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On Cycling

February 21, 2016
I have been procrastinating for over 3 years, and with the recent attention on cycling, this is the best time to start sharing my experience as a commuter-cyclist on a blog.
Part of the reservation stemmed from the fact I could not think of a proper name for the blog. You see, I wanted to have as neutral a name as possible as the tension between vehicles, pedestrian and cyclist have been growing over the last decade. I didn’t want a title that would stratify or divide as a cyclist would easy be a pedestrian or a motorist the next moment. That is the beauty of the bicycle. It is so easy to pick up and use.
So, no more deliberation, I have decided to step as an individual who cycles to work and share my experience with you. From motivation, to route planning, to equipment reviews, to discussing cycling regulations and policies, I hope I can sharemy 6 years of joy and perhaps entice you into the world of cycling as a mode of transport.
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A year and some

January 5, 2011

It had been a long absence, a result of many unconnected reasons. 365 and then some has been a good time, and also a new time. The past year has been a rite of passage, marked by milestones, both big and small. It was a time where I passed out of the hallowed halls of education, and tossed of the mortar board of pupilage. With that, the signalling of the true road of discovery.

Along the way, I chased a dream. I chased the faint outline of the clouds in the sky, and approached the faint silver lining, only to find myself back on the ground, for reasons I cannot control.  Mission control checked in with reality to terminate all fly-boy dreams.

Then there was the brief affair of the first job. The frustration, the anguish, and certain realization. Certainly, the experience bruised the idealist in me. Perhaps, some wishful thinking on my part contributed to it, but at least I could say “I know better now”.

Know better of human nature and of immovable objects; which more often than not are of the inert variety. I’ll put in my pocket these valuable lessons , and endeavour not to turn into that which I loathed.

As I step out into the uncertain beyond, into the untamed jungle, I can’t help but feel excited, and invigorated.  And to regain the lost discipline and honour I yearn for.

 

Ozymandias

December 30, 2009

Ozymandias

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a sheltered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away

This is one of those poems that I have an affinity for. To cut a long story short, it is a mysterious link between members of my inner circle.

The poem tells of the great Egyptian king, Ozymandias, long since passed from the face of this earth; His kingdom had long since crumbled to ash.

One interpretation, my interpretation changes with the passing of time, it becomes enriched with the wealth of experiences I ceaselessly add to my retinue.

Many interpretations abound, and on this day, this little poem stands as a warning against pride unfounded. All the glorious devices of his throne have gone, Ozymandias lies defiant and proud, proclaiming to the world his haughty dominance.

“All ye mighty gaze on me, all ye shall feel ye pale in my shade,” Ozymandias seems to taunt; Ozymandias yet asserts, his divine mandate to rule, to hold dominion over the sands that might remember this, Ozymandias insists.

So in this reduced and sand-dried earth, all that is remembered of Ozymandias are the words inscribed, upon the ruins of his glorious sculpture in stone.

Of all he conquered, and all he owned, nothing remains, not even a legacy. The memory of the ancient king has long since been erased from time. What remains of his intimidating might, the power to make even ye mighty despair?

Who might be in a position to know, no one, not you nor I.

Yet, he who might laugh the last laugh yet, not you nor me, but certainly him. For even in his dilapidated state the remnants of his story echoes. The name it manifests anew; new legends not necessarily all true are spawned and propagated.

Ozymandias may yet survive in new myths and tales we seek to tell. Yet in spite of all that and this, the pride that was originally his, fades of into silent obscurity. Replaced by a new persona, neither him or it.

So we hope, rest in peace, his pride and soul.

The world is too complex to satisfy all…

December 29, 2009

… So instead, you should do what puts your heart at ease.

That is the most precious lesson that I have learnt in the year 2009.

I see people everywhere, many close to me, fall desperately from grace. He would wades in a quagmire of filth, seeking to elevate himself above everyone else. Or he who bemoans the rest of the world for his own failings. He who holds himself in esteem when it source is merely charity.

It saddens me, but, we each walk our own path. We shape as much as we are shaped by the world around. And that which they walk is of their own volition.

I digress, sometimes, I get distracted.

As I was saying, I realize over the past year that I am prone to choosing a path that would satisfy the most number of people. A path of least attrition as Chye Ping once described it. Only problem is, the path of least attrition is not necessarily a wise path, it might be the slow path to eventual annihilation.
Alas, this path is never one of my own whims. It
lacked somewhat in satisfaction. Little did I realize how much it pains, until the Lady said to me “don’t do anything that goes against your heart. I can see the look of dissatisfaction in your eyes.”

It is time to abandon the politically correct, and be myself. Fear not about offending people, because afterall, the ones who matter, don’t care, and the ones who care, don’t matter.

Life is too short wasted on doing something you don’t like, and that’s a lesson I want to remember and practice.

That applies to my latest adversary/antagonist too. I respect her because she is following the call of her heart, and I will deal with her face on, and honourably, just as my heart says.

I am a little scared and afraid to face defeat, but I’d rather savour the bitter pain of loss than to live a bland permanence.

Rays through the dusty leaves

December 28, 2009

I was clearing up the mess in my room in a rare moment of free time, and little did I expect it to be rather therapeutic.

Lifting and moving the boxes of notes, I find hidden troves of memories. Tiny pieces of paper, scribbled full of words. Tiny trinkets and memorabilia from an age long since past.

You know it’s strange how it has not occurred to me to flip the room outside down. having been through a period of change, a golden period of change, there’s a need to create new spaces to accomodate the brand new world seeping into the old.

Like a fairy tale.

The first rays of the golden dawn gently caressing the leaves of the dusty old forest. The yellow light peels away the frigid leaves of the petrified branches, revealing to the eyes what was once a lush sea of green. A verdant jungle rich with emotions and feelings too strange and curious to chronicle.

Little did the little knight ever expect to re-visit this forgotten place, for he thought the memories of his new life would take up every other space.

But he’s glad he took that trip into the darkened recesses. Otherwise, how would he have know the beauty of her light that had permeated the cold murky depths.

It was simply breath-taking.

But enough of the allusions. In reality I found memories and echos from the past. I remembered glory and achievements, pain and sorrow,, I remembered embarassment and frustration, I remembered promises kept and forgotten, but strangely, there was a lack of ‘joy’.

I was really glad I took the time to pack the room up, making way for all the new portions of my life. I only wish you were here to awlk with me (in fact, weren’t you supposed to help me do it?)

Nonetheless, I can’t wait till you see it.

“only” human

December 14, 2009

The call Tiger Woods ‘only human’  for cheating on his wife with multiple women. How can that be considered ‘only human’ or to any extent normal?

So instead of having the media portray him as a normal person, and create a ‘role model’ to define ‘normal’.

While it’s not wrong to err, and then make amends later, it surely isn’t a justifiable action. A wrong is a wrong, and a crime is a crime. True, Tiger deserves some slack, but also true is that we must never take a stance that committing crimes or sinning is a perfectly excusable act.

Mysterious Lights over Norway

December 10, 2009

I came across this article while randomly surfing the news:

What’s blue and white, squiggly and suddenly appears in the sky?

If you know the answer, pop it on a postcard and send it to the people of Norway, where this mysterious light display baffled residents yesterday.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1234430/Mystery-spiral-blue-light-display-hovers-Norway.html#ixzz0ZHKokkNA ”

What could it be?

A broken bat-light?  A little hiccup in the LHC? A ultra-heavy duty projector? Or a failed Russian rocket launch?

Hmm…