Saturday, May 1, 2021

Green Corridor Cycling Guide - April 2021

It has been 8 months since I last explored the Green Corridor in August 2020, and a lot has changed since then! Back then, there were many breaks along the route, as many sections were still under construction. That led to many detours needed to ride along the whole route.

Recently, the entire stretch from Hillview to Tanjong Pagar has been fully linked up, with no breaks in the route! This means a seamless ride all the way, without exiting the Green Corridor at all. If it is not crowded, it basically means you can ride all the way from one end to the other, without stopping at all.

The format of this blog post is similar to the previous one, where I will list down the points of interest, as shown by the alphabets.

Similarly, this time I took my Cervelo Aspero gravel bike, as there are some unpaved sections which is best ridden with wider tires for comfort.

Here is an overall map of the route that I took from one end to the other. I will refer to this map frequently to indicate the location where the picture was taken.

Point A: One of the entrance to the Green Corridor is from the outside of Springdale Condominium, at the end of Hindhede Walk.

Point A: Here is the path to cut across to Hindhede Walk, from the park connector along Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Point A: At Hindhede Walk, go right to the end (northwest), and you will see a flight of stairs. This is an old picture taken from Google Streetview.

Point A: After climbing the short flight of stairs, you will walk along a short dirt road...

...which leads you to Point B, where the 12.1 km marker of the Green Corridor is located.

Point B: Going northwards will lead you to Hillview, or The Rail Mall.

Point C is at Hillview, which ends at The Rail Mall. The northwards section towards Woodlands is not open yet.

Point C: At the end of the Green Corridor (April 2021), it stops at the railway bridge. Just before the end, there is a flight of stairs as shown, which leads you down to The Rail Mall.

Point C: Here is the obligatory photo at the railway bridge, above Upper Bukit Timah Road at Hillview. There is actually nobody around which is surprising.

Point C: Here is how it looks at the bottom of the stairs. This is also a good place to start as there is food and parking at this entrance to the Green Corridor.

Point C: These are the shops at the entrance to the Green Corridor, at The Rail Mall.

With the northern tip explored, it is time to go southwards, towards the other end of the Green Corridor.

Point D: Sandy path, which is fine, unless there is heavy rain. In that case, it becomes super muddy.

Point D: Gravel riding! This is my favourite stretch of the Green Corridor as it is awesome to ride on my gravel bike.

Point D: 11.2 km marker, which is where the paved section starts.

Note that northwards of Point D (around 11.2 km marker), the path is unpaved. It is doable on road bikes or small wheeled bikes, but it will get really bumpy and uncomfortable. Best done on gravel bikes or mountain bikes. Also, this stretch will get muddy if there is rain.

From Point D southwards, the route is 95% paved, except for short sections which are deliberately covered with gravel to slow down riders at specific junctions. Doable on any kind of bike, and probably will not get muddy even after rain.

We are now at Point E, which is another popular starting point, as it is at the entrance to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Point E: Short bridge that crosses Hindhede Drive, which is the entrance to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Point E: There is a red paved path that leads downwards towards the road, which is where I went to check out the surroundings.

Point E: At the Junction of Hindhede Drive and Bukit Drive. The Green Corridor crosses the bridge as shown at the left of the picture above.

Point E: If you wish to go to Upper Bukit Timah Road, there is a new underpass that runs alongside the road, for a safe and easy route.

Point E: This is how the underpass looks, if you are coming from Upper Bukit Timah Road.

Point E: This is Hindhede Walk, which also has an entrance to the Green Corridor at the other end (Point A/B). There is also a bike shop here called Unsprung, which caters to mountain bikes going to the Bukit Timah trails.

Going back onto the Green Corridor, I continue southwards. There are stretches of gravel here and there, which I enjoy on my gravel bike, but probably not on my folding bike.

Point F: Here is where I was forced to stop previously and exit to Rifle Range Road, as it was not connected (coming from the southern section).

