• Dennis Toh

OCBC CYCLE 2021’S VIRTUAL RIDE CROSSES FINISH LINE


The second edition of the OCBC Cycle Virtual Ride wrapped up on 4th July with more than 6,100 cyclists participating in this year’s event.

Following the Cycle’s maiden ride in a virtual format last year, this year’s event continued to attract a large number of participants, with all five categories sold out within two weeks of its launch. Compared to the previous year, this year’s edition saw an increase in the number of sign-ups across all categories, bringing together cyclists of diverse experience levels, and from as young as three to 77 years old.

Based on feedback gathered from last year’s event, OCBC introduced two new categories this year to cater to more avid cyclists - the 100km and 200km rides. The popularity of the two new categories proved undeniable as slots for the 100km category sold out in just two and half hours, and the 200km in thirty minutes. To accommodate this strong show of interest, a second round of slots were opened up the following week. All 700 new slots were snapped up that same day as well.


As part of the virtual format and in keeping with safe management measures, participants clocked their rides at their own time and pace, completing their preferred distance over a maximum of four rides between 15 May and 4 July. With the introduction of the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period on 16 May 2021, the completion period was extended from 14 June to 4 July to allow participants more time to complete their rides safely and with a greater peace of mind.

Keeping cycling in the family

OCBC Cycle participants took full advantage of the flexibility and convenience offered by the virtual format to bond with their friends and families.

41-year-old Mr Nizam A Haja is one such cycling enthusiast who inspired not only his friends, but also his son and daughter to join him on two wheels this year. Having participated in OCBC Cycle the last two years with his friends, Mr Nizam was delighted when his two young children asked to join him for this year’s event. Following repeated requests from his children, Mr Nizam registered his 10-year-old son, Feroz Zidane, and three-year-old daughter, Feyona Ziya, for The Straits Times Virtual Ride (23km) and Mighty Savers® Kids Virtual Ride (5km) respectively.



Zidane and Ziya with their OCBC Cycle 2021 finisher medals

Photo credit: OCBC Cycle

When asked about his experience, Mr Nizam said, “Cycling has been a wonderful bonding activity for my friends and I over the last few years, and I’m really glad that my family has joined me in this pastime as well! My kids really surprised me this year by asking to participate, and I’ve been so impressed by their commitment and resilience to do their best. Although my wife did not sign up this year, she joined us on many of the rides as we completed our distances. Next year, all four of us will definitely be signing up together.”

Young cyclists charting the path forward


Building the next generation of cyclists, this year’s OCBC Cycle Virtual Ride has given the opportunity for young cyclists to push their boundaries. Among them was 11-year-old Denise Aguiling, who impressed her parents by clocking a total distance of 219km - the longest distance for participants aged between two and 12. Her parents were amazed by her tenacity and resilience given that the family were never serious cyclists.

Denise Aguiling (far right) covered a total distance of 219km, clocking the longest distance amongst participants aged between two and 12 years old.

Photo credit: OCBC Cycle

Completing their distance during the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period, the trio faced several unique hurdles. Recalling some of the challenges, Denise’s father, Mr Jodon Aguiling, said, “Our pit stops were particularly challenging, without the option to sit down or dine in. With rides lasting six to eight hours, I had to ensure that I packed more isotonic drinks than usual, just in case! However, my daughter was more than happy to meet all these small and large challenges head on, and she kept her spirits up rain or shine.”

With the conclusion of the second edition of OCBC Cycle Virtual Ride, the virtual ride format offered to participants has been extremely well-received – and continues to gather pace. With further easing-up of restrictions and a gradual improvement of the current pandemic situation, the cycling community can look forward to more opportunities to bond together in a fun and safe manner, as OCBC Cycle continues to bring together individuals of all ages and generations.


More details on OCBC Cycle 2021 can be found on www.ocbccycle.com.

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