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 :)

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

North and south

Tanjung Piai, Johor, Malaysia
Day 1, Good Fri, 137 km. Usually, I pass up the chance to get up before the crack of dawn to cycle. Usually, lying in bed is means more to me than sitting on a little saddle. But I need to "decompress" from my Borneo ride (since I'd headed to work hours after touching down). So I'm up before 5 am, meeting some Bike-Aid friends up north. There are dozens of roadies on the road and I chase after them on my fat tyres just for fun. After crossing the Malaysian border, we head south. As far south one can go on mainland Asia. Complacency hits me. So what that I'm a veteran of solo rides in Cambodia and Borneo. I forget how much water is left in my bottles and I almost run dry. Later on, I get too wet. After laundry wash and a cold shower, we cycle out for a seafood dinner. On the way back, it pours. We wait till it stops, then ride on. The rain ambushes us. Cold, wet but not hungry. 1 out of 3 isn't bad? In over 45,000 km of riding, this is just about my most miserable night. Up till now, I've aimed to be off the road by nightfall.

Day 2, Sat, 122 km. After a heavy breakfast (nasi lemak + nasi goreng for me), we cycle for an hour before stopping for lime juice. We then lunch in the same shop we'd lunched yesterday: the one with the future "Asean scholar",  a little girl who was glued to a computer yesterday. Today, she and her younger sister are helping in the kitchen and serving customers. If they were in Singapore, they'd be learning ballet or bossing the maid around. It rains again. We wait till it lightens then ride, but get "ambushed" again. What a mess, even mud guards on the bicycle in front don't stop the "free flow" of water spraying up at me. We cycle at our own pace, with me leading the sole roadie (the others have touring bikes complete with panniers). Like the story of the tortoise and the hare, we are overtaken when we stop to wait. We go our separate ways; the tourers head inland, we go by the coast. Yet, we meet as if by design. Nice. And custom officers wave us through. Nice.

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