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

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Solo Nite

Haven't been out riding at night for the longest time. Time to break the couching cycle.. need to keep legs warmed up for this Sun too.. Little did I expect this was gonna be a night that brought back lots of memories of different places I have been to... yet has changed so much.

Headed northwest to Punggol... Tonight it's right instead of the usual left and I'm determined to go all the way past the construction and see where it ends along this seemingly nice beach front riding.

Past the bridge spanning the mangrove inlet.. First time seeing it all nicely lit up.... a little eerie if u ask me..

Don't know why but whenever I come across a brightly lit patch where all else remains dark  with nary a soul in  sight... I'm always reminded  of this particular night in Taiwan during the company's proficiency test.... 1990

Entire lot of us gotten lost despite having the best and most experienced regulars who had served as battalion front scouts leading the way. .... And yes there was this bright gaudy arch spanning the width of the mountain road with a shrine that must have been lighted up with over a 1000 candles of all sizes..

All of these in the middle-of-Big-No-Effing-Where (Mike Golf Romeo xxxx xxxx, no we don't have GPS back then, archaic torch lights shining on 1:50 000 maps) ...Not a soul in sight. The scene now is remiscent of that night, only that I'm alone instead of in the company of another hundred good men...

Weird just got weirder when we realized we were walking in circles for four hours.... until my platoon sarge who has been his usual quiet observing self decided to step forward- "Fuck the maps guys.. direct bearing, straight bash"

We followed and falling tits over ass grabbing every chance sliding down a bamboo grove forest.. and eventualy made it out.... but the fact that a whole flipping company of paratroopers with some of the elites from HQ.... totally LOST! Un-effing-believable. Even at gatherings till this day we could never figure out what exactly transpired that night....

And tonight I was all alone recalling this alone at  the   the   the   the lighted up bridge. bbbrrrrrr....

Moving des ne... this is the other side of the Serangoon Tidal Gate... Not sure if this whole long section of the park connector has been intentionally left as is or would it all be nicely paved up later on.

It's been this way for some years now.. loose gravel and powdered red dirt in the dry but all mushed up like tonight after the rain.. Hope they leave things as is.. Sure wouldn't mind. Adds a bit of spice to otherwise flat monotonous riding.. besides it should help keep all the thin tire folks out.

We all know how they hate getting their precious little bikes dirty huh :) ... hehe gotta love it when mtbs and fatties are king. Big, Fat, Small, Tall, WE Ride 'em All.

Hit this stretch of beach ... hmmm..never been here before. Nice..

...heard from friends.. there are close encounter of the horsy kind in Punggol.... Some equestrian farm here.

Turned from the beach and a short distance away.. BINGO! -- so this is the place eh... Chalets for rent too.. looks like an easy short getaway for weekends with the missus. Can't wait to tll her when I get back.

My aging Samsung S-not-so-nite-shot-friendly-3 camera-phone was protesting  and refuse to give any good shots of the open space.. Must make a mental note to come back. Quiet and relaxing atmosphere..

There's a cosy looking eatery too.. I'm really beginning to like this find.. Away from all the hustle and bustle of city living and so near my place...

Getting a little disoriented -- I know this area and yet the mind is all misty without much of a clue as I stand staring hard trying to recall..... Hmmm

With only one long roller coaster main road out apart from the cycling dirt path I came in from, decided to push on and see where it leads...The evening was pretty chilly after the rain..  really soaking in the coolness and enjoying the quietness and crisp clean air. Somehow days like these always reminded me of spring time in Canada.

Somehow this little winding slope reminded of the drive
on the way back  Auckland's harbor front. But no Orcas here for sure.
Went off tangent and explored a bit more..  nice residential overlooking the sea on a slope and there looks to be some original forest patch left untouched by development.

Never much into bungalows locally... there many nice ones around  but yet they always so close to one another in crowded little Singapore with little or no views... that has always left  me with little interest.

Anyway, not as if I have those millions to buy one. Sigh...

