Our writer prepares for OCBC Cycle Singapore, off-road

I have to confess I don't cycle on the roads too often. I much prefer off-road trails. Obviously, that will have to change for my race in OCBC Cycle Singapore but, in the mean time, I still find this the best way to train.

I ride almost every weekday. I also run as it gives the riding muscles a break.

For me, off-road biking is not just a way of keeping fit. It's about being close to nature and my pursuit of general peace of mind. Yes, it's a great way to chill.

My favourite trail is Butterfly in Bukit Timah. It is a 5.2km loop, but given the terrain, I only recommend it for intermediate to advanced riders.

If you're confident enough, you can go at it alone; otherwise bring a friend or two. Because of the level of difficulty, this rather short loop can be too much for a first-timer, but once you've familiarised yourself, you'll soon be going round two or three times.

I keep my training duration to about 1.5 to two hours per ride and I can easily cover over 20km in that time.

At the beginning of the week, I start easy and progressively work my way up until the last ride of the week when I push myself to the limit.

I don't ride during weekends, but I'm still with my bike. That time is for basic maintenance and ensuring that all my gear is in top shape.

For every ride I have:

Padded inner pants

Cross-country open face helmet


2-litre hydration pack

Spare tubes

Tyre kit and first-aid kit

Energy bars

Bike computer

Smartphone (with waterproof case)

Some cash

A fully charged optional bluetooth speaker for music (if I'm riding alone).

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