Point F: Here is how it looked previously in August 2020, where the northward path ends.

Moving on, we come to the railway bridge that cross Bukit Timah Road/Dunearn Road. This is located at Point G.

Point G: Rare picture on the railway bridge with no crowds!

The gravel on the railway bridges look deceiving. Why do I say so?

The gravel is actually held in place by a layer of binding agent, so the gravel is not loose and does not move. This is a great idea as it gives the gravel look, but without the safety or erosion issue that comes with loose gravel.

Point H: A clearing along the Green Corridor, where you can see wide open spaces all around. This is Clementi Forest if I'm not wrong.

Point I: The narrow path on the right was what I used previously, to get from Holland Road onto the Green Corridor.

Point I: Old photo showing the entrance to the Green Corridor, from Holland Road. This is Point C from the previous post.

We are now at Point J, which links up the Holland Road section to the section at Cold Storage Jelita.

Point J: Another entrance from Greenleaf View, which was previously a dead end. It is now connected southwards!

Point J: Here is the entrance from Greenleaf View. 

Point J: Old photo showing the previous dead end at Greenleaf View (August 2020).

Point K: A short distance from Greenleaf View, we come to Cold Storage at Jelita. Glad to see that this section is now well connected.

Point K: Old photo from August 2020 showing the dead end at Cold Storage Jelita, where I had to take a detour previously.

Moving southwards from Point K, this stretch is an unbroken paved path.

Point L: Here is the entrance from Buona Vista, where I started previously.

Point L: This stretch is now connected southwards, which is also great news.

Looking northwards from Point L.

Point M: Underpass that runs underneath Commonwealth Avenue, near Buona Vista MRT Station.

Point M: There is a short steep path that leads to Commonwealth Avenue. OK for hikers to use but not if you are bringing a bike.

Point N: At Biopolis area, looking southwards.

Point N: At Biopolis area, looking northwards.

We are now at Point O, which is at Commonwealth area.

Point O: Here is the entrance/exit from Commonwealth Drive, which is behind Tanglin Halt Market.

Point O: Entrance/Exit to Commonwealth Drive

Point O: This intersection is purposely paved with gravel to slow down the traffic at this area.

Point P: This is at Jalan Kilang Barat, just beside Treknology. This used to be a dead end, but now it is connected southwards, which is another piece of the puzzle completed.

Moving southwards from Point P, we come to the newest section of the Green Corridor, which goes all the way towards Tanjong Pagar (not quite there yet).

Point Q: This is almost at the southern end of the Green Corridor (April 2021). There is a black paved path that leads you out of the Green Corridor.

If you choose to continue southwards, there is a short section before you reach the end.

Point Q: Here is the other end of the Green Corridor! It is about 13 km from the Hillview End to this end.

Point R: This leads you to the outside world, which is at Spooner Road.

Point R: End point is at Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal. This can also be the start point if you want to go northwards along the entire Green Corridor.

Point R: Entrance to the Green Corridor, from Spooner Road (Kampong Bahru Bus Terminal).

From here, I cycled back along the whole Green Corridor, back to Point A where I started. It was an enjoyable ride as it is a seamless, stress-free journey without any road traffic, with the added bonus of fresh air and nice scenery.

I think my Cervelo Aspero gravel bike is the perfect bike to ride the Green Corridor, as it is fast on both the paved and unpaved sections. This bike is great for all-terrain riding!

Having ridden the Green Corridor, I like it very much. My favourite stretch is the unpaved section northwards of the 11.2 km marker, as it is pure gravel riding.

That said, I do observe people getting lost, as they either missed the exit or can't find the exit. Some of the exits are pretty well camouflaged, especially if you are not looking carefully. Thus I noted down a few points for improvement.

Suggestions for Improvement:
1) Add discreet/subtle signage at all exits of the Green Corridor.
2) Add distance markers at appropriate intervals.
3) Add lighting at some underpasses, as it can get really dark even in the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment