The Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) has warned of "stricter laws to remove this privilege" after cyclists were spotted flouting safe distancing rules by riding in groups.
Group of cyclists
On Apr. 11, a Mothership reader sent a tip-off involving a group of cyclists riding together on the same morning.
According to the reader, there were three riders in the group, travelling along Tanah Merah Coast Road and East Coast Park.
Tanah Merah Coast Road is the only road in Singapore with a designated on-road cycling lane, and is popular among cyclists.
The reader also sent evidence of the group's activity, as recorded in Strava.
Strava is an app that tracks cycling and running exercises, using GPS data. The records can be shared among the user's followers or publicly.
It also automatically groups activities together, when they occur at the same time and place.
Users can also record grouped activities by inviting other athletes to records of their activities. Those who accept invitations will have the activity appear on their Strava records as well.
The Strava log shows that a group of three had cycled some 58km along the eastern stretch of Singapore.
Upon the photos' circulation, members of the cycling community decided to speak to the group's leader, the reader revealed.
One of the riders involved denied knowing the two other riders, and said that he was only overtaking them.
Here's part of a conversation, with the rider's texts in white speech bubbles.
The reader added that concerned cyclists have reported this to the National Environment Agency (NEA) and SCF.
In what appears to be a separate instance, six cyclists were spotted on the road.
The image has since been circulating on messaging platforms.
Cycling allowed, but must be done alone or within households
During the current circuit breaker period from Apr. 7 to May 4, it is illegal to leave home, except for specific activities, such as buying food, exercise, or going to work in essential services.
All gatherings with families and friends who do not live together are also banned during this period.
As cycling is a form of exercise, "we can, as a general rule, continue cycling for its health benefits in line with Gov rules and regulations", SCF had clarified in a previous post dated Apr. 9.
However, SCF said that "cyclists have still been seen riding on the roads in groups and ignoring the new laws", and reminded cyclists that cycling must be carried out either alone or with individuals of the same household.
SCF also said that it has received feedback from SportSG and other government agencies about this.
20-metre spacing recommended
SCF also recommended a 20-metre spacing between different household units of cyclists:
Cyclists should avoid risk-taking behaviour
SCF advised cyclists to avoid risk-taking behaviour, especially in "this critical time".
This, SCF said, was because cyclists who sustain serious injuries from this might need to be hospitalised, which would place additional stress on the healthcare system.
Examples of such risk-taking behaviour include racing, and gunning for personal best timings on certain route segments.
Here's the Apr. 10 post in full:
SCF has received feedback from SportSG and other Gov Agencies who have requested that we URGENTLY relay the following message to the cycling community.
Since the implementation of recently enacted Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order7/4/2020) Regulations, cyclists have still been seen riding on the roads in groups and ignoring the new laws. All cycling if done outdoors must be carried out either alone or with individuals of the same household.
Between different household units of cyclists , please leave 20m of spacing, even at traffic lights. (4 car lengths)
Eg Household units
Non compliance of this law is an offence that is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.
Please share this message with all your friends as there are already discussion by the Gov to implement stricter laws to remove this privilege.
Let’s all do our part not only to follow these laws, but also to advise fellow cyclists to respect the laws during this crucial circuit breaker period.
Top photo via Mothership reader and messaging platforms