Cycling is like life. Cycling with no goal is meaningless. What meaning is there cycling in circles? Or living aimlessly? Meaning comes from direction and destination. Join me in my life's journey on a mountain bike :)

Blogging since 2003. Thank you for reading :))

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Like the wind

Sembawang, 38 km. Like a bird bolting from a cage, I ride like the wind towards freedom.

Free, beneath the blue sky. Free, no need to pay money: for petrol, tap water or race fees. A roadie passes, I crank up the pace and hang on until he fades into the distance.

Down by the water, I soak in the sights and breeze.

It’s great to be free.

PS: today's ride is double my "usual" distance per ride in the past half year!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Ride and run

Upper Thomson, 15 km. Reduced working hours has increased my energy. Today I run, then I ride. A cyclist in fluorescent yellow overtakes me and we ride like the wind.

Winded, I slow to a crawl up a slope.

A girl jogs past, going faster than me :0 Increased energy my foot?!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Version 3.1

Kelulut Hill, 17 km. My new life, version 3.1, has begun. Instead of working 60-hour weeks ("full time"), I now work part time, which is pretty much some other people's full time. Back to a five day week, something which I used to take for granted.

I realise I've taken many things for granted, even simple things such as being able to drink coffee whenever I want.

I don't know if I'll be back in the saddle as much as I used to before 60-hour weeks, but I find myself exploring again. When I see a sign point to Kelulut Hill, I check it out. Not much of a hill, the name is more picturesque than the place is.

Still, I've not been here before
This is what it's like to explore
Sometimes, there isn't much
Sometimes, there's much more

PS: version 1 started when I left school. Version 2 started when I changed sector. Version 3 is when I changed sector again.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Sep distance: 81 km

Upper Thomson, 22 km. Cyclists are out in force. Not in pelotons (which seems to be a weekend phenomenon) but singly. A guy in running shoes on an old bike overtakes me. I don't mean he's running with his bike; he's riding his bike while wearing running shoes, long tights and shorts.

Going uphill, I ride past him. He sits on my tail and the impromptu race begins. I slow down near traffic lights, then stop. He asks if I train everyday. Every day? No way. I didn't even intend to train today. I'm just riding my bicycle.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Danger girl

Upper Thomson, 23 km. She’s cycling on the pavement along a busy road, one hand on handlebar, the other holding her mobile phone. She’s looking at the phone, its glow lights up her face. Otherwise, no lights. And no protection: no helmet on her head, no gloves on her hands, slippers on her feet.

“So dangerous”, I thought. When accidents happen, there’s sometimes no time to scream. And the “landing gear” tends to be head, hands, feet.

I stop at a red light. “Where are you going?” she yelled. Turns out she's lost, having cycled from Sengkang. Her friend is lost too. They agree where to meet and I lead her there to wait for him. When we stop, she asks why. “Red light,” I reply.

As we wait, we chat. Jessica wants to be an UAV pilot for the military. She seems to think cycling in Cambodia is more dangerous. Having cycled in all three places, I think the risk of accidents is higher at Orchard Road and East Coast Park.

Danger is relative.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Short time, short route

Upper Thomson, 20 km. I used to find this route boring. It's scenic, with the winding road surrounded by trees on either side and occasional non-dangerous wildlife such as monkeys. While there are dangerous drivers, they are few.

I found it boring because the route was short and to stay on it meant loop after loop. Now, as time is short, I take this short route and it is great.

It's marred only by the memory of bumbling bureaucrats who didn't admit they bumbled, much less apologise or make amends.

I sometimes wish I live in another country, where roads, nay, trails, wind through the countryside. Where the only high rises are trees, hills and waterfalls.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Cool night

Upper Thomson, 16 km. Last week, haze fell from the sky. No way I'm going to clog up my lungs. This week, it rains. No matter; I'm not getting fluid in my lungs. Though the road is wet, I head out to listen for silence. Yes, the mysterious click is still gone. I’m glad the mystery is solved.

It is cool after the rain. Though it is Sunday night and Monday morning is hours away, I see three other cyclists on the road. And a wild boar.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

"Elementary, my dear Watson"

Aug distance: 57 kn

Upper Thomson, 16 km.  After weeks of suffering and wondering what caused my bike to click on pedal downstrokes, I finally found out.

What it wasn't:

  • seatpost or seat; 
  • fork
  • headset.

If it was so, there'd be clicking even as I coasted over bumps.

It wasn't:

  • chainrings, bolts seemed tight
  • bearings; there was no "play" in the crank
  • crankarms; bolts were tight
  • chain. This was a major suspect, as I'd botched up installation. But it wasn't, as I'd lubed it, and the links weren't stiff. 

What ut was ... the right pedal. There are reasons why it couldn't have been, so it was the last thing I checked. As Sherlock Holmes said, "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth".

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Double click

Upper Thomson, 25 km. First, it was one click. Now, with each pedal downstroke, there are two clicks. A properly functioning computer mouse must double click. A smoothly functioning bicycle does not single click, much less double click.

The sound, while small, is ominous. There is no play in my cranks. So what is malfunctioning, such that single click has become double?

Sunday, August 07, 2016

By the numbers

Upper Thomson, 16 km. In the past, as I cycle, I’d think about km, km/h, hours, minutes, even calories. This evening, I’m preoccupied by ROI, PE ratio, payout ratio, yield.

If I make the numbers, I can do more km and think about the other numbers!