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A Singapore Runaround

2018-03-29 15.43.04

It’s been a while since my last official ‘runaround’ post in the long-standing series.  Not because I haven’t been running around all sorts of random cities, but rather, posting about it usually gets knocked down the totem pole of things to write when a stack of review posts are piling up.

Plus, sometimes I’ve run in a city enough times that it seems silly to write another ‘runaround’ post, especially if I don’t think it’ll be terribly interesting to folks.  Sometimes I just run, without it being all that unique of a locale (such as a generic bike path through the forest).  I know…every place is interesting, but we all know that’s not exactly the case.

Still, there are definitely some more interesting spots to run – and Singapore is certainly up there!  So let’s dive into it.

The Runaround:

In many ways, this runaround fits my usual scheme for them: Highly time-limited slices of a city I’m visiting.  When I was travelling in my IT job, I fit these runarounds in before/after work. Often just before a flight.  So they were rarely more than 45-60 minutes long and in all assortment of places in the world. Middle of China, Tanzania in the dark, Saudi Arabia, and many more (including ones like this that weren’t officially tagged as such).

In the case of this run, I had a sliver of time after The Peanut fell asleep for an afternoon.  None of the nuts were feeling well, but thankfully they were at least going down for a nap.  The Girl wanted to rest as well, so with everyone in the hotel room sleeping, I escaped for what I promised would be no more than an hour in total (including waiting for GPS signal and such).

I headed downstairs and began the GPS signal dance.  With three units, that’s never a short affair.  In this case I was using a Fitbit Versa (which uses my phone’s GPS), a Garmin FR935, and a Suunto Spartan Trainer Wrist HR.  I also had a Wahoo TICKR HR strap on, but I neglected to remember to change the battery the night before…so that lasted about 90 seconds into the run.

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With GPS acquired I headed towards the water, or more specifically the Singapore Flyer wheel.  It was a few blocks across town to get there.  Nothing complex though to navigate, and a route I had done earlier in the day with a two-child stroller.  So I was well versed in the viability of it.

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I’d soon find the gigantic Ferris wheel, as well as the Formula 1 race track that loops around it.  You can see the painting on the ground for all the various starting positions as well as the nearby garage.  It’s impressive to me that a single couple-day event once a year can cover the costs to build a massive building and all the associated infrastructure with it.  I guess there’s (a lot) more money in car racing than cycling or running.

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After this, I crossed a pedestrian bridge to the other side of the harbor, now near the Marina Bay Sands hotel.  This is the hotel that has that crazy pool atop it.  We looked at staying there, but the prices were nuts.

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Meanwhile, down on the bay, there was the Art Zoo exhibition for the month. Basically it’s a giant park of inflatable jumpy toys that you can go and jump on in the evening. We had planned to bring The Peanut down there one night to enjoy it, but decided that her throwing up every hour combined with jumpy castles probably wasn’t the best of choices.

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Oh, here’s me:

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From there it was into The Gardens By The Bay park, which is a lush forest of both real plants…and less than real ones.

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It has these gigantic trees that go upwards of 38m/125ft into the air:

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At night there’s a light show choreographed to music. It’s actually pretty darn cool, and the kiddos were absolutely mesmerized by it:

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I then exited my way out of the park and continued on a relatively solitary road for a while. Just pedestrians/bikes only – though I saw nobody.  I suppose running at 3:30PM at the hottest and most humid part of the day may be the reason for that.

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It’s around here I decided to get a pile of mid-run watch photos for my upcoming Fitbit Versa review.

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I was soon then back alongside the bay with a view across to that crazy hotel again.

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And of course, past the spewing dragon-lion thingy. It was basically re-enacting what The Peanut had been doing all day.

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The view really is quite pretty though looking back.  I basically ran a gigantic circle around everything you see in this photo:

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Then it was back through more of the buildings on various paths towards my hotel. You’d see a number of strewn about bike share bikes here and there.  Sometimes upright, but not always.

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I had tweeted out earlier in the day though that Singapore is at least making attempts to try and prod users into doing the right things:

And shortly after that, I wrapped things up:

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Of course, there was one last thing to do: Cool down!

Thankfully, our hotel had a rooftop pool that overlooked my running route, so I went upstairs for a quick dip in the kinda-cold pool.

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And thus, done.  Here’s the map from my Strava upload.

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After that, it was just a few more hours left in Singapore until we caught our flight back home to Europe.  In case you’re wondering, this is what 3 months of luggage and gear looks like when checking back in at the airline counter.  I suppose it doesn’t really do it justice. Precisely 140KG of luggage, excluding baby strollers and car seats.  That does include one bike, a KICKR CLIMB, and enough DCR gadgetry gear for three months of stuff.

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With that – thanks for the short stay Singapore!  I had hoped to do a group run or ride with folks during the few days there, but the schedule just got a bit messy, especially with kids being a bit sick during some of it.  It’s challenging committing to a 5AM ride when you’re up at 1AM, 3AM, and 4AM with the kids. Next time!

But a huge thanks to all the suggestions people gave for places to eat and things to do.  We were able to fit some things in and had a good time.  Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve been to Singapore (last time we ran a race) – but still, local suggestions are much appreciated!

Thanks for reading!

Oh, and here’s some other fun ones in the Runaround series:

An Accra (Ghana, Africa) Runaround

An Esbjerg (Denmark) Runaround

A Doha (Qatar) Nighttime Runaround

A Frozen Sea Helsinki Finland Runaround

A Queen Mary 2 Runaround

A Kochi, India Runaround

…and the entire list is here.

