Written by: Ng Wee Yang
Edited by: Celine Yeap
Friendship, food and fatigue. These are the words that describe the memorable annual event of night cycling. This year’s night cycling, or “Knights’ Cycling”, was the concluding event organised by KEWOC (King Edward VII Welcoming and Orientation Committee) and took place on the night of 9th September, 2011. Over 150 Keviians signed up for this event, including both freshmen and seniors. For the newly inaugurated Red Knights (i.e. freshmen), it was the chance to experience hall life to its fullest. As for the seniors, it was the opportunity to relive the memories of previous years’ overnight adventures along East Coast Park and to escape the hustle and bustle of university life.
It all began at the dining hall at 8 pm. There was an atmosphere of enthusiasm and excitement as I stepped into the midst of a flurry of paperwork, group attendance taking and the distribution of Night Cycling t-shirts. Anticipation and eagerness was what was written and on the faces of all participants. A new experience, I was looking forward to cycling long distance with my friends. After attendance was efficiently taken and T-shirts distributed, we were whisked away to the well known East Coast Park (ECP) by a fleet of shuttle buses at around 8:45 pm.
Cycling began at East Coast Park at around 9:30 pm. Once there, we were greeted by a gentle sea breeze. To me, East Coast Park held a special place in my memory as this was where I had my first military exercise. We gathered at the bicycle rental shop and were welcomed by rows upon rows of bicycles; the sight of which lifted our spirits high with anticipation. After picking up our bicycles and testing their quality, we headed out in groups of 10 for our first destination: Changi Village, a food haven for soon-to-be hungry Keviians!
Our traverse across ECP on our way to Changi Village was filled with a variety of sights. We passed by the SAF ferry terminal, an iconic landmark for all Singaporean men. A favourite was also cycling pass the Changi airport runway where we were able to see, hear and feel firsthand, the explosive take-off of planes as they departed. After an hour long journey, we finally arrived (hungry and tired) at Changi Village where we ordered a feast of foods, including the famous Nasi Lemak!
Having replenished the energy lost with food and drinks, we cycled onto our next destination: Simpang Bedok via Tampines. On our way there, we could no longer deny the effects of muscle fatigue and lack of sleep slowly catching up with us. Nevertheless, with mutual encouragement and priceless bonding time, we pressed on ahead. The importance of fellowship never seemed so rewarding. How fortunate we Keviians are to have each other as friends!
Simpang Bedok, as many would testify is an enclave of one of the hidden Singapore’ best foods. As my group arrived, we were greeted by the courteous and friendly boss of an eatery who gave us advice on what specialities to try amidst the maze of hawker stores. As we filled our stomachs yet again to our hearts content, we passed the time chit-chatting and keeping our minds off the lack of sleep (although some of my friends couldn’t resist the temptation to doze off!). At around 4:30am, we began the journey back to East Coast Park.
By the time we reached East Coast Park, exhaustion overwhelmed many of us. The sight of Keviians falling asleep on any surface we could find, be it the sandy beach of the benches, was a common sight. Some of us chose to forego sleep, in the hopes of watching the sunrise at dawn, but only to be disappointed to see no more than a cloudy sky. Time passed quickly and before we knew it, the buses had arrived to bring us back to hall, a hot shower and our comfortable beds upon which we fell asleep in the blink of an eye.
Knights’ Cycling 2011 was a memorable event that I’m sure all participants and organisers would remember, even when they leave hall. Many thanks to KEWOC and the volunteers who made the event a success! May all the participants remember the bonds forged and strengthened and friendships they have made literally, overnight.
Photo credits to: KE Vision and Chen Kok Pun