Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And while we plan, God decides...

I am really disappointed. I was looking forward to this event, but it seems that I would need to take a rain check. I even invited CH (to return for the second time), Big (his first long ride) and Lei (kasi bakar sikit after all this years of not riding together) for this month major social ride.

A fortnight ago I was informed that I have to go to Langkawi. No problem. The proposed trip will be over 2 weeks which means I will be celebrating Eid Adha on the island. No problem. Only coming back to KL on the 12th. No problem. Travel to Langkawi on the 29th. No problem. As long as I go ride the November Ride the night before.

Then, a sudden change in plan. It was confirmed that I need to travel to Langkawi on 27th November. Tomorrow. One day before the November Ride. Babes in Bikeland? Aiyoh!!!

Bummer. I am definitely bringing Scotty to Langkawi with me.

On the day you were born... Part II

We are the Sagitarians' brotherhood. Ija, Acis and me. The day we are born into this world are only a few days apart, albeit born on different year. But we are worlds apart, in size, demeanor and style. Most of the time, we do not seem like sharing the same blood in our veins.

Ija is the third in the family and he was Ngah's favourite (she doesn't have kids of her own). He is small, unlike me and Acis, but he does things his own way. Not the most talkative (pendiam sebenarnya), or the most friendly, since he was young he showed the classic syndrome of the middle child (refer here and here). Dad brings him along with Angah to be schooled in the middle of the country, until he was offered a place in a religious boarding school for his secondary education.

He changed school afterwards to a science stream and pursued his tertiary education in polymer engineering (or something). He seems a bit cold toward the family, seeking refuge I suspect in the company of friends rather than family. He is snapped up for employment not long after graduation, not afraid to get his hands dirty in the process in getting knowledge and experience. Then when he dropped the notion that he wants to get married, we were quite shocked. He doesn't seem like the kind who dated.

He is still berat mulut to this day, but with three beautiful kids, he wont stay that way for long. Good for you, bro.

Here's to celebrating life, Uda. I wish all the best in life for you, Ina and the kids. Take care, Bro...


A wash(ed) out...

Read this earlier...

Ride - almost anytime, anywhere on the road when it rains

          - all you need is guts (or skill) in the corners - and waterproof rain gear

Its Dumb to Ride... 

          - During thunderstorms. You can get zapped by lightning froma storm up to 20 miles away

          - in extreme downpour. Visibility is less than zero, and no car on the planet is expecting to see you out there

So, as usual I planned to ride home. As I do not feel like riding the day before (its raining actually), I took both bike and car home in anticipation of riding to work in the morning. Next morning, CH is not riding as he has to run some errands later, so ride alone to office.

Later in the evening, CH offers a ride home but I decline as I felt like riding home (even if the sky looks dark). It starts to drizzle but I chose to wait it out. "Surely it'll be lighter soon..." I tried to reason. At 7pm, I rode out in the rain. Riding in the rain is always refreshing for me. That is until the 4km mark, where the heavens open up and rains heavily.

"Alamak, Petronas dah 1 kilo kat belakang, and nak sampai Esso would mean a few hills to climb...", to which I decided to press on. The visibility drops and the pouring rain make it harder to climb. I am soaked to the bone and the covering of my bag give little protection to the files inside. After the climb, came the sharp descent. On normal days it would be easy, but water on the road means a lots of guts needed. And skills (and prayers). Especially if you know that your front brake is not that good.

Negotiated the traffic light safely somehow and decided to stop at Esso. At least until the rains recedes, I reasoned. But then again, the rain do not seem to slow down and then I still do need to cycle home. So I made the decision to brave the rain, and starts to walk rather than cycle. Over the big hill I walk Scotty and down the other side. Lightning lights up the sky, and my brain reminded me of wjat I have read earlier. Ceh! Not now please...

Safely walk to the other side and begins to cycle. Luckily the rains slowly becomes a drizzle, and after draining water out from the frame, the ride is more bearable. Not  that many cars, but as most of them wont be expecting to see a bike after the heavy rain so still needs to keep my visibility high. After riding slowly for another 35mins, I reached home wet, cold and dirty...

