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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Crossroad to nowhere...

Today's ride is a little like life these days. True, it can  be said things have gotten better in the last couple of years. Yet I find myself wondering more with each passing day, searching for meanings to things I would have paid little or no atttention to in the past. In the process of unraveling, there are a few more shades of grey that was not noticed before.

Maybe "nowhere" is a matter of not being able to see past what's ahead at this juncture in life. Reckon at least I wouldn't be the only 40 something having soul searching thoughts...

The day started out all sunny and warm, humming to Buble's "Its A Beautiful Day" as the bike was given a once over to make sure all's good to go.

Strapping on the first proper watch I bought when first started working. 180 buck and only 1 change of battery in the last 18 yrs.
... still in its original but by now badly tattered leather strap.

Its really hard for me to conceive the joy or satisfaction of slapping some 20K tick tock on the wrist. Of course it started off with those  I-can-never-afford-a-Rolex days. By now its really a matter of being comfortable with who I am. Don't need to fill and surround myself with  many of the I would consider trappings to feel secure. Bikes? Well just a littleeeeeee vice I suppose, in my otherwise rather practical lifestyle.

Thankfully whatever course I have steered through in life that might have given rise to the  present, often melancholic mood had contained some good check-and-balance attributes that helps to keep the bank account healthy. Could not comprehend what's in the minds of those having flashy lifestyle but living from paycheck to paycheck.

Looking at the scratched up grungy Timberland would be hard to replace an original strap... that is if they still even make this model! Not wanting to mess it up further...  decided to swap it out with my other only working one. Besides it just matches everything perfectly on today's pedaling pick. Can never go wrong with an all Black-Silver combo if you ask me.

The obsession of not wanting to ride on the road kept me on the sidewalks most of the way... till it ran out. Traffic was light going into Pasir Ris Fish Farmway area but found myself turning around more than necessary to check and counter check there are no errant drivers waiting to kiss my butt.


Still humming to Buble's tune and it must have been 45 min by now... Am really starting to believe I do harbor all kinds of OCD....

..."It’s a beautiful day, the sun is up, the music’s playing
     And even if it started raining
     You won’t hear this boy complaining...

A gust made me realize that there is a hint of rain in air. Not quite yet but I'm surely smelling it. Just one of those things that doesn't escape my otherwise less than sensitive olfactory sense. Too late to turn back. Pedal on.

Like some kinky red light district sticking up a blow-up dollie, but I must say this would have been modeled after some prized matured Pahang X-back.. all the highly sought after attributes of a "good" Arowana were displayed right there. Yes, yes... fish farms always invoke a trip down memory lane.

Aside from the cacophony kicked up at the two canine farms/ pet hostels, it was pretty tranquil. Not too many people around... just my idea of an ideal afternoon. Except for the ominous clouds building up....

Part of today's intention was to recce for more potential riding places....

The connection point. Before this place was opened up, was a long circuitous route, looping an additional 10+ km from the East side over heavy traffic... All it took was one bridge. Just like life. Sometimes all it takes is one right connection for a shortcut to a lifetime of "success"... I've yet to make that or have just totally missed it.

Maybe I'm  about to cross that bridge now without even realizing it ... Lots of yes, no and even more maybes..

View on the bridge. Just like elsewhere on this island.. there isn't any one place where one can simply soak in the sight of natural landscape for as far as the eyes can see. Concrete titans rearing their ugly heads and construction cranes (on the right) birthing yet only more. A fast encroaching cancer and a retreating Gaia. Always losing ground.

Not my usual these days but stopped by fast food chain, Popeye, and decided to get a sugary drink. Ok an English biscuit too... It just felt right for the day. Then the rain splatter started. The young trio outside helped me move my bike out of the rain while I was still in the queue.. Nice chaps, friendly too. They must be wondering how these old men insist on riding steel roadies twice the weight of their carbon tri bikes...

The few hundred calories didn't carry any feeling of guilt but looking at the waste that came with it... I couldn't help thinking how much have been added to the carbon footprint from my unnecessary consumption. Did they really have to have a wrapper and a the disposable paper basket. I would have been more than happy to just pick up the biscuit and walk away... just didn't occurred to me today as I would normally have done and told the cashier to "save the wraps".

The rain was pouring by now. Everyone moved off.. Standing under the roof ledge of the next building looking up only to see a some very angry sky. Lashing a wet wild fury over hapless cyclists out for a quiet afternoon ride. And the MP3 player inside my head finally change tune... suddenly I was thinking of some forgotten title but catchy tune from Pet Shop Boys.. part lyrics that goes "What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this..." Oh wait.. is that the title itself? Hmmm.. must be the aging process. Memory screwed.

But then again tropical rainstorm brings with it a special feel. Something I always enjoyed regardless of the situation. Never one to curse at the rain, only hot humid weather gets on my nerve.

Well, there just goes my afternoon reading under a tree somewhere !

Doesn't look like its stopping for awhile so it was one more coffee and some chatting with the earlier trio in a 24/7 cyclist friendly cafe next door. Thankfully this one serves them in porcelain cups.. no styrofoam to get me on another guilt trip over carbon molecules warming up the atmosphere.

Finally the heavens above raged enough.

Nothing really has gone as planned...getting late too but I haven't been out enough today. Trapped with hot caffeine staring at the bike isn't my idea of a day out riding. So with the let up, got saddled  and took it slow. It pays off.. when everything takes on granny mode and one's awareness of the surrounding becomes sharpened. Fresh air after the rain with greenery still left in the area was a welcome to the usual city traffic gas chamber.

Staring but not looking all this time-- this was what I came to recce for.. The old Halus ground we used to ride 10+ years ago and maybe a bit more... my by now "trained" eyes says there is enough elevation there to get some looping going. If memory serves to be what it is.. oh yeah there certainly are some nice natural steep features for offroading fun inside.

Snapped too late!  That tiny black dot just right around the center of the pic below, was the scanning head of a 4 foot long monitor lizard that submarined as it heard me approaching.

It was nice to kick back and pedal slow, stopping to see the critters out there. Hordes of the local "road runners"... As this is a wetland of sort, there are really quite a few avians around. Again my camera was slow but taking in full view of a huge heron flying in front of me was quite a sight to behold. Slow but strong flaps and I could see quite clearly as its throat moves to swallow probably some poor fish in mid flight.

Haven't heard these much birds on a late afternoon in a while.. just soaking in the sound and sights while taking a short vid.

On the way back, after checking out the entrance to tomorrow's "expedition", couldn't resist stopping by one of the fish farms... The fresh crisp smell after the rain and the laid back feeling of farms makes me regret at times giving up being in such an environments decked in bermudas and tees only to  trade it for my current typical executive job in long sleeves daily. There's something about rustic charm that gets me suckered.

Back home.. I can only stare at the swath of cleared ground, readying for more towering construction. Ok there goes all my wishful thinking since moving here a year ago that there would be relatively more greenery in this part of Tampines.    Haiz.....

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