[ POST CNY 2002 ] [GOOD FRIDAY 2002] [DESARU 2005]

TOUR GOOD FRIDAY EVE REPORT

After the minor hitch involving the last century ride, the wise Old Man with the 'AAA' WSO decreed that the next ride would be a mirror of the first Tour Deep Eve and asked for merry souls to join him on Good Friday Eve. So, instead of short TTT at 9pm, a rather long epic ride was in store for these 10 intrepid Absolutees (or 10 suckers for punishment, if you prefer the alternative view):

1) Old Man (who had the flu...)
2) Spiderman (who was "looking forward to the ride")
3) Beef (who drove to OM's for a change)
4) Young Man (who cycled from his place on his Mongoose before the ride even began - now THAT is masochistic)
5) Doc (whose professional skills were not needed during the ride...if only just)
6) Cocopops (who was wondering together with Porky after 70 odd km why sane people would subject themselves to such insanity)
7) Porky (who apparently drank 4 glasses of wine before the ride)
8) Lardo/Wanker (who was in it for the Hokkien Mee)
9) Goose (who was also in it for the Hokkien Mee)
10) Elvis (who wasn't in it for the Hokkien Mee)

The start was relatively slow as we ambled along the Pandan Reservoir Loop/West Coast Highway/World Trade Centre as some sort of long warm-up. The serenity of this was abruptly ended when Spiderman decided that "group rides should not be less than 35kph" (or something to that effect) decided to pull away as we neared Keppel Road and Porky followed. The others muttered a few words about "the impetuousity of youth...young people nowadays...etc etc..." before attempting to follow along, dodging rogue single-deck buses and idiotic cars trying to make roadkill.

The group reformed itself again as a whole when we entered the busy Shenton Way district. Here Beef confessed that "the only time I come here is on a bike," and Lardo was suddenly asking for people to join him in a little detour to the pubs around Lao Pa Sat. Surprisingly, no one wanted to (maybe it was the better option...). As we left the busy CBD, and passing by the Fullerton Hotel, a "minor incident" involving Doc and OM occured which was, then, the highlight of the ride. After the rush through Nicoll Highway/Fort Road, we ended up on the long stretch of clear, traffic-light free lane known as the East Coast Park Service Road. There we saw a quite interesting sight of a bike decked with numerous flashing Christmas lights on the ECP cycle path going the opposite direction - thus, we solved the mystery of Beef's missing bike. As we were frequently held up by heavy traffic near the Marine Parade stretch, we did not pick up speed until after the Bedok Flyover, and after cautiously avoiding more vehicular missles, we reached everyone's favourite portion of the ride - Changi Coast Road.

There, the pace was fast and furious, thanks to Beef, Spiderman and Doc, who was muttering to the first 2 to "order my teh-tarik when you guys reach Changi Village first." Thanks (or no thanks) to the frequent practice every Thursday night on paceline riding, almost all of the group managed to stick together for most of the 10km stretch.

Once we reached our first rest stop, we wasted no time in depleting the remaining stocks of 100 Plus that the coffeeshop had. EPO-flavoured chocolate/fruit bars were also passed around to boost morale and energy (hehehe), whilst the long awaited Hokkien Mee was devoured by Lardo and myself before a repeat of the Merrybrown incident from Pengerang occured.

We also met the Father of Spiderman at Changi - Although he said he was there after watching a movie, we speculated that he could have been there to chide our climbing hero that "45 kph pulls are still too slow..."

After the short (it always is short...) break, we took off down Loyang Ave towards Tampines. Here the only "crash" occured - and it had to be me. Whilst waiting at one of the traffic lights, I turned around to look behind. Unfortunately, this idiot neglected to unclip his left foot off his Looks and promptly lost his balance, falling to the pavement and getting a minor case of road rash - and a bruised ego. Apart from providing laughter just to those present, it appeared that the Father of Spiderman was behind me while I did my bowling pin impression. It never rains...

Passing through Tampines Ave 7 and 9, the pace was still relatively slow so as to allow Absolutees to digest their enhanced foods. Along the way the group approached the houses of several Absolutees who live in the East - one complained that he'd left his keys in the car at OM's place. (Ouch.) After a right turn at Bedok Reservoir Road, we passed the 70km mark as we continued west along Ubi Ave. When we hit Paya Lebar Road, some of us whistled in admiration at a Lamborghini parked at a "famous" diamond shop along the way...maybe we SHOULD have stopped to take a closer look at it.

Zooming along at a faster speed along Boundary Road/Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, we stopped along Bishan Park as Young Man had to leave and head home. The extra kms that he racked up from Toa Payoh on his MTB heading to OM's (he rode the trip on Stick's old Trek) took too much out of him. We bade farewell to him as we sped on towards Upper Thompson Road and our 2nd rest point at the BP station near Cycleworx. In anticipation of this, the group started a hammerfest and reached the gas station in double quick time...with some being even quicker getting off the bike and rushing to the loo for a leak.

After some much needed liquids (unfortunately, not alcoholic in Lardo's case) we left for the worst part of the journey...the 20 odd km back home along a very undulating stretch... Before even reaching the Lornie Road flyover, Beef and Spiderman broke away and left the others floundering in their wake. Whilst up the hills that make up Lornie/Adam Road, a chase group comprising of Elvis, Doc and myself tried to catch up with the 2 speedsters. The others were more content to survive the rolling terrain that would be the feature of the remaining distance. And they were probably much more smarter too.

The chase group of 3 managed to keep the front two in their sights throughout Farrer Road and Holland Road, but sadly, our efforts came to naught as we were caught at the traffic light at the junction of North Buona Vista Road and Commonwealth Ave. Elvis said something unprintable whilst waiting, Doc muttered that his "legs were like jelly", and I was coughing my lungs out from the flu and effort. We suffered together as we climbed the Gap, and enjoyed the fast descent along the narrow road behind King Edward 7 Hall in NUS. Finally, as we headed to the container port and when upon seeing our Cateyes register 100.00KM (or 62.00 Miles in my case), there was a sense of relief and muted celebration as we were too tired to lift our arms (well, Doc and me anyway). Staggering back to OM's carpark, we met up with the others who reached there before us in "suspicious circumstances" and dismounted.

As like the last time, exhaustion and complaints about cramps/aches/pains/dehydration/lack of steriods were raised. But still...there was a sense of accomplishment...and also of superiority over those who didn't dare take up the challenge (hehehehe)...as the Webmaster puts it..."and shame on those who missed it!"

Till the next 100km plus ride...

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