Monday, February 24, 2014

Nice and Easy RI

Usually cycling trips are not my choice to write blogs on. This one is an exception as I take it easy to enjoy the surroundings. The original plan is to go or my route "RI on mostly PCN". Since Ulu Sembawang PC is closed till middle of the year, I decided to just cycle around the Island and try to go on PCN as much as possible without planning the route in advance.

The trip started at 6.30 AM. At this hour, the PCN is still dark where there are no lamp posts. However, I am going on the PCN routes from Woodlands to Yishun. The whole route is beside roads. It is very unusual for me to go on PCN at this hour. Usually I prefer to start at 7:00 AM or later.

I am quite surprised that there are quite a lot of people use PCN to commute to work or school. At this hour, there are many people using the PCN thus I really have to slow down to accommodate them. Most cyclists go much faster than I do as I am in no hurry to go places.

Upon reaching Yishun, I noticed a flower on a Handkerchief Tree. Its the first time I saw the flower.

I used the Khatib Bongsu PC instead of the one that leads to Yishun Ave 1 as I intend to bypass Lentor Ave. There is much less people using the Khatib Bongsu PC. The ride is quite enjoyable.

Since there is no PC that connects Yishun to Punggol or AMK, I used Yishun Ave 6 instead. Yishun East Park is just at the road side in this road. I decided to detour into the Park. Unfortunately, there is a "No Cycling" sign in the park. This is one of a few parks that is not cyclist friendly.

There are Pulai trees grown in the park.

On exiting the Park, I continue on to Seletar North Link via Yishun Ave 1. The road is quite empty at this hour. Since it is Monday already, there isn't any Angler visible at the Reservoir. Usually I would speed up at Seletar North Link, but this time I just take it easy and go with a much slower pace. I called it 'No Sweating Cycling'.

Instead of going into Punggol Waterways, I decide to turn left to the northern PCN instead. That was a huge mistake. The PCN is currently paving new metaled paths. Many parts of the route have temporary paths but was not compacted enough for cycling or walking. I ended up going on the grass patch instead. Quite bumpy as I am on a high tyre pressure bike.

Took a 'leak' and took a picture of a Lily flower at Punggol Point Park.

Heard previously that Coney Island will be open next year. Can't wait to use the new path. For now, I just have to be patient.

I passed by Lor Halus Wetland several times but never go in. From the look of it, there is nothing much to see. However, this time I just make a detour to confirm what I think. Well, I am right. There are indeed some plants but not special enough to attract my attention. I could have missed some as I am on my bike and the path is rocky. I need to pay more attention to the path than the plants.

Used the path near Pasir Ris Farmway 3 to go to Pasir Ris Dr 3. Its dry season so the path is much easier to cycle through.

Took a detour into Pasir Ris Park via the underpass near Blk 505. It is a PCN I have never gone through before. Cruise around the park for a short distance before exiting at Pasir Ris Close then back to Pasir Ris Dr 3. There is another exit further down in the park but is more difficult to maneuver and I can't remember how to do it.

Since is is Nice and Easy RI, avoided the hill at junction of Pasir Ris Dr 3 and Loyang Way. Instead took the path Near Pasir Ris Primary School to cut across to Loyang Dr. However, since it is the first time I go by this road to Changi, I got confused and turn out to Loyang Ave near Tua Pek Kong Temple instead of further down to Loyang Way. Anyhow, the climb is very much shorter and lower at Loyang Ln.

Following PCN, I took the longer path to Changi Village. Had brunch at Changi Village then continue to Changi Beach Park. It is getting hot now but I still refused to move faster. Took a leisure ride all the way down to East Coast Park.

At the ECP, this Asoka tree is simply too beautiful to miss.

Further down, I was amazed at the Flame tree's bright red color. Unfortunately, the flowers are way too high to take a nice picture of the individual flower.

I have never go across the bridge over Ford Rd. This time round I decided to explore a bit and pushed the bike across. This bridge is quite old. Some parts are creaky and rusted. The path at the other side ends near MCE. According to news the path joining to GBB East will be completed in 9 months time. It took that long to build a path that is less than 1 KM? I am amazed.