That reminds me, not to do that again (ride during a thunderstorm that is, hehehe)...

Monday, November 24, 2008

On the day you were born...

We are the Sagitarians' brotherhood. Ija, Acis and me. The day we are born into this world are only a few days apart, albeit born on different year. But we are worlds apart, in size, demeanor and style. Most of the time, we do not seem like sharing the same blood in our veins.

Acis is the youngest, but since very young he displayed the promise of leadership. His name means (I think) high intelligence, and boy, was he intelligent. Anyway, he was my favourite because of the gap in age between us, means that I got the chance to babysit (and wipe and whup his ass) him when he was a baby.

He grows up quickly, were bundled off to one of the top school in the country, and became a sports star, that is until a knee injury threaten to put an end to his sporting career. But he still packs a mean defense in the paint, bad knee or not. He is gregarious in nature, and always surrounded by friends. He is affable and at times a teddy bear at heart. Wek!!

He's happily settled down now and contented with life, with his lovely wife. Good for you, bro.

Here's to celebrating life, Acis. I wish all the best for you and will never forget all that you have done for me. Thanks :)


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cantik, menarik, tertarik... kau memang, DaBomb!

Meet Big. As his name suggest, he is big sized. Not that heavy really, just 116kg in weight, but the uneven distribution of fat makes him to 'look' much bigger than he actually is (for one, I weight almost 100 kilos). Unfortunately, he also carry with him a few more of the modern disease, gout, high blood pressure etc.

After he was hospitalised not long ago, as concerned colleagues, we have been advising him to start exercising. As he has gout, jogging would be out of the question. His high BP doesnt make it any easier. But then again, to alleviate the stress on his knee, we suggested cycling (what else?). I started the ball rolling by loaning him my old helmet and cycling meter.

Rob, Nick's buddy, had left his bike here after the Trans-China trip, and Nick says that he might want to sell it off. As Big is quite tall, he needs a 19" frame, so its a good match with Rob's bike. Discussion ensued, especially about price. The bike is a good one, with nice components and freebies thrown in. Unfortunately for Big, his late committal to the negotiated price means someone else grabs Rob's bike.

Not disheartened, he calls up some people and actually goes to a bike shop near his house. He inquired and introduced to a DaBomb bike, model Tora Bora. The price quoted, a bit more than what he had negotiated for Rob's bike but I argued that it is a brand new bike, unlike Rob's two year old ride. We suggested a few upgrades and Bro Khairi is accommodating enough.

Hehehe, it seems that Big has been bitten by the cycling bug. It wont be long before he started to spend more (and more). Next on his (cycling) list are padded shorts, glove, hand pump, (new) cycling computer, heart rate monitors etc.

Heard he has been riding (i heard) almost everyday now. Welcome to the club and next time you'll be riding with us. November PCM will be the next one, Big :)

UPDATE : Hmm... I have yet to meet DaBomb, but once we made our acquaintance, I will definitely post his pics here...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A welcomed breather

As I was driving to work today (nope, I am not riding today), I make a detour to the filling station. Checked my wallet, "Hmm, maybe I'll just put in 20 bucks", moreover, the free petrol competition is over already. Proceeded to the counter, make the payment and walk to the pump. Pumped the petrol in, and suddenly, one thing caught my eyes. 

Total litres. 10.001 litres. Hmmm...

Later on the radio I heard that the government, reduces further the price of fuel by 15 cents to 2 dollars per litre.. From an all-time high of 2.70/litre in June, this will surely put a breather into my (and many of the motorists) transportation expenses. Not that I am going to ride Scotty any less soon. 

Thank you for hearing our plight my dear ministers (and wish that the oil price would continue with their downward trend)

Monday, November 17, 2008

In the search for (our own) 'Shangri-La'...

Today most of us are at the workshop, me and CH included. It a whole day long affair, and I guess to a certain extent it achieved its intended target. Anyway, as workshops in hotel could only mean scrumptious and rich food, plans are hatched to slot in a ride this afternoon. Place of choice? Where else, Putrajaya. RV? Putrajaya Shangri-La.

