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 :))

Friday, November 27, 2009

Face fate

Nov distance: 255 km

Woodlands, 51 km. I'm almost whacked by a cab as I leave the carpark. I yell once, steel still comes. I yell again and swerve, cabbie waves apologetically. Better than waving goodbye. I go off the beaten track, to places which I've passed by but never looked. Lighting flashes, thunder rumbles. I tempt fate and keep exploring. I think I can get away with it, but I'm wrong. The drizzle turns into a down pour. I sit and wait. A foreign worker stops at the bus stop and talks to me. "Water?" He asks if that's gotten into my camera. "Monkey," he says, pointing across the road. Two of them walk on the railings, then sit side by side. Companionship. A lorry passes, packed at the back to the gills with foreign workers clutching black dustbin liners, that flap in the wind and glisten in the rain. It's their only protection against the elements.

At least, I get to stop at a bus stop, with a roof over my head. The down pour turns into a drizzle. I wave goodbye to foreign worker and ride off into the sunset. A car turns into my right of way. With my wet rims and brake blocks, I can barely stop. The car stops. I go on living.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trouble comes in threes

Sembawang, 65 km.
First, I rush out of the house and forget my sunblock. Go back and get it? Forget it. Second, I get "bombed" by a bird. The bird crap is so close to my nose I can smell it (the crap, not the nose; though my nose smells, it has no smell). Third, while dismounting, I scratch my top tube with my cleats. Ugh, such a newbie mistake. Ugh, what an ugly scratch.

But good things happen too. Despite massive floods a few days ago where cars drowned (and no one did) in a "once in 50 years" phenomenon (so says the Minister for Environment, today is cloudy yet sunny. I dont' get sunburned. My fellow cyclist leaves the start point but sees me and comes back for me (I'm a minute late because I stop to wash off bird crap and my bike isn't stolen in the process). And we ride so slowly, I see things I might not have noticed.

Like passing over 50 Suzuki Swifts parked by the road, colour coordinated (black, red, yellow and white parked based on colour - I'm going so slow I can count them). Like how tree-tops mirror clouds; when trees line both sides of the road, the tree-tops frame either side of the puffy clouds. Clusters of green cloud-like leaves and "cotton wool" clouds of white.

Friday, November 20, 2009


On my bike I ride
The miles pass, my heart is light
And my world feels right

Ode to my bike

Your frame supports me
Your wheels transport me
When I feel blue
Riding you sets me free

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Sembawang, 42 km. It's been overcast almost all day. I sneak out hoping the rain won't fall. I wander about, checking out the promising places I'd passed before. Everyone of them peters out. As I turn back on an abandoned road covered with dead leaves and branches, the ground shifts, my bicycle stalls and I fall gently - on broken glass. Fortunately, no blood is shed. Why would anyone put glass out in the wild? It's not like it's a dump. As dusk falls, the rain drops fall. I speed. Fortunately, it remains a drizzle. I also avoid a fountain of blood as I filter past two lanes that lead to an expressway. Like a miracle, the traffic just cleared in time for me to get in lane. Light rain and suddenly, light traffic. Wow ...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Same route, different thoughts

Woodlands, 48 km. I've been cycling north for the past few weeks. Surprisingly, I'm not bored yet. Though the route is with little variation, my thoughts seem different. I used to rue living here. This time of the year ("winter"), it tends to rain. And this island is so small; just 120 km to ride around it. I'd wished I lived in US (where I can ride to different states) or in Europe (where I can cycle to different countries). Having watched a documentary about ice storms and snow, I realise I took for granted I can cycle most days of the year here, even if I need to fly to ride further distances. As I cycle home, I happen to turn my head and see the sunset as a huge orange poised above a train track. Nice ... I open my eyes, see what I can see. And don't take sight for granted either :)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Last night, this morning

Woodlands, 49 km. Last night, the thunder rumbled and the rain poured. Some streets were flooded. At least one car stalled. Some firemen removed a manhole cover and a 1-meter water gushed up. This morning, I hurried to ride under the cloudy sky, anxious to finish the ride, to be wet only with sweat pouring down, not rain. Also in a hurry is a taxi-driver inching out from a side road. He stops, I go since I have right of way. He moves. I yell twice and brake ... unable to stop before him, I end up in front of the taxi. He stops a handwidth away from me. He waves apologetically. What if he'd hit me while I was riding and the impact hurls me onto oncoming traffic. My poor bike might be irreparably damaged and so might I. Still, having had such a close call after so many km on the road isn't bad, is it? I cycle on. As I pass familiar sights, I realise they look better because I'm wearing sunglasses. They make colours richer. Without them, objects are washed out in the harsh sunlight. Illusion, or just prudence? If looking through coloured lenses makes things look better and help prevent cataracts, surely looking at life differently helps too?