January 21, 2017 by Soo Ee
On Saturday morning
Waking up a little too early for breakfast with a friend and the zero possibility of going out for a run with a body that’s out of whack.
Hmmm .. maybe I could ride up to the breakfast place instead of driving.
The last time
My last cycling episode was in November 2016. I hadn’t been on the bicycle since. By then, I was too close to hitting my forty races goal and didn’t want a stop-short to happen and ruin my plan to complete strong.
I very happily bought a triple eight skateboard helmet for myself. I wanted to ride to work on some days but that never happened. It was difficult to ride when I always have to be somewhere not very near to home, almost everyday after work.
Then a week ago, I reunited with the bicycle and the road because a painful muscle strain made running painful and difficult.
I am sorry, dear bicycle, to have left you in the dust for so long.
Soo the cyclist
This morning, I was the cyclist on the road riding a white blue bike with a white triple eight skateboard helmet. I prefer the skateboard helmet to the cyclist one. I wore no bicycle shorts because they were uncomfortable. I wore no pro-looking cycling shoes and outfit because I am the cheapo minimalist cyclist.
The trip from Woodlands to Toastbox @Railmall was only about 11 km but in that short span of time, my stress level was up to my neck. The bad near-collision experiences in the past immediately surfaced when I went onto the main road. I kept wondering if I would become Sunday Times’s headline ‘Cyclist left to die after being hit by vehicle.’
Every time a huge cement truck zoomed past me at high speed, I stiffened and momentarily held my breath. There were surprisingly many of such trucks going at high speed this early in the morning.
OMG.. OMG.. OMG …
It was not good that the monster vehicles were stressing me. I still had quite a bit more road to cover.
I could head back at the u-turn in front and drive to the breakfast place.
I cannot be a wimp.
This is about being alive.
So this is what I did to have a peaceful ride.
I noted the ‘checkpoints’ along the way – Kranji, Choa Chu Kang, Bukit Panjang, Hillview- They helped me keep my mind occupied and the morbid thoughts out.
I counted the breaths I took. I made sure I took deep steady breaths through my nose.
When I heard an oncoming vehicle, I zoomed onto a point on the road and focused on it instead of looking over my shoulder.
I kept the frontal portion of the bicycle straight.
Good day it is. I think I got this. I am alive and standing despite the initial fears and can now proudly claim that I am one step closer to being fearless on the road.