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

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fatventure Day

Wheels seem to have a mind of its own these days. Didn't feel like washing bike and so wasn't intending on a off road session but guess Pugs made a good call after all turning when I would have gone straight...

With the impending gloom and definite doom of all my "just-a-stone-throw-away" riding grounds bent on being destroyed in the name of progress on this tiny island... what I term as my "lazy"-radius  has a clear and present urgency to be expanded

2pm... just out of the lift Purpsley looking rather handsome decked out and swapped back to funny H-bar.

Normally I would head straight from Pasir Ris Farmway 3 and cross the bridge to Punggol, oblivious to Lor Halus on the left and Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 on the right

Somehow Pugs was like an untrained mutt tugging at the leash and right turn it was today.

Towards the end was the off-limit access road to Serangoon Tidal Gate.
No parking huh!

Didn't venture forward to the gate though. Security probably wouldn't appreciate people snooping too near.

Scattered along the waterway are anglers busy casting rods a little further down from here. Nothing to the right (North) but the sea. Didn't think Pugs can float to Malaysia.

Turned around and saw what looks like a long singletrack on the left... And it is (at least by this island's standard), reaching back to the bridge... hmm ok now I know.

Though not far from "civilization", it would have been rather idyllic except it is dotted along the entire length with what I thought was water monitoring machines... one about every 250-400m by my estimation. Turns out after some  research, these are actually pumps and wells from this article where they " ...built 125 wells with pumps and pipes all along the riverbank, to suck water out of the ground every time it rained." Presumably to prevent flooding?

Reckon they are really doing some serious homework when they decide to dam up all the waterways in Singapore with this latest, the entire Serangoon River as the island's 17th reservoir

Kudos to the hydro engineering here, not easy considering the fact that this was once the island's largest dumping ground and having to deal all those years of leachate where now the area has become a crucial water source.

Pop back out and went on Punggol PCN. Still thinking how to get in on the other side when I saw 2 foreign workers cycling opposite me... plus a few anglers on the bank. The cyclists got down and started pushing and that's when I knew riding fat tires was the right choice today.

With no access via TPE that's spanning across the river since there is no way to get down from there I reckon it gotta be further .... 

More PCN mileage..

Buangkok East-- Yup. Bingo. Gotta look for it a bit after crossing 3/4 of the bridge... Throw Pugsy across and down a tarmac slope... Strange that they build a short steep road like this to the river bank and close it off with railings on top... Think some  project got shelved halfway...

Left or right?  Left... not much to go before hitting the "end". Supposed to be a lot longer on Google Map but again mass destruction, oops construction has started up.

Construction at far end... Entire area here should be forested based on Google's satelite map (which probablymeant it was at least 3 months outdated)

About turn ... Mulchy and gooey all the way. Not the worst of it yet.Just a prelude of things to come...

Friendly rangers came along by the river... Hey I wasn't suppose to be cycling on this side or so I was told. But then they told me to be careful before throttling off. Ok. Thanks dudes.

Living in this claustrophobic sardine packed island is hard... where everything is just cordoned off. No hiking, no cycling, no fishing yadda yadda but leaving us with nowhere to go and escape from the oppressive heat and stress. I can hear from the tone of voice that these guys just had a job to do. After work, they are probably like you and me also looking for breathing space. Friends from overseas are always asking why all the whining when I'm living in one of the most modern vibrant city in the world. Guess its a little hard to explain.

All the while to my right, the entire length has been fenced. Vegetation is pretty thick hence I hadn't harbored ideas of any direct bush whacking. Besides I wasn't packing the Rajah today.

As expected, the fence just ends abruptly in the middle of nowhere.. far from the entry point. Guess authorities figured most folks just don't venture this far in and could save a few dollars from the fencing. save for military and sensitive installations, its pretty much the same when they make perimater off these empty state land.. 

Pretty wide tracks begin to appear. Multiple Y-junctions. Heading in reverse from where I came was all loose and rutty going  in. From the signs of vegetation crisscrossing the ground, this place definitely has seen little human activities.

Halfway in, decided to head back out to explore the rest another it was rather open and blazing hot by now...

On the other side towards TPE there are more signs of human activities. Huge pile of fallen trees and big branches. Judging from the dryness, I would say they were cleared at least 2 years ago. There's also a hardened sand pile... enough for a bit or air time fun with whatever I can muster up on the 42lb pig.

Back home GoogleMap confirms there are much more than what I rode in this area. If my navigation instincts are right... there should be some access points further down the Buangkok East Bridge where I first entered, apart from the riverbank route. Which means traversing on the inside and avoid making life difficult for those good rangers who are just trying to do their jobs warning/ fining folks like me...

Was wondering how to negotiate the smaller (but still sizeable) river that cuts the landscape after TPE. An angler told me to turn right and look for a "bridge".

By the time the crossing was spotted, the waterway has tapered off considerably.  Found out later this was called Sungei Pinang.

Decided to ignore the crossing to push straight on instead. My mental compass say I should end up somewhere near the Farmway area that's nearer to home. Too tired to whip out phone to GPS exact location.. as all my recon Sage Mode and Byakugan were pinging clear today. Only thing was not knowing what the ground holds...looks dry in the pic but this is really where all the seriously soft and squelchy riding of the day begins...

Trackstanding and balancing skills were called into play...some parts were almost axle deep. It was still doable with the 3.8" Larry but  made me wonder about  the extra float of bigger 4.8" rubbers.

 Yea yea..  trying to justify getting another fat bike here.

Signs of civilization... and onto a quiet road that goes into that elusive entrance of the still functioning dumping ground further up.

Heading towards  the direction of the bridge to Punggol again after watching people flying their RC planes in the open field...

5:15pm. About to leave the patch I eyeballed a fortnight ago. Well...with' another hour and a half to last light plus remembered I had packed some lumens

Inside...  An excavator...  some grounds cleared but rather haphazardly with no organized pattern of why things are actually cleared... No signs of other heavy mechanized machinery or construction materials that would have otherwise signify swift  hasty developments in store.

Tracks in every which direction...

Nothing technical but some trails leads to a large body of water not connected to the nearby river. I can see why this is really a migratory birdy wetland paradise... Unfortunately my knowledge of things biology doesn't extend well to the feathered ones. Still I would hedge a bet I saw a huge Ardea sumatrana today.  Must remember to bring bino next trip.

Found a purple kite with a whole yarn of purple string too. Must be  Pugs day. My purple bike has its own purple pet now!

With light fading... the mozzies were getting louder. Time to ex-fil but not before I manage to turn Pugs into a "Goolander"

Damn, those were some serious sticky sh#t to wash off back home.... Yup tiny apartment living means not having the luxury of chucking a dirty bike in the garage.

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