Sunday, May 13, 2012
Never would I have expected for this to happen to me
I've been an avid cyclist in recent years. I'm not serious in training or fitness regimes (Or even competition) but it's more about the feel of freedom and the bonding of myself with my custom built bike. On one fine Sunday, I had woken up early and I was thinking why not go for an off road ride while everyone is asleep and get home in time to bring my daughter to her Sunday dance classes. I set off to Mandai (Track 15) and left the house about 6am.
Mandai is one of my favourite off road tracks because it wasn't harsh on unfit riders like me as it did not have a lot of uphill climbs. My usual route would take me to the powerhouse and I would ride back the same way to get to my car. I have never ventured beyond the other end where the powerhouse was. This particular morning was different.
I reached the powerhouse after a short while and had decided to take a short rest before my return journey. I was moderately familiar with the surroundings but things seemed a little different this time. Not sure if mental fatigue was setting in but the route seemed different this time. I dismissed the warning signs without further thought because I am familiar with the return route and secondly I am following the trail marks (There are no fork trails at that area, so I could not have wandered off onto a different path).
After 30-45 minutes of cycling, I had ended up exactly where my mid point was! The powerhouse. All possible logic came into my mind and I was thinking, OK, maybe I did a u-turn somewhere (Although that did not seem logical or possible) and went back. I did another trip back.... very slowly this time to ensure I did not wander off my usual route. Again I ended back at the powerhouse somehow!
At this stage, I was getting panicky and tried one more time. 10 minutes into this leg, I was thrown off my bike but either by miracle or by my nimbleness (Unlikely), I did not fall splat on my face and I did manage to land on both my feet. However I broke my brake lever and that meant having to push my bike through the trail. Being a positive thinker, I saw that as an opportunity that I will never wander off a different path. A long time had passed, I ended up in an area that was beyond the powerhouse. This place is better known as Woodcutter. Woodcutter is only reachable from where I was, if I had cycled past the powerhouse through a grassy ledge, but I have not.
At this point, I was too tired both mentally and physically to try getting out. The surroundings once familiar seemed to just change at will and so suddenly too. I had no idea anymore where I was and I chanted some holy words and hobbled slowly but surely out of the woods. I had called a close friend of mine and he came to my aid and picked me from a place which was 7km from the place I had intended to come out from. I had spent 3 hours+ circling in the woods, abeit familiar territory. How did I end up there? I guess I'll never know and I do not intend to find out.
I've heard many times about one's eyes being covered by supernatural beings but have never really thought that such things would happen to me someday but it did.