SINGAPORE — 397 participants participated in this year’s OCBC Cycle Virtual Ride event, which lasted from May 6 to June 5, completing over 64,000 km in two categories – the 100km Virtual Ride and the 500km Virtual Ride. The conclusion of the virtual rides wraps up the OCBC Cycle 2023, which welcomed the return of the first full-scale event in May since the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted mass sports participation events three years ago.
For two cycling enthusiasts, Kelvin Teoh and Nicholas Foo, their motivation to sign up for the OCBC Cycle Virtual Ride may differ, but they enjoy the experience that it has taken them on this journey.
For 53-year-old Teoh, it was an opportunity to use it as a platform to train for his upcoming long-distance Ironman triathlon. In an Ironman triathlon, participants must complete a 180.2km cycling route. This is in addition to other parts of the race, which includes a 3.9km swim and a 42.2km full marathon.
“The virtual ride gave me a target distance to work toward for each ride, so that I can build the endurance to take part in the Ironman triathlon. Completing a long-distance Ironman triathlon event has been a goal of mine since 2020, and while the early morning rides and preparation have not been easy, the virtual rides have made the mundane nature of my routine training more exciting,” expressed Teoh, who looks forward to competing in his first Ironman triathlon.
Foo might not be participating in any Ironman triathlon anytime soon, but the virtual ride has inspired him to achieve a new milestone in his cycling journey.
The 21-year-old who picked up cycling as a hobby at the start of the pandemic in 2020 was able to complete the 500km Virtual Ride over two days. This is considered a monumental leap from his previous personal best of covering 200km in a similar timeframe.
“The new virtual ride distance of 500km motivated me to take on the challenge of cycling from Singapore to Malaysia. Being part of the virtual ride spurred me to complete the event’s required distance and satisfy my goal of going on a cross-border bike tour. The ride required a lot of time and effort in preparation, but it is definitely a worthwhile experience.” said a joyful Foo.
Ms Koh Ching Ching, Head of Group Brand and Communications of OCBC Bank, expressed her thanks to friends of OCBC Cycle and all stakeholders that have made OCBC Cycle 2023 a success.
“We have seen many inspiring stories — from the remarkable 53-year-old man who trained for his first long-distance Ironman triathlon event using the 500km Virtual Ride, to the awe-inspiring 21-year-old student who completed 500km in a two-day overseas cycling trip. As the enthusiasm for cycling continues to grow, we are glad that we can cater to the diverse needs of all participants and ensure a memorable experience for everyone,” said Koh.
Earlier in May, the OCBC Cycle was held over two days on May 6 and 7, with close to 7,300 cyclists gathering at the Singapore Sports Hub for the first full-scale event since 2019, when the pandemic disrupted large-scale sports events. The 2022 edition was limited to 2,000 cyclists joining in person.
The Allied World Quantum Racing team successfully defended their title at the OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships 2023 in the club category, while the team from OCBC Bank clinched top honours in the corporate group.