Demand for mass in-person races continues to rise with cycling enthusiasts snapping up all 2,000 slots of the OCBC Cycle’s 20km City Ride just six days after registration commenced last Monday (March 14).
Last year’s Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon also saw over 80 per cent of the 4,000 in-person slots filled five days after registration started on Nov 3.
OCBC head of group brand and communications Koh Ching Ching said this showed “the pent-up demand for big scale in-person sporting events since the start of the pandemic”.
She added: “We have been getting requests to open up more slots. However, we are not able to meet these requests because of the 2,000-participant cap due to the safe management measures required. The virtual rides are also doing well with the 100km and the 200km virtual rides selling fast. We thank everyone for the overwhelming support.”
For digital consulting freelancer Daniel Lee, 34, missing out on the 20km City Ride came as a rude shock.
He told The Straits Times on Tuesday: “My brother was all excited about the 20km City Ride and asked me to sign up for this event so we can ride on closed roads together for the first time. We have been each other’s ride buddies for the past few months and have not taken part in a cycling event before.
“I thought I would be able to get a slot since registration started not long ago. I was really surprised to find that all the slots (for the 20km City Ride) were fully taken. Now, my brother has no choice but to go alone.”
For others like account director Miguel Martinez, it was a missed opportunity to spend previous bonding time with his father who has been an avid cyclist for the past eight years.
“I picked up cycling during the pandemic to spend more time with my father and I was planning to participate in the City Ride with him,” he said.
The father and son pair will instead participate in the Straits Times 60km virtual ride but Miguel will “definitely try to take part in the City Ride next year”.
Besides the 20km City Ride, the OCBC Cycle Speedway Championships will also allow for in-person cycling. It is limited to only 28 teams across the three categories – Club, Corporate and Women. Each team consists of five cyclists, including a reserve.
The physical rides will take place on May 7 and 8 at the Singapore Sports Hub, while the virtual rides and the Spin Ride by CRU will run from May 7 to June 6.
To ensure the safety of all involved in the in-person races, safe management measures include only allowing eligible participants into the event venue over the two days.
Participants must either be fully vaccinated, certified to be medically ineligible for vaccination or have recovered from Covid-19 within the last 180 days from the day of the ride.
Registration ends on April 25 or when all slots are taken up. More information can be found at this website.