Sunny Island Singapura
5hr 30m 22s (Cyclecomputer)
22.9 km/hr (Cyclecomputer)
As I ponder what to write for this post, my mind seems to be at a loss of words. Most likely fatigue is the cause since it’s not like everyday I will attempt 100km or more. While for some that distance is peanuts, normal Joes like my cousin and I certainly view that distance with awe and reverance.
With respect to that, our goal for today is just to enjoy the ride and complete it strongly, knowing in our hearts, though we may have managed to conquer it, it still is a mighty distance to traverse. But a ride with the usual accompaniment of pain, sweat but luckily no blood involved, makes it all much sweeter and not forgetting the unrelentless heat that seems so ubiquitous nowadays.
While I can say that this is not my first century ride, I can safely admit this is the best. The first in 2007 on my old dilapidated mountain bike, was all about suffering from the start to the end. I can still vividly remember my mental breakdown near the end when tears streamed down my chubby cheeks as the finishing line seemed like light years away. I took nearly 12 agonising hours to complete.
2008 was a wee bit better. As I had the experience to rely on from the previous year’s ride, I managed to stave any mental fatigue away though physical torture was my company for that ride. The ride along Mandai Road with it’s rolling gradients was more than my body could handle. My thighs were on fire and were tight as a taut guitar string. I surrendered as the pain was unbearable and swallowed my dignity to push my Old Piece Of Junk up and down that brutal road.
Skipping a year to today; I went to Terengganu for a holiday during last year’s NTU Bike Rally, I relish the prospects of reliving everything all over again. The busy road along Keppel Road where cargo trucks ply, the killer hills in NTU, the long dreary stretch of Lim Chu Kang Road, the infamous undulating terrain of Mandai Road and last but not least the mentally challenging Coastal Road with it being the last stretch, a person’s mental and physical are expectedly at its nadir.
And what an awesome experience it was just now. Maybe it’s due to my new road bike; if you would call second-hand new, that provided that extra psychological boost or the great company of my cousin, I was looking forward to tackling those challenges again. And it was damn fun this time. The pain was still there and the heat wouldn’t just go away but this time I enjoyed doing it.
I think I will stop for now as my train of thoughts has derailed. If you couldn’t comprehend what on earth I was rambling about, don’t worry, because that always happen when you write something with your eyes half closed and your brain waiting in eager to shut down.
p/s: Thumbs up to the organisers and volunteers for a job well done. Though they are full-time undergraduates, they still manage to put on a great event. A round of applause goes to my cousin too for completing it on his heavy mountain bike and keeping pace with me. He showed great character and is never one to give it up easily. Well done everyone!