Posted on April 27, 2013 by Edmund Vong
Report by Jon Wong
Night Skate Captain
Wet weather threathened our latest Night Skate on the western Park Connectors, with grey skies looming even as evening approached. However, 15 faithful skaters kept the faith and the weather changed in our favour, allowing us to continue the activity. This was the smallest group in months but it also allowed us to increase our pace significantly. And we were proud to have 4 participants from Italy and France joining us for their first ever Night Skate in Singapore.
We set off promptly Buona Vista MRT Station, which was buzzling with people since it has become an interchange for the east-west line and circle line of the MRT network. We crossed an underpass towards Commonwealth Ave West and the entrance of Ulu Pandan Park Connector.
The steep descend right from the start set our adrenalin pumping and we began our cruise along this stretch of the PCN beside Sungei Ulu Pandan canal, which is a pleasure to skate on thanks to its smooth surfaces. We arrived at Clementi Road soon after and after crossing the road, we continued along the PCN passing by Clementi Ave 6 and another segment of Commonwealth Ave West.
We arrived at Faber Crest and the original plan to enter into the Faber estates were dropped. We decided to continue on the PCN and thankfully, we were able to cross the bridge across Sungei Ulu Pandan beside the Ayer Rajah Expressway. This bridge, which was once a raiway track between Singapore and Malaysia, is now a concrete path, making it a breeze to skate or cycle on.
With the shortcut it shaved our time significantly, and we were able to stopover at MacDonald's restaurant situated at Tradehub 21 for a longer break. After the well deserved rest we re-entered the PCN again and that brought us to the Pan Island Expressway, with an overhead bridge that we need to cross. The steep climb up the bridge was a challenge but the magnificant view of the vehicles zipping along the expressway under us was worth it. On the other end, the steep downslope ride and tight hairpin corners gave us the best adrenalin rush of the night.
We find ourselves in the heartland of Bukit Batok and Choa Chu Kang as the PCN runs through the neighbourhood. We finally reached the end of the long Ulu Pandan PCN and transited into Bukit Batok East PCN. This stretch of the PCN brought us past one of the scenic features in the west - the Little Guilin Lake. This manmade lake boasts a magnificent view of huge rocks and cliffs, surrounded by water. It makes you feel as if you are at the plot of an ancient chinese movie.
With the fast pace that we were travelling at, we arrived at Bukit Batok MRT Station at 10pm, which was relatively early, because the end point at Choa Chu Kang is only the next station away. We had another break before we make the dash towards the destination, as most of the skaters helped themselves treated themselves to refreshing beverages from one of the vendors located at the station.
After the break we continued along Choa Chu Kang PCN which runs along Bukit Batok Ave West and Brickland Road. Once again we travelled through the heartland of Choa Chu Kang and soon after, Choa Chu Kang MRT Station was within our sights. It took us approximately 150 minutes to complete the trip.
I had the pleasure to interview one of the participants, Chandi from France who joined our Night Skate for the first time.
Me: How did you get to know about our Night Skate?
Chandi: One of my friend sent me a link about this.
Me: How do you find our Night Skate?
Chandi: Its very good, nice pace. Its more than what I've expected, and I like the fact that I can enjoy the scenery and landscapes of Singapore. I like the regular breaks and rest for us to grab a breather.
Me: What's your experience in urban skating like this?
Chandi: We have something like this in Paris every week, and the streets will be closed. There are much more participants, it can thousands. But that is in the day, so something like this at night is new and interesting to me.
Me: Would you like to do this again?
Me: Any room for improvements?
Chandi: Perhaps the participants can be taught or be reminded before the start of the acvity on how to alert people when we are passing by them. They can also learn about raising their arms to indicate slowing down or sounding off when there are obstacles to skaters at the rear.
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