Sunday, 27 February 2011

HAIRLESS - Let's see you try THIS...

And a good evening to you from across the globe after another GREAT WEEKEND in the Lion City. Seriously - Saturday was a PERFECT day in the Sing, complete with an activity that we'll remember FOREVER. I am dedicating this blog to the one and only T-Rowe Tom "the Hairless Wonder" Price, as I have a feeling that he's gonna laugh harder than any other member of the readership at this post.
So for those of you who've never actually met T-Rowe, I'll give you a bit of background. In addition to being a master guitarist and change manager, Tom also happens to cycle competitively (which is the ONLY REASON we'll allow his legs to be as clean shaven as his wife's...just sayin'...). I don't have any pics to post on the blog of him in action, but just picture a 6 foot Lance Armstrong with shiny white legs and spandex, and you'll be about 85% there.
Does Tom race with a team? Yes. Has Tom ever won a race? Yes. Does Tom correct me everytime I mispronounce pelaton? Yes. Does Tom cycle something silly like EIGHTY MILES every Saturday morning? Yes. But there is one thing in the world of cycling that Tom has never done - TAKE A 40 YEAR OLD STEEL FRAME TANDEM BIKE INTO AN OFF-ROAD MOUNTAIN BIKING PARK IN ASIA. That's right, baby - if you're not livin' on the edge, then you're taking up too much space.
So here's how it went down - Team Taylor logged 12 hours of sack time before waking up and heading over to one of the "rustic islands" off the coast of Singapore - Pulau Ubin. Described by the locals as "old Singapore," it boasts wetlands, unspoiled rainforest, and virtually ZERO humans. To get there, you have to take a "bum boat" across the straight, which takes about 20 minutes. The funny part (stated very publically at the ferry terminal) is that there is no set departure time. You wait until there are 12 of you who want to go, and then it departs. HILARIOUS! Luckily we showed up and were numbers 11 and 12, and so we headed right over.
The weather was just SPECTACULAR - I mean we're talking a PERFECT day in paradise. And how do you celebrate great weather on a Saturday? YOU HAVE A MASSIVE LUNCH, of course! And so we settled down at a local dive and KILLED some noodles and black pepper ostrich (SO GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD, peppy cheekies). We even got some coconut milk - STILL IN THE COCONUT. Check out muffin puffin rockin' it out Castaway style.
We then moved onto the featured event of the day - the bike ride. Now we'd heard that this was THE SPOT to tandem bike, as you'll basically have the roads to yourself and can get accustomed to handling the bike. And whilst the "you'll be pretty alone" part is accurate, there were a few details left off, such as:
1. The roads were completed in about 1670 and haven't been touched since then.
2. There are wild boar on the island, and they WILL run in front of you.
3. The bikes were purchased during World War II and haven't really been upgraded since then. True, mine did have Shimano gears, but I noticed there was only 1 sproket...hmmmmm...
4. The island is half wetlands, which you can't cycle through, and then half terrain park, which you don't WANT to cycle through. Next time I think we'll consult the fake Lonely Planet we bought a bit more, but hey - details...
And so, $9 US bought JT and I a tandem bike for the day. I mean CHECK THIS MONSTER OUT. You don't get a map. You don't get a spare tire. You don't get any assistance. All you get is a basket to drop your backpack and a wave from the shopowner who you KNOW is thinking "Twenty bucks says they drive into the lake in the middle of the island and drown - good thing I gave them the bike from 1903."
And so the journey began. About 15 seconds in we should have known there was a problem, as I couldn't get the damn thing to EVER go to the right. However, we just assumed that this was "teething," and so we rolled to the western half of the island. Again, we should have considered our surroundings when the terrain started going STRAIGHT UP on gravel only, but not be stopped by anything (IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING), we kept going, laughing all the way until we saw a sign that read: "Pulau Ubin Mountain Terrain Skills Park - Not Recommended for Beginners." There was a brief moment of "we can do this," until we saw 2 freakin' OLYMPIC ATHLETES throttle past us at about 600 miles per hour CLAD IN BODY ARMOR (sorry, Brits - armour). Consequently, we decided to take the "leisurely downhill" that would get us back on the main road. "Leisurely" must mean something different in Singlish, as it was basically STRAIGHT DOWN THE SIDE OF A GRAVEL FILLED MOUNTAIN. And the best part? THE BIKE DIDN'T HAVE FUNCTIONING BRAKES. Seriously - we had to use our feet and drag them for traction - AWESOME.
We puttered around the island for 3 hours, and I will confess that it was BEAUTIFUL. We even saw some Wild Boar (Lost style) - I'd LOVE to have seen Locke try to take this monster down. I wonder if there were Mutant Polar Bears out there as well?

It really was a neat place, and we did get a chance rest our legs and walk through the wetlands National Park as well. There wasn't much to this (just a Mangrove boardwalk which was closed and some other trails), but there was a really neat 5 story observation tower that we climbed up, which gave us a great view of the water, with Singapore City in the distance. Oh, and the oil wells...did I mention all the near shore oil wells? Yeah, let's just say that Team Taylor is probably NEVER gonna get in the water around the Sing. The Sing might be clean, but the only word that comes to mind when I think of the water surrounding this pristine little country is RAW SEWAGE.
After grabbing a Tiger by the ferry terminal, we rolled back to the condo, showered, and then headed out to Boat Quay, where we stopped for a drink at Red Dot. This place has passted Brewerkz as my favorite microbrewery in Singapore, and the Boat Quay one was great because they offer 3/4 pints! So of course I tucked into a Green Monster (T-Rowe - it's really worth you flying over here just to experience one of these...and for me to watch you each some Chinese food with chopsticks in a Hawker Center). Another nice thing about the Boat Quay branch was the live music they had. They had a 2 person acoustic set going, and these cats were GREAT. We listened to 2 sets and were VERY impressed - we'll definitely be back for an encore!

We then headed back to the casa, where we chatted with mom before PASSING OUT. And I should say a big CONGRATS TO MY STEPDAD STEVE!!!!! VERY Proud of you, big guy! Full marks!!!

Team Taylor got up today after another TWELVE HOUR SNOOZE, and we weren't as productive today. We rolled over to Clarke Quay, where we hit up Iguana, a Mexican themed restuarant with nothing but photos and coasters of Frida Khalo everywhere - yes, honk if you too find this odd. Regardless, their nachos were OFF THE CHAIN, as was their chimichanga, with the consequence being that we both feel fat as damn BEARS right now. And the sweet tea came with sugar water - look at the master pourer in progress. Now if I'd just had one of those tea bazookas, I could have REALLY done something.

It was then over to Orchard, where 2 hours of shopping led to the purchase of a) some power gel, b) a hydration belt (don't worry - you'll see Sam "you can't hide sexy" Taylor sporting this new accessory soon enough), c) some salt tablets (Miller - I didn't get to thank you for the email. I'm trying 30 "vegetarian" supplements, all to be consumed during distance training at regular intervals. If you never hear from me again, don't buy the same brand...), and d) the best purchase of all...wait for it...wait for it...shinguards for Muffin Puffin!!!! That's right folks, in anticipation of the Kandy Kickers United Football Club 2012 calendar rollout, I present to you, Mrs. March (or is it Miss?) - Deadly Striker Jenny! Seriously - could she BE any cuter?
It's a quiet night in, whilst we iron, finish taxes, and hopefully chat with a few folks via Skype. Other than that, not a whole lot else to report, save to say that it's been a GREAT weekend, and I'm refreshed and ready for the week ahead.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny

No comments:

Post a Comment