Taking the (bicycle) wheels for a spin in Singapore

After a week of eating delicious carb-packed food, we joined Liz’s dad on a bike ride to burn off some unwanted calories. Our ride took us up the East Coast of Singapore along the Changi Airport runway, where we got to see sunrise over the beach while enjoying breakfast, Singapore-style.

Liz’s dad recently retired, giving him more free time. For most people, that would be enough. He decided to take up not one, but two hobbies: violin and biking. He has four high-quality bikes, some of which he has raced around the globe. Liz and I were invited to join him on a ride.

Now, I’m definitely nowhere near a top racer but when I got on his bicycle, I felt like a pro. The bike’s smooth action and light carbon fiber frame made for the smoothest trip I’ve ever taken. Marcus Storck, the bike maker himself, even signed it. Yep, I was ready to hit the road.

We set out before sunrise at 6:30 am to enjoy the (relatively) cool morning air and beat the morning rush hour. We were off, rushing down the Park Connector – a long beach path frequented by bikers. It being Singapore, the road was immaculately clean. That is, except for orange seed pods I kept hitting that look deceptively like leaves.

Airport road biking

The beautiful path by the runway. We even got to see a few airplanes taking off.

The sun eventually climbed over the horizon, bathing the beach and ocean in its rays as it emerged. The scene was spectacular, especially seen from the fishing pier. Some early rising fishermen were out in full force, casting bait-laden hooks into the cool blue water.

  • Sunrise Singapore pierSunrise on the pier. It was filled with fishermen by sunrise.
  • Sunrise on beach with MalaysiaSunrise on the second day. You can see Malaysia from the beach!

Good bike ride, great sunrise, terrific exercise. In fact, we burned over 1,000 calories on each bike ride we took. Clearly, we needed to celebrate…

… By getting breakfast at an Indian stall that definitely canceled out our workout. The bicycle riding breakfast of choice was Indian food at a café. As per usual, I got a menu, looked at it in puzzlement for a few minutes, then handed it back to Liz. A flurry of ordering and 15 minutes later, our food was out.

  • Prata breakfastBreakfast with prata.
  • Prata with eggPart with a baked egg. Add in the dal and curry, and you have a plate of awesome.
  • Fried foods in curry.Fried banana (goreng pisang), karamani vadai (falafel), and vegetable vadai (donut).
  • Putu mayam dishA noodle pancake with sugar and the best coconut I've had.
  • Indian prata cafeOur cheap and delicious prata restaurant.

The main course roti prata, a stretched flaky bread topped with a fried egg and served with two dishes of curry. The dough, similar in taste to naan, is moist and elastic. It’s prepared like pizza, with the dough stretched artfully to its full length before ingredients are added. To eat it, you slather on curry and dal, then chomp down. The result is a chewy mouthful of spicy curry mixed with the salty bread.

On the side, we had a vegetable vadai (savory donut), goreng pisang (fried banana), and karamani vadai (something I can only describe as an Indian falafel). In a word: delicious. We finished it off with some putu mayam, a noodle cake topped with sugar and some of the freshest coconut shavings I’ve eaten. To which Liz exclaimed: “You see why I don’t like buying coconut in the States?” Breakfast complete, we grabbed our bicycles and rode back home.

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