Taking a leaf from one famous quote, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep balance you must keep going” – Albert Einstein.
Indeed, we must keep going in life. That said, many people cycle for a variety of reasons. In some remote areas, it is one integral form of transportation. For others especially in affluent Singapore, it is chiefly to keep a healthy lifestyle – to each his or her own to say the least. In recent years, we have seen a big leap with many people taking up cycling as an outdoor hobby and inevitably public roads have to be shared much to the annoyance of some motorists. Notwithstanding, creating as much public awareness therefore remains fundamental in ensuring safety to all cyclists on roads. “We have extensive park connectors now, why can’t these cyclists ride there instead?”, some motorists might have questioned. Perhaps to a non-cyclist, a bicycle is a bicycle which should be off road.
There are many types of bicycle which have been greatly improved over the years. Road bike or roadie as its name has suggested, it is built for cycling on paved roads. The tyres are narrow & smooth and the frame is usually lightweight made from carbon material. For a strong cyclist, he or she can hit a speed of 50 km an hour or more and therefore, it is posed risk of sorts to park users on park connector. Granted no other options, road bike cyclists have to ride on roads.
Another popular type is the mountain bikes which are built for trails or off roads. The bikes are heavier than road bikes, the frames are usually made of steel or alloy material and the wheels are more durable and bigger to tackle tough terrains. While mountain bike does not have the speed component of a road bike, cycling in a mountain trail requires good bike handling skills coupled with good balancing sense too.
The cross between a road bike and mountain bike is aptly called hybrid bike which can be used on roads as well as off roads. It usually has a straight handle bar and a straight upright sitting posture of a mountain bike but it has a thinner wheel unlike a mountain bike. A strong cyclist can hit high speed on hybrid bike too.
Cyclists come in many forms and shapes. Some are leisure cyclists, preferring to take their time and admire the beautiful scenery while some are hard-core cyclists where hitting top speed is their ultimate dream. While goals varied among cyclists, it is important for all to observe good cycling etiquettes. Give way if you can; go slow if it is a busy road; keep left as always and overtake on the right; signal before changing course so that the person behind can be made aware of obstacles ahead and many more safety tips. One who is a responsible cyclist will help to propel our little red dot into one safe cycling environment, be it on road or park connector. Slowly but surely we will achieve that. For now let’s build a safe and sound cycle culture.