Cycling After the Sunset

While cycling we saw this gorgeous aunset

Family moments are far more ephemeral than we sometimes realise. While childhood stretches on (especially the school years), it barely lasts a couple of decades. To a kid that’s practically forever, but to an adult, it’s a blink of an eye, over way too fast.

I mention this because it’s becoming harder to arrange those moments where we spend time doing something, or going somewhere, as a family. It used to be that any of us (kids included) would spontaneously announce that we’d be going out for a walk, or to do a playground-crawl, or just head out for a meal, and we’d all just drop whatever we were doing and leave immediately. There was no hesitation or even complaints. Sadly, those days are long over.

My kids are now at the stage of their lives where they’re far more interested in doing their own things and/or spending their spare time with their friends. They have much more agency. Which is only natural. It’s a part of growing up, and I don’t begrudge them that. It’s great to see them make their choices, and live their lives. They need to find their own way. However, I do lament missed opportunities.

I do lament missed opportunities

We still manage to spend time together. One activity we all enjoy is cycling. I’ve been a cyclist most of my life. It’s a great way to get around and get some exercise at the same time. I like it so much, I no longer own a vehicle (other than my bike). In fact, I haven’t owned one since the 90s. I just cycle everywhere.

That choice is far more socially acceptable in Singapore than Australia. The streets (and footpaths) are filled with cyclists here. With vehicles prohibitively expensive it’s almost a necessity. Even with the brilliant public transport system it’s usually far quicker to cycle, unless travelling long distances (and it’s not raining). In Australia, it’s a far less accepted practice, usually limited to the MAMILs (a quaint acronym for Middle-Aged Men In Lycra), kids, and the environmentally inclined. Which is a pity, because the cycle paths (at least in Perth) are excellent. They’re much better in fact than Singapore.

Now that everyone else in the family has their own bikes we can enjoy the cycling experience together. Whether it’s speeding along the cycle paths, or just casually riding on the footpaths (mostly legal here) it’s always fun. Especially the night rides.

we can enjoy the cycling experience together.

Riding at night is both exhilarating and terrifying. Some of the paths where we cycle still have wild fauna, which are more active at night. Monkeys, otters, and even at least one tapir roam the area. And while the routes are usually lit, the lighting is not the best. There are still shadows where something (or someone) might be lurking (or walking – usually with the face in their phones). Even with our bike lights blaring out their cones of brilliance, it can become quite hairy at times, as an obstacle (or person) appears out of nowhere, and you need to quickly swerve out of the way to avoid hitting it.

And despite the possibility of obstacles, we often race one another, weaving in-and-out at a hectic pace. It’s loads of fun. Ironically at the end, there’s usually a shared question: why don’t we do this more often?

However, I’m mindful that we are rapidly running out of these shared family experiences. My Eldest will soon head off to do his National Service. Then just as he returns, it will be my Youngest’s turn. It could be another six years before we can all spend much time together again. Who knows what might happen between now and then. So I enjoy every moment of their company, lest it be our last chance to cycle together.

Featured photo taken by my Eldest. Used with permission.

skribe

I’m skribe. I’m a writer, a film-maker and an actor. While I’m originally from Perth, Australia, I currently reside on a tropical island, the Lion City of Singapore. Fingerprint: 79A1 DC6C D367 8A31 135A 7AFA 940E 4231 D7B9 B15C If you like what you see buy me a coffee.

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1 Response

  1. 2024-06-06

    […] phone is old and takes awful photos (hence the reason I used my son’s photo for Cycling After the Sunset). Also, when I’m riding, I don’t particularly like to stop and take some photos (even when I […]

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