Today I pretended to be a bike commuter. What was it like riding with traffic to campus in the morning?
The moment I got on the bike, that magical feeling stole over me. The same feeling you get every time you are one a bicycle – freedom!
I was no longer trapped in the commute. But I was not on a weekend ride. I stayed away from roads, remembered I was not my mountain bike, kept my speed slow and didn’t race with traffic.
I stopped at the coffee shop in Dover because I felt hungry, and wondered where else I could weave in on the morning ride to take in breakfast along the way. Such idyllic thinking!
I was riding my Brompton, a neglected creature since it was presented to me. It was in its element today, a short urban ride avoiding traffic, hugging low-traffic pedestrian walkways, and it was good. Unobtrusive, manoeuvrable and self-contained.
And it helped when I took on “the gap” – this is the small margin left for pedestrians over the AYE towards the NUH junction. I name it ironically after “The Gap“.
It’s important to maintain momentum as you fling yourself through the narrow opening else you’ll scrape concrete on either side. Melodic concrete tiles sing to you if you are spot on, and soon I was on the pleasant stretch along Kent Ridge Road.
On a slow ride with the bike, I was able to observe plants and insects more closely, eyeballed a sucession plot with great interest for an ecology practical and listened to kingfishers proclaim.
I also watched commuters on their daily grind. sympathetically.
No wonder the bicycle commuters are adamant about cycling – to feel this freedom of the ride daily is such a liberation.
It’s great I was able to weave away from traffic, but not ideal. if more cyclists take to the streets A pity since NUS is so near the Ghim Moh – Ulu Pandan PCN but that last stretch to campus could kill me.
Before more can enjoy this dose of morning freedom though, plenty needs to be done. I am certainly looking forward to the maturation of the National Cycling Plan.