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, December 04, 2016

Stick to the schedule

Lentor, 20 km. I’ve been fiddling with my derailleurs as shifting seems to be deteriorating. Fiddling to no avail. Then, as penance for neglecting my ride (while training for an ultra marathon), I lube the chain.

Presto, shifting improves like new.

Now, if only I’d stuck to the schedule of tender loving care for drive train after a specified distance or a messy ride, whichever comes first.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Why running is hazardous for cyclists

Nov distance: 38 km

Upper Thomson, 21 km.

She: So, who is she? You’re seeing someone else, right?
Me: Huh?
She: Don’t pretend. You come home from work, change, then go out. We don’t go out anymore.
Me: Oh, that. I’ve been out running, training for an ultra.
She: Sure. It takes three months to train for a marathon. And you are training for an ultra in two? 
Me: Really! See! [Shows finisher medal]
She: I knew it! There is someone else!
Me: No, no. Your wheels are rounder and stronger than the medal. When I was running on the trails and saw mountain bikes, I missed you so much.
She: Now that your race is over, let’s go for a spin.
Me: Uhhh, my legs hurt.
She: Do your hands hurt?
Me: No, why?
She: You haven’t lubed my drivetrain. Get to work, boy. After that, let’s go shopping for bling bling!
Me: You know what? What I need is "active rest". Let's go ride :)

Sunday, November 06, 2016

I wish, I wonder

Sri Lanka (file photo)
Buangkok, 17 km. I wish I was cycling beside the clear green sea beneath the clear blue sky, with the sun shining (not scorching) and a breeze blowing (gently, not giving a headwind headache).

But I’m not. I’m cycling in a high population density city-state, surrounded by death metal (refers to traffic, not music).

To find some peace and quiet, I head into a park. An industrial park. Ah, peace and quiet. On a Sunday night, many factories are silent and dark. Peace and quiet in unexpected places.

And I wonder why:
- when I can ride, I don;t
- when I can’t ride, I want to

Friday, October 21, 2016

Weekend rush

Oct distance: 104 km

Woodlands, 34 km. A five day week offers 2.5 days of weekend (it starts in the evening of Day 5). Having been deprived if that for six months, I 'fold" time to make the most of it.

I could've taken a train to pick up some gifts from M. It'd be faster than taking a bike ride. But I choose to cycle. A train ride would save me about 30 minutes in travel time. But if I cycle 90 minutes after that, I need an additional 1 hour. So cycling there actually saves me time.

Back home, I look at M's stuff. They are years old, but look as good as new!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Like the wind

Sembawang, 38 km. Like a bird bolting from a cage, I ride like the wind towards freedom.

Free, beneath the blue sky. Free, no need to pay money: for petrol, tap water or race fees. A roadie passes, I crank up the pace and hang on until he fades into the distance.

Down by the water, I soak in the sights and breeze.

It’s great to be free.

PS: today's ride is double my "usual" distance per ride in the past half year!

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Ride and run

Upper Thomson, 15 km. Reduced working hours has increased my energy. Today I run, then I ride. A cyclist in fluorescent yellow overtakes me and we ride like the wind.

Winded, I slow to a crawl up a slope.

A girl jogs past, going faster than me :0 Increased energy my foot?!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Version 3.1

Kelulut Hill, 17 km. My new life, version 3.1, has begun. Instead of working 60-hour weeks ("full time"), I now work part time, which is pretty much some other people's full time. Back to a five day week, something which I used to take for granted.

I realise I've taken many things for granted, even simple things such as being able to drink coffee whenever I want.

I don't know if I'll be back in the saddle as much as I used to before 60-hour weeks, but I find myself exploring again. When I see a sign point to Kelulut Hill, I check it out. Not much of a hill, the name is more picturesque than the place is.

Still, I've not been here before
This is what it's like to explore
Sometimes, there isn't much
Sometimes, there's much more

PS: version 1 started when I left school. Version 2 started when I changed sector. Version 3 is when I changed sector again.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Impromptu

Sep distance: 81 km

Upper Thomson, 22 km. Cyclists are out in force. Not in pelotons (which seems to be a weekend phenomenon) but singly. A guy in running shoes on an old bike overtakes me. I don't mean he's running with his bike; he's riding his bike while wearing running shoes, long tights and shorts.

Going uphill, I ride past him. He sits on my tail and the impromptu race begins. I slow down near traffic lights, then stop. He asks if I train everyday. Every day? No way. I didn't even intend to train today. I'm just riding my bicycle.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Danger girl

Upper Thomson, 23 km. She’s cycling on the pavement along a busy road, one hand on handlebar, the other holding her mobile phone. She’s looking at the phone, its glow lights up her face. Otherwise, no lights. And no protection: no helmet on her head, no gloves on her hands, slippers on her feet.

“So dangerous”, I thought. When accidents happen, there’s sometimes no time to scream. And the “landing gear” tends to be head, hands, feet.

I stop at a red light. “Where are you going?” she yelled. Turns out she's lost, having cycled from Sengkang. Her friend is lost too. They agree where to meet and I lead her there to wait for him. When we stop, she asks why. “Red light,” I reply.

As we wait, we chat. Jessica wants to be an UAV pilot for the military. She seems to think cycling in Cambodia is more dangerous. Having cycled in all three places, I think the risk of accidents is higher at Orchard Road and East Coast Park.

Danger is relative.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Short time, short route

Upper Thomson, 20 km. I used to find this route boring. It's scenic, with the winding road surrounded by trees on either side and occasional non-dangerous wildlife such as monkeys. While there are dangerous drivers, they are few.

I found it boring because the route was short and to stay on it meant loop after loop. Now, as time is short, I take this short route and it is great.

It's marred only by the memory of bumbling bureaucrats who didn't admit they bumbled, much less apologise or make amends.

I sometimes wish I live in another country, where roads, nay, trails, wind through the countryside. Where the only high rises are trees, hills and waterfalls.