Great question! The first reason is that I am a human and Strava is just an incredibly smart collection of algorithms and heat maps. I love Strava, and its new “Routes” options are really remarkable, but it continues to be a machine and is still not built for the kind of riding that encourages EXPLORING.
Yes, you can say: “…ok boomer!” with your side-eye… But seriously:
As you likely already know, there are many different kinds of cyclists.
So, Strava caters to Group 1 and to runners. They have collected tons of data from people who have cycled and run, and then converted segments from those rides and runs into routes. But here’s the rift.
When I look at the three Strava routes proposed for me to cycle 50km, I get busy roads, long straight-aways and nothing telling me about what I might be riding past. If I alter the filters and choose a specific terrain, I get closer but still, not ideal. Ok, maybe I should cycle on the running paths? Nope, many times those routes include stairs, sandy or muddy paths, and overpasses without ramps where I have to carry my bike, and again, nothing about how interesting the place is. And certainly no, “Secrets”.
Bike-a-Local curates routes to include time to slow down, check something out cuz you’re curious, stop at a place where you can chat to people who make great local kopi, tasty food, or ice cold beer and know the area. And some of our rides include interesting heritage info about historic buildings and secret places that often surprise even the locals. Strava definitely doesn’t offer that.
Yep, I’ll include long straightaways, and industrial sections with lorries flying by when they can’t be avoided, but I try to minimize this stuff to get you back to the interesting sections. I’ve ridden my bicycle all over Singapore many times and my rides let you in on the inside scoop of just exploring the neighbourhoods of Singapore.
I have always loved seeing things from the perspective of a bicycle.
If you’d like to see what I see, check us out!
Singapore’s PCNs (aka park connectors) are a great network of paths created for bicycling, walking and jogging. Managed by Singapore’s National Parks service, the PCNs connect many of Singapore’s numerous parks and green spaces, fanning out across the island like veins on a leaf. However, they are not all connected to one another. That’s where we come in.
Our various Bike-a-Local and Secret Pedal routes connect the PCNs, which requires riding on sidewalks and stretches of quiet back streets. Robin’s mapping skill and our collective experience having pedaled all over Singapore gives us the expertise to plot and plan interesting and safe rides from start to finish.
And further, our knowledge and passion for Singapore’s heritage and culture, allows us to sprinkle our routes with info about interesting places along the way, for a well-rounded experience. Select rides feature fascinating secret spots from the upcoming book, Secret Singapore (Jonglez Publishing), co-authored by Heidi Sarna.
Our Bike-a-Local and Secret Pedal rides are a feast of fresh air, exercise and heritage, all offered in easy-to-understand maps.
Once a purchase is made, we will forward 2 links to the email address you provide when you purchase a route.
In some cases, our bike routes do include stretches on busy roads but only along the sidewalks of those roads. We will never intentionally put you in a situation where you have to ride on a busy road.
However, sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances due to construction or abrupt endings that we weren’t aware of. For those times, we sincerely apologize and recommend you take a picture of the circumstances if possible, and return the way you came to cross to another side of the street where there might be a sidewalk or find an alternate route and contact us as soon as you return so we can rectify the situation.
Always when riding, it is important to remember that you are sharing spaces with others. Please be considerate and let people know you are there by ringing your bell, but don’t startle people. Slow down around children and the elderly, folks with disabilities, or anyone needing a little extra space.
There is more than meets the eye in Singapore. If you know where to look, Singapore is full of fascinating, little-known places that can be accessed by bike. We’re talking Singapore’s wonderful and sometimes quirky heritage and cultural treasures, from a 19th-century cannon and an old piece of seawall to the ornate plasterwork on a row of Chinese Baroque shophouses.
Our Secret Pedals rides each feature three to six of the 125 “secret” sights described in the new book “Secret Singapore” (Jonglez Publishing) by Heidi Sarna & Jerome Lim. These rides are a rich marriage of intriguing history and cycling.
One of the many nice things about Singapore’s PCNs is that they tend to be “kid-friendly.” The pathways are usually wide enough to accommodate both bicycles and pedestrians, and they are typically clearly marked along the way when they intersect with vehicular traffic.
However, sometimes they cross driveways or service roads and caution should be exerted at these unmarked intersections. Singapore puts top priority on vehicles, therefore when a pedestrian or bicyclist moves out into a lane for vehicles, they are no longer protected in any way.
Though vehicles are supposed to stop at zebra crossings and give away to pedestrians and cyclists to cross, not all drivers are alert and respectful of the rules of the road. Thus, always slow down and look before proceeding through a zebra crossings. Please use caution when bringing groups of children on these routes.
Absolutely! In fact, this is how they began. Robin needed long routes to train for half and full marathons, so she thought she would cycle them first to see if they were appropriate for running. She found she enjoyed cycling them as much as running!
Like anything, you must take care to be cautious and observant. Our rides avoid pedaling on major roads and we design our route to stick to PCNs, sidewalks and quiet back roads as much as possible. But no matter where we are riding, we implore you to: