Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A locked out fork, retarded hikers, failed bunny hops, and a big bike

As Guan Peng overslept, the guys decided to meet at 8:30 AM. The extra half-hour allowed me the luxury of firing off a particularly humorous post.

8:45 AM. Guan Peng is still asleep. Here, NicIz2HardKore is deciding which tree he would hang GP from.

I really don't know what is it with park users on this repressed, mollycoddled, schizophrenic, little island. At East Coast Park, jogging and cycling paths are clearly demarcated with signs and pictorial markings — and yet, many park users insist on walking on the cycling path. At the Bukit Timah Mountain Biking Trail, the same phenomenon occurs. Hikers and joggers enjoy access to 5 trails that are off-limits to mountain bikes, and yet, they persist in using the only trail that is open to mountain bikers.

The fact that the mountain biking trail only goes in one direction should give a clue to these hikers. Besides hikers and joggers, clueless teachers from the nearby MOE Adventure Centre regularly bring their charges — which can number up to 30 students in each group — on to the narrow trail.

It is one thing to set a policy where mountain bikers have to give way to the occasional hiker or jogger, but it is another matter altogether when hordes of joggers and hikers clog up a dedicated mountain biking trail, endangering themselves and mountain bikers. On weekends, I encounter more hikers and joggers than monkeys on this trail. It may very well be that the monkeys are more intelligent. Many mountain bikers have crashed whilst avoiding hikers and joggers on this trail.

On sundays, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is a zoo. While waiting for Guan Peng, we counted at least 8 joggers and hikers coming down the slope by the parking lot (as well as 6 clueless newbies riding the wrong way). On the first descent (i.e. short, steep concrete slope with potholes in the center), a balding, middle-aged man failed to yield immediately, causing me to switch to an undesired line. When I admonished him that this is a mountain biking trail, not a hiking trail, Baldy decided to wait until I was up the other slope — and him, a safe distance away — before he yelled in reply, "GET LOST!"

Mighty brave words, Baldy. Let me see you on the trail again and I might just run you over and perform donuts and figure-of-8s on that shiny pate of yours.

A little later, while descending a slope, Nic had to swerve hard to avoid another pair of clueless hikers. The crash tore the inner tube on his front wheel. He had to replace it at Echo Valley / Dairy Farm Quarry. It is unclear whether Arthur meant Nic has 2 punctures or Nic mowed down 2 stupid hikers. Nic is considering getting some tungsten carbide studded snow tires to shred stupid hikers into little, manageable chunks (think of a wood chipper).

Back at the same place. Here, we are convincing NicIz2HardKore of the feasibility of bunnyhopping the barrier.

RED JERSEY GUY:  It can be done. Hop the 1st barrier, then jump off your bike. This friendly bush will catch you.
ARTHUR:  It will make a great pic!
BEN:  Think, man! If you don't make it, you might be downgraded to Pes F. You may not even have to serve anymore NS.
NIC [Aside] :  Are these guys my friends? I think they're trying to get me killed.


NIC:  Muthafu...!!
ARTHUR:  Smile for the camera!

At Rifle Range Road, I discovered that I had locked out the suspension fork for the entire ride. No wonder I was slipping on all the climbs. Doh!

After a big brunch at Binjai Park (and unsuccessfully trying to con Evie, the Char Siew Pao Babe, into giving the boys a ride back to East Coast), we decided to shed off some mud on Tay Cycle's nice, shiny floor. Here, Nic pulls off a handsfree trackstand on Cloe. At 20.5" (52 cm), Cloe's top tube is the height of Nic's saddle on his 14" (35.6 cm) 1x1 Surly. I.e. any mistake may turn him into a eunuch — this guy is truly hardcore!

Total distance:  cyclo-computer 11.9 miles (19.3 km) / GPS dead
Total elevation climbed:  Altimeter 810 ft (247 m)

No comments: