Cyclists in Singapore have been in the spotlight recently during the CB period.
While most businesses were shut down and people here are encouraged to leave their homes as little as possible, the government still allows us to go out (briefly) for daily exercises.
But, you can only do so with safe distancing measures in place.
Things like keeping a 1-metre distance away from others and to stop exercising in groups.
Unfortunately, Not Every Cyclist Followed The Measures
An overseer of a local cycling club, Ting Chun, told the cyclists he oversees to train indoors or cycle outside alone.
Unfortunately, not every cyclist in Singapore takes the rules seriously.
When he was out cycling alone in Singapore, he still sees big groups of cyclists cycling together.
Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) Steps Forward To Issue New Rules
As Singapore gets tougher on enforcement measures and tighter restrictions, the SCF has come forward to issue a new advisory for cyclists here.
They ask for cyclists in Singapore to stay home as much as possible.
SCF strongly recommends that during this Circuit Breaker period, ALL cyclists should STAY HOME. It is a good time to try online indoor cycling apps which enable cyclists to meet the online community who are riding indoor.
They also advised that if cyclists still insist on cycling outdoors, they should keep a 20-metre distance between people who are not from the same household.
They presumedly derive the 20-metre safety distance from a white paper recently produced by the Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology and Belgium’s KU Leuven:
Those walking behind someone should keep 4m to 5m away instead, while those running or cycling slowly behind someone doing the same should keep at least 10m away. This distance extends to 20m if one is cycling at high speeds.
This is because of the air currents produced by the person in the front, also known as a slipstream.
Experts Are Sceptical
Several experts that the Straits Times spoke to were surprised at SCF’s announcement.
Dr Piotr Chlebicki, a recreational cyclist and an infectious disease specialist at Mount Alvernia said that the discussion of micro-droplets in slipstreams is based on laboratory conditions and not applicable to real life.
“It is safer for cyclists to be apart for 1m because they are moving faster than pedestrians in an open space.”
He added that safe distancing isn’t about being far apart. It’s about not meeting other people who are not in the same household.
Dr Leong Hoe Nam, a familiar man to most Singaporeans…
…also felt that a 1-metre distance is sufficient.
However, he added, given how the public is “still forming crowds” and ignoring the “1m social distancing rules”, the authorities might just have to implement stricter measures.
By the way, the authorities already did that, which you can read about here.
It Won’t Be Long Before Cycling Is Banned Altogether
Looking at the current situation, Ting Chun feels that it cannot continue.
Either cyclists in Singapore get their act together and cycle responsibly, or the government will take cycling away from the people in Singapore for the time being.
“It is a shame because if everyone can follow the rules, then we can still exercise through cycling on our own or with those from our household.
“But if there continues to be people who wilfully cycles in groups outside of their household, then it is just a matter of time cycling is totally banned during this period.”
Which do you think is likelier to happen?