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 :))

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fast and furious

Seletar, 45 km. This residential area, with names like Picadilly Circus, used to be a quiet, idyllic place to cycle. It also has an airport.

Besides the airport, the area is increasingly more and more an aerospace hub, with Airbus and other giants here. The aircraft traffic is still light, but road traffic is heavy: fast and furious.

Cycling here would be hair raising, but for the helmet I am wearing.

Cycling here used to have the thrill of speed without traffic lights.
It's a good place to train. Now, the thrill is filtering without being killed by speeding traffic.

Top right, 2011: it used to be a path, leading to wooden houses with zinc roofs. The only things buzzing around were mosquitoes.
Bottom left, 2014: construction for buzzing traffic.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Excuses and reasons

Add some colour to grey
Seletar, 41 km. I knew I should ride yesterday. The sky was clear, I’d eaten too. But instead of burning fuel, I stayed home. My excuse: I stabbed my hand last week. It still hurt and hurting hands don’t go with handlebars. Wait till Sunday.

Today is Sunday. Dark clouds are overhead, so I shouldn’t ride. But I need to train for my charity ride. Otherwise, I’ll suffer and worse, get a “DNF” (ok I exaggerate, such status is given only during races and this isn’t a race).

Well, since I have a reason to ride, that beats any excuse. I look at the weather app, see where the clouds have been going with the wind, and ride.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Life happened

Pasir Ris, 31 km. It looked like it was going to be a dark and stormy night: dark clouds hang overhead, thunder rumbles. I even see lightning flash in front of me. What a great reason to stay home. But I ride.

I'd signed up for a charity ride. That leaves me four weeks to train.

How things have changed. In the past, I'd have trained for months. Now, barely a month. In the past I'd grab every opportunity to ride. Now, I grab every excuse not to ride. I even thought of doubling running and stop riding.

How big would've the change been? In the past, I blog only after cycling. Now, I was going to blog without cycling.

What's happening? Life happened: there are physiological, psychological and preferences changes.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Days gone by, place gone by

Apr distance: 64 km

Woodlands, 45 km. The rain has stopped. Dark clouds are still overhead. In the past months, that’s a good reason to stay home. But today, I want to ride. I’m off to see a place before it gets torn down: Woodlands Point.

To be here used to mark the start of adventures across the border, into the great beyond. We'd wait here, outside McDonald's, till everyone was here, then we'd ride over there.

Malaysia was the great big yonder. I've spent many happy hours there years ago, cycling with new friends, exploring, eating and talking.

Those days are pretty much gone.

And this place will be gone too.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Then and now

19 km, Upper Thomson. Over 71,500 km on the road. Assuming an average speed of 20 km/h, that's over 3,500 hours on the road. Only 19 km today. Still, it’s been 15 years since I started serious riding. So much has changed, when I look back at how I started, and now. A newbie then, riding some km for a lark, with inferior equipment. Jaded now, riding some km with superior equipment.

But still riding :p

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Due process

Mar distance: 51 km

Buangkok, 18 km. My bicycle has been squeaking. As usual, I wondered at the multitude of things that could be loose. This time, I didn’t quite bother to troubleshoot what the problem was. I lubricated the chain though, because it was on schedule (in terms of km since the last lubrication). And presto, silent service from my bicycle.

That’s the wonderful thing about processes. Follow them, and things tend to work out without undue fuss.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Chore and bore

Buangkok, 33 km. Cycling is starting to feel like a chore all over again. If the roads were long and the scenery nice, I could happily head out and ride long. Instead, I stop ever so often at traffic lights and shake my head now at then at dangerous and oblivious drivers. Dangerously boring?

So why do I still ride? Because of "use it or lose it": health is important (provided I don't get maimed or killed on the road), and i want to maintain my base for a charity ride coming up.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

5,000 km

Feb distance: 62 km
Buangkok, 25 km. Matt Black has covered 5,000 km. Is that a lot? That depends. Compared to what and to whom? Yesterday, I met some people I used to cycle with. All but one have stopped riding. So 5,000 would be a long distance, especially when compared to the 62 km I cycled the entire month. That’s like an average of 2 km per day!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Same route, different life

Life has twists and turns, unlike this road
Sembawang, 37 km. My life used to be predictable. While daily stresses vary, they’d be from a
defined range and the overall pattern of my life would be identical. For instance, I’d work in the same company year in, year out. And I’d ride (and run) the same range of routes year in, year out.

In 2016, I changed career and industry. Through sheer exhaustion, I barely rode or run, until I changed employment terms.

In 2017, the first working day, 3 Jan, was also my last working day. A few weeks later, I start work in a new industry (again), and a new level of stress. The hours are long and so is the commute. I barely ride or run.

Until today, one month after my last ride. What hasn’t changed is the same range of routes: this country is just sooo small.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

No traffic, no traffic lights

Jan distance: 716 km

Punggol, 35 km. I’m supposed to go for a walk with friends today. But it became a solo ride when one of them calls in sick at 4 am.

The weather is cool, the roads almost empty. Rather than let the time go to waste, I go ride. At one point, there are more cyclists on the road than cars. I’m overtaken by a mini velo. I want one of them for travelling. It should be able to fit into a standard suitcase and taxi.

At Seletar, I reminisce about riding abroad: cool weather, cool sights, no traffic and no traffic lights.

This ride serves another purpose: if my bicycle was damaged during the trip from Myanmar, I'll know and will claim insurance.