Sat-Sun 11-12 Oct
To Orchard Road, 26 km. We don't actually go anywhere, but it's a moving experience. Wendy Chan and friends spin 24 hours on stationery bicycles off Orchard Road to raise funds for Children's Cancer Foundation. Time crawls; I spin for what seems to be a long time, look at my watch ... only five minutes have passed. Butt hurts from the saddle; left knee hurts too. And the guys in front of me start eating brownies. Aaargh! I pedal two hours non-stop from 1.10-3.10 am, then seize a brownie as compensation.
Well, I can choose to get off this ride. Cancer patients and their caregivers don't have the choice of getting off their life's journey as they please. I manage to last two hours because I cycle from song to song on my radio. I guess that's how I'll go through life - choose the right frequency, then go from one song to another. If there's a song I don't like, I just wait it out. Companionship keeps me going too. I'm glad to see my friends there; we didn't arrange it as such, but there are cyclists from togoparts and BOAC. Thank God for friends - Wendy's Bike-Aid pals are there and they liven things up so much. One of the girls is so happy, going on and on, smiling like the bunny on Wendy's bike. As for me, I get back on the bicycle to keep warm, as it's been pouring rain. Thank God for strangers too. A lecturer from UK, currently lecturing at Singapore Polytechnic, rides a unicycle and distributes flyers. He comes back during the graveyard shift and plays the sax for a few hours to keep us going. I think about work on Monday morning and scoot off at 6.30 am, after having spent six hours on site. It's raining, it's cold and I want to crawl into my warm bed.
In a press interview, Wendy is quoted as saying after a tragedy: "Nothing made sense in my life except for cycling ... all I could do was cycle." I guess that's why I'm so demented and desperate about cycling. Wendy and friends raise $10,000 for charity. This is my third charity thingy (#1 being Project Care, #2 being NPCC round island); since I have to ride, might as well clock up some $ besides km.
Wendy calls herself a young urban fiscal failure. I wonder how many fiscally successful have friends like her Bike-Aid pals, and strangers who just show up to give up their time, sweat and sleep to support her.
Tech note Earlier today, I tour a few bikeshops in Tampines. I blunder across one after getting lost - lo and behold, I see two Iron Horses ... one of them is a titanium frame for $1,500. An XT-equipped version would cost abut $2,800. Hmm, should I abandon my old horse for a new one? What is a bike anyway; a tool to be sacrificed in the name of performance? Or part of me - a semi-living thing that should be nursed along in recognition of faithful service? Surely, some things do matter in life? Just look at the bikes of the Bike Aiders. Some of them have machines more venerable and heavier than mine, yet look at the mileage they log.