I reached there a bit late, not helped by not knowing where the actual location is. Missed the parking lot, go down and called CH. Apparently he is already there. Park at the bottom lot, and waited for CH. Changed into cycling outfit, and readies the bike. We started slow, and as we spin, asked CH on the route to be taken. He suggested a long, 40km route.

Felt lethargic, maybe due to all the nice spread during lunch. Struggling to maintain 20kmh. Ceh, takkan la nak bagi CH kayuh depan sangat. CH puts in more, and more distance between us. Tak boleh jadi ni. Changed into higher gear, and chased him down. Managed to catch him near the wetland and continued to press on until Precint 8. Need to keep my cadence high.

As we turn toward Dengkil just after the hospital, I asked CH to slow down as we are doing 30+kmh. He seems surprised as he says that he never exceeded 28kmh on his normal ride. I told him that I got the numbers from my GPS. He still cant believe it and asks about calibration. Well, I'm just relating the info, CH. Anyway, pressed on and the switchback incline allows me to drop CH. Keep those cadence high, Bon...

Took a left turn to Dengkil, and CH presses on. I told him that we need to slow down, as I pengsan already. He says he's in the same boat, but tells me to go on if I can. The flat route allows me to power on, hitting 39kmh before being overtaken by CH. Ceh, kata dah dua kali kong, OK je nampaknya. Take a left toward PICC, on the Alamanda highway. 

Turns on the crank, and recheck GPS calibration with the distance marker. Spins easy nearing Pinggiran Putra where CH caught up. The big climb looms in the distance. Told CH that the GPS distance checks and we had in fact, only cycling for 23km. He is adamant that this route is 40km long. Told him that we'll check the total distance at the finish line.

Maintained a good speed up the climb, and took a left to Alamanda. CH says he need the shortcut. Ride easy all the way to the Shangri-La, when make a final dash uphill towards the finish line. Ceh, wrong choice of gearing, almost fall of my bike at the top. Total ride time, 1:17, distance 30.8km. "No wonder I am always left behind, I am actually undertrained by 25%..." laments CH.

For the next ride, CH thinks of dragging Big along. At least someone will finish later than him. Hahaha, good idea CH :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And when you think that everything is dandy in the office...

A few days back I received an internal memo that informs me that I am to attend a contract extension/termination meeting with Admin and HR today. I was slotted in to come at 430pm. Hmm, I guess this is where HR will discuss with me on my colleagues contract whether it will be continued or, unfortunately terminated.

It should be a fairly straightforward affair as staffs evaluation forms has been completed and submitted a month back. And the time alloted, just 30mins, would mean that most probably its just to confirm rather than a full HR interview. Maybe, just maybe I could raise to them on my proposal to extend the contract of one of my staffs to two years rather than one. For the others, its the normal one year extension.

At 430pm as scheduled, I went into the meeting room and meet a committee of... three. Ceh. Only the Admin Director and two representative from HR. I was given a sheet on which it was written the condition that justifies a two year contract extension. And another form that summarises the staffs evaluation marks. The date they starts work etc. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Hey, what is that? One column caught my eye.

Number of days late to work from Jan-Sep 2008. And next to my name is the number..40. WHAT! That means I am late to work 40 times in the past nine month.

I am no angel, but I do think I do not came late that often. I need to recheck the attendance printout. Ceh! What else to do? I can only offer this with a straight face..

"Puan, maaf diatas apa yang berlaku. Saya akan berusaha untuk memperbaiki perkara ini, bukan hanya untuk diri saya malah akan juga memperingatkan rakan-rakan sekerja saya mengenainya..."

I really, really need to check those attendance sheet...

And that was a good (riding) weekend...

Last weekend, I took the opportunity to bring Scotty back to my hometown. The week before when I brought Scotty home, the group ride with JKC's group did not materialised, washed out by the rain on Sunday morning. Not to be disheartened, I still took Scooty for a wet ride, only to be cut short by some fierce looking dog (betul ni, here)
So before packing Scotty for the ride back, checked with JKC on the proposed weekend ride, and he confirms it (barring any weather related cancellation). Scotty then take a ride on the bus (read here), and the driver actually asked what is in the big (bike) bag. When I explained to him that Scotty is in the bag, he looks surprised (which reminded me of the taxi driver which could not comprehend it is Scotty thats in the box).

