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, May 31, 2009


May distance: 456 km

Woodlands, 49 km. Beyond the big stone blocks lies a forest. Birds chirp. Leaves flutter. Shadows wave. A big open space, with walls several stories high. On the ground, some rotting wooden pallets. Bits of balloon, with ribbon trailing behind. What lay here before, a factory? A staircase without railings rises to another open space. Once useful, once noisy with clomping feet, now silent. Whatever value it created, whatever lives worked here, who knows? Whither have they gone? For better or worse? Does it matter?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bucking with the Broncos

Mandai, 36 km. The road seemed interesting, made entirely of debris. No "protected area" sign. I clamber over a fallen tree with my bicycle, enticed further in. Alas, round the bend, it's a dead end. This time, I slide my bike beneath the tree trunk instead of over it. I'm ready for a boring ride, but I'm surprised. Thrice. #1: back on the road, up ahead are two transporters with two armoured Broncos each. I sprint to catch up and manage to do so only at traffic lights. The leviathans seem to levitate. In their slip stream, at 47 km/h, I give up the ghost. #2: some roadies overtake me. Absolute performance takes over: fat tyres vs slicks, mountain bike vs road bike, aluminium vs carbon. The leap frog begins, I overtake, you overtake, until I break right at a junction. #3: three vehicles overtake me, two of them trucks, challenging "touch me if you can". Woah, I don't know you, please stay more than an arm's length away...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Whither the weather?

Woodlands, 48 km. The biker sits on his bike, then looks up in disbelief. The sun shines, the sky rains. As I look on, I too am confounded. I wait two hours, hooked on the "now cast" to figure out the driest route. When the rain stops, I start. I can't control the weather or what life throws at me, though planning helps. My route plan works; the only water that falls on me is from the road below. Still, nice things can happen unexpectedly. #1: resting pulse rate 60 beats per minute. How did that happen, I resumed running only this week after a five week "injury" break. #2: my wrist, which I hurt on a ride about seven months ago, is much better. The long Batu Pahat ride last week must've helped "massage" it. #3: my tyre patch holds though I'd ripped it off and glued it back on.
PS: on last week's ride, there were three police checkpoints around Skudai. Did that have anything to do with the arrest of Mas Selamat, who was caught in the area last month.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Gone solo

Fri-Sat 1-2 May
Batu Pahat, 323 km.
Day 1: Ride with abandon. There's supposed to be at least eight of us but the organisers abandon their own ride. That doesn't leave me all packed with no where to go, no way. I head for Batu Pahat, my first since Jan 07. A solo roadie passes me and I pass three mountain bikers heading for Kukup. The rolling hills near the end of the ride are tedious but keep the ride more interesting than the boring straight roads enroute. It is hard labour on Labour Day. 161 km is over my limit for a mental-strain free ride. At Batu Pahat, most shops are closed. I thirst. Guardian saves me with provisions. Loud singing from outside troubles me not as I plan a 9.5 hour siesta.

Day 2: Go away to come home. Obstacle #1: breakfast on peanuts (and I don't mean my salary) since Guardian sells no bread. #2: going down four flights of steps with fully-loaded bike. #3: a gate that locks me in the guesthouse. All surmounted. I tax my limited repertoir of songs in my head. I even keep my mind blank but there's too "static". Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" it is. Malaysia is big, unlike tiny Singapore which bulldozes a national icon for motorists to save mere minutes. A dirty drizzle starts. I dodge puddles that may cover subterranean caverns. This is getting old. I'm getting old. I cycle under a cloud. My feet are clammy and wrinkled. That's better than the tortoise in crawl posture in death with a tyre-sized hole in its shell. Or the bloated cat with guts trailing. Or the snake, monitor lizard, chicken and assorted mangled-beyond-recognition road kill. Trucks pass me at unfriendly distances. A lady brazens her way from a minor road to test my reaction. A petrol kiosk owner asks me where I'm from and says I'm crazy. When he finds out I'm solo, he says "even crazier". Indeed. I get home without map or compass. Am I glad to see Singapore.