Since the path is a dead end, turned back and exit to Ford Rd via the heavy vehicle car park. Use the Tanjong Rhu Rd to go to GBB East.

At GBB East I tour around the north side of the park and took quite a number of pictures. It is now too hot to tour the south side of the park. Below are some of the nice flower pictures.

 Duranta white
 Blue Twilight
 Asystasia Rose Pink
 Chinese Violet
 Trumpet Flower
 Giant Potato flower
Cape Honeysuckle
Shrubby Lespedeza (bean family)

Going over the bridge to GBB West, I came across this small Cupey de Monte flower. Made several tries before successfully taking the picture despite the strong wind.

Found a Praxelis plant further down. It is a nice blue cluster of flowers.

The Sandpaper Vine flower is the liveliest one I ever took.

The white Thunbergia flower looks nice too.

This Donkey Ears flower is quite difficult to find. I passed by this path several time and this is the only time I see it. It belongs to the Stonecrop family (Crassulaceae).

You can't imagine how tall is a Agave flower till you see it.

The Love & Peace sculpture is still as bright red as ever. A woman just walked into the picture but I am too lazy to retake.

Water lilies grows abundance in ponds at MBS. This two are some of them.

Got a bit confused at the Promotory end up having to dismount and push bike near One Fullerton as there are "No cycling" sign boards. My GPS also goes bonkers around this place.

Crossing the Fullerton Bridge, I cruise along the Singapore River. Have to dismount and push through the various underpasses. Saw a few bust of famous persons erected there. It must be new as I have not seen it since I last passed by.

The construction at Kim Seng Road is still on going thus has to detour to the path behind Kim Seng Plaza. Go on River Valley Rd till it cuts across the Singapore River again where  I can access to Alexandra PC. Along the PC, I caught sight of a Oriental Pied Hornbill eating grasshopper. There were a number of children crowding near the bird but it simply ignores them and continues its business.

From then on, the cycling is very much routine and dull. I went all the way down to Jurong East via PCN then to Bukit Batok. It is here that I notice a Purple Heart (without its beautiful flower). The flower only appears early in the morning. This is the last plant picture of the day as I am already too tired to detour to the parks. Moreover, I have to make it to Woodlands before it gets dark.

Going via PCN all the way till Pang Sua PC. It is the fist time I go without GPS guidance and still never get lost. At Pang Sua PC, I have to go on to Woodlands Rd. It is here that I start to chiong a bit around 30 KPH till the hill near Kranji Mrt. Go back on PCN after Marsiling MRT for a short distance before exiting at Woodlands Ave 5. Too lazy to go on the longer distance via PCN to Republic Poly. The trip took almost 12 hours. Distance is just 110 KM.

Did not use WikiLoc for the whole distance. I only use it at GBB to get geocode of the plants. Later replace the trail with the Endomondo one thus there is no waypoints in the map. My Android phone camera goes to sleep and turn off GPS at the same time. So I use WikiLoc to keep the GPS awake when taking picture with WikiLoc.

The WikiLoc Map is here.
The full Picasa Web Album is here.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Autofocus Points in Camera

Saw an ads on camera that toots the number of AF Points (autofocus points). This is one jargon that is predominantly used for Digital camera. 
I really cannot understand whether this should be the selling point. If I have 25 AF point, which one would the camera use to focus on the subject I want? Can the camera think for me? The result is that I cannot really tell which one it uses to focus on.

Some have touch focus where you can touch the object so that the camera can focus on it. My experience is that it is still useless. On big objects, it is still fine. It simply cannot do the job of focusing on small object on complex background like taking a picture of a insect on branches with small leaves.

Some other camera did indicates which AF point it uses however, it still can't tell which one I wanted thus ended up with so many tries just to get right. Therefore, if the camera does not have Manual Focus, it is just for general use thus the number of AF points is not a selling feature.