But here, especially the few corner units overlooking the slope into the sea, plus the green surrounding  was really appealing.. With so much relatively unspoilt features, the night was filled with the loud songs of competing male cicadas...

....Always make me wonder how one can make a helluva din by sucking in your abdominals together going "Eeeeek EEEEeeK EEEEeeeK" . I tried, but all I got was a cramp coming up.... No sound.

Saw a kiddo inside one of those posh residences doing her homework and I felt a sense of envy....

Pedal on.

What looks to be a service road abruptly ending leads into the forested area..

Ventured in beyond those red-white "men"... Judging from the design.. they must have been unbudging sentries keeping watch for at least the last 3 decades. Rain or shine...

Inside.. total darkness until I shine on it---- steep down with rather gnarly undergrowth..  Rajah II is not with me tonight... guess I'll leave the bush whacking exploration for another day...

Still a little lost till I caught sight of an old wooden hand painted signboard  that says "Fish farm this way" with a crudely drawn arrow below. Definitely recall this image somewhere in my mind...finally it dawned on me where I was. That sign pointed to one of my ex-supplier for Guppies when I was still in the ornamental fish trade....  so much has changed. No wonder I couldn't recognize the place, my last time here must have been over 10 years back... the horse ranch earlier was formerly this broken down pier area usually lined with anglers that came after work.

Ok this bit of development is a welcome change. At least it hasn't been transformed into some high rise building or posh walkway leading to another glittering mega mall or an expensive marina resort that shuns us proletarist folks.

Well, well bits of treasure can at least still can be found at the butt end of Punggo. Awesome! 

Out on the roads pedaling fast past all the recently built HDB blocks, was headed back in the general  direction for home... saw this dark scrubby area beside a new brightly lit driving range.  Knew I had been around this place before..but but but...*BLANK *.........

 ...mentally remove driving range and placed the old pre-development scene back in my head... ah yes this small old trail.. its like meeting an old friend again but just can't recall the name...
Only bits of it left and apparently no one deemed it worthwhile to ride anymore.. over grown with ground running vines... a sign that there has been little or no human activity around for awhile.

Bashed forward a bit... fat tires making easy work as usual.

*frup* *frup* *frup* ...and what do ya know! it leads right back to the main river front eatery area.

Another shortcut found...

Nuff for one night... infil, exfil.. Haul ass... time to E & E.  ...imagination running wild.. back on military mode and filled with all those spec-op lingo in the brain as I pedaled along. Maybe it was all the recalling of the night in Taiwan earlier..

I think most of us riding alone has some form of mind-game to keep us going. My imagination as a kid  has always been inspired by those WWII airplane dogfight from war comics.. Yes my prized BMX pedaled furiously for 20+km each weekend from home back to granny's house in Mountbatten  was a Supermarine Spitfire...

...mouthing spewing off 20mm cannon rounds as I "shot " at  every signal lights of cars that passed me. Those were no cars to a young mind then... they are blood thristy rear turrets of enemy bombers taking their shots at every chance.. Boy was I an ace or Kuwahara dodge every single one and I must have shot down like a hundred thousand of them in that few years campaign :)

Should have outgrown these child-play at my age... but frankly, got to admit I still find myself  "shooting" at a couple of imaginery planes occasionally on solo rides like tonight.

Meanwhile....  36-12 ratio cranking 34-36 km/hr on 4.8" Suck-u-dead-down-rubbers  @ ~max heart rate for the last leg...

Back home. Laundry time...
Errr... it's starting to look bloody eerie!

Kneeling charred headless woman in a long blood splattered gown over the bike... Funny in a way as I recall, for the whole of today there's a thread in one of the local FB cycling page that goes on and on arguing about whether helmets makes things safer.. Guess if you are headless-- a helment is probably redundant. Stop arguing folks... just wear the damn thing and ride.

2:31 am. Better sleep before freaking myself further... imagination-fueling acetylcholine receptors are way overworked tonite..

Sweet Dreams

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