Finally! Got around to attending a proper bike clinic. I have been thinking hard about starting a fitness program- mainly for weight loss and also for health reasons. Since I have always enjoying cycling, I decided to give this a shot. It was organised by YMCA Lifestyle department and the husband gamely joined me to give me support!
Boy- did I underestimate what was in store for us! I did not realise there was so many skills involved in manoeuvering the metallic steed and controlling the gears/ brakes. I so really learnt so much and gained much more!
We gathered at the Pasir Ris Carpark C for the bike rental and short intro and demo to MTB. It was a cosy group of 8 eager participants- all from various cycling backgrounds and abilities. I found it very interesting to learn the basics of handling a bike and understanding the various parts and functions. But the practical aspects of applying these knowledge simply wowed me ;D After the intro and selection of bikes,we set off on the short journey to the Tampines MTB trail. Boy, I have been so ignorant of this part of Singapore. I knew there was a thriving (large) community of riders but to see the space allocated for them and thrills they get- amazing is an understatement.
The trail we took started with sharp inclines and slopes for which I was so totally unprepared! My inadequacies are evident in the scratches I bear on my knees and arm/ hands now- I actually fell face forward off the bike (and that was not the only fall/ drop!;) as I came down a tricky slope. (It was very sweet of the husband rushing towards me to ensure I was ok!) And after that, I became consistently fearful of downward slopes. Its gonna take me sometime to overcome that fear and master the skill of controlling the brakes adequately. And there was a short while when I felt ill and breathless. I was rather anxious that I may have to abort the outing halfway. Thankfully, I pulled myself together 😉
After riding on the gravel path, we entered the jungle trail which was definitely more cooling and kinder to us, in providing shelter from the sun. Alas, the path was not necessarily so smooth. But it beats a gravelly path hands down anytime! We had to ride past roots/ stumps for which we had been prepared and ‘warned’ beforehand. What was very demanding for me, were the various wooden slopes (planks of various width joined to form slopes and one sharp bend!) I did not always manage to cross these adequately. But I definitely welcomed the experience, despite my lack of coordination and balancing skills failing me several instances.
Today, I fully realised the importance of learning a sport or any discipline (music/ dance etc). You learn co-ordination of the mind and physique. You learn to think quickly and make appropriate judgements. You learn to overcome mental barriers and stretch your abilities. You constantly push yourself to step out of your comfort zone. It makes you more disciplined and respectful of your surrounding and companions.
The husband has been playing football since very young age. His skills and precision came in handy when he managed past all the obstacles with such finesse! Then again, he doesnt do anything without perfection ;p He became more mindful of the need for a good bike and is now more supportive of me getting one, unlike previously. (Will it be a Gary Fisher or something else- look out for a future post on that!) And it was cool that we could enjoy a sport together. I wouldnt be surprised if he takes up MTB after he hangs up his football boots.
I guess my days of serendipity and anything goes/ go with the flow, are numbered. I have previously never minded my haphazard way of thinking- guising it as spontaneity. I dont mean to overhaul my personality but I realise the need for routine/ structure as I understand these are essential in working and personal life. Today was an eye-opener. Lets hope I remain on this ‘enlightened’ route ;p