Going West by Mark Powers

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Skiing - Singapore Style

First, to get around Singapore, I needed some transportation. The MRT trains and subways are convenient, but I can't easily get down to the beach from the station. Skateboarding is nice, but my knee acts up if I go a long distance, so I bought a new bicycle yesterday. I had to ask around where is a good place to buy a bicycle in Singapore and was recommended to go to the Parkway Parade Shopping Centre. Notice that "Center" is spelled "Centre" here, must be British English. Anyway, on the top floor is a store called Giant, kind of like Singapore's version, albeit smaller, of Walmart. I found the bike section and tested out several bikes in the store. No one gave me any crap around riding in the store, and even a cute girl smiled at me.

Anyway, I chose the best and cheapest (call it a value?) bike I could find. A red framed S$98 off-road econo-bike. I rode it through check-out and took it home, not without getting lost on the way in Singapore's crazy street system.

I must mention for a moment here, some cities like Beijing and Phoenix have great street systems, well thought out, with all the roads running north-south, east-west, very easy to understand. Tokyo and Singapore on the other hand, with their constantly curving and diagonal streets, confuse the heck out of me. Especially when I pop out of a train station, I usually am totally lost. Even having a map in hand is not always enough to prevent me from getting lost. Come to Singapore and see what I mean.

Anyway, I took my new bike and camera to Singapore's lovely beach park today. With its clean, wide bike and walking paths, lush trees and flowers, and plenty of recreation equipment, I think I will be heading over there quite a bit. Today, I even discovered a small lake for doing water-skiing and wakeboarding! There is no boat involved, simply a cable system erected around the lake and people hold onto the cable and are pulled around as if behind a boat. I took this video because it looked so fun.

The bike path never seems to end. I wonder if it goes around the island. Unfortunately, I wasn't using any sunscreen and could feel my skin turning beat red and decided to head home.



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