I could hardly wait for Sunday, so on Saturday (after only a 3hr sleep as I reached my house at 4am), did a 20k ride on my own. JKC is busy, so cant really invite him. It was a good ride, trying to remind myself to spin (bola2api's favourite now) using the smaller chainring. Its a flat route, so 24kmh is doable. Drink at a specified interval, keeps myself hydrated, not to overdo things :) Good warm-up ride it is...
On Sunday, after confirmation the night before, beg the missus to send me to RV point so that I can reach there at 8am (the proposed start time). Reached there in a bit late at 8.05, but then again the group are trickling(?) in. JKC is already there, and introduced myself to everyone. RV is actually a bike shop, so take the time to ogled all things there. JKC has set his eyes on an adidas cycling shoe (well, he always this weakness for all things adidas)

The ride starts late actually, at almost 845am. As we ride away, my GPS chose to act up, refusing to find a satellite lock. After almost 5km, then only it find a satellite lock. Ceh! The ride is fun, not too easy but not to hard as the group consists of mostly newbies. JKC says that the group rode around 15kmh, but actually the group rode more like 20+kmh.
Actually, today's ride will make its stop at one of our fellow cyclist shop at the 16km mark. Thats the best part, so we took the scenic route and passes along very nice villages and the sight of 10 lycra clad (slow) cyclist was not your normal daily scene there as evident from the interest from the kampong folks. The kids are smiling and racing us. Ceh, vain sungguh rupanya, hehehe...

Stopped for a drink (its on the house of course), and JKC asked me to share with the group about the story behind iced drinks, is it good or bad? I shared with everybody that the most important things is that we take enough water and slightly chilled water is easier to drink which makes us drink more compared to warm water. Also shared on the habit to drink frequently to ensure we are fully dehydrated. Ceh, macam la expert sangat..
After a short pit stop, we make our way back. On the way, one of our fellow cyclist hurt his knee. JKC played sweeper, but the guy eventually asks him to go on and he'll cycle slowly (anyway JKC is driving to KL in the afternoon so he is in a hurry). At the IM intersection I bid adieu to JKC and those guys and ride home. That adds an extra 15k to my ride. Just nice.
Maybe I should do this weekly ride with JKC more often then, hehehe... Thanks to JKC for inviting me and Abg Towkay for the free drinks. And if every ride starts late, maybe I should ride to the RV then. That would add another 20k to my ride. Slow and steady Bon, do not want to overdo it...

And be careful CH, the roads are still quite wet

This week, CH and I planned to resume riding to work. We use to ride before but I stopped during the fasting month, which CH follow suit. So, last week, as he was in Genting we agreed to ride starting this week. Monday was cancelled, but I took the opportunity put in a ride on Tuesday afternoon

Today morning ride. We met at KFC and preceeded to ride together to work. CH starts strongly in front but at the inclines, I manage to put some distance with him. He speeds up on the flats where I chose to spin (small chainring) and maintains 24kmh. We did good time, and in 23mins we reached ASTRO. And at the incline on the way to TPM, is where CH is dropped. Can't help it :)

In the evening, its 6pm and I was surprised that CH is not at my office yet. We planned to ride back at that time. Its raining earlier, so I suppose that the roads are still wet (and could be slippery). CH asks whether it still rains, as he has never ride through the rain. I explained to him the difference is that extra alertness and earlier braking response. And be careful of the road lines as it could be very slippery after a shower.

As the ride home runs thru PUJ, it hill infested terrain make it a slow ride, but I was more content to survive it by spinning. CH just started riding back today, so at every incline, he was dropped. I asked him to hang on my wheels but it seems that inclines was not his forte, yet.  Especially on the 800m long 8% incline. No worries mate, we'll be cruising thru that hill in no time :)

Hmm... should I ride to work tomorrow or hitch a ride with CH and ride as planned on Friday? Let see tomorrow morning...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

And with every beat of the heart...

