Note how nicely my umbrella hung!
The heat and humidity in Singapore are absolutely 2 unbearable liabilities in this beautiful country. It limits cycling to early mornings or late evenings. But what happens when you have to cycle mid-day? I had to go to the Polyclinic today to X-Ray my fractured finger and it was going to be a long drawn day with endless patient queues I'm told. I was mentally prepared for that and armed myself with a LP guidebook on Lao and my trusty MP3. What remained was how to cycle there without breaking a sweat.
For starters, dress comfortably. Shorts, T-shirt, slippers and no helmet (please don't ape me here). I even brought along an umbrella in case it rained or got too hot. Yes, safety was compromised but I was going to ride really s-l-o-w-l-y and I did. Its still not compulsory for helmets here and I wonder if the heat got something to do with that.
Life in the slow lane actually turned out quite fun. When I encountered pedestrains on the bike path, I followed them at a snail's pace catching a bit of their conversations even. Riding slowly with the luxury of no deadlines opened a new world for me.
I reached Bukit Batok Polyclinic in a leisurely 25 mins (5km ride) and succeeded staying relatively sweat free. The 3 hour wait there was not as long as I expected and parking fee was irrelevant thanks to the Mamachari. I just chucked it near the front porch and nobody seemed to mind. The great news was that my finger has healed well and I couldn't believe the total bill of consultation plus X-ray turned out to be an incredible S$22.05 or US$16.60 only!
Cycling home at 2pm heat was unbearable and I tried doing it with an umbrella opened. One hand riding was quite manageable until a strong breeze came and I nearly flew off the bike. So much for my little experiment to ride Mary Poppin's style. I chose the scenic route and I rode pass Little Guilin, which is an old granite quarry turned into a park and resembles a famous part of China.
Sweat-free cycling is possible in Singapore if you learn how to ride with as little effort as possible. Perhaps we all need to slow down as we too often we move too fast.
Doing so, according to Simon and Garfunkel, can make you feel groovy. I hope this great song will inspire you somewhat for a no sweat ride. Relax lah!