Cycling to work (Week 4)

The fourth part of my cycling experiment…

Day 1, Monday 13 November – ofo

Walked right past the bike and had to double back. I unlocked the bike, while wondering if any of the three women around me wanted it. Obviously I should have asked, but no one raised a stink about it.

Pedaled away alongside another rider midway, and then watched as he disappeared and reappeared and realised that there is a back route amongst the landed properties that I never bothered to discover. I decided to try out the route the next chance I’d get.

Total carbon offset: 0.3kg

Total calories burned: 69

Total spent: $0 (For the rest of the month, oBike has free rides, Mobike is still doing the ride for 180 days for $5 and ofo’s November rides are all free)

Day 2, Tuesday 14 November-Mobike

It rained pretty heavily in the morning and I’m not badass enough to ride in the rain like these guys. So I took the bus instead and squeezed past the other commuters to get to the higher deck and found two seats–score!

Cycled back in the evening and decided to try the “new route”–it shaved off 4 minutes off the ride–although I did stop at the bus stop and walk back home. I reached home nearly 10 minutes earlier than I usually would, so that’s a win.

Total carbon offset: 0.33kg

Total calories burned: 175

Total amount paid: $0

Day 3, Wednesday 15 November -oBike

Got all dressed up and wore eye makeup because today’s the husband’s birthday and we were going to have dinner. Felt like I should have just taken leave the whole day as well. Anyway, walked out and found an obike at the void deck and pedaled merrily away, only to stop at the temporary walk way and dismount and push the bike as there were other pedestrians.

Made it up the Hill without having to dismount or change gears (since oBike has none), so that’s a win for me. Also made it to work on time despite leaving a little later so that’s another win.

Didn’t cycle to the station in the evening as I was meeting the husband… and had to wait for three trains and squeeze onto a sardine-packed one, which just made me appreciate cycling more (also this day was the day of Major Train Faults Everywhere, so cycling is awesome)

Total carbon offset: 0.7 kg

Total calories burned: 168

Total amount paid: $0

Day 4, Thursday 16 November – ofo

Cycled behind a group of Malay ladies holding a big bag of stuff each… eventually I rang the bell and they let me through, only to be slowed down by a Mom and two kids in front. I thought asking them to get out of the way might be rude so I stalked them at a safe distance till we came to a crossing.

The Hill has gotten easier… of course it helps to have gears. But pedalling up it doesn’t seem as challenging as it previously was (please don’t jinx it) so maybe I’m getting fitter.

Picked up my ofo from where I’d left it and then proceeded to cycle away…to the ominous rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightning. “God, give me 20 minutes and I’ll cycle home. Just hold the rain off”, I prayed. I’m currently on a bus on the way home, so you can tell how that worked out. I might have persisted, but the drowned rat look would invite more “cycling is so dangerous” remarks that I frankly don’t want to deal with.

Total carbon offset: 0.53 kg

Total calories burned: 102

Total amount spent: $0

Day 5, Friday, 17 November- Mobike

It was drizzling when I got to the bus stop and my bus pulled it right at that moment. Not wanting to get wet again, I decided to board it.

I did cycle in the evening though to the station near my house. Was a fairly okay ride and I took the scenic route. I had promised my friend to take pictures of cats when I see them but this particular cat saw the bike coming and hid away in a hole. No pictures then.

Total carbon offset: 0.3kg

Total calories burned: 168

Total amount spent: $0

Final thoughts:

So over the past four weeks, I spent a total of $59 on 27 bike rides ($49 refundable deposit for oBike and $5 for Mobike promotion and $5 to top up for the one ride I paid $0.50 for).

It has been pretty enjoyable to cycle to work or back from work so I’ll most likely do it again, especially since it’s pretty cost effective. I may just choose to ride Mobike and ofo from now on and refund the $49 deposit for oBike. I’ll probably not do it every day though.

I learned to have more confidence in my riding skills, to put aside my pride and just wheel the bike when necessary, and also that not all walking routes are equally good for cyclists. But it was an inexpensive way to get around and convenient too. If I had my own bike, I’d have to pedal all the way to my destination rather than parking it somewhere in the middle of the route (and hoping it wouldn’t be stolen) and having to go back to collect it.

That said, there’s still a lack of cycling infrastructure in Singapore and I also need to overcome my fear of cycling on roads. But I’m also inspired to do more challenges like this one, so next up is to drink only water for a solid month (okay, and effervescent tablets for vitamin c and zinc. Let’s see how that goes!

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