Jurong Lake & Little Guilin Ride

We were supposed to have started our ride at 7.30am. But it rained and so the Brompton Pastors Club had breakfast in my home. A leisurely breakfast. By the time we finally rode off it was 9am. The weather was superbly cool. We rode to the Chinese and Japanese Garden because Then Chee Min came all the way from the east. At the least he should ride through the gardens. Then we were on the PCN to the Little Guilin. The west is where I live, so I guided the group. At Little Guilin the rain fell and we adjourned to a Malay kopitiam for an early lunch and fellowship (and theological discussion abut generational curse) till the rain stopped. Then we headed to the former granite quarry at Bukit Batok Park and from there proceeded to the PCN that links the Bukit Batok to the Ulu Pandan PCN. Our original plan was to do the Ulu Pandan PCN to Ghim Moh for lunch but rain altered our plans and we called it quits after we did the lovely Teban Garden overhead  steel bridge. We reached my home by 12.15pm. A wonderful splendid lovely morning with pastors! God’s way is always better – the rain forced us pastors to spend as much time time seated around the table of fellowship as on our Brompton foldies; and it cooled the day which otherwise would likely have been direct sun on us by mid-morning.

Early morning rains delayed our ride. We were in no hurry.
Unfolding the Brompton folding bikes.
Ready to ride by 9am!
At the Chinese Gardens main building
Riding along Bukit Batok streets
Two oranges, two blues and two greens. Bromptons against Little Guilin.
Wefie.
Shelter from the rain. Might as well have an early lunch!
Old quarry at Bukit Batok Park
Along the way on Bukit Batok PCN to Ulu Pandan PCN
Trouble on beautiful steel bicycle bridge that connects Ulu Pandan PCN to Teban Garden PCN. Brompton toolkit and common sense solved the problem. Thank you Jesus.
One final shot for the road.
Back in my home: 4 folded Bromptons inside a Toyota Wish. Incredible sight.

When pastors ride together in their Bromptons

At the Pasir Ris MRT we introduced ourselves and engaged in small talk while we waited for all to gather

This ride had an interesting element. Two of the pastors were new to the group: Jason and Vincent. We wanted to get to know them more, and of course to ride the park connector network from Pasir Ris MRT to Ponggol MRT.

It was my first time taking a Brompton on the MRT. It was a breeze even with the 6.30am crowd.

For me it was the first time I would be taking the Brompton bike into the MRT. Now we can do it at any hour. Formerly the bike was not allowed during peak hours. Some friends would be taking the Brompton on the bus from Potong Pasir to Pasir Ris.

I was at the Chinese Garden station at 6.30am. I live in between Chinese Garden and the Jurong East stations. I thought I should be able to get a seat but the train was full, and I was only able to get a seat when the train reached Eunos MRT station!

We introduced ourselves and waited for everybody to be present and then we took off. It was a pleasant ride all the way to Coney Island but after that the sun grew stronger and the Ponggol stretch was harsh.

A Halus Bridge wefie
Coney Island’s highly photographed green metal gate. They should spend money to do it up and make it iconic.

During the ride we took some breaks and Richard and I were doing some “evangelism” the wrong way. We were trying to sell the plus points of owning a Brompton bike to one of the pastors there. We extolled the great qualities like its compact fold, its engineering efficiency, its eye-catching uniqueness, its smooth ride, its durability and how it can be a great retirement vehicle. However we were too brash and near oppressive in our approach. So likely this friend was left with a bad taste in his mouth.

Waterwaypoint….at last!

We were happy to arrive at Waterwaypoint. The coolness refreshed us and we settled at the MacDonald’s at the basement. We got their coffee but bought buns from the Four Leaves bakery nearby. Here we were: Anglican, Pentecostal, Baptist, Evangelical, and Canaanite (haha). We got to know each other better and did what pastors did best: talk shop.

Vincent overpowered by two Kennys!

Interestingly we abandoned our original plan to ride to Brompton Road. Everybody had things to do. So we went off in different directions: some rode home to Potong Pasir and Toa Payoh. Vincent and I rode back to Pasir Ris where he parked his car. However, along the way an idea struck us so we tried calling Kenny Fan to see if he was free for lunch. He has moved to Pasir Ris Bethesda Mission Church. We have not met as a group for over a year. This was a good opportunity and we had lunch at Changi Hawker Center and good coffee at a cafe. It was wonderful to touch base as we updated each other on what’s been happening in our lives and pastorates.

Its always good to have friendships with pastors outside of your church or even denomination. There is a richness there, an anointing of life and abundance. How blessed for brethren to dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands his blessing. Do you have pastor friends outside of your church and denomination? Like to hear from you.

Cycling from Fort Road to Changi Village

We did 45km in about 4 hours. Cycling, not running. Three pastors from the Brompton Pastors’ Club – Richard Wong, Seng Chor and myself. Pastor Lawrence Koo and Daniel Lee could not join us.

We set off at about 7.30am from B1 carpark located at the beginning of the East Coast Service Road (near Fort Road). It was a free car park. We intended to meet earlier but I was waiting at the wrong car park B2. I don’t know how I got that wrong. I saw the WhatsApp and it said B1 car park but when I typed into the Google map it was B2.

At halfway point after the Bedok Jetty. where there are some repair tools, air pump, and water fountain.
At halfway point after the Bedok Jetty. where there are some repair tools, air pump, and a water fountain.

We cycled all the way to Changi Village with one or two drink stops. At one of the stop there was a station for cyclists. It had a few repair tools, an air pump and a water fountain. Wonderful idea. I commend the authorities for making such things available in this park connector.

At the end of the Changi Park with the sea in the background.
At the end of the Changi Park with the sea in the background.
A wife at the famous old Changi bridge
A wefie on the famous old Changi bridge

The scenic stretches of the route that I liked was the one after the Youth Adventure Center, with deciduous trees on both sides of the route. The other was the Changi Park itself with its tall casuarinas. We rode to the end of the Changi Park PCN.  I thought that it was so beautiful that the sea scape along the route had less ships (unlike the ECP PCN), and there were no restaurants, and there were less people around. The most boring section however was the straight and broad Coastal park connector path of about 8km. On both sides of this path were ongoing construction work of next two airport terminals.

Famous competitor of the best nasi lemak in Singapore
Famous competitor of the best nasi lemak in Singapore
The nasi lemak
The nasi lemak

At the Changi Village hawker center we had a delicious nasi lemak breakfast. It was just past 9am. I used to patronise the famous stall that earned the accolade of best nasi lemak in Singapore. But Richard insisted this competing stall was better. After eating, I agreed with him. The rice was soft and moist, and the fish I ordered was fresh and meaty. We downed it with 100 plus to replenish our lost body salt.

We decided not to rest too long. We moved off for the return leg. The weather was cloudy and we were thankful for that. Especially at the monotonous Coastal PCN which had no tree cover. The clouds gave us shelter and cooled us. You see, in the late morning, it is usually very  sunny and humid.

After that my legs grew tired , and my bum ached. This was the first time I covered such distance.  Prior to this, 20 km was the most I have ridden. Pastor Seng Chor just recovered from a flu and he too had gone slow and steady. Pastor Richard went strong throughout as he was a veteran of such long rides. He was physically well conditioned. This was a piece of cake for him.

On the whole we enjoyed it. When I reached the end point I felt relief as well as a sense of satisfaction. I was thinking of how in my fathers’ generation men retired at 55 years old, and were expected to gather moss, and rot at home. We were all over 55 and we were not at home, not gathering moss, and still active in ministry. Times have changed. Attitudes have changed. Retirement is indeed a social construct.