Cable ties – to the rescue of my pedal cage during NTU Bike Rally 2012

One thing I have NEVER checked all these years have been the screws on my pedal cage. On the ride just before the NTU Bike Rally 2012, my pedal cage fell off, but I tucked the parts away and rode home with minor inconvenience.

Amidst the hectic week that followed, I forgot about it until the night before the NTU Bike Rally. Failing to change my pedals when I could not find my wrench, it was down to cable ties: itsy-bitsy cable ties which I could thread through the pedal cage and pedal! 


And it worked, for all 169km of the ride I did that day. I carried spares but never had to use them. Pretty neat. I’ll check my pedals during bike maintenance from now on.


Plotting routes with Bikely: Casuarina Rd prata, NERL, Bishan Park and Mandai forest this Sunday, 18 Mar 2012

Bikey has been around since 2006 and I was using it actively in 2008 but had taken a hiatus these past couple of years. I revisited to publish tomorrow’s route and it is easier to use and there are more details on Google Map so I enjoyed preparing the route shown in the image and on Bikely at

Casuarina Rd prata, NERL, Bishan Park and Mandai forest this Sunday, 18 Mar 2012

I want to visit the North East Riverine Loop to examine the landscape again and the Ang Mo Kio-Bishan Park which was just launched today, in order to examine the landscape, riparian vegetation (or lack of actually) and the ‘natural-like stream’. So I am dragging Zendogs along and offering the ride, hence the plot.

We’ll meet at Holland Village MRT at 6.15am for morning coffee at the weekend-24 hour Starbucks before riding down to Casuarina Road for a prata breakfast probably at 7.15am.

Then we’ll tussle with Yio Chu Kang Road and hit the NERL and by 9.00am should be looping westwards along the northern shore which will keep the early morning glare out of our eyes.

Then it’s down to Bishan Park by way of Yio Chu Kang Road, then using an underpass in Serangoon Gardens to enter Ang Mo Kio – this will keep us out of the wakening traffic. We should reach Bishan Park by 10.30am, sightseeing time included, but it will be difficult to predict our timing.

Afterwards, the northern loop to Mandai Road will beckons. I get to examine the battered Mandai forest which I like to visit every few months afterwhich we’ll roll down the very wide and not too busy Woodlands Road.

Bukit Timah in particular will be a bit hairy – we can’t take the Zhenghua Park Connector on the western edge of Bukit Timah as some of the others are using slicks which wil mot handle the dirt tracks. Clementi Road has multiple lanes and wide roads but is busy; thankfully Sunday mornings are tolerable for the stretch up to Ulu Pandan.

Then we will whiff into the peaceful Ulu Pandan Park Connector in relief and return to Holland Village, hopefully by 1pm latest.

I cut out a Kranji loop as I promised to meet my research students by 4.00pm. I have been drowsiest at that time these days due to odd hours last week but after this ride, I’ll be flat out after lunch! A two-hour catnap ought to restore me in time for that meeting. I know I am already breaking my cycling rule about Sundays but their oral exam is on Thursday. Then I shall abandon them!

Bikely sure was helpful, at least I have a rough idea of timings even though its hard to predict a Zendog ride.

Estimated timings/locations
0630 – leave HV MRT
0715 – Casuarina Road prata breakfast
0800 – head into YCK
0900 – 32km past-midway in NERL
1000 – 42km enter Bishan Park
1030 – heading up Thomson Road
1100 – 55km Mandai forest
1200 – passing by Bukit Timah Nature Reserve
1230 – Holland Village

Where we rode in the end:

18 Mar 2012, 67km – Bt Brown, NERL, Bishan Park, Peak Hour Route: Andy Dinesh, Kevin Lim, Joelle Lai Airani S, Kenneth PInto, Adrian Loo, N. Sivasothi; route on Runkeeper, photos on Flickr:

18 Mar 2012 ride to Bt Brown, NERL and Bishan Park

First aid administrations during NTU Bike Rally 2012

In the early morning of the NTU Round Island Bike Rally 2012 along Lim Chu Kang Road, I saw a bunch of cyclists gathered around a girl sitting on the road. She bore a mild road rash on her knee and was surrounded by an attentive friend, an apologetic fellow cyclist (who might have contributed to her fall) and some helpful riders who had stopped to ensure she was okay.

I was just picking up my pace to catch up with my kakis Kenneth and Kevin who were ahead of me on that long stretch. Then I realised I had not seen a first aid kit amongst them. So I turned around and provided the necessary with Brave Soldier antiseptic wash, Brave Soldier antiseptic ointment, some gauze and a light bandage.

