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 :)

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Goodbye. Again

Tampines, 32 km. I heard it's gone, but I want to see it for myself. When the rain stops, I head out.
The road is still slick from rain and water sprays up. And down. It pours again. I haven't cycled in the rain for so long. I'm resigned to it.

When I reach the Tampines trail, I see it is indeed gone. I was here while it was being upgraded for the inaugural Youth Olympics. The place where I've explored and races several times is flat. It'll become yet another housing estate.

This is the place where I had fun and fear. My worse crash. Bicycle races, joy rides and a cross country race on foot.

Now it is gone. Flattened for flats. Goodbye.

This is a year of goodbyes. Some good, as in good riddance. Some bad, as in sad.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Looking back

Nov distance: 125 km

Sembawang, 38 km. I use my Matt Black beauty for a short commute today. And my Little Red Tank to for a joy ride. I used to look forward to cycling. Then I had to almost force myself to ride. Today is the former. I just have to cycle, and cycle I did, to the coast, to gaze at the water and the other, big country across the straits.

As I cycle there, I have flash backs of the wonderful times on my travels.

That other country is in dire straits, with two aircraft downed inexplicably.

I'm in dire straits too. Again. As I look back at my life, wow, I've gone through a lot. I'm no strawberry. I can take this.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Surprise, surprise

Around my home, 25 km. Surprise surprise. Rainfall is unusually high this month, but it doesn't rain
this evening. And I feel inclined to cycle, to explore.

I see an old lady along a deserted trail. I ask her for directions. She goes up, I go the opposite way. I didn't know the path will lead me past six dogs.

I quickly get off to walk and push my bicycle, hoping the mutts would mistake me for an old lady.

Surprise, surprise.

They leave me alone.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

See the light

Around my home, 19 km. It's drizzling, but I head out to cycle. I've been cooped up all day, and getting out would be good for me.

While drops fall and the sky above is dark, I see light surround the dark clouds. I head east and tool about.

I don't have to let the rain, nor darkness, get to me.

PS: this is my 700th post. But who's counting? In 2003, each month's post could comprise several rides!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Interpretations

Around my home, 20 km. I see a house in its original condition, dwarfed by two bigger buildings on either side. One set of facts, two different interpretations.
Standing true to one's roots, or standing in the way of progress?

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Chicken and egg

Around my home, 23 km.

Should I ride? Depends on where I want to go.

Where do I want to go? Depends on whether I want to ride.

Shall I decide where to go while riding? ok.

There, that wasn't so difficult, was it?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lingering problems

Oct distance: 123 km

Mandai, 38 km. I head back to dog territory, to ride up that hill I'd run up five weeks ago. I ask a jogger stretching at the entrance of the park connector. He says there are no dogs, just monkeys.

On that narrow road, with jungle on either side, I'd have nowhere to go if dog shoots out from the undergrowth; I won't be able to, uh, side step it.

No dogs, just monkeys. One of them monkeys about with a big yellow plastic bag.

Up the hill I go, which I ran up a month ago for my ultramarathon. I survey the scene below me, which includes a cat-shaped kite which flies itself (it is tethered to the ground, with no kite-flyer in sight) and people flying real life parakeets.

I thought my legs were ok after a month of rest, but no. They acted up when i did an easy hour-long run. And they hurt today on my ride. Time to get my legs repaired!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dodging dog

Seeing red in the grey sky
Mandai, 33 km. After the rain stops, I start. Up the slopes where I ran weeks ago, to where the black dog lurks. My feet on my pedals, my heart in my mouth, I charge down the road, eyes peeled for black death lunging at me. It is neither seen nor heard.

The evening sky brightens with a flash. Lighting. I cycle up the highest point of a hill, as lighting flashes in the distance while dark clouds hang over my head. I survey the scene below me, then hurtle down, past black dog's turf. Well, I hope you're gone for good.

I headed out when the rain stopped, but feathery drops brush my face now. The road is wet on the return leg. So it rained while I was away. Great. I'm coming down with a cold, so please don't drench me. I'm not in the mood for it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Long haul

Around my home, 20 km. Things have been falling from the sky. First, dust particles aka haze. And the sky is rumbling today, which means rain is on the way. I head out anyway. Not on my new toy, but my nine-year old bicycle.

It's funny how having a gleaming new toy has made me more interested in cycling. And not with my new toy, but with you. I suppose most people would've cast you aside after putting down good money on something new. But I wouldn't have sought out something new, if I was sure you weren't going to break down and leave me stranded thousands of miles away from home. Or worse, break and get me maimed or killed.

Because old is gold. And silver? Fortunate babies are born with silver spoons. And those who live long enough, get silver-haired.

Nine years, almost 43,000 km. What a journey! Few things (or relationships) last that long.

Back home, I unscrew you and lube your shifters after the grease in you got gummy. The way I've been doing for sometime, to restore you, so that we can click together.

I've looked after you, and you've looked after me. But I know you're weary. While I can fix some things, like lube and replace an exploding rim, what can I do about your very soul, your frame?

Sunday, October 05, 2014

In the long run

Explore new places with an old bicycle
Mandai, 32 km. I've cycled over 64,000 km and my weekly distances are falling with a big thump like big durians from tall trees. Just 20-30 km per week?! I used to cycle that distance for road tests of new equipment.

Today, I don't have to psycho myself to head out.

Two reasons:
a. to cycle down memory lane, part of the route of my longest run ever. 101 km. Did I really do it? Yeah!
b. rekindled the joy of cycling. I have a new (spare) bike. Little Red Tank,  meet Matt Black.

Matt Black
It's just a couple of weeks old. I navigated it safely home through harrowing traffic then scratched it; gouged the crank arm through urban offroad.

Today, I cycle Tank. Soon, my dear machine, your wheels will no longer spin safely and your shifters, already failing, will no longer click.