An outing!

I did a really crazy, awesome thing 2 weeks back! I totally forgot to write about it and I really want to - at least to read and think about it later :-)
When I'm at Singapore, I never really leave the campus. If I do so, its usually a trip to the nearby supermarket to replenish my ever-depleting stock of food or a trip to 'Little-India' to have a good lunch or tiffin on a weekend or to a school here called GESS where I mentor secondary students. I'm this weird kind of creature which once comfortable, won't move out unless absolutely necessary! If I get totally bored sitting in my room, watching endless episodes of Prison Break or Heroes, on a blue moon day(hmm...I wonder if thatz how I always use it - what an oxymoron!), I'll just take an MRT to a random place to just stroll about.
Well, all that flashback was to justify my use of the word 'crazy'..hehe..
As I told you earlier, I mentor secondary students at a school called GESS. I do this through the NUS BP Mentoring programme of Rotract Club. Well, this time they decided to have a Nite Cycling outing for the mentors alone. I got a little mail early in June which said I could sign up. And I did! So unlike me - to sign up to go nite cycling -well, I hardly do any exercise! Imagine signing up for an activity that required you to pedal continuously and sit upright for nearly 8 hours - that too in the night - with a group of well - if not strangers - totally new people! The fact that still amazes me is that I went through with it, and didn't chicken out at the last moment..
And am I glad I didn't!! It was one of the most awesome outings!! Well, I took a bus to this place called the East Coast Park - As you can guess its a stretch along the Eastern coast of S'pore. And I'm so ashamed to say that I've discovered this lovely place only after 2 years of staying here!! Its a lovely long stretch of a thin beach - the sand trying to restrain the beautiful waves of the endless sea dotted by liners and ships somewhere far away...- and therez a road running along this entire stretch of beach thatz exclusively for cycling/skating!!
So we went to this place and rented out bikes - and they are pretty amazing ones too; with gears along both handles! That was totally new and I figured how to use them only later during the nite - ah..there were 14 of us and there were the first usual awkward,cautious hellos and introductions that were made. But well, we'd hardly started along, when it began drizzling. I enjoyed watching the tiny droplets splatter against the ground - but it wasn't long before there was a huge downpour! We rushed to a shelter nearby.
Here, as we waited for the rain to stop, we chatted and got comfortable in each-otherz company. The starting binder, being that it was the first ever night-cycling trip for so many of us! I was surprised to note that there were 9 girls - we were the super adventurous ones! a bit carried away there .. Soon, we were laughing, chatting and playing silly little games as we prayed that the rain should stop soon. Soon enough, well - thatz really an exagerration, becuase in all the laughing, talking, eating, and waiting-for-the-rain-to-stop, nearly 2 hours had gone by! So our trip which was to begin at 10pm instead got off to a late but much more enthusiastic and cheerful start at around 11 30.
We began riding, but the rain wasn't relenting so soon. It was still drizzling quite hard but not hard enough to dampen our spirits (omg..why am I getting the feeling that I'm going to end up writing this like one of the famous five adventures..hehe) We rode on the cycle tracks in groups of 3 or 4 shuttling back and forth to talk to different people. Soon we reached the end of the stretch and rode into the sights of proper roads with a few night-owls racing in their sleek designer cars. (Did I mention by the way that you need a nite-cycling license to ride around this way?!) Anyways, like the ghost rider says, Lets burn the roads baby!
We all sifted into a straight line and became much more disciplined. The chatting subsided and we began riding. Our first rest stop was the Kallang Stadium and we rode. The silence bore down upon us as each of us drowned in our own thoughts. The sound of wheels sliding over the wet roads, the light breeze blowing away my hair, the little water droplets clouding my glasses, the tall buildings and occasional greenery overwhelming was all perfect!
And I realized then - I love cycling! Its been so long since I've cycled like this - I used to cycle everyday to school and then when I'd be back home, I'd take out my bike and ride around the compound...occassionaly with a few friends but I loved riding alone! I've tried many a trick and have been hurt many times - but my favourite one was letting go off my hands and guiding the bike with my legs and body-weight! As the roads cleared we began riding a faster and I was now more comfortable with my bike! So I decided - why not! and lo, I let go off my hands...and it was wonderful!! I guess I am a big show-off! 'Cause when everyone stopped by the waterfront in front of the Kallang Stadium - which was looking really beautiful, lit up and all - they asked me how I did it and I was suddenly sheepishly grinning :-P
Anyways, we proceeded on to go on to Suntech City, the Merlion Park,Robinson Road(Lau Pa Sat), Orchard Road, Newton. For those of you who've been to S'pore, you'll realize that yeah..this was some serious cycling! All these were picteresque spots and cameras were clicking away crazily at each of our rest-stops. Along the way, we drove in subways and tiny streets as well as 100 ft expressways! I really discovered how beautifully all these places are connected and tried to memorize the routes..but I guess, I don't actually remember anything further than being awed by the modernization of the place around me. But finally, at Newton, we were all exhausted and decided to turn back. We came back through Geylang and reached the East coast Park again. It was just about dawn(thatz around 7 am here) and we all sat exhausted watching the sea - still undauntedly trying against the stubborn sands- and I amazed at that energy!
We then dragged our tired feet to Macs and devoured upon the food. I greedily gulped down the hot Milo. Soon it was time to return our bikes and say good-bye! I guess all of us were too tired to be sad that it was already the end of a beautiful night out! So we just trudged along and I took a bus that would take me straight back to campus. When I reached back and entered the familiar sights of things strewn about my room, my only thought before collapsing for at least another 8 hours of deep slumber was - I should do such things more often!