I have a few of these Polar chest transmitter. And I only have one chest. Well, as it came together with the Polar HRM or some GPS units, when the respective units has reached the end of their life (like the Polar watch that drowned in Langkawi or the GPS that drowned in PD), I am left with all these chest transmitter.

So, if I am serious enough with my training, I do need a new HRM or heart rate monitor. It will allow me to gauge my physiological stress (at least my heart stress) and tells me to back off if needed. Dont want to start off to hard too soon, and be sidelined in the process. Tried the Garmin Forerunner GPS but, it seems that the receiver having problem to pick up the transmitter signal. Maybe its the battery? Perhaps...

So as I was looking around and with my current cycling need (and the lack of money) its probable that I will settle for the Polar CS100b model. Can't afford those higher specced cycling specific models yet. The CS100b come without a chest transmitter (that I DO have lying around) which makes it much cheaper. And the price is not too bad, just it'll make me RM300 poorer. Except, I can't upload my training data. Bummer!

Maybe I'll just wait for the Mega Sale and buy another model at a heavy discount. Or, can try and hint to wife to get a cycling specific Polar for my birthday, that is coming soon. Or maybe I just have to wait and earn some extra money, then buy a higher specced Polar? Hmmm...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

RESULT : You are sarcopenic.

Yesterday, I visited an acquaintance who offers to do a BIA for me. Nope, its not the elder cousin of MIA, an airline like SIA or even a secret intelligence agency like CIA. What is BIA? As usual, Mr Google's friend, Ms Wiki give these answers...

"BIA[1] actually determines the electrical impedance, or opposition to the flow of an electric current through body tissues which can then be used to calculate an estimate of total body water (TBW). TBW can be used to estimate fat-free body mass and, by difference with body weight, body fat"

Basically, I am trying to measure my bodyfat level.

The procedures is straighforward enough. Just that it requires me to remove... my socks (hehe) prior to testing. I just need to stand barefooted on the machine and after a few minutes it calculates the amount of electric that goes through my body, and voila, the result is out. The result? Not flattering at all. More like flattening.

Even if my friend commented that the result could be skewed as I am a bit dehydrated, but i'll take it as I DO need to do something about it. The evaluation is that I am overweight AND sarcopenic. Sarcopenia is "..(from the Greek meaning "poverty of flesh") is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with senescence". That means I am losing muscle and unfortunately pack in lots and lots of fat due to inactivity (mostly) and aging (nak senangkan hati la tu). Read more about sarcopenia here and here

BIA is not the 'gold standard' but it makes assessment easier and the recent developments have made it to be more acceptable. But the bottom line is, I need to make some progress before my next BIA next month :(

Monday, November 10, 2008


This morning I was supposed to ride to work. Last Friday, me and CH planned to start riding to work regularly starting today. Over the weekend, I was back in my hometown and I managed to put in two ride. On Saturday and the ride with JKC and friends on Sunday. It seems that I have not recovered enough from these rides. Most probable reason, dehydration.

And I'm not even at the Powerman. Ceh!

Maybe I'll just take the day off today. That means not going to the gym too. Just maybe slot an ergo session tomorrow. And ride to work on Wednesday.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Latvija Pekina

On Thursday I was honored to be in the company of Mr Aldons Vrublevskis, the President of the Latvian Olympic Comittee. Some sort of the Latvian Tunku Imran. We first communicated a two weeks back thru email when he expressed his interest to visit our small organization as he would be in town for a convention.

My first encounter with anything Latvian came in the form of the lovely Ms Veronika Fedotova who visited us early this year. She shared some information regarding her work which do not differ much from what we do. And Mr V's visit is to continue where she left off, specifically to get more information and exchange ideas in sports biomechanics, sports medicine and sports nutrition.

With most of the bosses are away for the WEC, RoboMorf is kind enough to accompany Mr V on his short tour of the organization. We had good discussion all around and shared many of the similarities in our work. He shared his views on sports science, which he says is the key to sporting excellence. We could not agree enough.

