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, October 30, 2011

Something is better than nothing

Oct distance: 254 km

Mandai, 41 km. I don't feel like cycling today. Instead, I pay off the sleep deficit that built up over the work week. Morning turns to noon turns to dusk. The tension between slacking and cycling reaches tipping point; I push my bicycle out. It's only when I'm on the road that I realise, in the fuss to light up like a Christmas tree, I've left my water bottle behind.

There's a water cooler in a park, so I head there. A mom is scolding her kid. "No dinner for you!" she barks. The kid whines, says she'll never do it (whatever that was) again and mom, her voice melting, says "I forgive you".

Traffic is heavy, it's dinner time. A few other cyclists are out too, their lights blinking like twinkling stars. A roadie is behind me. I pedal hard. I hear creaking. "He's behind me," so I pedal harder. When I look back, no one's there. It's just my saddle creaking and my imagination. Time for some attitude adjustment.

At the start of the ride, all I had in mind was perhaps 25 km instead of the usual 50. Unless I'm leaping across a gorge and fall short, something is better than nothing and a short ride is better than no ride. And once the wheels get rolling, it's easier to keep going. It starts by getting the bicycle out the door :p

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dead end

Changi, 59 km. Far north, it's rained so hard in the Land of Smiles, no one is smiling. It rains here too, but there's no flood. When the rain stops, the cycling starts. As it's late in the day, I intend to cycle just 40 km and be home before sunset. On a whim, I turn where I've not turned before and keep going until I don't know where I am.

The only guide is my compass, a tiny thumbnail-sized thing that guides my Little Red Tank and me. Heading east takes me to a familiar road. A dog trots behind a pedestrian, spots me and locks on, barking. I yell at it. It's not alone. Another mutt keeps pace to my left, barking. I wouldn't be able to move my legs and bark like it does.

Again, I turn where I've not turned before and end up in a dead end - a gate that leads to the biggest airport here. A girl in a dress is there. Why? As I u-turn and pass her, I tell her she's headed for a dead end. "I know," she smiles. She's carrying a big camera. So, I'm dressed up, she wears a dress. I sit on my toy, she swings it in her hand. I get accosted by dogs, she might meet wolves in men's clothing. I explore more dead ends. She seems to be doing the same. But since she's now in a residential area, I reckon she's safe and I head home - getting somewhat lost in this unfamiliar place. Again, my little compass, velcroed onto my handlebar points me home.

A little magnetism goes a long way.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Keep things fresh

File photo
Seletar, 42 km. Instead of cycling the usual northern loop (which I claim solely for myself since I've never seen any cyclist do the entire loop), I head to the northeast corner of this little island.

The little town I cycle in, with its own Picadilly Circus, has changed a lot. Some winding roads have become dead-ends, all boarded up. New, wide roads have been built. But still, it's a place for planes, as it has been since last century. Amidst change, there is continuity, amidst continuity, there is change.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Escape velocity

Woodlands, 56 km. Last weekend, rather than fight traffic outside, I fought a bug inside me - it seems to take more energy to fight something inside than outside. It would be terrible if the enemy is me. I save energy and spend time on the couch.

Today, I cycle. Hard. Or perhaps it feels hard because of the hiatus. I dart into a road I've avoided for a long time (a year? more?). There used to be dogs there; perhaps they're gone now. Wishful thinking. They're so glad to see me, a couple of them even leave their food to meet me. I crank up my revolutions per minute as they cheer me on, barking. The lady feeding them shouts; she's either calling them back or asking me to go faster.

The closest cur is on my left. Ahead is a curve in the road. If a car appears on the right and cuts the corner, I'd be intercepted on either side. Worst case scenario is to be bitten on the left then careen to the right and carom off a car. No thanks to the fangs, I veer right. As if on cue, accursed cur stops. I pass into safety without passing out.

Couch is safe, but I'm glad I go out today.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

What to do?

Woodlands, 56 km. If "what to do" is said with a scratch of the head, it means "what shall we do?" As in, "shall I cycle today, or run?" In the end, I cycle. As an incentive, I pack a camera for fun and cycle to places where fun takes place: where the waters flow.

If "what to do" is said with a shrug, it means "what can we do?" - in other words, suck it up, there's nothing we can do about it.

If the current situation is the latter, go have fun, why let life pass by?