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While most people are either out partying, spending time with family members, or chilling out with friends, we were at Pearl’s Hill City Park with a crowd of about a 1,000 people training our calves and feeding the mosquitoes. This might seem like an absurd idea but really, we were there to catch the Red Bull Dark Knights 2013 that was organised by the European Red Bull.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

The Red Bull Dark Knights is Singapore’s only night-time mountain bike downhill race and ever since its debut in 2011, the Red Bull Dark Knights has gained much popularity and its comeback this year at Pearl’s Hill City Park has attracted quite a number of riders from all over the world.

I have to say this, although I have been living in Singapore for the past 25 years, I have never been to Pearl’s Hill City Park and it was my virgin trip there. A look at the National Parks Website reveals that there is a restricted reservoir on top of the hill and if you’re clueless about where Pearl’s Hill City Park is, it is tucked away in the corner of Chinatown. It’s location is rather accessible as there are a couple of buses that serves the area and the nearest MRT Station is Outram Park Station, NOT Chinatown Station [unless you don’t mind walking a longer route].

Pearl’s Hill City Park.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

The Restricted Reservoir at Pearl’s Hill City Park.
[I bet not many people know that there’s a reservoir in Chinatown.]

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

The walk from the carpark to the event ground was really quite a distance and there wasn’t any signages around to guide us.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

This was the one and only signage that we spotted on our way to the event ground.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

When we arrived at the Race Village, it was bustling with activities, and tentages that sold food, drinks, and bicycle gears were set up.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013
From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013
From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

The rider in the lead gets to sit on this hot seat!

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

Visitors were also entertained with a special screening of Red Bull Media House’s feature film, “Where the Trail Ends”. The 81 minutes long movie showcased the world’s top freeride mountain bikers search and ride unraveled terrain around the globe, making their expedition the most progressive and ambitious mountain biking ever attempted.

The DJ for the evening was electrifying. The music that he played were heart-pumping and groovy.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

When we checked out the profiles of the riders whom were competing in the competition, we were quite surprised to find out that a majority of the competitors were Singaporeans.

Honestly, capturing photographs of the riders were extremely difficult as there was insufficient lighting and the riders were moving really fast. Although we were cleared to use flash photography, we decided against it as we do not want to affect the performance of the riders. Thankfully, we managed to get some good shots as we had access to the restricted zone.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

Keeping in the theme of knights and castles, the obstacles were interestingly named arrowhead, slingshot, and the dragon’s back, and each of the obstacles tested the tenacity of all the riders whom participated in the competition. In fact, we witnessed quite a number of riders falling off their bikes but their sheer determination and perseverance pushed them beyond their physical limits to complete the entire course. For that, we salute all the bikers whom took part in the race.

One of the riders completing the dunes obstacle.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

The ballista obstacle is definitely a tough one because riders must have a solid control of their bike in order to prevent themselves from veering off-course.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

An overview of the slingshot obstacle.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

One of the riders completing the slingshot obstacle.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

The saddleback and pitchfork were perhaps the hardest obstacles for the riders.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013
From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

Truly, the obstacle-filled race that is part urban part trail isn’t easy and one must have loads of guts to tackle the challenging obstacles.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

Rider Ng Chee Keong sitting on the hot seat for a moment.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

The champion for the Red Bull Dark Knights 2013 is none other than 37-year-old Daniel Sprague from Australia. Daniel has been competing in off-road cycling events for 31 years and he has won 2 World Amateur BMX Championships, 7 Australian Championships, and 29 Western Australian Championships across both gravity MTB and BMX. He was also the champion for Red Bull Dark Knights 2011.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

In second and third place respectively are Ditra Pranata, a 23-year-old professional biker from Indonesia, and 20-year-old Agung Fambudi.

Ditra Pranata, winning 2nd place at the Red Bull Dark Knights 2013.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

Agung Fambudi, winning 3rd place at the Red Bull Dark Knights 2013.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

A photo of the top 3 riders at the Red Bull Dark Knights 2013.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

Although we didn’t have quite a lot of good shots, we did managed to video down portions of the event and if you’re interested, you can check out the following video.

Truly, the Red Bull Dark Knights 2013 was an eye-opener and the Singaporeans didn’t fare that badly because most of them are in the top 10 positions. In fact, we were quite impressed by a 16-year-old Singaporean rider, Shadiq Putra, whom gotten 7th placing for the race.

From Red Bull Dark Knights 2013

Well, although we pretty much fed the thirsty mosquitoes, the action that we caught at Red Bull Dark Knights was definitely way more exciting than watching the Formula 1 Race and we hope that this blog entry will create a greater awareness of the local mountain biking scene. Cheerios~!

