Park Connector here I come!