I cycled on the pedestrian pavements for the first time in my life. My mom was skeptical and warned me that riding a bicycle alongside walking humans was vastly different from biking at East Coast Park, but I figured if others could do it, why couldn’t I? Plus the route – from my home at Clementi Road to the Jurong Regional Library – was one I could recite in my sleep. So with a downloaded Ofo app and a free first ride, I was ready to go.
My bravado did not last long. It had been almost a year since I last rode a bike, and the first thing that happened after I hopped on was that I swivelled the handle so hard I nearly crashed into the nearby bin; so much for never forgetting how to ride a bicycle. At this point of time I was manhandling this bulky yellow metal along the small side road next to my block, wondering if I should just give up. Swerving into a bin, not so bad. But potentially swerving onto a road full of oncoming traffic?
But I didn’t want to waste my first free ride on merely 3 minutes and decided to do a trial run around my block. This involved me precariously cycling up and down the same small road, praying no car knocks me down from behind. After about 8 minutes of bumpy cycling and waffling, I decided to have a bit of faith in myself to cycle down to Jurong East. My mantra was going to be “slow and steady stays alive”.
It was a not easy at first. The beginning stretch along the main Clementi Road was populated with pedestrians, and involved a whole manoeuvre of not crashing into them. But along my journey I bumped into (not literally) a few cycling uncles who shared knowing looks with me at each traffic light.
Soon I passed the dense jungle of humans at the MRT station entrance, and this was where the fun really began. The stretch of roads leading up to Jurong East was sparse of buildings and consequently of foot traffic as well. The only terrible part of this section was having to stand under the boiling sun at every traffic junction. But I made it, about 40 minutes later, at the entrance of Jurong Library and a old security guard who stared at me accusatorially until I parked the bicycle at the designated parking area.
In celebration of my first pedestrian cycling experience. The CBTL at JCube was really amping it up with the fake planters along their bar table.