19 July 2016: At the Yale-NUS Cycling Club, students gear up before sunrise

By Diyanah Kamarudin | Image by Nicolas Wong

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Peter Lewis (Class of 2018) cycling at Marina Bay Sands

Michael Moore Jones (Class of 2017) first stumbled into his love for cycling after purchasing a cheap, run-of-the-mill bicycle in Singapore.

“[I bought it] with the intention of getting around UTown (University Town) and maybe to Clementi,” he said. “But I found myself going out on the bike every day, exploring new parts of Singapore and increasing the distances I was riding.”

Peter Lewis (Class of 2018), on the other hand, found that the bonds of friendship formed after every ride personally inspired him.

“One of my favorite aspects of road cycling is that it is a cooperative sport, and a challenge that everyone meets together,” Peter elaborated.

“Riding hundreds of kilometres as a group requires that everyone support each other physically—by taking turns in the wind—as well as emotionally, through encouragement.”

The two students discovered their mutual love for cycling after bumping into each other on the road.

After racking up thousands of kilometres cycling together, including a cycling trip in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia, the pair decided to co-found the Yale-NUS Cycling Club in the fall semester of 2015.

The Cycling Club aims to nurture a passion for cycling in the College community, both as a means of transport and as a sport, as well as contribute to the local and regional burgeoning cycling communities. Students from all levels of fitness are welcome to join.

Currently, the club has around 16 members, including College faculty as well as several National University of Singapore (NUS) students.

Training mostly takes place in the form of ad-hoc rides throughout the week, where members embark on scenic routes around Singapore, such as those in Marina Bay Sands, East Coast Park, the Kranji farmlands, as well as Sentosa Island.

The club, however, has also run into a few roadblocks. As with many other young student groups, differing opinions have come up over how the student club should be run, Michael explained.

He stressed, however, that the co-founders “have tried to take all these visions into account and create an informal environment where people can try cycling at little or no cost, and can then see a path to take it further if they find they love it.”

The club is now gearing up to participate in cycling competitions over the next academic year. Several members have already participated in the club’s first team race, the Nongsa Challenge, in Indonesia earlier this year.

The Challenge, an international cycling race held annually, took place on Batam Island in February 2016.

In addition, the club is hoping to rope in more ad-hoc members for recreational rides, as well as organise an international cycling trip in the future.

Michael and Peter are also actively finding ways to get more College faculty members involved in the club, and bring more NUS students into its activities in order to build closer ties with our neighbours .

Peter personally hopes to see more students taking advantage of the resources that the Cycling Club provides.

“We have a [selection of] road and mountain bikes that students can borrow…[meaning that] everyone can give it a go with no commitment and then see if [cycling] is something they enjoy,” he stated.

Another goal for the club is to get more students signing up for its weekly guided rides, which are open to students of all cycling abilities.

“Seeing a bunch of Yale-NUS students all out riding at sunrise is a fantastic sight,” Peter enthused, “and everyone is back in time for class.”