Here’s the both of us [Jacqueline & Melvin] wishing all of you Winsomelifers a Happy Chinese New Year 2013!

From Chineses New Year 2013

Time really flies and in the blink of an eye, it is already the month of February and we are really very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities that have been offered to us time and time again. If any of you remember, we recently organised an Exclusive Blog Giveaway that was sponsored by Sticky Ties and we are really happy to announce the following Winsomelifers who have won themselves a set of 5 Sticky Ties.

They are:

Missy Shenny
Dallas Goh
Snow Snoopy
Shane Zachery Kok

If you have missed out on our previous blog giveaway, fret not as we are currently giving away ToastBox Vouchers that are worth SGD $5. By the way, the ToastBox Vouchers can be utilised at all ToastBox Outlets and with the voucher, you can get yourself a nice breakfast set to kick-off your morning! To stand a chance in winning those vouchers, check out the following link: http://awinsomelife.org/current-blog-giveaway/

Anyway, in January alone, we attended more than 5 events and we received tons of requests for sponsorship write-ups. Well, due to our busy schedule, we might not be able to accommodate all of the requests but nevertheless, we really would like to thank all of our partners for giving us the awesome opportunity to write for them.

Well, today is the first day of the Chinese New Year and I believe many of you should be visiting your relatives and friends and getting Ang Pows too. Therefore, we are also expecting our readership to fall this month as everyone should probably be spending quality time with their family and loved ones. Here’s a gentle reminder for all the guys out there, Valentine’s Day is just 4 days away so don’t forget to plan a really sweet surprise for your other half! 🙂

Anyways, a few weeks ago, Baby and I went to Chinatown and it was really packed with people! Since we didn’t want to visit Chinatown nearing Chinese New Year because of the expected heavy human traffic + road closures, we went earlier but there were still quite a number of people. Although the weather wasn’t fantastic [because it was raining rather heavily], we had quite a fruitful time at Chinatown because we bought a couple of things and discovered some new stuffs that might just interest you. Hence, the remainder of this blog entry would very much be about our recent experience in Chinatown.

While walking along Chinatown, we spotted a couple of stores selling Ang Pows [Red Packets] and some of them were sold for quite a good price. We daresay that the Ang Pows that are being sold now are way better and attractive than when I was a kid.

From Chineses New Year 2013

After purchasing some Ang Pows which we felt were quite cute, we spotted a store that was selling embossed metal plates. Well, we’ve been thinking of how we could “decorate” our car and we actually did considered having customised paint designs but because it was too expensive, we went to search for alternatives. So, when we spotted this particular store, we decided to customised a metal plate to put up at the back of our car because it was really affordable. If you happen to spot our customised metal plate on the roads or just about anywhere, you could snap a picture and post it up on our Facebook Page via the following link: http://www.facebook.com/awinsomelife and you can stand to win a GV Gift Card worth SGD $38! Happy Hunting!

From Chineses New Year 2013

We didn’t know that The Singapore Coins and Notes Museum was in Chinatown [Pagoda Street to be exact] and we popped by to see what they have to offer.

Presenting to you the World Largest Coin which requires two people to carry! The hole in the middle is for a pole to go through so that the coin can be carried on the shoulders of the people carrying it.

From Chineses New Year 2013

The Singapore Coins and Notes Museum also has a coin minting machine which you can try out for SGD $2. All you have to do is just head to the payment counter to purchase a “blank” coin and you will also be given a small gift pouch to put the coin in.

From Chineses New Year 2013

This is the minting machine.

From Chineses New Year 2013

And ta-dah, a newly minted coin which cannot be used for payment but can be kept as a keepsake souvenir.

From Chineses New Year 2013
From Chineses New Year 2013

After spending 15 minutes at the Singapore Coins and Notes Museum, we went on to get a customised Wooden Crafted Seal for me. The seal is done on the spot and takes about 10 minutes.

From Chineses New Year 2013

The Master Carver testing out the seal that he carved for me.

From Chineses New Year 2013

and this is how the “end result” of my seal looks like.

From Chineses New Year 2013

It so happened that on the day we visited Chinatown, it coincided with the Chinatown Lighting Up Ceremony. Well, it was nothing fantastic because the crowds were jostling with one another and the worst thing was, the event started extremely late!

From Chineses New Year 2013

Anyhows, this very much concluded our short day spent at Chinatown.

Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone of you a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!

Stay tuned to more updates from us.

God bless!