Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Beating inflation the FUN way

Fully loaded 94' Bridgestone XO5 - loaded with laundry that is

The lovely Ghim Moh Bike Track

Classic Priest Handlebar. Note 41.3kmh registered on Speedo

Inflation has really hit Singapore hard. The latest govt stats say its 7% but we all know its more like 20% across the board. Even the neighbourhood Dry Cleaners has raised prices. One jacket $12. More for the comforter. Outrageous!

Which explains why I had to travel to the heartlands of Commonwealth Housing Estate where I managed to get those items cleaned for nearly half the price. What's more, a plate of my fav Nasi Briyani (Indian curry rice) is only $3 compared to $4 where I live. Only problem is its a 17km round trip and when you factor transport/petrol costs, it may not be worth the trouble - unless you bike there.

My 94 Bridgestone XO5 hybrid bicycle, a neglected child regrettably, has been languishing on the side lines. I got this for my beloved when we were courting and its a supremely comfortable old style bike with eccentric "priest" moustache handlebars. Throw on the trusty panniers and some air in the tires, Bob's your uncle (there you are, in old Australian). Chris kindly upgraded this Grant Petersen steel classic recently with new road bike gears, new Panaracer 700c tires etc and its truly a stealthy bike. I have cycled down the East Coast of Malaysia on the XO5 in 2006 and enjoyed that ride immensely.

700c race bike tires, capable of 150psi

With some bungees, I managed to tie the laundry on the bike. What was supposed to be a boring trip to the cleaners turned out to be 53 minutes of great fun on the saddle (avg an easy 20kmh). Fresh air, sunshine, flying 41.3kmh on a downhill and just being in the lovely outdoors. Topped that with a great Briyani lunch, a chance meeting with my Uncle Harry and some ice cream at MacD, its not a bad way to beat inflation, would you say?

Briyani - Basmati rice cooked with spices and herbs. Served with curry chicken, mutton & pickles. Yumz!
Grant Petersen on Bridgestone Bicycles, extinct 1994
We tried to make bikes conspicuously different and better. It seemed like a great idea because the things that make bikes unique were things we liked anyway: round chainrings, cantilevers instead of U-brakes, higher-volume clinchers, bar-end shifters, and the moustache bar.Some people got the idea that we were anti-technology or anti-progress... Being different is what made it fun!

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