- Who I am
- How I got cycling
- What and where I cycle
- Why cycle and why this project
- When I’m not cycling
Hello. I’m Tse Yin; most people call me Zing. This survey started as part of my dissertation for an MSc in Environmental Policy in 2009. Before that I did Geography, and wrote a dissertation on ‘The place of wet markets in Singapore’ (12,000 words of woffle, not for hardcore science types).
I didn’t cycle much till I was 18, when a friend got me cycling on Sundays, on a road bike borrowed from another friend. Unfortunately I never enjoyed it because I didn’t adjust the bike properly, so my memories of Changi Coastal Road were ouch and ouch.
Then started university in the UK, got a secondhand mountain bike, and soon found that whenever I was back in Singapore I really missed getting around on bike. Borrowed my cousin’s bike, and soon found that cyclists are bottom-class citizens in transport – not allowed on pavements, not appreciated on roads.
Moved to London in 2008, with the road bike which my friend very kindly gave me. Previously I’d been in a city, but a smaller one with relatively more cyclists. Despite nasty traffic, ridiculous potholes and longer distances, I came to like cycling even more. back to top
What and where I cycle
And I’m now very attached to that road bike, after some adjustments. It’s a 1992 Trek 2300 – an early carbon-aluminium frame. The crankset isn’t Biopace any more and the stem is no longer 26mm, but the rigid lines of the frame still announce ‘old-school’.
I’m not a racing cyclist nor a bike expert. I only know that I enjoy cycling for transport and for recreation. In London I got to work by bike most of the time – the 9 km ride was great even in rush hour, especially since bikes could use the bus lane most of the way.
Been back in Singapore since late 2010 and I don’t cycle to work because my parents won’t have it, but I do cycle some early mornings with the Joyriders. They’re the best thing I’ve found since moving back.
I used to cycle to just about everywhere else as well. It’s fast, flexible and free. But it’s not just about convenience. It’s not even that much about saving money – bike maintenance isn’t cheap, and the more you ride the more it costs. back to top
Why cycle and why this project
To me, nothing beats seeing the city at street level, at your own speed. Turning out of Vauxhall and suddenly your wheel’s in line with the London Eye. Crossing Waterloo Bridge, the Whitehall skyline spreads left, the City skyline stretches right. And again at dusk, the river catches the sunset on one side, lights come to life on the other.
I romanticise too much. In London, cycling was also about getting wet and cold and sweaty (all at once), lugging along helmet waterproofs lights bright jacket thick gloves, and playing dodgeball with potholes, jaywalkers and taxis in the freezing dark.
Singapore doesn’t have the Thames, but it has smooth roads and no winter, two advantages already. It’s hot but if you’ll sweat anyway, might as well get some exercise at the same time. But you might not agree and that’s why this project is here – to see if and how a cycling system could work. back to top
When I’m not cycling
In the UK apart from commuting I did some longer days out. Whichever way I got overtaken by lots of skinny people in lycra; it’s good to make others feel good. My first multi-day ride was England’s Coast to Coast on my old mountain bike, great fun. That led to a few more, each better than the last. The latest was a fundraising project, 2wheels400miles, solo from Edinburgh to London.
Other than cycling I try to swim, run and enjoy mountains. Sometimes I write poetry, play piano, potter with houseplants, and bake for others, all to limited success.
Ok enough about me. I’m more sedentary than I sound and my sporting expertise is in getting injured. Any questions just email. No questions just cycle. back to top
Email: qwrk85 (at) yahoo.com.sg