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 :))

Monday, June 28, 2010

Laws of cycling irony

Jun distance: 201 km

Woodlands, 50 km. When I awake, the wind blusters and rain pelts down. I head back to sleep. When I open my eyes again, the sun beats down. As I head out the door, there's a feathery drizzle over here. But over there in the distance, I see blue sky. It's safe to ride - weather-wise.

It's dangerous to ride traffic-wise. At a X-junction, a car from the opposite direction turns right across my downhill path. The driver might as well have stopped and opened his door to let me in. I brake and yell. At a T-junction, a driver slips his car out from the side road in slow motion. That's driving dangerously cautiously. I brake and yell. At another X-junction, another driver does the same as the other drivers: when a cyclist is with a red bicycle and red jersey, the light is no longer green in the cyclist's favour, but red. As I go down another hill, a car meanders in front of me across three lanes to turn right. I'm so astounded, the sight takes my breath away.

Here are my "laws of cycling irony". #1: when traffic going in cycling direction is light, braking is heavy. Conversely, if traffic is heavy, braking is light. If vehicles (or better yet, a big truck) is beside cyclist, would drivers have pulled the stunts they did? Probably not. If they did, it wouldn't be cyclist in car. It would be car in truck. #2: when traffic is heavy and pollution is high, cyclist breathing is easier as no yelling of warnings are needed. The slipstream is akin to drafting too, hence less effort expended. #3: it is safer to ride in heavy traffic (heading in cycling direction); even if drivers coming from the other way don't see / ignore cyclist, traffic in cycling direction would plough into errant vehicle before cyclist does, push errant vehicle forward and give hapless cyclist more braking distance.

I've read and heard warnings about Vietnam traffic. I wonder if it's worse than Singapore drivers. Four near misses in 50 km is awesomely awful. Well, I'll find out for myself at year's end.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Do you C?

Woodlands, 47 km. What a week. I get my bonus letter, which means there'll be more Cash in the bank. I do wish I've more, but Circumstances have changed. On 15 Jun, my Cat died. The same day, Cross pen with sentimental value "died". The next day, CD player died.  The thing is, things can usually be replaced (except those with sentimental value). I wait and wait till Sunday comes and I Cycle. My heart isn't really in it, but I Concentrate on my form as I ride the Circuit. Then stop for lunch at the usual place. Courage. C'est la vie.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Same same but different

Woodlands, 54 km. I've been cycling this same route for months. While the route is the same, things are different. i) The soundtrack in my head is different; Abba is playing; classic rock fan has turned popped :o ii) Traffic, while light, is also different. I used to be able to charge up the hill to one of Singapore's most haunted places; today, a truck comes downhill while a family on wheels (pa is on a bicycle, kid scoots about on a scooter) crosses the junction. I also have to pedal furiously ahead of a bendy-bus to get in the right lane of a 4-lane road. iii) A roadie overtakes me and I give chase. I pull into a bus bay and pull ahead; roadie charges on. As we head towards a collision, I throttle back to let him pass. iv) I have a new toy on my stem: a new camera. Actually, not all that new; an impulse buy of a display set that has a scratch on the case and fingerprints all over the LCD screen. iv) I make a detour into a waterfront. Formerly an industrial workplace, it is now a playground.

If things feel the same and you want change, look for what's different. If things are different and you want continuity, look for the same.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

It's about time

Woodlands, 50 km. Rubber time: I usually cycle in the morning but it pours so I adopt couch potato mode: sit on couch and eat potato chips. Time has come: as time passes, the urge to cycle gets stronger and I get ready to ride. Waste of time: the inner tube I patched, is leaking again. It’s not like it sprang a new hole while stationary and why is my fat tyre so puncture prone nowadays? Ample time: what’s the hurry, cyclists don’t have to ride through red lights. When the light turns green, it’s sprint training! Pressed for time: a driver overtakes me on the right then veers into my lane to turn left. Any closer and I would’ve been pressed against the car.

Time’s up: for the little snake whose belly is split wide open on the road. Keeping time: with a roadie, until Overtime, when my cardiovascular system feels like overload. Nick of time: a driver honks angrily. I look behind over my right shoulder. "What's up man?" I wonder. Then I look ahead and realise another cyclist has overtaken me on my left and is now in front of me. I spot him just in time. He must've done the same to the driver behind me. Dinner time: at a well-reviewed western foodstall in a coffeeshop. Actually, the steak wasn’t that great.  Any time you feel like adding to this list of time, be my guest, please comment :)