As we chatted, Cheryl, the plucky injured girl, remarked that the Opsite bandage I was applying on her knee looked like parafilm. She had to be a life sciences student and soon learnt she was one of my students from LSM1103 Biodiversity last semester!

I left Cheryl and friends after the dressing was done and stepped up the pace to catch up with the other Zendogs. Along Neo Tiew Road, I passed an ambulance and a crowd of organisers. I hoped the injured rider was okay and rode on to Turf Club, the next rest stop where Kenneth and Kevin were waiting for me. They said I had only been about ten minutes out.

At the water point I met the Neo Tiew Road accident victim – a roadie who had fallen on his side while still clipped on to his pedals! So he had smashed the aide of his face – ouch! After receiving first aid, he had refused the ambulance and rode on to the Turf Club stop where he told me he was dropping out as the sweat into the bandages was not going to allow him to ride safely.

I looked at his injuries in fascination while he spoke and just thought “OUCH!”

As the hills levelled out, a Brompton last cyclist crashed on her right after a junction, scraping knee, arms and leg, and twisting her ankle. We found out that Angela was tired out by the Kranji stretch but had persisted and then wobbled over an uneven patch of road and fell. We were glad no vehicle was behind her at the time. She fell was just after an intersection shaded by an expressway.


So nice again I pulled out antiseptic lotion, ointment, gauze and bandages to attend to the scrapes while she took photos and posted them to Facebook! Yes, Angela was quite unfazed by the fall, just like Cheryl earlier. I guess anyone who attempts the 128km ride is not faint-hearted!

While Kevin waved traffic from our rear away, Kenneth, who had been a medic in the army, attended to her sprained ankle, eventually bandaging it up. The Bike Rally organisers meanwhile had drawn a truck up to recover her bike and that protected us from passing traffic. We were done and left as the medic arrived.



In previous years, I only had to hand out 100+ and Deep Heat to weary and cramped cyclists, so this year was certainly  eventful. Thankfully no more than these scrapes and I hope Cheryl, Angela and the roadie are all feeling better now.

I was sure glad I had packed my well stocked first aid kit for the ride and had Zendogs Kenneth and Kevin with me.


Time to declutter! Our FIFTH year of operations at the Assisi Hospice Charity Fun Day begins now!

We were just notified – the Assisi Hospice Charity Fun Day will be held on Sunday, 17th June 2012 at St. Joseph’s International this year!

Just before the fire sale!

A group of friends – “Adrian & Kakis” set up a stall at the Assisi Hospice Charity Fun Day every year. We submitted our stall application once again to run a second hand store featuring clothes, shoes, handbags, electronics and other assorted items. It’s a bunch of friends, initiated and led by our resident Catholic, Adrian Loo.

If you have items lying around the house in good condition and not being used, its time to declutter! Give these to us, breathe from the freedom in a good cause and we will sell it all off for this worthy charity.

Please fill in the form here: and we will arrange for a day for you to deliver the items or for us to collect. If you can help us out that day, please let us know using the form too, thanks!

Our stall name is “Zendogs” reflecting the Mokton declaration:
“He knows not where he’s going, for the ocean will decide,
It’s not the destination, it’s the glory of the ride”

I will go shopping too!

And sure enough, a mechanism evolved to ensure we can cope with the project, enjoy fellowship in the process and are not exhausted each year so we are energised to reattempt this again – this will be our fifth year! As a result, some have already been squirreling away and I have been recruiting kakis since last year to help out!This approach, our motivations and method and star sellers were chronicled in a blog post here last year.

Motivation to help the hospice is easy as “staff and volunteers of Assisi Hospice have been helping people in Singapore facing death to live life with dignity and to the fullest, for over 20 years” [see this link].

Adrian’s room in Bishan (and his parent’s place at Thomson) becomes available for storage for saleable goods from Mid-Apr. We begin inviting friends to declutter with this post. Many have sent us really good items to sell off at the charity fair after digging through their cupboards at home and asking other friends at work.

  • Mid-Apr – Collection Phase I (getting to know you; crew does potluck)
  • Mid-May – Collection Phase II (sense of urgency; Adrian bakes)
  • Fri 08 Jun 2012 – Collection Phase III (last burst; people deliver to the stockile in Bishan)
  • Sat 16 Jun 2012 – Goods dump at Assisi (4-6pm)
  • Sun 17 Jun 2012 – Assisi Charity Fun Day (8am – 5pm; fire sale from 12pm)

The event day is hot, sweaty and joyous! Everyone is smiling and happy to be there. The nuns tell us at the end, “The success of this event is because of your warm presence, joy and great generosity and love for the needy and terminally ill patients in Assisi.”

Such a wonderful occasion. So we will be there for sure!

Adrian Loo’s sis, Nat, buying from her own stall in , what we call a ‘sucker buy’!