Thursday, December 10, 2009

Me? My Impetus to Pedal

A little bit about me before all hell breaks loose in this blog. I bike commute quite often, especially when I have no need for a car - which often means when I am not sending large loads around that I cannot haul easily on a bicycle (hey, I don't come from China where they can haul loads five times the total size of a bicycle) or when I am sending people around (it isn't too acceptable to sit pillion on a rear rack or on the back of a tandem - especially on the road).

Before I got my driving licence, I was a even-more-frequent bike commuter than I am right now. Before, bike commuting was a necessity to get away from public transport that got expensive when I ended my tertiary studies (hence losing the 45c a trip concession), being a national servant got things worse as a I counted my allowance, and saw that public transport fares were always high on expenditure percentages. I could lose perhaps 20% of it just to pay public transport. Alas!

I went to work by bicycle, saving the cost and increasing the fun and convenience of commuting. I went to town, NUS, Pasir Ris with a clunker, a Trek 850 (rusty, fugly but runs pretty good), parked right outside whichever destination I was headed to, saving the time I would need to spend walking being a slave to bus/MRT routes. It was independence at 18. It was a one-time $150 21-speed private transport. It was simple, user-repairable and quite fast, given that it was either public transport or bike.

Life was great. My friends said I was crazy, siao, siao-on, and I hear a lot of walaus and WTFs from colleagues and friends. In the end, they got used to it, but occasionally people who I still met get a fright or two. I'm sure seasoned bike commuters know what I'm talking about. They haven't tried it yet to know that it is perfectly normal to commute by bike.

Yes, I do have a driving licence now, but that doesn't mean I have totally abandoned bike commuting. I still move around by bike when it isn't raining, especially when I am alone. I don't like being cooped up in a car, I don't feel as safe in a car as I do on a bike. There's just something magical about being able to have perfect 360 degree view by turning your head and hearing sounds from the road as they were meant to be heard - not filtered through glass and a aluminum frame. In fact, I often do more kilometres (were you expecting "miles"?) on a bike than in a car. It's more joyful and feels more like teen spirit.


  1. Hi there, I just wanted to say that your blog has really been helpful in providing info on what bike commuting is like. I'm thinking of buying a folding bike to commute to work (partly for fitness as well since the office job made me gain quite a bit!)

    Thanks! It's great I found your blog!