Confused Soul said...

Wow!! That must have been so much fun! I wanna go too! I've been wanting to, but never managed to.. I guess I should sign up when one of these things comes by, after all! :)

Archun said...

@Confused Soul
Well firstly, THANK YOU! You had the patience to read that even after its overwhelming size..hehe
And yeah...its sometimes totally fun doing something you'd never otherwise do! :-)

Anusha said...

OMG! I went night cycling a few months ago too, starting at ECP! We went the opposite way, though - all the way to Changi to watch the planes take off in the middle of the night! Your route sounds wonderful as well - imagine riding through all those places at night, with little traffic around! :D

The most vivid thing I can remember about that night is the sound of 13 bikes going over those covered drains on the road, one after another. We were all riding in a single, disciplined line and the repeated sound of tyres over the drains reminded me of the local Indian trains (particularly the sound they make when they're on a bridge, heh). I also remember feeling completely drained by the time we reached McDs - it sure takes a lot of you!

Unknown said...

The night is indeed beautiful; crazier creatures than u called 'Horror Film Producers' make the night really horrible!!A long, nevertheless, a beautiful picture...
Keep up the adventure spirit!!

Ramya Shankar said...

Shit ! That is "SOME" cycling you did !! I remember passing those places in the MRT!
The only cycling I remember is what I did at ECP there ! I badly wanted to try roller blades too ! Maybe next time when I come there !

Ramya Shankar said...

Oh darling, and what about all the throw ball and badminton you played back at school ? ;)

Archun said...

Wow!! That must have been really amazing to see the planes take off - lit up n all!!
n now that you mention it, I remember that it did sound a bit like the trains!! hehe..I sure do miss travelling by them!
hehe..crazier than me for sure!!! why does that make me so happy? :-)
omg! yeah..I want to learn to roller blade too! Those people make it luk so cool n easy naa?! played throwball as well - so u tell me ;) Unfortunately they don't play that much here - they're more into this thing called netball! But yeah..throwball still rulez. :-D

Priyanka said...

dude! i looved it! me going nite cycling soon too! and you play throwball! i majored throwball... i was captain of houseteam and all! let's plaaaaaaay! i ve been dying to! and yeah throwball rulz!

Archun said...

Really??!! Wow!! Itz so naice to know that you play throwball!! We should definitely play!

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