Last weekend we were brave… very brave, and set out on bicycle for an adventure at Sentosa. Cycling in Singapore is not for the faint of heart or anyone uninitiated to city traffic and driving on the left side of the road. Having cycled for almost twenty years now, even I was a bit hesitant to hit the road in a place not particularly known for its cycling sensibility. But if you’re gonna do it, you gotta own it. Get out there, use your hand signals, use crosswalks if necessary, stop if you’re scared, take up the whole damn car lane if you need to and always give way to city buses. They can take you out in a simple left turn. So off we went and I did all of the above, and it was pretty not bad for our first outing.

The freedom of a bicycle is one of the great things in life. The wind in your hair, the ability to veer off whenever and wherever you desire, and the exhilarated feeling you have when you’re done… also great things. We took full advantage of our freedom to roam — we blew past the security gates at Sentosa and made our way to the path along the water’s edge. Mr. Producer calls it the Singapore Rim Trail — an ode to the  Tahoe Rim Trail. We’ve traded rocky, steep mountain biking for flat, hot, easy riding along the edge of an Asian country.

And then suddenly you find yourself in the middle of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous — yachts and homes of notable size all around. This part of Sentosa is an enclave of gated residential housing not too unlike what you’d see in Malibu. Massive homes stand side-by-side (right next to the bike path) overlooking the water, in every style and material imaginable. The palette of architecture, colors and materials is actually quite compelling and fun to see in this environment that’s so unlike anywhere we’ve lived before.

Like any neighborhood, some homes are being lived in, others are vacant, some are under construction, some are ugly and some are inspiring.

With each home trying to maximize its square footage on its site, there’s not much room for articulation and seamless transitions into the landscape. Each home pretty well gobbles up its space and makes a big statement in one way or another — no shortage of character here.

It all makes for a dreamy ride on the water as you pick which home you’d most like to call your own (there’s even one with an elephant in the yard from the Elephant Parade). And you can end the ride with a beer at the beach at the opposite end of Sentosa, which is way less expensive than living here.

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