Maybe the ravenous dogs along Merinding were easier to sympathyse with in comparison and even come across as a higher life form, I say such in hindsight.
My first ride in KK was with my old air force mate, Capt Fadhli "Jambu", whose lemming sense garnered my awe when I noticed he rode without a single lamp anywhere, front or rear, and we both knew our ride would end well after sunset. Nonetheless, I learned under him that Kota Kinabalu was a shade more civilised than Labuan. I didn't find anyone deliberately swinging into us...yes, but then again, that was my maiden ride in town. I was woken up to how marginally lighter that shade was when the manga-emulating youngsters with spiky long hair in oversouped MyVis pumping bass out of their boots to shame Dr Alban unapologetically tried to shave my shin hair with their skirting.
Coincidences congeal into the strangest residual forms sometimes. A few rides with the group from Kinabalu Hyatt hinted to me that I may have to consider a different bike so that I was not always the straggler at the foothills. It was just about this time that I spotted an xds with 30 gears sitting at the LBS in Tanjung Aru. Yes, a few reads of Bicycling magazine has embedded into me the cyclists' abbreviatrix for local bike shop. Oh, that baby looked pretty!! And it was going cheap, so I began to wonder what gave? Internet research did not yield the conviction and comfort I sought over my choice of bicycle. Surely something must be good about 30 gears!!! I could thrash the upstart cyclists with their 8 kilogramme bicycles in an uphill dash if those 30 gears were burning my rubber...couldn't I?
Hence when the means were made possible to me by way of gratuity, I dropped by the LBS and was served with a rebuking at having thought of taking the xds as an owner of a Giant, all this by the owner of the shop no less. After much deliberation and cross-examination, I decided to wed the Merida MATTS500. Adjustable suspension while riding, hydraulic disc brakes and 27 gears won me over.
And we live happily ever after, to the end of our days.