Saturday, September 30, 2006

Upcoming Pedal Ubin Ride @ 8 Oct Sunday

At Jelutong Cycling past SLA Fence

It's the time of the month again for Pedal Ubin. After a break in September for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore which many of our guides are involved in, we're back and excited about the next upcoming ride in October.

Date: 8 October Sunday
Time: 8am - 12noon (approximately)
Meet at the Changi Point Ferry Terminal by 8am. You will go to Ubin together with your guide(s). Do note that we do leave on time, so please do not be late!
If you're interested to sign up, do send an email with the following details to

1. Name
2. Email address
3. Mobile phone number
4. Cycling ability (wobbly, steady or wow!)
5. Emergency contact [name, relationship (e.g. mother/father/wife) and phone number]

You will receive a reply to confirm your participation and instructions about payment. Registered partcipants will receive an FAQ closer to the event date.

Confirmation and Payment (from May 2006)
The charge is S$10.50 (inclusive GST) per participant. If you bring your own bicycle, the charge is S$7.35. Payment covers the bumboat ride from Changi to Pulau Ubin (one-way) and whole day bicycle rental.

Payment if strictly non-refundable. In the unlikely event that the trip is cancelled by Pedal Ubin! due to lightning threat or similar reasons (has not happened yet), a replacement ride will be arranged.

For more information on how to make payment, please refer to the Pedal Ubin website.

Want to know more of what we did? Read an account of the last ride in August 2006 by the Pedal Ubin Project Manager, Ivan Khong.

"August marks 1 year since the latest batch of guides graduated and thus, we celebrated the anniversary with a ride to the east of Ubin!

The ride started of to the the sensory trail. [After which] we zipped to the coconut plantation trail via the mangrove. From there, it was a stopover at the Suria House before our exciting ride to the East.

Hitting Jalan Durian, the participants were thrilled with the donwhill leg, which coupled with the cold morning air was both pleasant and exciting. Rallying point was Kelichap hut, where a short briefing on off-road biking was delivered before we hit the dirt roads.

We hit the German Girl shrine [next], and made it back to the Y U So like that Stall when it started to drizzle.

We saw lots of mudskippers, and a sluice gate in action at the mangroves. [We also] heard a Jungle fowl crowing in the distance.

All in all, it was a fun ride!"

Sounds like an exciting way to spend a Sunday morning exploring our last wild frontier? Sign up for the ride now!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Images of Bin Kiang

Bin Kiang School!

2 weeks ago I was on Ubin for the monthly Pedal Ubin rides and while waiting around the bike shops for a friend, I chanced upon a wall of old Ubin photos. One of the photos was the schoolboy in front of the old Bin Kiang school.

It made me extremely nostalgic as I remembered my mom's Bin Kiang graduating class photo which I first posted here 2 years ago.

Today, all that is left of Bin Kiang school is a road sign naming the little back street after the school.

Bin Kiang 2005
Bin Kiang Road in 2005. Photo by November.

Yet change is constantly surrounding us on Ubin. Last year this time, when I brought my mom back to Ubin to see where her old school used to be, it looked as above.

One year later, after the area was cleared, angsana trees were felled, this is how it looks like now.

Bin Kiang today
Bin Kiang Road in 2006. Photo by November.

While my mom was reminiscing, she also mentioned that the principal's residence during her time used to be right beside the school. Although she pointed it out to me, we both did not attempt to climb up the steps to explore further since as we know it, changes happen and most likely, the family has moved as well.

Principals' House
Where the principal of Bin Kiang was. Photo by November, 2005.

When I first posted about Bin Kiang school, a reader wrote to me telling me that his dad used to be a teacher in the school. Unfortunately I have lost his email. If you are reading this now, please get in touch! I very much would like to find out more. My mom previously told me that one of her teachers on Ubin ended up moving out to the mainland and teaching her again in secondary school. Today, some of her classmates are still in touch with him. I hope that I would be able to interview him sometime.

Islander Bikeshop
Islander Bikeshop. Photo by November.

Sometimes a conversation can reveals a treasure trove of stories. After seeing the photos hanging on the wall outside this bike shop, I spoke with the lady and found out these are photos from and of their neighbors on the island. Today they still maintain their house on Ubin but return to their other home on the mainland at night. Many families on the island now do the same. It's almost like a dual citizenship!

Old Photos

The next time you are on the island, check out the photos and talk to the owners and find out about their childhood and lives on the island. I am sure they would be very happy to share. In fact, many of the old newspaper cuttings I have on the blog are also collected and generously shared by them. I will post more of the old photos I spied on the wall next time.

If you have any stories or old photos to share of Bin Kiang or Ubin, please email me.

Related Articles:
  • Bin Kiang School Alumni, Pulau Ubin Stories, 26 May 2004