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SATURDAY MORNING MADNESS 

This is a ride that has grown over time. It starts on Saturday morning at 6:30am. It sounds early but it helps us to avoid a lot of traffic on the roads at that hour. The early hour also allows us to be back it time to participate in normal Saturday family/friends activities. So sacrifice early to keep all happy.

If you've been on a ride with us before and want to relive certain parts, click on the words that send the biggest chill up your spine :

Warm Up Thomson / Mandai Kranji
Neo Tiew Heading Home Gear Required
  Additional Info  

No prizes for guessing how this ride got its name. It should be obvious by now. Ride size is between 3-10 people. It is a slightly differet crowd from the TTT rides. Because of the light traffic conditions and route, the group tends to stay together most of the way, except on the fast sections, but as usual there are waiting points along the way. Unlike the TTT, this ride is not a loop is these points are important. If you are familiar with the roads in Singapore, making your way back from these points isn't too challenging but if you're new here, try to make it all the way...

PART ONE (aka The Warm Up)

The meet point at the Esso Mobil station on Dunearn Road, just after Rifle Range Road and the Jardin condominium. As usual, predictions for performance preface the ride so just bear with us. Once all are gathered, the ride set off down Dunearn Road. This is a well lit stretch of road which make a for a nice rolling start for all. Most of this part of the ride is in Zone 2 and conversation is encouraged. The ride follows this road all the way until the Lornie Road junction. Turn left here and head towards Macritchie Reservoir Park. Two minor spots of bother along this road at the on ramps to the Pan Island Expressway (PIE). Watch for traffic cutting ahead and close behind as you try to get past these turn offs. Again, with the ride being early, there isn't much traffic so it shouldn't pose too much of a problem.

Once past Macritchie, bear left onto Thomson Road. Here you will pass the now famous Long House. It is famous for 2 reasons. First, it has really good food at reasonable prices. Second, on Saturday and Sunday mornings, before it is open for business, cyclists gather there for their morning rides. It usually takes the group about 20 minutes to get there from the start point. So if you live closer to Long House, you may want to pick up the ride there. But don't sit inside and expect us to pull in, wait by the road and tag along.

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PART TWO (aka Thomson/Mandai Road)

The ride continues down Thomson Road and then onto Upper Thomson Road. Occasionally, the ride will turn onto Old Upper Thomson Road. This is a narrower road that runs parallel to Upper Thomson Road. There are stray dogs that may decide to chase you down, so be on the lookout! If you decide to skip this and stay on the 'good, wide' road, let someone know so they can look out for you when the road join up about 2 kilometers ahead. Chances are if you keep up the same pace, you'll get there ahead of the rest. The terrain is best described as rolling (for both routes). The ride proceeds down Upper Thomson Road and under the Seletar Expressway (SLE) viaduct. Upper Thomson Road now changes into Sembawang Road. At this point, if the pace is too high or you feel you need a rest, you can take a short cut by turning left onto Mandai Road. This road will intersect with Mandai Avenue up ahead where the rest are headed. If you decide to take this route, let someone know. Unlike the previous shortcut, the rest will be waiting for you at the first intermediate point. If you take this route, just follow the road until it ends then take a left.

For the rest, proceed on down Sembawang Road and turn left onto Mandai Avenue. This road is where the speed demons have a field day. Rumor has it that with the terrain and wind, you can get up to 70km/h on this road. Only one traffic light near the end at the Sembawang Flyover, so if you feel it, go for it! Just after the traffic light is the junction with Mandai Road. Continue all the way down on Mandai Road, passing under the Mandai Flyover on the Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE) until you reach the end of Mandai Road. You will see a Shell station there on the left. This is the first intermediate waiting point.

PART THREE (aka Kranji)

Once all are gathered, the ride will proceed right on Woodlands Road. This is not one of the better roads in Singapore. Watch for potholes and debris on the road. By this time, most of Singapore is awake so traffic is a little higher. Single file and be nice and call out obstacles on the road. Left turn onto Kranji Road. Continue straight on until you reach the junction with Kranji Loop. Left turn here. Kranji Loop turns into Kranji Way. Soon you will be crossing a dam (of sorts). Throughout the ride is the Kranji area, be vigilant as it is a heavily industrialized with heavy vehicles and buses. Try to catch your breadth as the hammer will drop once the dam is crossed.

PART FOUR (aka Neo Tiew)

Once past the dam, you are on Neo Tiew Road. This is a narrow two lane, two way road. Single file is the rule here too. One very important point to note when riding on this road is that vehicles tend to stray out of their lanes. Not too bad when they're behind you, but a nightmare when they are in the oncoming lane. Do not cut the bends, inviting as they may be. People have been run over on this road so pay attention! Having said that, this stretch of road is enjoyable in a paceline so try to keep up. Neo Tiew Road ends at the junction with Lim Chu Kang Road. Turn left onto Lim Chu Kang road and proceed. Once out of the tree cover, you will be exposed to Lim Chu Kang Road proper. It is windy and hot on this road. Use the airsock of the nearby airbase to help you decide if you want to be in front. Tailwind good, headwind bad... There are a lot of green fenced up areas on your left. Once you pass all of them, just before the junction at Old Choa Chu Kang Road, you will see a bus stop. This is the second intermediate point. All will wait here. If you have to warm down after the effort on Lim Chu Kang Road, u turn at the junction and head back up Lim Chu Kang. Look out for the slower ones on the other side of the road. You can always turn around and guide them to the bus stop.

PART FIVE (aka Heading Home)

After all are reassembled, it is slow ride back home. This actually marks the end of the ride. Some will head back along Jalan Bahar, which will take you back to the Regroup point for the TTT. If you live in the Central or East, this is the route to take. Other will turn left onto Old Choa Chu Kang Road. If you live in the West, this is the route to take.

GEAR REQUIRED :

Bike, liquid refreshment for the ride, some food if you usually need some, a good excuse/story on why you're not performing up to standard that night/week/year or whatever. We also recommend a good helmet (but not all of us wear one, a good one that is). If you've never ridden in a group, try some tips from here.

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ADDITIONAL INFO :

As mentioned the intermediate points are waiting points for the weaker/slower riders. It is critical for all to know where they are so they know how to pace themselves. Its purpose to two-fold. It gives us a safe place to wait and recover. Second, it allows us to maintain the ride as a group ride. Slow people don't have to worry about holding the fast ones back (you know who you are!) and everyone will have a good, hard ride, according to their abilities.

First intermediate point is at the Shell station at the end of Mandai Road on the junction with Woodlands Road.

Second intermediate point is the bus stop at the end of Lim Chu Kang Road before the junction of Jalan Bahar, Old Choa Chu Kang Road and Mandai Road.

Unlike the TTT route, there aren't many gas stations on the way that you can stop at to purchase snacks. So try to eat before the ride or bring something to replenish your energy stores.

The whole event takes about two hours covering a maximum of 50 kilometers. This includes waiting at the intermediate points for the rest to show up. Don't let the distance scare you. There are 2vroute shorteners but only early in the ride. If you do decide to go home anywhere along the way, please let the nearest rider know so that we donít wait or go around looking for you. We stop to tend to mechanicals and other needs and will not abandon any one along the way.

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