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.
One person leaving the Japanese Garden was saying, They should not allow cyclists into the Chinese and Japanese Gardens. So unsafe. I went to the security guard to confirm if what I was hearing was true. Can cyclists enter the Gardens? I thought there was a rule that said we cannot? I have been stopped before. The security guard said, Yes you can now cycle in the Gardens. Later, my wife and I were walking out at the Chinese Garden’s exit at the Chinese Garden MRT side. I asked the security guard there, Can we cycle in the Gardens? Yes you can. What happened? I thought all along we cannot. The management made a decision this week to allow and we have been instructed to allow cyclists in, he replied.
Last week I was disappointed to see one thirds of the Jurong Lake Park Connector boarded up completely for upgrading works. Now there is some comfort in this piece of good news that we can cycle inside the gardens.
Here are some photos to prove this is for real but I do not know if this is temporary or permanent.
Pastor Richard Wong offered to bring me around the Ponggol Park and the Coney Island. He also requested that we search for a road in Jalan Kayu named Brompton Road. I am not fully initiated into the Brompton bicycle cult so I was thinking, What’s the big deal? He read my mind and went on to explain that he wanted to pose in front of that road sign and take some photos of himself with the Brompton bike. He had seen it in many Brompton Facebook groups and wanted to have some pictures too. It was near Ponggol, so I didn’t mind, though I was mildly amused by his enthusiasm.
So I picked him up at Potong Pasir and the two folded Bromptons fitted snugly into my Nissan Latio car boot. I keyed in the road and the Google navigation system brought us to Brompton Road. We could not find the road sign and had to circle a few times to finally land near the spot. We unfolded our bikes and took turns to pose and take pictures . I couldn’t believe I was doing this, posing in front of the Brompton Road sign with a Brompton bike beside me.
Later we rode around and stopped for coffee and pau at a rustic coffee shop opposite the Seletar Aerospace Park entrance. It felt like we were in the 1960s. We later rode around and I saw the Anglican Church of the Epiphany, that my friend Bishop Raphael Samuel and his wife Michelle served with in his early years of ministry several decades ago in the 1980s.
We parked the car at Waterpoint Mall which was along the Ponggol River. We pushed our bikes through the shopping mall ( you can only do this with a Brompton) and to the riverfront and began our burning hot ride under the overhead sun. It was nearly 11 am when we started off.
Pastor Richard knew the area inside out. We rode around the river all the way to the Ponggol Promenade and to Coney Island. On the way back we passed by Halus Bridge which links Pasir Ris to Ponggol. Richard knew which were the best spots for taking shots with beautiful background.
The HDB homes built about a stones’ throw from the river banks were beautiful and such real estate along a beautiful riverfront is rare at the prices that the residents bought them. Their value would probably double by the time they are able sell their properties.
After the ride we had a Subway sandwich and coffee for lunch. We conveniently parked our bikes near where we sat and chatted in the wonderfully chilled shopping mall. Later, we folded our bikes, put them in the car boot and we were off again. It was interesting and fun. Although the sun bore down on us, I was glad I finally rode the Ponggol Park. Pastor Lawrence Koo, another pastor, who rides a Brompton, often bragged about Ponggol Park in his Facebook. I must agree with him that it is a beautiful park. Give it another five years for the young trees to grow bigger and shadier and it will be perfect.