Never have I experienced retail therapy this enjoyable since my first new car, and for a fraction of the price, too, even though my latest toy on wheels still cost me an arm and a leg. Two legs, if you count the effort needed to make the thing move.
Like a first-time new car buyer on a roll, I had fun doing plenty of research before signing on the dotted line. Trawling through the Internet, borrowing relevant books from the library, browsing in bookshops, staking out showrooms, testing different models, taking and comparing notes – I did the whole caboodle.
When I finally placed my booking, I felt like a kid getting his very first sports ride. My new ride was closer to a BMX than a BMW, but I could almost fool myself into believing that I had just purchased a sports car, thanks to the bike’s spiffy specifications that won’t look out of place in a sports car catalogue.
A light yet stiff aluminium frame. Adjustable air suspension engineered by German engineers. An alloy composite saddle system. Fast 8-speed gearshifting. Ceramic brake pads. Racing tyres reinforced with Kevlar for puncture protection. Beautiful, Ferrari-like build quality. All these and more are neatly packaged together with sophisticated styling, the kind I see from chic Italian design studios, albeit made in Taiwan.
Further satisfying this boyracer’s need for speed on the saddle is an array of aftermarket performance parts, most of them in carbon fibre. The exotic technical material can be specified for the handlebars, seat post, wheels, forks and possibly my backside, too. Less impressive, but more important, are safety features such as a bright set of lights, a loud bell and a strong helmet.
I planned to cycle every weekend, sweating away and keeping fit. East Coast Park, West Coast Park, Sentosa and all the park connectors – I wanted to cover them all. Of course, I’ll be driving there with the bike in the boot of the car.