Biking, driving, trucking and walking

Biking, driving, trucking and walking
DSC_0227
My second MTB

Dear boys,

There is a lot of controversies these days about the use of road space. Some say share, some say they pay road tax, and well others, simply pirate the roads. E-scooters are a boon or bane?

The biggest machine your father has operated was a truck, 10 foot-truck to be exact, which I rented when we needed to move house, a long time ago. I was also a motorcyclist, I love mountain biking, I’m very much a wheel guy, not so much a ‘ ball’ guy, both being round in their own way.

Yamaha-RZ_125LC-1986
My first motorcycle

I’ve stopped riding my motorcycle many years back, as it was no longer the safest thing to do. I remembered back in the days, after finishing my night class, I would ride the CTE back home, around 10-ish and the traffic being light, I can just cruise, it was a good feeling. These days there are so many factors that can get a motorcyclist maimed and killed. There is no luxury of a cruise, you have to be on the defensive all the time. Recent news and stats says motorist finds the road no longer safe.

DSC_0044
Bandung Traffic

My earlier trip to Bandung Indonesia opened my eye to how congested their roads are and how lucky we have it here. We have well organised roads, 2-3 and even 4-5 lanes roads, for Bandung, as an old town, at best, traffic around the city make do with a 2 lane road, 2 for each directions.

The amazing thing is that, they can make do with that limited shared space, as I wrote in my last blog. It was an amazing concoction of cars, trucks, buses, bicycles, motorcycles, and even an occasional bullock cart.

IMG_0018
Driving a rented car in Gold Coast

Back to Singapore

I don’t drive so often, we don’t own a car. But I bike a lot, and I have a pecking order in terms of giving way. The largest will always give way to the smallest. And the smallest denominator being a pedestrian, the largest, well it can go as large as an aircraft carrier. You get the idea. So when I am on a bicycle, I have to give way to a person walking, and if I am driving, I have to give way to a cyclist, and the pedestrian and if I am operating a big ass truck, I have to give way to the smaller folks.

It’s a logic that the larger the machine you operate, the more responsibilities you have towards others, and no one operate in silo or vacuum, we will always have a impact on other people, in good or bad way. So when we have a larger machine, we need to exercise greater care and responsibilities.

Passenger jet vs fighter jet

Of course that is just being generalising, a passenger jet needs to give way to a fighter jet, in the case of my logic, but a fighter jet can shoot down a passenger jet. Sometimes, my rule of thumb doesn’t work but it does gives a gist of the kind of responsibility one has relative to the machines they operate.

The point is…

We cannot clamor for space. Space is always shared. Cyclist have to understand that road kills. And even in large numbers, there is no safety. One wayward car can careen into a group of cyclist, kill and maim a good part of the group. A speeding E-scooter can crash into a family, injuring the elderly, bruising the kid. Who is going to bay for blood, when the unfortunate event has already occurred?

Give way and prepare to stop

More specifically, give way if you can, get out of the way of those who can’t give way. Sometimes, as much as a larger vehicle wants to stop and give way, there are inertia and it can take a while for the large lorry to come to a complete stop, by then it would have mowed down whoever and whatever in its path. So be alert and get out of the way of large vehicles if possible. Those who are driving a large truck, give way where possible.

One thing my driving instructor taught me, which stayed till now, when in doubt, stop.

It is a good mantra, especially when I’m cycling. I’ve seen cyclists and motorbikers trying not to stop, as they will lose their momentum and balance, so they want to keep a minimal level of motion. I get that, I bike too, but when in doubt, stop, and push.

Its not a cool factor, if there is an old man walling in front and just for me to preserve my motion, bang into the poor guy, stop, get of if necessary and push. It’s just biking, and the road space is shared, whosoever wants to walk and travel at whatever speed, it’s their wish. Everyone goes through life in their own pace and speed, and try not to be in such a hurry to get from point A to point B, you end up in hell, and killing other people in the process.

Last but not least

We cannot wish away the e-biking trend. I do not like these battery powered wheel-chairs. They are fast, convenient and extremely lazy. If you are on a bicycle, you still get a reasonable bit of exercise, even on a motorcycle, you have to be generally fit to operate one. An e-scooter? It’s the laziest form of transport. It’s so convenient it is bad for health.

Nonetheless, it is here to stay, and since there is so much brickbat about it, I have a couple of rules, simple rules.

