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, March 25, 2012

Storm rider

Nobody but me
Kranji, 43 km. Today is grey sky day. I pass a couple of cyclists. One points towards where I came and calls out from across six lanes: "Is it raining over there?" I wave to say "no".

I reach dog country. One of them roots around the undergrowth along the former railway track. Pooch then takes a poop. I call out to let it - and its friends - know that I come in peace, please let me go in one piece. I bounce along the tufts of grass and reach a dead end. The bridge that was here is gone. I turn back, looking warily along the banks for fangs. I reach freedom and a bus stop. The portal to the sky opens and rain pours down.

Sheets of rain sweep across the road in waves. The wind picks up so much, it is like standing in front of an industrial fan. My bicycle rolls on its own. The plastic inner liner of the bus stop garbage bin blows inside out. Buses may stop at the bus stop, but not wind or rain. Water flows down the side of the road, threatening to overflow onto the kerb. Big, 10-wheeled trucks plough past, water spraying into the bus stop and onto me.

Calm before the storm
A pedestrian and I shelter behind a noticeboard and our backs get drenched. I guess we get less wet from the back than if we get sloshed by trucks. He's dressed in black, now glossy in the wet. I shiver in the wind and rain. The stream behind me has swelled into a river the colour of milk tea. I wish I was somewhere dry with piping hot chai.

I scan the sky with my eyes, the grey in the sky never ends. When the rain is no longer blinding, I head out. What a baptism for my new cassette and chain. I look for a silver lining and see that my mud-encrusted Tank has been blasted clean by the rain. How novel, a "car wash" in a bus stop.

On the way home, I pass a tree that's fallen across three lanes of the road. A lorry is already there, to lug the logs away - once the tree is cut up. Upstream, a policy car and motorbike have already blocked the road so a logjam doesn't start. How's that for efficiency. I passed that road earlier today. How's that for good fortune ...


tei said...

Hi, You may not go back to read comments on your old posts, but I left a comment a while ago in your Taiwan blog entry. I'd really like to go bicycle touring in Taiwan, since I have read so many good things about bicycling in Taiwan. And I am sure I will like the mountains.

Horseman said...

Hi, sorry i missed your earlier comment. Yes, Taiwan is awesome to cycle in, thanks to the people and beautiful places.

I didn't map the route on Google maps. Sometimes, we weren't even sure where we were, when the places we stopped weren't on the map. What complicates matters is, for the smaller towns, there isn't a standard way to spell the names, unlike, say, "Taipei".

The major places should be listed though, such as Kaohsiung, Alishan Township, Kenting. Have fun :)