Learning to cycle at the age of 20 was a very latent decision on my part but I’m still glad I did it because now I have the get-out-of-jogging-free card. I no longer need to put on my most comfy pair of running shoes just to access the best places in Singapore to catch a sunset.
From the heart of the city to the most ulu recesses of the Singaporean jungle, you can enjoy Singapore’s best sights – architecture and nature – within the small span of 719.1 square metres that is well-connected with various cycling trails.
We equipped ourselves with bicycles from FootLoops, bottles of water to keep hydrated, and a sense of direction to get through both the well-paved streets and uneven, gravelled tracks to enjoy these scenic cycling trails.
1. Bask in European feels @ Civic District
The only sign that will tell you that you’re still in Singapore is the weather but other than that, the Civic District is where you will feel as though you’ve been transported halfway across the globe – to Europe.
Whizz through the streets, passing by colonial-styled buildings like the National Gallery, Victoria Concert Hall And Theatre, and Asian Civilisations Museum. These landmarks are juxtaposed against the background of towering buildings that make up modern Singapore’s iconic skyline.
Casual cyclists who have difficulty navigating roads flowing with traffic can head towards the zen riverside route to escape the hustle and bustle.
If you’ve seen TSL’s Civic District Instawalk, the places we visited are not only pedestrian-friendly but also cyclist-friendly. Convenient parking spaces for bicycles are found around the must-visit places. So if you need a short potty break and bathe yourself with some cold air from the air-conditioning, you can just park outside and head right in.
2. Have a picnic at Singapore’s very own “Central Park” @ AMK-Bishan Park
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is the perfect balance of man-made installations and nature. This urban park is found in the heart of an estate surrounded by HDBs and condominiums, and is rich with a myriad of flora and fauna. It’s just like New York’s Central Park, but with a nice Singaporean touch to it.
With wide cycling tracks, you can slowly enjoy the river coursing through the park, without having to worry about holding up human traffic. These tracks are also connected by bridges over the river and stopping by on any one of them will give you a breathtaking view of the entire park.
After a long day of cycling in this scenic park, a picnic would be timely. For the best picnic spot, dismount from your bike and head to the wooden platforms overlooking the riverbank. We might not have a zoo like in Central Park, but if you’re lucky you might be able to spot some of the resident otters playing in the water.
3. Trick your friends into thinking you’re cycling in some foreign countryside @ Punggol
With the vast plain of lalang swaying in the wind, this cycling route might make it seem as though you’re cycling through a countryside one would not expect to see in Singapore. This is just one of the many sights of nature along the 26km North Eastern Riverine Loop.
Besides the more familiar Punggol Waterway Park, there are also rustic landscapes like Punggol Promenade and Lorong Halus Wetland, where you can get up close and personal with nature from activities like fishing to bird-watching.
To feel the dimming rays of sunset on your skin, head to the Lorong Halus bridge. This is the best place to take a picture with sunset in the background, for the gram.
4. Cycle along one of Singapore’s highest ridges @ Southern Ridges
The Southern Ridges boasts one of the toughest cycling trails, fit for the gung-ho cyclist. Keep your fingers ready at the brakes for this route because you wouldn’t want to be rolling back two metres for every one metre up Mount Faber.
Riding tip: Switch to your lowest gear when going uphill so you don’t kill your knees!
Collecting all the lactic acid in your hamstrings and quads is not without reward. Along this trail, you get to enjoy amazing views of the lush greenery from atop Henderson Waves and Forest Walk. You have to dismount and push your bicycles at these areas so take this chance to catch a breather.
5. Speed through the bay area much faster on bicycles @ Marina Barrage
Singapore’s bay area is well-connected by the Eastern Coastal Loop, where you’ll be cycling along the bayfront and passing by popular scenic spots in this part of Singapore. You can even cycle to the bay area all the way from East Coast Park.
The most scenic part is the Marina Barrage, where you can get a full view of Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer.
The cycling route will pass by Gardens By The Bay, where you can choose to leave your bike at the bike stands outside the park or wheel your bike through the park. Hopefully, your bike doesn’t weigh a ton or it’ll be a hassle to push it around.
6. The all-in-one cycling trail @ Woodlands
If you’re looking to experience a good mix of terrain in just one day, the Northern Explorer Loop has everything you need.
Woodlands Waterfront Park is where you can find one of Singapore’s longest coastal jetty, and enjoy the seaview of Malaysia just across the horizon.
The next stop you’ll be heading to is Admiralty Park where you can cycle through a sprawling nature trail.
The cycling route connects all the way to Lower Seletar Reservoir and Sembawang Park. Along the way, the smooth roads you’ve been cycling on will turn into bumpy dirt tracks through the wilderness of Singapore’s kampung days. Remember to use the most versatile bicycle you have for this cycling trail because you wouldn’t want to have it break down in the middle of nowhere. An upright riding city bike would take you most places without breaking a sweat (or your back).
A breather from your busy schedule
With life constantly weighing you down with crowded rush hours on the way to work and spending hours at end staring at computer screens, Singapore’s scenic landscapes provide the perfect opportunity for you to get a good breather.
You can find zen moments cycling within the busy Civic District or Singapore’s best urban parks. To let your eyes rest, look at the greenery that line the long cycling trails, which often lets you reconnect with nature as well.
With Singapore being well-connected with park connectors, cycling around has never been easier.
Don’t waste your OOTD on an unglam bicycle
An all-terrain bike might make sense to access far-removed corners of Singapore, but if you’re just looking to get around Singapore, you can look good and feel good on a slick, steel-framed Bobbin bicycle that comes in various Pantone colours.
These bikes aren’t just helluva good-looking. Their sturdy frames and wide tyres are coupled with a gear system of up to seven gears that will allow you to cycle on all terrains.
And even though they’re durable, the bikes are also lightweight, making it easy to carry across the unfriendliest of obstacles – stairs.
Spice your FootLoops bike up with vintage accessories
The accessories you can add on to these bicycles complete the straight-out-of-Paris look, where you can simply put the baguette you bought from the bakery into a Bobbin basket (from $90)or Wooden Crate (from $45), like how movie stars do it in all the French films.
Having to carry a backpack under the sweltering heat in Singapore might cause great discomfort especially when the sweat collects in the stuffy confines in between your back and your bag. You can retrofit your bicycle with a Vincita pannier bag (from $73) that can be easily detached from the rear rack for you to carry your barang barang to the nearby cafe. For families, the rear rack is also perfect for child seats!
Singapore might seem like a bicycle-friendly place but that doesn’t mean you can forget all about safety. Instead of the racer-like helmets you get from your run-of-the-mill bike shop, you can complete your look with these stylish and light Thousand Helmets (from $146).
Their mellow colours make it an easy match for any outfit and you won’t have to feel awkward wearing a helmet around the city.
With the voguish bicycles and fashionable accessories, cycling will be the new fashion statement. Just don your best outfit and cycle away to the city centre and far reaches of Singapore with these unisex rides from FootLoops.