If we’re being honest, many of us would probably struggle to point out Singapore on a map – let alone tell you something about its cycling scene.
(For the record, it’s due south of mainland Malaysia)
At just under 720 sq. km., this diminutive Southeast Asian republic is roughly a quarter of the size of Yosemite National Park, with a population larger than the state of Minnesota. It’s a modern, dense, singularly unique destination the average cyclist might have trouble making heads or tails of. And luckily, Bastian Döhling is here to help.
Get the Most From Your Singapore Cycling Experience:
“Singapore is the perfect place to cycle,” says the native-born German, who rides with a local racing team known as the Specialized Mavericks. “The traffic is not as bad as you’d expect from an Asian capital city. If you get out and explore, you will find many amazing neighborhoods, and even some short, steep climbs.”
It’s true: cycling in Singapore has come a long way in recent years, evidenced by everything from an uptick in two-wheeled commuters to an additional 3,000 bike parking lots scheduled to be installed at MRT stations throughout the country. “They’ve managed to complete the Park Connector Network (PCN) across the whole island,” Bastian adds. “This means you can ride your bike on quiet paths without traffic.”
Car-free riding is a theme that’s particularly close to Bastian’s heart, given the indoor cycling studio he runs just across from the Central Business District. It’s a great alternative for riders who need to train for their next triathlon and aren’t necessarily keen on getting out the door at 5:30 am.
If you ask Bastian, however, real Singapore cycling means getting out and engaging with the city-state’s rich cultural exchange.
“Singapore is all about food,” he says. “My favorite post ride snack is a Masala Dosa (a South Indian lentil flour crepe filled with potato) and spicy milk tea.” For newcomers at a loss where find such a delicacy, his advice is simple: “Stop at one of the many hawker centers (local food courts), or go out for an easy coffee ride to Autobus – one of Singapore’s latest bike cafe’s. And make an effort to talk to fellow riders there.”
To help non-locals do just that, Bastian offers up a wide selection of his personal bikes to rent through Spinlister: everything from a limited edition Specialized Allez Sprint to a city bike and available toddler seat. It’s his way of letting visitors make the most of a city that’s beginning to come into its own on the world cycling stage.
“Initially I thought Singapore was just a boring business hub,” he admits, reflecting on the past decade spent living in the Lion City. “But I am still here, and it keeps on getting better every year.” Coming from a die-hard cyclist who has lived and ridden on four continents and counting, that’s praise you can take to the 银行 (bank).