Cycling-The Most Adult Thing to Do

Cycling-The Most Adult Thing to Do

Dear Boys,

As you both know by now from my previous post that your dad has been cycling for a long time, all terrain cycling (except water and air!), especially mountain biking!

at the Green Corridor

Well, I guess when you put your feet to the pedal, it is one of the most liberating thing to do as an individual, there is no place you cannot go on a bicycle. Since I took this Marin back in 2018, I’ve been many places in Singapore, and still not bored of it.

Liberating Freedom

In our tech and digital world, this is one of the things I consider to be analogue, humanistic. Sure you can run, but at that speed, you can’t go very far in a daylight, without getting too tired. On a bike, you get speed and you get the view. That relationship with your environment is spontaneous and real, it engages all your senses, and you cannot totally switch off while you’re riding without getting into serious hurt!

Freedom comes with Responsibilities

Whether you’re cycling alone or in a group, you take care of your own s**t, that’s one thing I learn Mountain Biking, because in the ‘swapah’ where you bash through the bushes, you have to fix your own problems, and issues. Chain break, fix it, puncture fix it, so I has taught me from a very young age to prepare and be ready for any and all situations that might arises during the trip. You really have to own that situation you get yourself into, dig your way out of it, cos no one is coming to rescue you.

So it has become a habit for me to pack well, balancing needs and wants on a 2 wheels, water, tool kit, first aid, and other little luxuries for wet weather. And whatever happened on the road, it is all you, your responsibilities. There’s often a lot of bad calls you have to make, and you just have to suck it up and do it.

Green Corridor trails. Photo by https://sengkangbabies.com/

Adulting The Adult Thing

Adulting is quite a new word, and it basically means:

“the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.” (from Google)

I guess that would means a kind of a sarcasm perhaps, but I think that’s what cycling is to me, in a good way. It’s really not a big deal as a cyclist to anyone on the road, but to the cyclist, me, every place I explored gives me that life experience full on, and I can randomly go places and explore new roads, on an MTB, I can even spontaneously go off road and check out where the trail goes. It is an accomplishment that is quite mundane to others but very intrinsically satisfying for me. So while it might sound mundane, it adds to my world perspective and gives my life background and stories to tell, myself and you boys.

Zen and The Art of Cycling

Dec 2000, with my Yamaha LC125 F7339X

A long time ago, your dad used to ride a motorbike and this was one of the book he read that is closest to the subject matter. Now that your dad is no longer on a motorcycle, cycling is the next best thing (and safest) for me to experience life on the road.

Unlike a motorbike, you need a level of fitness to cycle, since you are the engine, passenger and mule all rolled in one, you have to be fit to go the distance. It is not only about physical fitness but a level of mental resilience as well. Mental resilience on a bicycle don’t come from being tough, but knowing when to be tough, when to accept fatigue and when to enjoy the ride.

Enjoying the ride often means getting into a cruising speed, and listening to the sound made by the wheels rolling on the ground. Feeling that wind, or even sometimes the rain! Night time riding can bring about a different sensory experience as well!

Going the Distance

As I do the distance, my on-the-road experience evolve and takes a different relationship. I often have to take the same road but every time I roll past the same spot, the feeling is always different. It is as if the road is your old friend, patiently waiting for you to pass by again. If you have a specific memory, self conversation, incident or flashback on that same spot, it helps to trigger a familiar feeling in you, so that inconspicuous spot to others, is actually a special meeting spot for you.

As Singapore is constantly changing and evolving, some of the same old spots might not exist anymore, so by going on the road, you get your internal map ‘upgraded’ with new topographical details. New park connectors are being build all the time and there are new connectivity across the island that can bring us to more places on a bike. What better way to know this island home of ours?

Ready for the next roll!

Your Dad’s Bicycle Buddy

Your Dad’s Bicycle Buddy

Dear Boys,

Almost a year ago, you dad when on a cycling trip with Uncle Andy, and we visited Sentosa, which was a place Andy wanted to visit on a bike for a while. It was our first time cycling together, but it turned out to be a friendship sustained through the pedal.

Our first trip. Sept 2020

Since then, we ended up doing a lot of fun things, and achieving a lot of personal firsts in our cycling journey.

Lamp Post 1

We did a night cycling together in our quest to pedal to the famed Lampost One. That was quite a night as we bumped into another cyclist and in a jest he, Mahen decided to join us on our quest to Lamp Post 1. We all made it! It certainly helped as buddying up allows us to lean on each other when we are tired and we can help each other look out for dangers or blindspot.

Our LP1 RTI March 2021

Perfect Buddy

There is nothing in life that is as perfect as this bond Andy and I had, over time, we have build up that silent chemistry on the road that allows us to trust each other unreservedly. Usually I’ll cycle ahead and he’ll cover my back. While he is on a foldie, he certainly can cycle a heck faster than my MTB. Nonetheless, we have never split because one is faster that the other and his foldie also allows him to have the advantage of getting onto the MRT when he tires himself out on the road, but he has never done so and on every road trip, we all start and finish together.

Recently, we have to abort our ‘University Route’ (More about that in a later post), because we met with inclement weather, we reached NUS and there is an option for him to take the MRT at Kent Ridge home and me on my MTB will have to go home in the rain, which was fine. He decided to stick with me and we both pedaled hiome, from rain to no rain.

At Clementi

Good Camaraderie

When we ride, there’s usually little conversation, we don’t cycle side by side, as most of the time we are on pavements, which don’t gives us the luxury of space to do so, more importantly we enjoy the cycling together and in our own personal space. It is the freedom we get at the same time having a buddy to look out for if there is trouble.

We are also respectful of each other’s safety and never take more than necessary risks. For me on my MTB, I will always make sure I look for pavements and even when there is a chance for me to take the dirt for a short route, my bike would certainly be more than capable to eat dirt, but I’d stick to pavement because I know Andy’s bike will not be able to take off road.

He on the other hand helps me watch our for my blind spot and cover the back, sometimes I might miss a car coming up and he’d sound a warning.

While cycling is a physical activity, we have never pushed each other to outdo each other, there is no bragging or bravado between us, we just enjoy cycling and pairing up helps us get to places where we would otherwise will not make it alone. We also never try to outdo each other with our equipment or show who has the better bling bling on our bike.

Our Own Safe Space

I guess the reason why we bonded so well is because I feel that this is our escapade, he’s a dad of four; me, two, and we have our challenges being a dad, and a husband, being on the road helps us find our own man-cave to chill. At the same time, we give our spouse the assurance that we can look out for each other.

It’s also great that while we do share our challenges in parenting, we never dispense advise to each other. I have never told him what he ‘should’ do, neither has he ever told me what I ‘could’ do. We have problems we need to deal with and while we do share some of those problems, we never offer solutions nor ask for answers. There’s just an unspoken rule between us that we will respect our own space, problems and never dispense life stories. We just put our problems aside and ride, and enjoying it.

Food!
Our second trip to Sentosa

Good Memories

It’s a good shared experience because the roads we take with each other adds context when we had some conversations a some specific spot on the journey. It helps build a very unique memories I hold and treasure knowing that the moment was share with a buddy I trust and respect.

Onwards with more good times on the road!