Sunday, May 22, 2011

Some things never change (9) – Parking bicycles

I used to live in a kampong called Lorong Kinchir, off Lorong Chuan. Before Lorong Chuan was constructed, we – my brother Chun Seong and I – had to cycle out to the main road at Braddell Road, and take a bus to our school at Braddell Rise School. Seong would do the cycling and I would sit at the back with our school bags. We would chain our bicycle to a lamp post or a roadside railing next to a drain; just like many foreign workers do at Taman Jurong.






Even the chain lock in this photo looked similar to the ones we had more than 40 years ago.

Related post: Kampong kids learning to cycle.


14 comments:

Icemoon said...

Assuming Chun See took the bus at Braddell Road where it meets CTE today, the distance to Braddell Rise is only about 2.5km.

Why did the two brothers not cycle all the way to school then?

Lam Chun See said...

I think distance was not the primary consideration. Probably time and safety mattered most. Before Lor Chuan, the road from our house to Braddell Rd was a dirt track with little motorised traffic.

Zen said...

Very few pr. school students cycled to school those days because of their young age and parents were naturally worried over their safety.

Icemoon said...

Oops, me bad, I forgot Braddell Rise was the primary school.

From Chun See:
But after 1 year, my parents transferred me to BRS because ACS was too far from our home in Lorong Chuan, and my elder brother David was in BRS and could look after me.

Chun Seong must be David, lah.

Zen said...

Bicycle thieves were rampant those days. I remember buying a china-made bicycle and parked it at the same spot where chun see mentioned. It disappeared into thin air when I returned from school to fetch it. From henceforth I only parked my old but reliable hercules which was given to me by my uncle. It seemed no one gave a second look at this 'iron horse'. Later on when I was in secondary school (bartley) I used to ride it to school in the evening to watch football matches.

ds r4 said...

There are many things, which are doesn't Change throughout the Life and this Bicycle parking is one of those things. You have to Lock your Bicycle with the Chain is good for Safety.

korina said...

Interestting stuff. Out of interest does anyone remember a rubber factory along Lorong Chuan with its tin roof and smoke billowing out?
It is one of the images i remember as a child whenever my family drove along there from Seletar Hills to go into town.

Lam Chun See said...

Hi Korina. We had some discussion about that old rubber factory along Lorong Chuan here.

Thimbuktu said...

Just wonder whether any official statistics of number of bicycles in Singapore. Since bicycle owners are not required to licensed, perhaps the Dept of Statistcs will compile the record of bicycle shops in Singapore. During our kampong days, bicycles were required to have a license plate displayed, remembered, Chun See?

yg said...

so, things have really not changed. bicycle thefts were also rampant then. i blogged about bicycle thefts here

Andy Young* said...

Had a bicyle in the 50s. Described as: straight-handle with an ugly looking flat carrier behind. So ugly, nobody would want to steal it.

I also remember clipping clothes-pegs at the end of my long-pants to prevent the dirty bicycle chain getting entangled with the pants.

Lam Chun See said...

Oh yes the bicycle chain. Sometimes it gets unhooked and we had to connect it back getting our hands all dirty. Plus need to lubricate it with grease regularly.

I also remember the dynamo. At night we need to adjust it to touch the front tyre and thus light up the front lights when we are cycling.

Lam Chun See said...

YG's 2008 article reminded me of a related post I put up in 2006. Link added at the end of bottom of the article.

Zen said...

Mr Thimbuktu: Yes, during our kg days bicycles need to be registered, issued with a licence plate with serial numbers just like a car and one had to pay a fee for it. Not only that, serial numbers were also engraved onto the corner of the bicycle supporting horizontal bar (another form of identification). A bicycle section of the ROV was entrusted with this uneviable task, very tedious indeed. If I am not mistaken the bicycle registration centre was located somewhere in princep str. So technically speaking if a person lost his bicycle he needed to report to the police, but how many people report loss of their bicycles? Only god knew. I believe not many. The traffic police made a smart move by removing the need to register bicycles making everyone happy, not they themselves! Bicycles become our personal property, meaning that loss at your own personal expense, hence a strong chain with an extra big lock comes in handy.