an adventure with a mountain bike

Today I decided to get my friend’s second hand mountain bike. He bought it for $150 and had changed all the spare parts except for the seat. After he upgraded to a new bike, he asked me if I wanted to get it for $50. I thought it was a good deal, and last week he lent the bike to me at Pungol Park, which convinced me that quality really mattered. The size was also a good fit for Toni, who looked a bit like a clown when he cycled with our foldable bicycle.

So I waited for him at Macritchie Reservoir, 15km away from his house, at 2.30pm, and continued the journey to my house for another 20km. I was glad that I got some sense of direction from my GPS, but it assumed I was driving so I had to improvise a bit. Luckily I used to run from NUS to Macritchie, so I decided to first follow the running track to Bukit Timah, then to Bukit Batok (since Toni and I used to walk to Bukit Timah from Bukit Batok), and from there I could find my way to Chinese Garden and back home. I mustered all my courage and cycled along the double yellow lines against the traffic, hoping that no police would find me without a helmet and no car would knock me down. At one junction I had to wait for a long time because there were so many cars passing by, but one kind driver stopped to let me pass. After crossing the bridge I was relieved to find the pedestrian again, and I followed the traffic signs, my memory and the GPS to arrive at Bukit Batok. How adorable the little quarry and hill looked! I was immersed in happiness about my improved orientation skills, until I thought the surrounding looked more and more alien… I used to run at Bukit Batok every week when I lived there one year ago, but today the hot weather and stressful road ride suddenly made me confused at a familiar place. With disbelief, I cycled for at least half an hour at the most familiar place and finally found my way to Chinese Garden. I had to stop at Jurong East to buy a can of H2O because I felt so tired and dehydrated! When I finally reached home, I rushed to the kitchen to get more water. I drank sugar cane juice during dinner, and now I’m still thirsty!

Maybe it wasn’t the best time to cycle at 2.30pm in Singapore especially if the journey was more than 20km and if one was not sure about the direction, but when I looked at the new bike I felt a sense of achievement:) But that was before the landlord’s warning back at the house made me worried about theft~~

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Figure 1: the new second-hand bike!

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