It’s funny how getting drenched to the bone and splashing around in the mud could make me feel so good.
Having not ridden a bike since the days of Ubin in ancient 2002, I was feeling jittery about what I termed my “jelly legs”. Coming from a girl who wobbles as she cycles and can’t make turns, it’s kind of understandable.
But it was really, really great.
When we first started the trail at Mandai, which is supposedly excellent for beginners, I was nervous. My bike wouldn’t go straight and I kept veering from left to right. But thankfully, the guys were patient and awfully nice about waiting for me and I lost my self-consciousness after a while.
It was quite exciting navigating the trail, getting around the mud and the array of rocks, mud and branches that are on the path. The slopes were nothing treacherous and whizzing down the bumpy slopes gave me quite a dizzying high. Zul and TZ were always behind me, exhorting me to gently release and squeeze the brakes whenever the path started sloping.
And then it started raining. Or rather, it poured.
It wasn’t really that bad getting soaked and on a bike while in the middle of a forested area, honestly. The fun was only dampened when the rain kept pelting into my eyes, such that I was cycling with one eye for quite a while. For a good five seconds, I even had both eyes closed because I had gotten into a rhythm and didn’t want to stop.
We sought shelter under the KJE bridge for a while before heading back and boy, was the trail wet. But it was great fun splashing around the muddied waters and zooming into puddles. It reminded me of how, when I was a kid, I loved to jump into puddles during rainy days just to create a big splash.
I ended the trail with the most battle scars – rows and rows of scratches and cuts from the times when I couldn’t keep my balance and had to jump off from the bike. The bike skidded across my legs, leaving behind a trail of grease and blood stains. They don’t really hurt so it’s fine but my gams are probably scarred for a while. No miniskirts for a week, people will probably think that I was abused or something.
I didn’t manage to stay on the saddle throughout the entire ride but that’s okay. My puny legs are not used to going uphill but with practice, I could one day conquer that trail. As long as I keep trying and not give up, I could actually be a decent cyclist.
Yup, you heard me right, this is not the end of my biking days. I enjoyed it tremendously and I will probably try it again soon, rain or no rain. I loved everything about it – being close to nature, having a great workout under the open sky and indulging the tomboy in me.
Oh, and the sumptuous post-ride hawker dinner too.