Sunday, July 08, 2007

Living in Joo Chiat long enough, you notice that there are a lot of bicycles. These are not the latest flash mountain bikes or racers. They are usually left exposed to the rain, chained to a lampost, tree or railing.

These made in China steel work horses are serious modes of transportation, ridden by ah jeks, aunties and foreign workers who have to make their way to market, mrt, beach and Parkway. Seeing how they are used, I want to get one too. There is no need for COE, petrol, parking or maintenance. There is something liberating about chucking them anywhere and so far, I haven't seen the authorities booking them.

Like this.
It was time to get my own ah jek bike. I wasn't willing to spend much for something that could be stolen if I left it out. I fully intend to leave it out in the open chained to a lampost exposed to the sun and rain. But I needed one with a basket. The basket you see, is essential storage for the bicycle chain.

I asked the bike shop guy if he would sell it to me second hand. I wanted something cheap so that I wouldn't fear theft. Best of all, it had that Joo Chiat flavour. Left in the sun. Rusty and probably stolen off someone else. It cost me 45 dollars including installation of a brand new basket. I rode it the wanton mee shop where I would previously have to walk or parallel park and left it on the pavement. As I ate my wanton mee, I saw construction workers sitting opposite checking out the bike.

Yes, that's my bike. Its been on the road and its more beaten than yours. D'you have a problem with that?


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