The KYDRA Club
Complete Newbie’s Guide to Completing the Singapore Round The Island (RTI) Cycling Route
Leisure cycling was one of the activities that gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, people took to the saddle as a new way to explore the city they call home.
As cyclists got more comfortable on their two wheels, they sought increasingly more difficult challenges to conquer. One of the most popular and coveted challenges attempted by cyclists is the Round the Island (RTI) cycling route.
By reading this guide, you’ll get to grips with everything you need to prepare to give yourself the best chance of completing the RTI safely and enjoyably.
Before Attempting The RTI
Make no mistake, doing the RTI will test the mettle and resolve of even the most seasoned riders among us. At a respectable 15km/h to 20km/h speed, you would be cycling for more than 8 hours over the course of the day, excluding rest stops.
Even if you are physically fit, we recommend you gradually build up towards your RTI by completing shorter rides. This will get your body conditioned and accustomed to cycling over long distances efficiently.
Since you will be out for an entire day, you will also need a way to bring along necessities, especially water. You might need a few trips to discover what works best for you. For example, the minimalists among us can live with a simple cage-mounted water bottle; others prefer to wear a hydration bladder to drink on the go, and there are those who love their ice-cold drinks in thermal flasks.
By doing step-up training, you’ll also be able to discover and rectify deficiencies, such as making ergonomic adjustments to your bicycle, understanding what kind of attire you prefer, and making sure you are completely comfortable with navigating pavements, roads, and the Park Connector Network (PCN).
If you have a medical condition that might preclude you from strenuous physical activity, always consult your doctor and seek clearance before attempting the RTI.
Planning Your RTI Trip
To help you plan your RTI trip, here are some key questions you need to answer. This will impact what you bring and what you do on your RTI attempt.
We suggest you bring a friend (or more) along. Having team mates is better for safety, since you can look out for one another while keeping spirits up during long, gruelling stretches of the journey. In any case, you can keep your loved ones informed of your progress using apps like Strava’s Beacon live location sharing.
If you do a day trip, there will be more human activity on your route (for better or worse) and it will be hotter. However, more shops and malls will be open, which expands your options for food, toilets, and supplies. Night trips are more cooling and have quieter roads but require more detailed planning for pitstops. Plus, if you are not accustomed to staying up at night, this might pose its own challenges.
If you do not have the expertise to rectify problems with your bicycle, you’ll be forced to retire for the day. You will need to then find a way to transport you and your bicycle home – this can take the form of using a spanner to dismantle your front wheel and hopping on a cab, or using the services of a specialised ‘bicycle taxi’ provider.
Check the weather forecasts beforehand, so you know what to expect. If you are proficient with cycling in mildly wet weather, packing rain gear will allow you to still make progress, albeit a little more slowly. Know that if you are forced to abandon your RTI attempt, you’ll have to find your way home as well.
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