|Waiting till the cows come home|
What's the point of a journey if you return to where you started and feel the same? At least, have fun on the trip. And when the trip is over, don't lament that it's over. So, when an era ends, remember how good it was, not just that it's over. There's nothing I can do about the latter anyway. Which is not to say, I didn't try my best. For hundreds and hundreds of km, I've thought about it and I know there wasn't much else I could do. "Everything has a beginning and an end ..."
On the road, I am disorientated. Old roads and villages, so picturesque then, are gone. It's like a different world now. My headset feels pitted and sluggish. And I've got over 100 km to go.
|Seeing double: two Simple Ones|
The sun and temperature peak. At a junction, I holler. My friend nods and goes on, missing the turn. He doesn't come back, so I chase him down. Besides a bad headset, my head is faulty too. For some reason, I order a 1.5 litre bottle of Pepsi at a rest stop. For many km after that I drink it, even when warm. Because of our late start, we reach our hotel past 8 pm, and have dinner after 10.
Nightstop: Pinetree Hotel
Lost in the dark
|Not what it's cracked up to be|
Someone dear to me once talked about being a useful person. So I pull the peloton along for what feels like an hour, against the wind. I slow down whenever I am ahead so they can catch up. This means keeping an eye on the road, on the speedometer and whether they are near enough to my tail. I'm asking for trouble as I haven't cycled for two weeks. And now I am on a fully-loaded, double century ride over hill and against the wind.
I hear repeated clicking. At first, I think it's just my knee. Then realise what's worse than a screw loose; several loose chainring bolts. Roadside repair is makeshift; I don't have the right tools. I rush for Pekan Nanas, but all bicycle shops are closed.
|Please, light up my life|
M has a GPS, I have a compass. GPS is not foolproof if the map is out of date. And, in a city, knowing where you are doesn't necessarily mean you easily know the series of turns to make, in the right order, in the maze of twists and turns.
I have a feeling of deja vu: a long way from home, in the dark, low on lights and fuel, high anxiety that I'll be hit from behind and scattered over the road.
Sometimes, the way out isn't clear. There's too much detail: too many twists and turns, too many choices. You know you are here, but how do you get there? A compass has no map, but it tells you if you're directionally right. I track progress with the compass; so long as we head south and east, we get closer to home. If we go north, we'll end up in the wrong place, no matter how nice and tempting that road is.
By the time I get home, I've been on the road for 14 hours, and zero rest stops for 3.5 hours.