Cycling Can Be Bloody.

If you’ve been on Twitter for a significant amount of time, you probably would’ve stumbled upon something called curated tweets. No, these are not spam bots, nor are they a marketing gimmick. They’re actually Twitter accounts that feature a different user every week, bringing new viewpoints and perspectives that showcase all the different groups of people on the interwebs.

There are many popular curated Twitter accounts out there that you should follow. The account could represent the people of a city, or even of a particular country. Accounts like @WeAreAustralia, @PeopleOfCanada and @hellofrmSG (to name a few) are a pretty good indicator of what’s going on in that place. Not to be left behind, we also have our own curated account: @twt_malaysia.

The curator would be given one week to talk about anything he or she wants, to create discussion and engage in debate with the Twitter community (or “Twitterjaya”, as it’s affectionately known in Malaysia). Nothing is too taboo or too “out there”; it all depends on the skills of the curator to make the topic interesting and engaging.

This week’s curator is Faisal Fadzil a.k.a @the88thkaiser. The conversation he started last night that piqued my interest was about bicycles. Bikes, cycling, the whole shebang.

Amidst all the replies and anecdotes and mentions about Shimano and Le Run and fixie bikies that were coming in, I suddenly realized how much I still loved cycling, and how much I missed it. And a particular incident that happened to me on the very last day of high school popped up.

My (former) high school (Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Kepong, SMKK) is actually across the road from the Forest Research Institue of Malaysia (FRIM), so students who cycle to school would use a backroad that cuts through FRIM to get to SMKK. The last stretch of the back road is a pretty sharp incline, so all of us would use the opportunity to zoom down at pretty insane speeds. “Look ma, no brakes!” and all that. It would give us the rush of adrenaline we need to get through the sleepy mornings, but it’s a bitch to cycle back up when heading home.

On the very last day of school, I was cycling with a friend to pick up my school leaving certificate. We soon reached the steep incline part of the road. Of course, we took our hands off the brakes and started cycling even faster, accelerating like. I mean, who wouldn’t, right?

Just at that moment, a big-ass tank of a Volvo started coming from the opposite direction. The driver saw us, but didn’t slow down, not even a bit. We had no time to brake, so we quickly got off the road to the grassy patch at the side. The car went past us. We shouted and cursed at him as he drove past us.

See, the thing is this particular back road has been repaired and tarred over so many times that it’s actually elevated from the ground. In the chaos, I completely forgot about that fact. I stupidly tried to get my bike back onto the road. It didn’t work out that way.

The wheel hit the elevated part of the road at breakneck speed, and made a very sudden stop. I, however, didn’t. Next thing I knew, Next thing I knew, I was face down on the road, followed by a flash of light, followed by so much pain that I blacked out for a few moments.

When I came to, the sky was purple, the leaves of trees and the grass were all yellow. I had a bitchin’ headache. I looked at my friend. He was saying something, but I couldn’t hear him at all. His mouth was moving, but all I heard was a constant buzzing sound that felt like it was drilling into my head. My mouth felt funny. I was spitting out pebbles. Soon the sky slowly started to turn blue again, and I could hear my thoughts over the pounding in my head.

There was still a funny taste in my mouth. I looked around for my bike, and noticed a trail of red that went down my school shirt. Turns out I cut my chin pretty deep; I couldn’t stop the bleeding. My mouth still felt funny. Instinctively I started feeling around the inside of my mouth with my tongue. I soon found out what the funny taste was.

Instinctively I started feeling around the inside of my mouth with my tongue. I soon found the problem. I was actually tasting bits of enamel. I chipped my tooth. That tends to happen when you land face-first on a paved road at high speed.

So here I was. Last day of school, with a bloody and torn school shirt. Bleeding chin, chipped tooth. What’s a student to do?

I said “fuck it” and headed to school anyway. It was so close, I might as well pick up the certificate and get it over with. I think I probably freaked the teacher out. I still remember the look of horror on her face. But she said nothing and handed me the certificate.

It was a very long ride back home. The pain got so intense at times that I had to stop and catch my breath. But I got no mercy from my mother. She still smacked my head when she saw what happened.

So what’s the moral of the story? I have no idea. I have no idea. Don’t cycle too fast, perhaps? But that’s life. Weird things happen.

No, that’s not right.

I guess the moral is: follow the right people on Twitter. You’ll learn new things, and you might end up remembering all the crazystupidawesome things you did when you were younger and crazier.


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