Friday, January 20, 2012
It was to be our usual Tuesday ride on 17 Jan followed by an early lo-hei dinner for 8 die-hard GP Riders cyclists, namely Tomas, Peter, Arthur, Steve, Ernest, Leow, Donald and me. At about 7 pm, we rolled off from Aranda Club to the coastal road enroute Changi Village. Depending on our fitness and form, we do either 2 or 3 laps around the coastal road. The crème-de-la-crème of the group, Tomas, Arthur and Donald managed 2 and a half laps in pulsating pace while the rest including me completed in 2 laps at leisure pace.
Call it, Enter The Dragon or perhaps a tad early now…Bunny still calls the shot with some days left but this lo-hei dinner which was initiated by our captain, Tomas was nothing but everything we were looking forward to after our gruelling ride. Still smelling sweat, we immediately settled down at Airfield Restaurant in Changi Village. In between order, I even made the waitress to guarantee we will ‘huat’ (发) after taking their yu sheng and that we will only pay them after we have ‘huat’. She can only give me a giggle and promised me nothing. That burly male waiter who overheard our conversation was already on alert if we ever harboured any thought of skipping payment after our hearty meal later. Phew…nobody took us seriously and when the yu sheng was finally placed on our table, we just can’t wait to toss as high as possible and shout ourselves hoarse for the sake of prosperity like any typical Chinese who aspire to strike rich ala the ‘lo-hei’ way.
Our conversation continued during dinner with each of us taking a swipe at each other. And by the way, we had a new member with us whom we scooped up during the ride. His name is Gavin and very quickly, he was rubbing shoulders with us like buddies. This befits our GP Riders’ motto – Ride With Us! We welcome anyone to our fold, young or old.
Where we last left off, we went on to bestow a moniker to each other based on the somewhat distorted ‘Journey To The West’ characters. Steve, being the oldest and plausibly wisest member of the group by virtue of his flock of white hair is respectfully named ‘The Monk’ (和尚) and he still gets to keep his mane though. The mischievous ‘Monkey God’ (孙悟空) prized accolade went to Ernest but, is he the mischievous one? He looks the goody-goody sort of guy. And Leow, the youngest one in our group – he is named Ne Zha (哪吒) for his smaller built and boyish look which he graciously accepted. I earn the ‘Ox King’ (牛魔王) title, thanks but no thanks to my bruising three free falls in a day not too long ago, a dubious record yet to be broken and hopefully, never. The only lady in our group, Poh Kuan who missed the ride with us on last moment was the ‘Spidey Spirit’ (蜘蛛精) but we decided to up her status to ‘Goddess of Mercy’ (观音菩萨), a show of our gratitude to her for always making available that heavenly-send 100 Plus for us at end of every ride. ‘The-Man’ went to our undisputed number one rider, Arthur. Don’t ask why ‘The-Man’ moniker which has no relation to ‘Journey To The West’ but for now, he is ‘The-Man’. Only Peter and Tomas have yet to be named but soon, I believe they'll earn their badges too. But ‘Piggy’ (猪八戒) remains unclaimed, who deserves that accolade? No prize for the right answer.
Enough noise was made, lo-hei was done, we had our fills with savoury mee goreng & Hokkien mee and bottles of beer & cans of 100 plus were downed and we were ready to roll off to Aranda Club before calling it a day. When we finally reached Aranda Club, true to belief ‘Goddess of Mercy’ greeted us with a big bottle of 100 plus…so sweet of her. When we ride next, it will be the year of the Dragon. Gong Xi Fa Cai to all!