Thursday, March 28, 2013

My cycling in Singapore experiences - Alternate routes

This post is about a way to make bicycle commuting safer by selection of route with safety as an, if not the most, important criteria. The idea does not need much explanation. Here, I'll just share how my recent commuting route evolved.

Start: Toa Payoh
End: NUH

During the initial years of my bicycle commuting in the late 90s, the route I would have used is based on bus route that I am familiar with. That would be Braddell, Lornie, Adam, Farrer, Holland, North Buona Vista, Lower Kent Ridge. I was and am still comfortable with majority of this route except the narrow-lanes and hilly Lornie and Adam roads, and most dangerous at the entrance to and exit from PIE along Adam road. Nevertheless, I think this route is the fastest and the last issue above "disappear" in the morning/evening peaks.

After some time, I have learned non-bus routes to get out and into Toa Payoh, and I called them "bicycle ports". Thus, I could avoid Braddell road by

Monday, March 18, 2013

My cycling in Singapore experiences - Pushing a bicycle up a slope

This is to share my experience and thoughts on how to push a small bicycle up the Braddell road bridge "connecting" the Kallang PCN between Bishan and Toa Payoh. Some background about this bridge can be found here, and here.

First, if you are pushing a full size and heavy enough bicycle, I don't think you would experience much issues. I have been pushing my old skool 26" hybrid bicycle up this place many times. However, I noticed many folding bike riders prefer to carry their bicycle up. I didn't know why until the first time I pushed my 20" Polygon Urbano 3.0 bicycle up this bridge. After doing so a few times, I think I know the issue. Below I'll share my experience:

Typically cyclists push their bicycles by holding the handle bar, allowing them to control the direction.The problem I had when pushing the folding bicycle is that the rear wheel kept slipping inwards on to the steps. This is irritating.

Thus, one way is to have one hand holding the saddle while the other holding the handle. However, with only one hand holding the handle bar, it is more challenging to control the direction.

Anyway, after exploring different ways of pushing, I found that I could push my folding bicycle easily with one hand at a lower position nearer to the frame (see blue arrow head in diagram below). For folding bicycle like mine, I can still control the direction holding here. My free hand can carry other stuff, e.g. my son's balancing bike, so I don't need to make another trip.

Partial force diagram illustration

Then, I gave some thoughts about it and figured out a reason for my method.
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