Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Mon 25 Jul 2005

Pedal Ubin last Saturday

Category : Singapore Naturalist

Second guide assessment, this time with them guiding the public. I chipped in a few times during the guiding because there were hornbills and puffballs and other interesting things worth mentioning. The debrief was useful as usual, even for the trainers who were there.

Four of us helped man who had fallen on his back climbing a wet slippery mangosteen tree. His legs felt pretty numb and two Pedal Ubin participants carefully rubbed his legs down which seemed to help. We called the Police Coast Guard and got him into their land rover, keeping his weight off his back which hurt badly. They drove him out to the village and sent him to Changi Hospital.

This is my second encouter with the lads in action and I think they would profit from an OBS outdoor first aid training course.

My left pedal fell off but I managed to stay on my seat and glide/push back to Ubin Village for a free replacement of the $3/day bike - this time I got one without brakes. This felt like the Ubin bike experience of old - I've lost miscellaneous parts in various places but the most interesting was having a chain break and lock my wheels up during a fast downhill ride.

That shop, an old haunt nearest the jetty, extracted $10 from me for the damagee to the bike. I coughed up in my surprise but their disregard for my conditon lost them more than 1,000 customers to date - I never went back there again and directed my cycling groups elsewhere. Turned out well as some of the other shop owners are genuinely nicer. Anyway in recent year, I get my bike from my old Chek Jawa van driver, Mr Yeo and family.

When Ubin roads were less hospitable, pushing a damaged bike back to the vilage was too long an option unless the person was willingg to essentially abandon the ride. So I'd borrow someone's bike and ride back to the village carrying the problematic bike one way and the replacement the other. Perhaps the bikes were lighter then!

This second batch of guides have just started guiding and experienced better structure during their course. So they have a better foundation than the first group. Now they need to learn much more about Ubin, flora and fauna, and gain more personal experience.

So an East ride will be arranged next month and we'll tap some senior guides for trips to other nature areas in Singapore.

After that Saturday ride I was exhausted and slept the rest of the day, found I had lost my voice and developed ulcers in my throat. Guess last week was too much of a strain after the flu. So I did not drop in on the Pasir Panjang Heritage Trail guides. They were short of manpower due to inury and flu. I hear they managed but are planning to recruit more guides for the September walks.

Photos by Gurmit and Ivan. Click photo to see their galleries.

Posted at 3:48AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .