I plan to cycle to work for a month – Week 1

Image courtesy of Shankar. S

Generally the way I get to work usually is pretty eco-friendly—I take the public bus along with hundreds of other commuters, and then run like mad for the lift in my office building if I’m close to being late.

Also, I don’t own a bike. My last bicycle sat in the car park for years and years because the bicycle lock which chained its—and my—freedom had a missing key, one that my parents always said they’d get around to finding but never did. (No blame intended, just a statement) Eventually my bicycle followed the rest of my family’s—into oblivion when the condo management simply removed them and threw them away, I suppose.

The reasons for wanting to attempt these are several:

  1. To get healthy. I’m following Kayla Itsines’ workout guide (not sponsored and no payment for referrals, although if you do get started on it, feel free to email me at zerowastepretty@gmail.com so we can commiserate) and there’s a significant chunk of time I’m supposed to be devoting to walking. I figure I can use this time to cycle back and forth from work. Also, because oBike’s bikes have no gears, if I can conquer the dastardly slopes on my commute it would be a fantastic achievement.
  2. To save money. I spend about $40-$80 per month on transport currently. I’d like to see if I can get that figure down even more. Since the app charges me for every 15 mins of riding there will still be some money to be paid, although I will take advantage of unlimited free ride promotions.
  3. I actually enjoy cycling, even in the hot humidity of Singapore, although I’ll likely have to pack a change of clothes at work.
  4. To see if this is a feasible transport option and if I can later make an investment in a bike, like a market bike which at least has a few gears (See point 1).

The Plan

  1. Commuting only by bicycle for the next month during the week for distances not more than 5km. I will aim to gradually increase this to 7-8km.
  2. Exceptions include days when there are social engagements or classes after work or if it rains.
  3. Pack extra clothes, lunch and snacks and leave them in the office to minimise the amount of stuff to bring. Cycle in a dry fit top and shorts and change after. Additional sets of underwear may be necessary as well.

Day 1–19 October: oBike

Didn’t cycle to work, mainly because I didn’t see any bikes during the walk from the void deck to the bus stop. Took a bus.

Cycled to and from lunch on my own, managed to get there and back within 40 minutes. Burned 72 calories.

Went to meet someone at Sengkang to collect an item. Endeavoured to cycle there but gave up. The road was long and the weather hot… I took a bus and a train.

Total carbon offset: 0.6 kg

Total calories burned: 208 calories

Total spent: $0 because they’re having a promotion. You do have to put a deposit of $49, which is refundable.

Day 2- 20 October – Mobike

Got up bright and early without my usual lounge in bed and catch up on social media delay. Had a cold shower and then changed and had breakfast. I’d noticed that riding in my jeggings not only made everything more sweaty, but it was also kinda constrictive for the knees, so I wore a dress. Got complimented on the dress.

Brought my porridge from the day before, slices of pears and apples, and a serving of cheesecake to tide me over for the day. Also packed an entire change of clothes (but haven’t used it).

Gears make all the difference. Generally when trying to get to my office (which is about 4km away) I have to pedal like mad up a very daunting slope, but I cruised up the slope today on Gear 1 with the MoBike. Made it to work on time despite not knowing what time it was till I reached. Should wear a watch.

After a frankly long and miserable day at work, I cycled to the mall near my home. Intention was to take a train from there but the hubs said he’d meet me there instead so no money spent on public transport! Wooo!

I estimated the total because somehow the app didn’t register this ride.

Total carbon offset: 0.6kg

Total calories burnt: 440

Total amount spent: $0, it’s free rides in October for Mobike. This also needs a $49 deposit.

Day 3: 21 October-Ofo

Okay so this day is technically not inclusive in the challenge, but I saw an ofo bike as we were leaving the neighbourhood mall and decided to cycle home. I took the long way around but still made it home within 11 minutes.

It was sweltering hot so I really don’t recommend an afternoon ride in this hot weather, and definitely not in jeans/jeggings. May have gotten mosquito bites from the ride as well…but okay.

Total carbon offset: 0.13 kg

Total calories burnt: 26 calories

Total amount spent: $0, no deposit needed.

Day 4 – 23 October-Mobike

It was thundering quite a bit so I almost gave up the idea of cycling, but then I realised it wasn’t really raining yet, so I chanced it. Should have checked if it had gears but was too late. For some reason I’m more shaky today and kept having to rest my foot on the ground and take off. Pedestrians not being aware of their surroundings certainly didn’t help.

Anyway I switched to another bike halfway and managed to get to work on time so that’s a win. Currently trying to dry my inner top of my wrap dress. Cycled home without incident in time for dinner with my in-laws…and my mother in law asked why I was so sweaty, ha. I just said that it was super hot (which it was). Mondays are usually the days I have Japanese class, but I really wasn’t feeling well (and wouldn’t continue to feel well for the next few days actually) and so decided to rest at home.

Total carbon offset: 0.79kg

Total calories burned: 515

Total amount spent: $0 because of the ongoing Mobike promotion.

Day 5 – 24 October-Mobike

Rode the same bike from the day before and fell twice today, once when navigating the temporary turn near my place and on the way back when a stupid Food Panda motorbike suddenly turned into the lane. I e-braked and it toppled.

Otherwise, the only other complaints I have are that 1) I’m getting random bites all over 2) I’m getting scratched by the bike. I still feel sleepy at work though.

Total carbon offset: 0.74kg

 Total calories burned: 475

Total spent: $0

Day 6- 25 October-Mobike

Decided not to cycle to work and took a bus instead. Cycled back from work though which is an endeavour that requires less items in the bag, since I’ll be home and can change into another set of clothes shortly, although I was primarily motivated by the bike right in front of me and the long waiting time of the buses after crossing the overhead bridge.

I promised myself I would work out later in the evening to burn more calories—but it didn’t happen.

Total carbon offset: 0.37kg

Total calories: 250

Total spent: $0

That’s it for this week as it’s the time of the month and I don’t feel like cycling to work while experiencing all that THAT has to offer, although it’s technically possible. Did ride on Saturday, 28 October though around East Coast Park.

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