Enjoy!

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30 Comments

  1. Ludo

    Your link for the Queen Mary 2 is broken : it points towards ane Amsterdam runaroud.
    And by the way I hope the Nuts feel better now

  2. Dave Lusty

    Why does your Garmin start activity screen look completely different to mine? Is there a setting somewhere? Mine shows little icons at the top of the screen and the first page of the activity.

    • FR935 or other?

      There are technically two variants to the start pending screen, one is when you select the sport, and the other is when you fully open the sport but don’t press start.

  3. Dave Lusty

    Yes my FR935 is identical to my Fenix 5 and looks like the pic in your 645 review. I’m on v8.0 firmware and definitely don’t see that screen or an option to turn it off/on.
    From the watch I press start to get a list of activities. Waiting here does nothing at all and I just see a menu. Press start again with run selected and I see page 1 of the activity with the RAG ring for GPS and the icons along the top of the screen for sensors. Another press of start starts the activity.

    • the5krunner

      link to media.dcrainmaker.com

      my 935/645 run screen looks like Ray’s (as in this post, above)

      I suspect a conspiracy theory.

      either that, or it could be something to do with favorites (sic). never quite sure which is the most likely.

    • Hmm, I’m at a loss. My FR935 is sitting on my bike, which due to a string of odd circumstances is currently in a room with a baby sleeping that I’m most definitely not about to wake. So I can poke tomorrow at why the differences.

      But, the firmware is the same production firmware as others – 8.0.0.0.

    • Dave Lusty

      @tfk look at the second pic on this page where Ray is holding the 935 in his hand; that’s the screen I don’t see. The pic in the “sport modes” section of his 645 review, and the one you linked is what I see on all watches.

    • Dan Hunter

      Dave, if run is in your favourites then it will start searching for GPS, sensors etc.

      Mine has always looked like the photo in this review, if I leave favourites then I just get a lost of all activities with no overloading/caching.

      To be honest I can’t think why it does it, I just like to leave it on that screen!

    • the5krunner

      yep that’s the one.

      favourites i reckon

      although i never remember setting run as a favourite. though, being me, i guess i should.

    • Yup, just pulled mine out. I have ‘Run’ set as a favorites. If I’m on the default time screen, and then I press ‘Start’ once, I get the screen seen in the photo in this post.

    • Dave Lusty

      AAAARRRRHG mine has run in favourites and that doesn’t happen. Madness I tell you. How is it that computers do exactly what they are programmed to do and yet Garmin manage to get this much randomness?!
      Ironically tfk seems to get the same as me but thinks it’s because he added the sport to favs!

    • Andrew Rowden

      Just did a test and you get the screen in DCR’s photo when pressing activity if you only have one sport in your favourites (in his case run). Once you scroll down or up from there you just see the regular list of up to five activities on the screen to select from. If you have more than one sport in favourites than it right away goes into “list mode” when you press activity, just with the favourites having a white background and the other activities having a black background.

    • Dave Lusty

      Thanks Andrew, that answers it nicely and works on mine too. What a pointless feature! I actually prefer this screen so can’t see why Garmin don’t do it for all of the sports as default.

  4. Dave Lusty

    Is yours on version 8 too? We all have multiple watches so I’ll give Garmin the benefit of the doubt that this isn’t yet another sync screwup but I just can’t work out what’s happening.
    I’d rather cut off my arm than do a full reset on a Garmin watch, so that’s not an option. Life’s too short to spend a week putting settings back and wondering if I found them all!

  5. Dave Lusty

    It’s the same if I remove it from favourites :o/

  6. Bill

    Always interesting to drop in and read these posts. First used your site a few years back when researching about 910xt, purchased one and still using it. Not a regular reader but good to know you are always there to get the knowledge on what to buy when needed. An indication of the time Flying by us your referring to your children when I can remember like it was yesterday you moving to Paris. Keep up the good work.

  7. Mario Lira Junior

    Congrats on being back home. Hope the Peanuts are better now. My own hasn´t been a small kid for a very long while now, but boy do I remember those sick days… One of the worst feelings of my life, seeing my girl sick and not being able to do much

  8. How did you pack your bike?? Do you have a case or just a simple cardboard box? Did you have to pay as a sport-equipment?

  9. Robert

    How do you manage to get 140kg of luggage – and two kids – from the taxi to the check-in counter?

    • Two really giant stacked high baggage carts. Here’s picture of coming into Singapore, with The Girl trying to control one.

      One of us pushes: One stacked baggage cart + stroller
      Other pushes: One stacked baggage cart + another roller suitcase

  10. Brian Simpson

    My wife wants to know if you saw the big white floating baby statue in the park?

  11. LOL. Dragon-lion thingy. By the way, most people (in Singapore) just use the term “Merlion” in place of puking, usually after having too much alcohol. But hope the Peanut is feeling better.

  12. Abhinav Verma

    Its really nice article, i love Singapore as my country India. My Brother is also working in Singapore as Sr Software Engineer. I will visit soon there and RunAround lol !!!

  13. I’m a cycler too, and if you must know, I’ve never taken my own bike on a plane, not a single time. I always rent. The luggage of 140 kg and sick kids—that’s astonishing you cope with such challenges.
    You’ve been to Singapore twice, and I assume there’s gonna be the 3d time. As you come back, I strongly recommend exploring the cycling trails of Pulau Ubin and kayaking in the Mangrove Forest.

  14. Heath

    I’m not sure about other countries, but the F1 grandprix is a cash blackhole in Singapore since the government is the one funding 60% of the cost for that few days event.