Monday, September 21, 2009
Tuas, 112 km. I never thought I'd fight the urge to cycle. First I read, then I lunch, then look for excuses. For an hour, I look at a weather map to see where rain falls and figure out where the wind blows. The odds are 1/4 cardinal points that I won't get wet. Excuses, excuses. When the sun is out, it's too hot. If it's overcast, it might rain. So I ride. As far west, as far south as I can, till the road runs out. I marvel at compact Singapore. North is Sungei Buloh nature reserve, where migrating birds stop. South is an industrial complex. Here, I almost collide with a dragonfly. In both places, wide, empty spaces. Should've brought my camera. It's cloudy. When the sun peeks out, hues of orange and pink burst out. Instead of snapping photos, something else snaps: my sunglasses. It stays on my face anyway. A car (in the wrong lane) nearly hits me. Later on, another car hangs back to let me get in lane. How quickly the weather changes. I keep above my cruising speed but the sky opens 30 minutes before I get home. Rain stings, brakes barely work. I can barely see; no wipers on glasses. I remove them; the first time I cycle with contact lenses and no eye protection. Water gushes by the roadside. I get wetter than at Timor river crossing. I'm glad I didn't bring my camera. And the pouring rain has washed away the encrusted Timor dirt from my bike.