Cycling on the road in Singapore could feel like a risk too far, but luckily, it is completely unnecessary. Singapore’s National Parks board has worked hard to create and maintain paths at various difficulty levels. Enjoy a casual bike ride or serious cycle, but make sure to carry enough water and supplies for the duration of the trip as there often aren’t too many shops along the way.
Sometimes referred to as ‘bike island’ due to its nearly nonexistent vehicle traffic, Pulau Ubin is a spectacular place to go cycling and a refreshing escape from the city. Grab the ferry from Changi Point Ferry Terminal and head left into the ‘town’ to rent a bike. From there, start exploring the island. For avid mountain bikers, continue past the town and follow the directions to the German Girl Shrine to get into the mountain bike park. For nature lovers, after you’ve picked up your rental, turn back towards the pier and follow the signs to the Chek Jawa Wetlands. Note that there are only a handful of shops on the island so it’s best to stock up on water while you’re renting your bike.
East Coast Park stretches along 15 kilometres of the Singapore coastline. This is the place to head for a leisurely afternoon bike ride, paired with some people watching. It sometimes feels like the entire population of Singapore is down here on a Sunday, so it’s definitely not the place for riders hoping to get up some speed. Try riding your bicycle down the Bedok Jetty and see if the amateur fisherman have been successful with the day’s catch. With many eateries and shops located along East Coast Park, this makes for an easy afternoon out that doesn’t require a lot of advance planning.
Starting near Nicoll Highway, follow Kallang Basin towards the Marina Bay Sands Complex. After you pass the Singapore Flyer, keep left and cycle along the Marina Bay Boardwalk past the Art Science Museum and Shoppes by the Bay. Turn right at the end of the boardwalk and keep following the perimeter of the bay. There’s a path that runs between the bay and The Customs House. From there, keep going towards The Fullerton Hotel and then you’ll reach the Merlion Park on the other side. If you’re so inclined, complete the circle by crossing the Jubilee Bridge, passing in front of the Esplanade Theatres and The Float@Marina Bay and ending with crossing the Helix Bridge. This is a fairly short route, but there are many great photo spots, such as the observatory pods on the Helix Bridge and the skyline of the Central Business District from across the water.
One of the cycling tours suggested by the National Parks in support of the relatively recently opened Park Connectors, this 16-kilometre trail will quickly have you feeling at one with nature. Start at Punggol Park, which can be reached on foot from Buangkok MRT (NOT Punggol MRT). From here you’ll see an array of flora and fauna as you cross the Punggol Promenade Riverside Walk and through the Lorong Halus Wetland. The trail is well signposted and listed as being at an “easy” route.
The Changi Beach Boardwalk offers a visually spectacular, if very short ride at just 2.2 kilometres long. That said, the boardwalk offers undeniably beautiful views as you cross a variety of terrains including riding along wooden planks, past a vintage beach club and through a section of jungle. Add some mileage to this trail by cycling around Changi Beach where you’ll enjoy the surreal experience of jumbo jets coming in low overhead to land at Changi Airport.
The Western Adventure Loop is listed by the National Parks as a moderately difficult trail, winding through the wild jungles on the country’s Western coast, as opposed to the carefully manicured trails common in Eastern and Central Singapore. Start out at Choa Chu Kang Park, follow the Park Connector Network through Bukit Panjang and finally end up admiring Little Guilin and the quarry pond at Bukit Batok Nature Park.
Don’t be deceived by the slightly comical name of this trail, it is often considered Singapore’s most challenging ride. The Southern Bumps is a 20-kilometre trail that goes over small, sharp hills running the length of the West Coast Highway. Some of the hills featured include Mount Faber, a 1.7 kilometre hill climb and Vigilante Drive with Singapore’s sharpest incline.