Pedal With Mettle

Brave cyclists race through SAFRA Yishun in a test of courage.

By Kelvin Low      6 May 2019

Visitors to SAFRA Yishun on 3 Mar were treated to a unique sight – 311 cyclists speeding across the bridge that connects the main clubhouse to the adventure sports centre. Unlike a mountain biking event held on a dirt track, this urban sporting event was held at the club.

Organised by SAFRA Yishun Country Club, the Urban Bike Challenge comprised four categories: Starter (for cyclists aged 7 to 11); Junior (aged 12 to 16); Open (aged 17 to 35), with the most participants; and Master (aged 36 to 49). The event aimed to provide a safe yet challenging and exciting experience akin to an “urban assault” with a mountain bicycle. The bike challenge kicked off in Yishun Park, where cyclists had to negotiate several “teeter-totters” (sort of see-saw tight turns), “stair ride” down several flights of stairs, before pedalling furiously across the bridge and into SAFRA Yishun.

The clubhouse also formed part of the obstacle course, which saw cyclists perform high-speed turns along a narrow pathway, followed by several hairpin turns before reaching the final obstacles of two double jumps, located at the club’s front porch, and finally across the finish line.

Strider Bike Challenge

Another interesting segment of the Urban Bike Challenge was the Strider Bike Challenge. Strider bikes are balance bikes – that is, they look exactly like bicycles, but without pedals. Designed for children, they are training bikes to help children balance and steer before taking on a regular bicycle.

Held at the outdoor carpark, the Strider Bike Challenge saw participants competing in a head-to-head, double-elimination format. Each cyclist was flagged off every 30 seconds from the starting line. Both the Urban Bike Challenge and the Strider Bike Challenge had practice and warm-up sessions to familiarise participants with the course.

It was also a day of quality family time. Parents accompanied their children during the challenge, guiding and encouraging them through tougher obstacles such as the “stair ride”, before getting on their own bicycles for their own timed runs.

Families were seen spurring on their members in the race, while cyclists at the holding area clapped and cheered on every passing rider on the two table tops. Cycling aside, a slew of bicycle-themed children’s activities awaited at the atrium, including a bicycle carnival. Free snacks such as Marigold milk, cotton candy and ice balls were handed out to participants and guests.

The top three cyclists of the Urban Bike Challenge were awarded $300, $200 and $150 in cash prizes respectively, while the winners of the Strider Bike Challenge walked away with prizes worth up to $300.

Other prizes given out included bicycles and gift vouchers. No one went home empty-handed. Every participant received a finisher’s medal for completing the Strider race!