Bicycle ride checklist for my 10th NTU Bike Rally (round-island ride)

Tomorrow’s my tenth NTU Bike Rally which might see me clock a century ride (160km = 100 miles) by cycling to and from the start/end point at the F1 Pit. It will be my 11th round-island ride and my 10th NTU Bike Rally. So I’m no stranger to long rides and the preparation required – see this preparatory list from a decade ago.

Before a ride, I run through a battered piece of paper on my fridge door – my bicycle ride check list, which ensures a safe and enjoyable ride.

It looks like a long list but it gets sorted out through regular rides, during which maintenance and supplies will be sorted out with some shopping at our regular bicycle shops. Lights in particular keep improving.

The first aid kit requires attention of its own but I have to tend to that for field trips so that get sorted out too.

I’ll be riding with my Zendogs buddies Kevin and Kenneth so we’ll be in contact for emergencies. We’ve helped fellow cyclists in the past and while we hope no one will gets into trouble, we’ll be ready.

Now, if that haze will just peter out.


  • Front lights (2): USB and battery powered, charged, working and clear of debris.
  • Rear lights (2): USB and battery powered, charged, working and clear of debris.
  • iPhone w/Runkeeper in Biologic casing, mounted.
  • Water bottle, 0.8L, in cage, filled.
  • Cables, gears and chain: clean, oiled, tension adequate.
  • Brake pads clean and functioning.
  • Wheels: tyres inflated, rims clean, no oil, balanced.
  • Saddle, correct one for ride, aligned, tightened.


  • 10,800 mAh powerbank
  • Sunblock.
  • Salonpas muscle rub.
  • Panadol extra.


  • Spare inner tube, powdered, in ziploc
  • Topeak multi-tool.
  • SOG tool
  • Patch kit & Tyre levers.
  • Saddle cover.
  • AAA & AA batteries, new.


  • Helmet, no cracks, no strap entanglement.
  • Helmet rear light working, bright enough.
  • Halo headband and head cap.
  • Clear glasses: washed and antifog applied (early morning).
  • Jersey with cash and cards in rear pockets.
  • Arm-coolers.
  • Gloves & Watch.
  • Shorts with keys in zipped pocket.
  • Reflective ankle bands.
  • Socks and shoes (w/clip-on for Norco).

Camelpak bag

  • Camelpak 3L.
  • First aid kit: recheck and update.
  • Sun glasses in protective case (late morning)
  • Totobobo mask.
  • Crank Brothers pump.
  • Isotonic tablets
  • Power gels
  • Salonpas muscle rub
  • Civet poop ziplock bags and glove
  • Carcass trashbag
  • Cable ties.
  • External rear light, battery powered.
Kevin Lim - ZenDogs 1st Ride for 2014
Photo by Kevin Lim, 11 Jan 2014

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.


My century ride at the NTU Bike Rally 2012


Kenneth, Kevin and I rode the NTU Bike Rally 2012 yesterday and we made the first cut-off for the extended ride, looping into Tuas to Raffles Marina. We did not make the second cut and so clocked 148km+ during the Bike Rally this year, which we are pretty pleased about!

At my first NTU Bike Rally in 2003, the ride began and ended at NTU itself. By cycling there and back, I clocked more than 100 miles (160km). The idea of a century ride had been suggested by Mark Chan, one of my Zendogs kakis who had ridden with me on my first round island ride in 2002. Anyway, if I have the energy and am alert, I’d rather cycle than dismantle my bicycle.

Well that distance as a target intrigued me but you can’t achieve a century on a round island loop alone, as the length would usually be in the region of 128km. Riding to the start point and back did add enough distance but the Bike Rally start point was moved from NTU to the south. 

As a result of that, the last time I did a century since the Bike Rally restarted in 2007 was 2008. In 2009 and 2010, I reached ECP and packed it in at about 135km. Last year I was struggling with severe cramps for about half the ride and was really happy I had managed 134km.  

So it was with great pleasure yesterday when I realised we had made the Tuas loop cutoff. Coupled with my ride to and from the F1 Pit, I had finally clocked a century again.  


Kenneth Pinto and Kevin, my NTU Bike Rally 2012 kakis at the start point!

NTU Bike Rally, 26 Feb 2012 – registration open

I’m already signed up; registration was open on 6th Dec 2011. You can register at

Bike Rally 2012

The ride is 128km (or 168km if you met the cut off timings for the longer loop). Cycling a round island has been an annual ritual for me since 2002. You can see my previous years’ posts to figure out why I’m enthusiastic.

The 2011 route

If you are trying this out for the first time, see my recipe for along ride.