Did you know that there is a mountain bike park in Singapore that meets international standards for mountain biking competitions? It is none other than Ketam Mountain Bike Park, situated on the Western end of Pulau Ubin.
Whether you are an avid mountain biker or a leisure cyclist who would love to try mountain biking, Ketam Mountain Bike Park offers picturesque views of Pulau Ubin. You can check out grass meadows, amazing views of the quarry and just soak in the natural terrain.
Here are 5 noteworthy things about Ketam Mountain Bike Park for you to plan your next adventure.
Pulau Ubin Mountain Bike Park with IMBA ratings
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Ketam Mountain Bike Park was built on a disused quarry site, rehabilitated by NParks through planting many trees and shrubs. A mountain biking park was developed and constructed with regards to International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) standards. The Singapore Amateur Cycling Association was also consulted in its design. Tracks are rated based on IMBA ratings.
Since Ketam Mountain Bike Park was built around Ketam Quarry, expect rarely seen views of the quarry and admire the reflections of the skies onto the water.
Always be properly geared before going on an off-road trail.
Only the earth track (gravel) is suitable for leisure cycling or novice cyclists. (see map below)
For those attempting the mountain bike trails, regardless of level of difficulty, do have the following gears:
A good mountain bike, test it before riding (rental of mountain bikes start from $16 per day),
- A helmet
- Knee and elbow pads
- Gloves to prevent blistering
- Lots of fluids
- Insect repellent and sunblock
- Snacks for energy
Ketam Mountain Bike Park Trails for Beginners and Experienced Riders
Ketam Mountain Bike Park caters to cyclists of different skill levels with Blue Square trails for beginners, Black Diamond trails for middle-skilled cyclists while Double Black Diamond trail is for seasoned mountain bikers.
It take 2 to 3 hours to complete all the trails which stretch for 10km in the 45-hectare park.
We tried the Blue Square trails – there were altogether seven relatively short trails. Since both my companions and I had never gone mountain-biking, we decided to go slow and try out one before proceeding with the rest. In our experience, Blue Grass trail was the easiest, with Grassy Knoll providing a lovely ride through the tall grasses, while Pine Ride slightly more challenging with a few drop-offs challenging enough to make us dismount.
If really in doubt, it is safer to dismount and push.
The Blue Square trails had a combination of steep slopes, narrow track with poor traction.
Black Diamond trails have long steep climbs, drop-offs and tricky obstacles while Double Black Diamond trails have very steep climbs, drop-offs, sharp corners and tricky obstacles.
German Girl Shrine
One of the sights in Pulau Ubin is located at Ketam Mountain Bike Park – German Girl Shrine. This small temple is devoted to the worship of the German girl, rumoured to have fallen off a cliff during World War 1 when her family was captured by the British soldiers.
However, there are several gaps in this story. The numbers 1896 suggested that she might have died before the war, while a similar story “Puteri Jawa” that tells of a Javanese princess who fled to Singapore might be the “girl” being worshipped instead.
Also, upon further research, there had been no evidence to suggest a German family living there in the relevant time period.
If you see the pile of rocks across the entrance of the little shrine, that was supposedly the rocks from the same quarry the “German girl” fell from. Runaway Javanese princess or “German girl” – this is a mystery we might never uncover since the original urn with ashes were stolen from the shrine.
Other Facilities at Ketam MTB Park: Shelters, Lookout Points and Freeride Park
There are other facilities that cyclists can enjoy at the park – shelters, viewpoints and a freeride park for practising obstacles.
One rest spot that we recommend visiting is located at the Ubin Straits trail overlooking the Ubin Straits. You can see a tiny island called Pulau Ketam too from this spot. This is also relatively near Peranjak Hut where we saw a little snake that slithered away quite promptly upon our arrival.
The Grassy Knoll trail also brought us to the Layang Layang trail great for spotting birds like the Pacific Swallow. The lush habitat is also home to many species of wildlife, attracting birds like the Red-wattled Lapwing and Baya Weaver previously not found on Ubin.
A little distance from the Grassy Knoll and Pine Ride is a wide path leading to a lookout point below a slope overlooking the Ketam Quarry. It is worth a stop as it was just breathtaking to soak in the tranquillity and views.
Ketam Mountain Bike Park – Playground for Cyclists
Take your two wheels to Ketam Mountain Bike Park for a fun ride. Remember safety first, check all your gear and enjoy your adventure. It will definitely be an uphill task, but a wonderful sweat out.