top of page

Ride Hard, Ride Safe with West Coast Riders, a Singapore Cycling Group

A cycling group that caters to all levels, West Coast Riders originally started with just two pace groups in 2012

Photo via West Coast Riders

Rarely can greyhounds and bunnies exist peacefully together. But such is the case for the West Coast Riders (WCR), a cycling group which uses the names of the two animals to differentiate the pace at which its members ride at.

It all began a decade ago when lead coordinator of the group, David Ho, brought his wife and colleague for a ride with the other regular members.

Photo via West Coast Riders

David knew that the newcomers would struggle to keep pace with the others but still wanted to find a way for both groups to reach the end point around the same time.

His solution: to plan a shorter route for the slower riders and see if the faster ones can catch them before reaching the end point.

Photo via West Coast Riders

The Greyhound Race

“I coined it a ‘Greyhound Race’, naming the faster pack ‘Greyhounds’ and the slower pack ‘Bunnies’”, recounted David.

Thus, they set off with the predators chasing down the prey. In the end, the bunnies emerged victorious, and the names of the two groups became unique parts of WCR’s identity.

Originally set up by two friends — Lian Seng and Stephen Cheng—in January 2012, WCR was one of the few groups at the time that cycled in the western region of Singapore.

Photo via West Coast Riders

Coining of the Name "West Coast Riders"

Its name was inspired by the location of their rides which started from the McDonald’s at West Coast Park. David, an ex-classmate of Stephen’s, joined the group shortly after it was formed.

Although the group does not often don their jersey, they can be identified by their bib shorts which have the letters "WCR" printed on them.

Photo via West Coast Riders

In the past decade, WCR’s membership has grown from just a group of friends to 2,600 people in its Facebook group. At any one time, the number of active riders averages around 100, and they are open to new members who wish to join the group.

The number of pace groups has also grown from the original two (the aforementioned “Greyhounds” and “Bunnies”), to nine separate groups now—with three newly-formed “Newbies” groups during the pandemic as cycling has become an increasingly popular form of exercise.

Photo via West Coast Riders

A Group for All Riders

In this way, WCR caters to all types of riders. Some ride to socialise, while others use the rides to train for competitions and events.

“It's like having a pace buffet spread—pick what you like each ride and eat till you're fully satisfied!” said David.

Photo via West Coast Riders

Though the pandemic brought certain aspects of people’s lives to a standstill, cycling was not one of them for the members of WCR.

Photo via West Coast Riders

Two Weekly Rides, Adhering to Safe Management Measures

Adhering to prevailing safe management measures, the nine pace groups go for rides twice a week—Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings for the three “Newbies” groups; and Saturday and Sunday mornings for the other six.

Apart from these timings, the riders can also form their own packs and ride anytime.

Photo via West Coast Riders

Different Routes, Different Terrains

WCR also has many different planned routes with the objective of exposing riders to a wide variety of terrains. In fact, the routes are designed so that if members join all the rides in a week, they will cover the entire island.

Having tried routes off the beaten path, David said, “Lim Chu Kang and the Sungei Tengah farmland areas offer more remote and scenic routes especially early in the morning.”

Photo via West Coast Riders

He added, “For a good sunrise, you may head to Upper Peirce Reservoir Park. However, you'll need to work for your reward with the undulating route to get there.”

Other scenic options are Woodlands Waterfront or Woodlands Jetty, where a route passing through Marsiling Lane offers a good vantage point of the causeway. The new Changi Bay Point Park Connector, which runs beside the sea, is also unique as it evokes the feeling of being overseas.

Photo via West Coast Riders

Looking to the future, David said, “WCR has nothing specific in terms of goals. But we plan to do what we have always been doing—ride responsibly, follow the traffic rules, be friendly, sociable and open to all riders. Focus on the ride — ride hard, ride safe!”