One of the best ways I’ve found to explore Singapore has been through cycling. Aside from being a great workout, there is something about the unknown paths and adapting to different terrains that makes getting to the location that much more interesting.
With a great array of park connectors in place, many previously inaccessible areas of Singapore have now been opened up for cyclists to explore in much safer environments.
Personally I’ve been heading around mainly the North-East and Eastern parts of Singapore, and as I pass through areas that used to be the sites of kampong communities like Kang Kar, Buangkok and Punggol, I do try to imagine how the many residents with their original brand of fixies (i.e. single gear bikes) used to cycle on what were probably mainly dirt paths on barely lit roads, whether it was for work or the more romantic ideas of fetching a girl on the backseat for a movie.
Compared to vehicles, cycling undoubtedly gives you greater flexibility to stop anywhere and anytime as long as you spot something of interest. Be it a random monitor lizard crossing your path, to a unique moss covered street sign tempting you to explore further, cycling also makes it much simpler to take a break, park your bike and admire the wonders of nature without fear of the ever vigilant saman aunty.
Many people I’ve known have gone on cycling tours while on their trips overseas. Whether it’s in a city like Berlin exploring the history of German Architecture, or amongst the cherry blossoms in Japan, cycling is undoubtedly a great way to explore a country, and I do think that on both a local and tourism level it has yet to be fully endorsed or appreciated in Singapore.
At the moment there are only a couple of organisations including the Beetle Box Hostel that holds cycling tours for tourists, and with increasing debates on road cycling safety, there is perhaps still a long way to go before cycling in Singapore can truly be appreciate by all. My suggestion is to take your own initiative to go on a cycling adventure and explore Singapore at your own pace, cause i’m sure it’ll help you view Singapore differently one way or another.