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, January 27, 2013

A little means a lot

Jan distance: 259 km

Woodlands, 50 km. I tighten the leather on my Brooks saddle, three 1/4 turns. And I can feel the difference in my bones, literally.

At a traffic junction, a guy darts across. Brakes squeal, skid marks stretch across the road. A near miss. If the driver was say, glancing at his passenger, there'd be more than skid marks on the road.

A few turns of a screw. A split second reaction on the road. A little, yet it means a lot.

Just like a smile, a text message, a kind word.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Zip up and keep going

Memories of Vietnam from last month
Sembawang, 50 km. The sky has been grey since yesterday. When I leave home this afternoon, it is drizzling. I'm not going to be cooped up. I'm going out.

Wet roads, wet rims and wet from the sky, this is so like last month, so like Vietnam.

When I am already dirty and wet, what can more rain do to me? I zip up my jersey and keep going.

I'm glad to get home out of the cold rain, grateful to have a dry place to go to, a warm shower and a hot drink.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Crash concretely

Sembawang, 45km. How ironic. I've toured with my bicycle overseas for tens of thousands of km. Climbed up mountains and rolled down so fast, my ears popped. Crossed rivers, dodged traffic. All without bloodshed.

Today, blood flows from three holes beside my knee, the result of grass which seems to be the same height as a concrete platform. But seeing is deceiving; feeling is not. It's not short grass and low concrete, but high grass (that flattens) and high concrete. Front wheel crashes to a halt. Part of me lands on grass, leg lands on broken concrete and opens up.

I squirt water on my wounds to wash it and brush off wet grass from my body. My bicycle seems ok. So I keep cycling. I look down on my leg. Blood is flowing. Go with the flow ...

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Courteously cemented

Woodlands, 51 km. Cycling on home ground takes getting used to. While cycling in Vietnam is seemingly crazy, where traffic goes on both sides of the road, the number of hair-raising moments (3 in 500 km) is disproportionately less than back home (1 in 50 km).

Today, bendy bus and a car pass so close to me, I could've flicked my sweat on them.

At a junction, a cement mixer truck slows. While I've the right of way, the truck's got the might of way. I wave thanks to the driver. After the driver lets me pass, he overtakes me. Not just an arm's length away, but an entire lane away. I wave another "thanks" to him. Thank you sir!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Half empty, half full

Woodlands, 63 km. Yesterday, it rained buckets. Curtains down on annus horribilis. A colleague died suddenly, another got diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, some people left. And a girl from India sustained horrible injuries and died in the dying days of the year.

Today, it's sunny. I wipe on leftover sunblock from my aborted Vietnam expedition and cycle.

I'm on top of them before I realise I'm on broken glass. I stop to check my tyres then realise a brake block is misaligned with my hardly-used, 2003 downhill rims. Which explains the "burn" I feel in my legs, which I'd attributed to the fat rims and straight-gauge spokes. If it wasn't for the broken glass, and the chance glance from a different perspective, I'd have continued with the drag.

This incident, plus the 40 cm tear in my rim wall, brings home the point: a glass can be half full, and half empty, at the same time. Sometimes (not all the time), something can be unfortunate, and fortunate, at the same time. It is a choice to see both, not just the bad side.

May 2013 be annus mirabilis, or, at least, a "dead cat bounce" ...