Curse… or sign? Curse… or sign?

Hmmm… this was the question of the weekend. Yes, I have been back in the Global DN hub long enough now for it to semi-start to feel like a routine. But, there has been one twist since touching down here: I have pretty much hated every ride I have done since returning.

Well, yes, hate is a pretty strong word, BUT, it has felt like I have consumed a massive bottle of haterade every time I have been out on the bike. Mixed form coupled with calamitous ride events had parked motivation firmly in ‘low’ bracket at the moment. Allow me to elaborate using 3 days as an example:

Friday – I was dumb enough to break my “I will never ride my Santa Cruz Nomad in Singapore” promise I made to Mr Roskopp, only doing so as its in a rare window of dryness at the moment, to the level I have never seen in Singapore the whole time I have lived here. Given this dryness, I set out to do one thing and one thing only: Set a good Strava time around ‘Butterfly’.

Butterfly is perhaps the most premier and decent trail in Singapore, either that or the lap of Ubin, its pretty flat, but a demanding little piece of track:

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I am only here to smash you

Given the dry conditions, there is currently a feverish window to set a decent time on Strava as once it rains, those times will essentially be sealed in there forever like a time capsule. Ignore for a moment that this is massively 29er territory, I wanted to set a respectable time on the Nomad. Yes, I was only there to finger the butterfly.

1st attempt – Going the traditional way on the loop, I was 5 mins in and tearing the heart and soul out of butterfly faster than Doctor Lecter can finish his entree, when, randomly I met another rider coming the other way at possibly THE worst possible spot on the whole loop. He was so excited at a DN sighting and my speed and grace that he decided it was best to launch over the handlebars and hit me squarely in the chest, bending the stem and taking us both fully out. After strongly suggesting he was a cunt, I had no choice but to abort the attempt and head back out to the road… Possibly cursing as I went.

2nd attempt – Let’s try reverse then shall we? Didn’t really want to focus on that, but thought it was worth a crack. All was going well until a top 5 time became 7th overall, losing a minute when I stacked it hard after having my handlebar ripped out of my hand by cunty jungle vine action. Its quite possible I had a rather large tantrum at this point, which further exacerbated my time loss:

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The offending jungle and result of one silly mistake

Yes, I get through all the Gnar of the South Island basically unscathed to then have two fucked up stacks in the space of half an hour. How to make it worse? Ride about 5km’s out towards home, stop to whatappigram the fuck out of something to find your iPhone no longer in the Camelbak pocket that you had forgotten to zip up… Yes, realise its in the jungle… Where you crashed… Yes, have another melt down. Luckily, it was right where I crashed my brains out. A small win/save, but ultimately I had to wonder:

Curse… or sign? Curse… or sign?

Saturday – Lets try that again… Yes, unfinished business, so made the call to head back out to Butterfly with the express intention of righting the wrongs of Friday. This time, with the 29er hit squad:

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Circle the wagon wheels

Forgot the fact that Wolf and I wore exactly the same Fox riding gear that day, the man in the middle there is the Professor. Current holder of ALL the Butterfly KOM’s, both ways. No one really know’s how he does it, but he has this annoyingly effortless style and never trains, so it leaves most mystified at his omnipotence  when it comes to butterfly.

FULL gas again (well, what I could muster given the ride so far and the effort the prior day) and I was sure that I was on for a good time… It wasn’t the cleanest ever and you can’t help ignore the message gnawing at your brain that “this would be faster on your Scalpel” as you manhandle a trail bike through it, but ultimately I burst out of the jungle to complete the loop about a minute ahead of Cas. Job done, effort in the bank… Home to upload.

Home to upload… Yes… Its not often that Garmin and Strava get together to fuck up your day, but as Murphy would ordain it, today they did. For some reason that not even scientist as NASA could explain, my time wasn’t correctly captured… Thus it gave me a time of 21 minutes when I had done more like 14. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I stood in stunned silence, still in wet cycling gear smelling like a cross between a dog’s ass and camel vomit. I stared at the screen. No. I deleted the activity and reloaded it. No. I uploaded to Garmin, extracted the GPX file and reloaded to Strava. No. I looked at my Garmin device and fantasied about throwing it out the window from level 15 and watching the fucker smash to pieces. I can’t recall ever being robbed like this. Again, one had to ask:

Curse… or sign? Curse… or sign?

Sunday – Right, fuck this… Clearly I am not getting any love on the MTB here, so back on the road bike and time to see if I can finish Crazies. Studious followers may recall I have failed in recent attempts to finish Crazies with the lead group, but I was pretty determined on Sunday to get it done properly.

Clearly not everyone understood me when I said “If you’re a cool motherfucker, don’t smile”:

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“Wait, did you say smile or not smile?”

We had our best form riders out for the day, so all good right?

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From a man that knows…

Made it through the spot I got dropped the last two times… Thanks for the push Snozza in a moment of bad placement (riding the Nomad Carbon 90km’s in two days in the jungle not a good warm up). Made it past the spot I crashed on last year when I hit a truck wheel nut and ate shit at 45kph. Pace ok… Legs ok… Good. No.

Timing and placement – Firstly there was the ill timed turn on the front dragging people towards a small rise heading into Kranji back blocks. I started to fade off the front when there was the Tractor. Yes, we were doing 40 something kph and the tractor was doing 10. Suddenly I was swamped… Then coming the other way, dump trucks. So, Wanganui, what will it be? The tractor of the truck?!! I was in the group that elected to slow down and get stuck behind the tractor, aided by my loss of momentum and bad timing. And, that was it. By the time we cleared the traffic, the lead group was goooooone.

Usually, you’re supposed to chase… Ride hard, stay at threshold, don’t give up, blah blah blah. Given I was munching on my third cunt sandwich in 3 days, I rode as slow as a sulking child and spent my time considering one question:

Curse… or sign? Curse… or sign?

Well, if its a curse (let’s face it, a few fuck heads globally probably wanting to put one on me), then please get in touch if you practice anti-witch doctory. I haven’t really done anything traditional to get a hex on me, so perhaps that means its a;

Sign… Is it time to get a beard cut and a real job? Is that it? Was the South Island trip so awesome I am being punished to return to the matrix and the real world? Or, am I supposed to keep traveling? I suspect that the current state of affairs links back to the need to go into an office building type arrangement and sit in meetings listening to people bull shitting and presenting overly complex powerpoint slides that everyone knows aren’t needed but are produced any way.

Best that I continue to monitor the situation and perhaps update the CV… I asked Bob if he could help, but it didn’t seem to work out:

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Speak the truth Bob… Speak the truth

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