Sunday, October 08, 2006
Daze of haze, ride with haste
To Lim Chu Kang, 72 km. The pollutant standard index (PSI) hit 150 yesterday, a nine-year high. Every year, Indonesia clears land with fire, leaving us burning helplessly with rage. But overnight, the PSI drops to 30. Not believing my nose, I message a friend. "Hammer away, dude," is the reply. I waste no time getting on the road. I find a legal trail at Kranji. One stretch is muddy, but looked easy. It was, after all, only 25 m. But things may look easy until you're caught. Mud envelopes my drivetrain and brakes. I can't even clip my pedal in. I explore another trail and head home, my chain squeaking in protest, in vain. With doctor's orders in mind, I eat lightly. That doesn't stop me playing leap frog with a three-water-bottled, long-limbed white man on a Sycip. At a petrol kiosk, a kind man washes off the gunk for me with a water jet. He wouldn't let me do it and I hope my bearings are spared.