  • Anyone operating an e-bike above the weight of 7 kg, needs a license, they need to take a damn course to get some general feel and understanding of sharing the road.
  • Any e-bikes which can travel faster than 10km/h, capped at 15 km/h, needs to have a helmet, front and rear lights, helmets on, light on at all times. (this is a rule of motorcyclist, by the way)

Singapore is going to become car-lite soon and these things going around isn’t going to stop growing in numbers, so we just need to be mindful, the pecking order, and the road space is shared, no one owns them, well, I guess the only one who really own the road is the Grim Reaper, anyone wants to challenge that?

escooter.jpg

Advertisements

Perth: Chapter One

Perth: Chapter One

It was the first time we fly scoot, and honestly we were a little apprehensive about it as last year, there was an incident about a Scoot flight to Perth (TZ8!) was delayed for almost a day! (Passengers unhappy after Scoot flight delayed for more than 21 hours) My friend Anny was on that flight and I asked her about it, she still gives Scoot the thumbs up. Nonetheless, we’ve already paid for it and out fate is sealed.

Feb 2007
Lil Ian, Surfing the luggage.

This Perth trip is quite unique, as this is our 3rd trip to Perth. The first, your mum, and I went, with your Ah Gong, Ah Ma, your Ah Gu and another of your mum’s cousins, HanJie Ah Gu. That was quite sometime ago, way before your mum and I was married. The second time was when Ian was about 18 months only. I also coincided that trip with your mum’s birthday.

What we didn’t know was, that your mum, at that point was pregnant as well, which explains a lot about her motion sickness, unfortunately, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. Well, that’s another story for another time.

Scoot TZ8- 787 Dreamliner!

This time, 2016. We are going because your 弟弟 wants to see dolphins. Our flight for 28 May was in the afternoon, so we woke up excited about the trip. There was plenty of time for us to prepare and unlike our Bali Trip which was in the wee hours, this time we reach the airport easy, chill and took a bit of makan before heading for the check in.

Collage_Fotor scoot flightThe flight was a non-event, and I prepared some ‘in-flight’ entertainment for you boys by putting up some movies in the iPad2, and you boys end up watching Zootopia and Charlie Brown the movie. It was a budget flight, so the flight is a flight is a flight, we had to entertain ourselves. And one thing I noticed, we weren’t expected to turn off our mobile device unless specifically told to do so. Wow, it’s a
Dreamliner new! The window is electronically tinted, thus there is no physical shade, which you need to bring up during taking off and landing. You can press a button and the window will go from clear to opaque to totally dark, cool!

Perth! Touch down!!!

We reached Perth 5 minutes earlier than scheduled. The first thing we experience when we stepped out of the aircraft was the chill! And it is not from the building’s air-con!  We are indeed enjoying the winter like what we’ve wanted!

The customs was a breeze and we soon got out to the airport DSC_0097terminal. The first thing we got was a pre-paid SIM card. I bought 7 days’ worth of stored value for us to use for a 5 days trip, 2 spare days for the just in case. And each day we are allowed to use up to 500MB of data, easy and more than suffice for us to travel around, post stuff on FaceBook, using the GPS to get around and checking out some stuffs on the net.

The car rental stall folks were also very friendly, and despite of Wayne being 7 years old, which technically waive him from the use of a child booster seat, but due to his small build, the chap at the counter was kind enough to lend us one, which was a good idea, as it will at least prop 弟弟 up and he can better look out of the car and enjoy the scenery.

The car we had was a small, but cozy Hyundai i20. When we stepped out of the airport, it was drizzling lightly. It was a delight as it really pushed the temperature down a couple notches more! S-h-i-o-k!!! To the max!

I went through the usual check for the rental vehicle and make sure that everything that is there is there, and anything that is not, is not. Then I tried to fix the phone holder to the windscreen, but it didn’t quite work; either the angle was wrong, or the suction on the holder won’t; well suck.

No GPS, no holiday

So we ended up having your mum hold the phone,and give directions off the GPS. She is the only co-driver your dad ever wanted.

And the GPS worked flawlessly. And without it, we would have been lost in Australia.

We made our way to the hotel, taking every turn and advise given by the GPS and reached there without any fanfare. But it was! We’ve never done a self drive, never solely relied on GPS for driving, and we have never driven in Australia! Lotsa firsts to celebrate!

Collage_Fotornovetel
day 1 at room 155

Upon reaching the hotel, the good people at the concierge checked us in with no problem and we snaked our way from the hotel lobby to room 155. It was quite dark by then and we didn’t know what to expect from the exterior of our room. We knew the weather was fabulous and the facilities in the hotel are great. the only let down was, there’s no toothbrush. Other than that, the room is clean, sheets are nice, everything works, and most importantly, the heater works! Otherwise, it would be long cold four nights.

With that we came to the end of Day One, going to sleep knowing the next day would be a great one, watching dolphins.