We ended our afternoon meeting with a full lunch in Orchard Road today. Seeing that the weather is on our side, we decided to pick up two bicycles to ride back to Raffles City. Well, the distance is not so far after all... or so we thought!
It was a great experience riding right in the heart of the city, traversing through mini parks, pedestrian lanes and path ways. Mabel is very contented that her wish is fulfilled, and that’s cycling about in the city on a city bicycle with a basket in front. Kind of made her feel like she is in one of those Korean dramas.
However, if you ask us if we are to do it in downtown Orchard Road again, both of us with think THRICE or multiple times before embarking on the journey.
1. Being a Friday afternoon (about 4pm), the whole of Orchard Road seems to be in a massive traffic standstill. Cars were packed back to back and frustrations are building up as we could hear cars honking constantly.
2. We knew human traffic is high so we decided to take the quieter paths behind the main Orchard Road. There is not much difference. Instead of humans, there were vehicles turning in and out of buildings, making the journey less pleasant with the constant stops we had to make to be extra safe.
3. There are too many lanes and traffic crossings. Within a span of 100m, we had to dismount and mount again 2 to 3 times. We walked and dismounted to push substantially with our bicycles during the first half of the journey.
4. Certain part of the path ways and lanes are simply too narrow to be used by cyclists and the pedestrians at the same time. Some of the corners are too sharp and space too narrow to make a safe turn, so we have to dismount and 'cycle' with our feet.
5. Despite having good weather, the humidity is just too much to take. We are on a working day and making visits to our clients or business associates in sweaty attires and sticky bodies is NO NO NO. This is the number 1 deterrent for why cycling to be the alternative mode of transport in Singapore is not going to work.
We took 36 minutes altogether to cover 3 km but after the ride, we were so tired that we felt we did 10 km. Ha ! It was not all negative as we met lovely pedestrians along the way who gave us encouragement as we rode past. Who say cyclists and pedestrians cannot share a common path ? It takes 2 hands to clap. Both sides of the users just need to spare a thought for each other and all will be good.
Happy Friday and have a great weekend ahead !