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 :))

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Seeing red

Feb distance: 410 km

Changi, 122 km. On this group ride, I am the marker at major junctions: when the sweeper passes, I chase down main body to mark the next junction.

There are 28 cyclists. The Bromptom Brigade is in the swing of things: blaring Abba, even a box of durian puffs.

As the night rolls on, some cyclists roll slower. Only distant red blinkers sheds light on which way the lead cyclist has gone. In a park, even that little ray of hope is gone. It doesn't help there are other groups of cyclists about, and the tail gets dropped like a lizard.

I tell the tail to wait while I scout for the rest, and eventually find them. It's clear, on this night ride, there are too many junctions and not enough markers. A few of us reorganise ourselves so there's one more marker. That works better.

At the end of the ride, only 2/3 of the pack is left; the rest have gone home along the way. By the time I get home, it is 3.30 am. At this time, the roads are peaceful, quiet and safe.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Crazy water snake?

Punggol 36 km. This is the Year of the Snake, according to the lunar calendar. The weather has been wet this year so far, with flash floods even. Is this the year of the water snake? Or just a snake year gone crazy? When the rain stops, I cycle to a campus but am denied entry.

The security guard admits that motorcycle entry is ok but not bicycle entry. He explains there's no parking for bicycles. It makes no sense to him that I'm there to cycle, not park. Nuts.

I cycle near an institute for mental health, then, on a whim, head into a park connector. It is crowded with cyclists, joggers, strollers, roller bladers and families with kids and prams. I get back on the road where I feel safer - with ample room to clear my head.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Lim Chu Kang, 69 km. It sounded like a car. I glance to my right, a bicycle whirrs past on aero wheels. Later, I hear another bicycle behind me, it sounds like a creaky "market bike". But I can't shake it off. How can such a noisy keep up? I veer off and look as it passes; it's a roadie tailing me.

This Lunar New Year is the Year of the Snake. Snake is commonly found as roadkill in Malaysia. Today, two drivers almost mistake me for a snake as they pretend to drive ...

I meet some friends on the road; they are going for lunch. I would join them, but the sunny sky is now grey and I dislike cycling in the rain. If I want to get wet, I'd swim - but I don't like to swim. I speed home, but the rain is speedier. I stop at a bus stop to get out of the drenching rain. But I get on the road again; it doesn't look like the rain is going to let up.

I realise it's not the rain's job to keep me dry, sometimes it rains and rain is wet. Since I live in the tropics, with tropical storms, I'll get wet sometimes. The rain isn't that bad anyway, it's cold and wet but I've been through worse, in Taiwan and Vietnam.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Always a first time

2-3 Feb, Telok Sengat, Johor, Malaysia, 183 km. It's a race against time. To be there at 7am, to be a little late so I don't have to wait like before. I lose the race again, they are late: someone had a tyre puncture but no tyre levers.

Traffic past the causeway is light at 0730. I've cycled thousands of km in Malaysia, but never have I been to Kong Kong and Telok Sengat until today. I like the quiet roads and picturesque villages; the kind of place where Mas Selamat would hide out. We even get to do some offroad!

Our hotel room at Telok Sengat is so big, I can cycle into it and in it. We wash up, wash clothes and dry it in the sun on a clothesline. They dry before sunset. We sit and shoot the breeze, and see the sun go down.

We compare our sunset photos. I realise I was so focused on the ball of fire, I failed to see the rest of the sky beautifully lit up. That's what happens when you don't see the big picture. The picture isn't complete without perspective.

Nightstop: Rumah Tumpangan Pang Ah Ngang

We're up before dawn. The town, which is so small, is still asleep. We cycle out of town for breakfast. There are some slopes on the way to Sungei Rengit. I surge up and down them. Bike leader tells me that since cycling on a mountain bike isn't enough a handicap, they'll chip in and buy me a trailer so I can haul all their stuff.

I catch up on sleep on the ferry. When we make landfall, it is pouring. The rain, combined with my speed, stings. Especially when it hits my lips. Public transport drivers bully me on the roads. Water streams down the roadside. The wind is so strong, the spray doesn't shoot vertically up from my tyres but curves to the side.

This is the maiden overseas trip for my downhill rims.