2,000 cyclists join first in-person mass participation event in two years
2,000 cyclists took part in the City Ride of the OCBC Cycle today – the first in-person mass participation event since the latest easing of Covid-19 measures two weeks ago. Participants started from as early as 5am at the Singapore Sports Hub and rode in a 19km route that included scenic views on the Benjamin Sheares Bridge, with the finishing point in the National Stadium.
The City Ride attracted a diverse mix of participants, from individuals to multi-generational families. 50-year-old Mr Ahmad Amin, who signed up for the race with his wife, son and soon-to-be-retired uncle shared, “Cycling together as a family has given us more opportunities to bond, get a good workout in, and also learn more about each other. We are taking our love for cycling to this year’s OCBC Cycle City Ride, and I’m thrilled to be having this experience shared across three generations of my family. We decided to fully commit to the event, booking a staycation nearby to be closer to the race, and donning our baju kurung to continue the Hari Raya festivities!”
The City Ride, which was sold out in six days after registrations started, was flagged off by Guests of Honour – Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law; Ms Helen Wong, Group CEO, OCBC Bank; Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO, Sports Singapore and Mr Lionel Yeo, CEO, Singapore Sports Hub.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law, Mr Edwin Tong, said: “We are very happy to be able to welcome back large scale sporting events like the OCBC Cycle 2022, where families and friends can come together to stay active, have fun and bond with one another. The sporting community has been tremendously resilient, and have worked very well, in adapting and adjusting the various measures to protect the community. I am very glad that, with the latest measures, we can both considerably and confidently, regain the initiative in mass activities, and be able to do so safely. We are grateful to our many partners and event organisers for their support and resilience as we look forward to rebuilding a thriving sporting lifestyle in Singapore.”
Ms Helen Wong, Group CEO, OCBC Bank, said: “I was exhilarated to see the throngs of cyclists come together as part of a large-scale sporting event. We took many things for granted before the pandemic started in 2020. Now it feels especially heartwarming to be able to pedal alongside many riders, who might have woken up as early as 3am on a Sunday. Some were cycling to celebrate Mother’s Day. We are thankful for the support of all participants – whether at the Singapore Sports Hub today or taking part in the Virtual Rides – as well as the authorities, volunteers, event officials and all others who made today’s event possible. I look forward to an even bigger turnout next year. OCBC Cycle, synonymous with family bonding and friendships, also sends an important message of sustainability. We will continue to leverage OCBC Cycle to nudge people to adopt bike commuting rather than driving. We hope riding through park connectors and cycling paths to get to our offices will become an even more common sight.”
Mr Lim Teck Yin, CEO, Sports Singapore, said: “I am glad to experience the safe return of OCBC Cycle in full swing. It is a key event in our annual sporting calendar that cycling enthusiasts, competitive or recreational, look forward to. The new City Ride is a welcome addition to the event’s race categories, providing a unique and inclusive opportunity for family and friends to ride together against Singapore’s iconic skyline. This memorable experience will no doubt encourage participants to continue staying active and bonding with one another through cycling.”
Other than today’s City Ride, the OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships also returned to the Singapore Sports Hub yesterday (7 May) after a two-year hiatus, with an action-packed day of racing. The event saw a total of 24 teams participating in three categories: the Club, Corporate and Women’s Championships. This year’s Speedway Championships also marked the debut of the Women’s Championship, which was originally set for 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic. The teams from the Allied World Racing, the Singapore Cycling Federation and NDS were crowned the winners in their respective Speedway Championship categories.
The OCBC Cycle event continues with the virtual rides from 7 May to 6 June, with the following categories – Mighty Savers® Kids Virtual Ride (5km), The Straits Times 60km Virtual Ride, The 100km Virtual Ride, The 200km Virtual Ride and the Team Challenge Virtual Ride. A new indoor rhythmic cycling category – Spin Ride by CRU – has also been rolled out in partnership with homegrown fitness group CRU to cater to the growing spin community. Participants of this category will get to attend three 50-minute-long spin classes at CRU studios from 7 May to 6 June.