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OCBC Cycle 2021: Over 6,100 Cyclists cross finish line in Virtual Ride

Increased interest in cycling for Virtual Ride in spite of Covid-19 restrictions

Image credit: OCBC Cycle

The second edition of OCBC Cycle's Virtual Ride concluded on Monday, 4 July 2021 with over 6,100 cyclists participating in this year's event.

This translates to almost a 30 per cent increase from the inaugural event which was launched last year amidst the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.

The event organisers have had to postpone the OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships and also extended the submission deadline for the Virtual Ride from the initial 13 June to 4 July.

This was due to the implementation of the Phase 2 Heightened Alert restrictions, caused by a spike in local transmissions of Covid-19 in the month May. However, it seemed to have done little to curb the level of enthusiasm towards cycling over this period.

OCBC shared that on the back of feedback gathered from last year's event, two new categories were introduced this year to cater to more avid cyclists - the 100km and 200km rides.

The overwhelming response for these new categories saw all initial slots snapped up within three hours of its release, with the 100km category sold out in just two and half hours, and the 200km in thirty minutes.

Image credit: OCBC Cycle

Even a second round of 700 slots that were opened up the following week were all snapped up within the same day as well.

Participants clocked their rides at their own time and pace for the Virtual Ride, having up to a maximum of four rides to complete their preferred distance between 15 May and 4 July.

Bonding with family through Cycling

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

Having took part in OCBC Cycle the last two years with his friends, 41-year-old Mr Nizam A Haja was joined by his 10-year-old son Feroz Zidane and 3-year-old daughter Feyona Ziya this year, who signed up for The Straits Times Virtual Ride (23km) and Mighty Savers® Kids Virtual Ride (5km) respectively.

He was delighted to have his two children join him on two wheels this year, sharing: "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."

Image credit: OCBC Cycle

The two children were not the only ones who inspired others on two wheels at this year's event, with 11-year-old Denise Aguiling clocking a total distance of 219km - the longest distance for participants aged between two and 12.

Said Denise's father, Mr Jodon Aguiling, who recalled some of the unique challenges his family of three faced: “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 further easing-up of restrictions expected on the sporting community soon, the cycling community is looking forward to more opportunities to bond together in a fun and safe manner in the second half of 2021.

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