LOOk out for them.
These cyclists go against the flow of traffic and come at you from every angle.
And they seem to think they are doing nothing wrong.
When The New Paper team visited Geylang Road recently, we saw 12 cyclists going against the flow of traffic - within 15 minutes.
Some were deliverymen for the many food stalls in the area.
Anecdotal evidence from interviews seems to suggest that many of those who flout the rules are foreigners.
Could this be because they are accustomed to different road cultures back home?
|ROAD HAZARD: This cyclist in Geylang is going not just against the flow of traffic, he's doing it in the middle of the road.
Pointing to a light he had installed at the back of his bicycle, foreign worker Gu Renwen said: 'It helps make me more obvious to drivers on the road.
'Especially as traffic here is so heavy.'
He does not have such a light on his bicycle back home.
The 41-year-old Chinese national, who arrived in Singapore in 2004 and rides within and outside his work place, should be praised for being particular about riding safely.
In the first half of this year alone, the police noted 11accidents in which cyclists have lost their lives. Last year, there were 22 such deaths, up from 15 in 2006.
The numbers are a cause for concern, considering proposals to encourage more individuals to take to cycling as a form of transport.
But the rising trend of cyclist fatalities does not seem to have discouraged many from daredevil antics on busy roads here.
Dangerous for inexperienced
Mr Gu, who was making his way back to his lodging in Chai Chee after meeting friends in Marine Parade, said that cycling in Singapore is quite different from cycling in his native province of Jiangsu, where there are more bicycles and fewer cars.
'The cars here move much faster too,' he said.
Mr Gu felt that cycling could be dangerous for those who are new to Singapore and its roads.
|CAUTIOUS: China national Gu Renwen feels that cars move faster here than home in Jiangsu province.
'If they're so used to how things are at home, I think they need to be extra careful here where the roads are busier.'
Apparently in China, the general rule of thumb is that when an accident happens, it is the larger vehicle that gets the blame.
So cyclists may take advantage of the fact that cars and trucks will automatically give way to them - which may not be the case here.
Student Kira Wu, 19, a Chinese national studying at Singapore Polytechnic, said that there are special lanes for bicycles in Suzhou.
'Quite frankly, when I'm cycling here, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to ride, but I do try to keep away from roads,' she said.
But there are those who feel that the roads here are safer to ride on.
Deliveryman Suppay Narayanan, 28, said he had to adapt to cycling on local roads when he first arrived here from India in 2000. A friend had to show him how to ride safely on roads here.
'It's safer to ride here as there are strict rules,' he said.
A construction worker, who wanted to be known only as Raju, 41, said: 'In Bangladesh, the cars can come in any direction, unlike here, where they follow the rules closely. There are more cars here, and I know that if I follow the rules, I'll be okay.'
But has this confidence in our roads led to complacency? So much so that foreign cyclists believe that they have the right of way?
Singaporean retiree Tiong Chin Ee said: 'Maybe the traffic laws in their countries are not so well enforced. So when they come here, they just take it that things are the same.'
Mr Tiong also brought up the possibility that these cyclists may mistakenly feel that it's actually safer to ride against traffic, as they can see the cars coming.
Malaysian Lee Zhi Qiang, 53, a plumber, cycles to and from work every day. He said: 'Sometimes, they choose to ride on the roads simply because the roads are a smoother ride compared with the pavement, where there might be pedestrians.'
Cashier Lin Chia Yee, who lives and works in the Geylang Road area, said the roads there are particularly complicated and dangerous for cyclists.
When asked what would be a good deterrent against reckless riding, she suggested fines.
'Fining them would hurt their pockets,' she said.
But many cyclists are careful and law-abiding.
Madam Foo Oh Pui, a 48-year-old who lives in the Boon Lay area, said that most cyclists there, including foreign workers on bicycles, do observe traffic rules.
A police spokesman said that 'it is critical that pedal cyclists have a safety mindset and obey traffic rules and regulations at all times.'
The police added that motorists play an important role in ensuring the safety of cyclists.
'They should keep a special lookout for pedal cyclists, give way to this vulnerable group, even though they may have the right of way.'
Eoin Ee, newsroom intern
Time for licences, tests for cyclists
Reckless cyclists a menace
This article was first published in The New Paper on Nov 12, 2008.