Before he left, he presented us with a book, entitled Latvija Pekina which chronicles the 47 athletes who takes part in the Beijing Summer Olympics. Exclusive behind the scenes pictures. Latvia came back with a gold, a silver and a bronze where fittingly the BMX Olympic gold medallist, Maris Stromberg, is featured on the cover page. 

Maybe, we could do a similar coffee table pictorials for our Olympians. Maybe Datuk LCW could feature on the cover?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Have box will travel...

Most of the things that we have around us, came with a box. well, you might never the box your car was shipped in, but the parts of the car originally came in a box. the rowing boat that I use once upon a time, of course, came in a box. And Scotty too, most probably before I lay my hands on it.

Being boxed up, make it easier and bearable (especially for the courier and transport people). If you are moving house also, it makes it easier to keep track of the family heirloom and personal belonging. It also makes arranging and stacking them up so much easier. Ask me, I'm moving house soon.

Anyway, a bicycle is not the easiest thing to transport. Well, unless if you consider riding it to your destination, which would make transporting a bike easy (not so, if the place is on the other side of the earth that is). So, when I was going to Sabah for three odd weeks a couple of years back, the most sensible thing to do is to bring Scotty along.

So, how do I get Scotty and back? What else, chuck him in a box. After all, all bikes came to the shop in a box, so I pester Abg Amir of the Yellow Bicycle Shop (my favourite mechanic) to pack Scotty for me. He got the right sized box, and he taught me how to do it on my own, pointing out what to secure, what to take out, where to pad, so on and so forth.

So for the trip to Sabah, Scotty took the train to Johor Bahru (adventure la sikit.. actually the flight ticket is cheaper there even after factoring train tickets) where we board a plane to KK. I worry for Scotty, so we put as many 'FRAGILE' stickers as we can on the box, and hope for the best. He escape unscathed, and he roamed KK all the way to Karambunai in all the three weeks Scotty is there.

Fast forward 2008. I am going back to my hometown tonight. On a bus. And I have Scotty with me. Nope, he's not boxed in. He is bagged in. I just got my new (2nd hand) bike bag today. Makes packing and traveling much easier. Nasib baik bas penuh, kalau tak dah aku bawak naik atas punya...

So, how do you transport your bike?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

And if you think you can, think again...

As i sit in my office, my eyes are on Scotty. And the thought of my next ride. Hmm, as CH might want to ride to work starting tomorrow, it makes sense to ride back from the office, maybe at 530pm. That sounded like a good idea until it rained at around 3pm. Hmm, it seems that the idea will have to be re-evaluated, pending the weather condition later.

Suddenly some last minute work means that the planned ride home needs to be delayed. Even if the weather is OK. Hmmph! No problem, I'll just go back home and ride later, most probably in Pjaya. Maybe an hour ride around Pjaya. That seems fair, as the ride home usually took almost the same time (due to the killer one kilo climb)

Bundled Scotty in the car, and brave the traffic home which surprisingly is not too bad today. Reach home and plan to grab a bite before riding to Pjaya at around eightish. As moi was preparing, thunder is heard in the distance. Peeked outside and saw dark clouds. Ceh. Then, as if on cue it starts to drizzle. Double ceh!

Moral of the story is : Grab the first riding opportunity that came your way. especially if you are a professional (procrastinator) like me.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And the dogs make short of it...

Last weekend I make an effort to transport my bike back to my hometown (actually I was able to hitch a ride both ways, hehe). JKC has been organising a weekend ride for the past few weeks now and he says that I could either hang out with his 15kmh group or the fast 25kmh one on Sunday. The invite to hang with the slow one is welcomed indeed (haven't had much mileage in my legs la)

I make the most of the night before giving lots of tender loving care, wiping it over, caressing and scrubbing, cleaning and lubricating where needed. Hep, I am talking about my bike la people. Checked with JKC on the scheduled meeting point, the meeting time, how many people are going etc. And I go to sleep that Saturday night with anticipation. Even if its raining a bit that night...

So imagine my dilemma on Sunday morning when JKC told me that the ride is off as its still raining. His reasoning is that most people on his ride is newbie, so he do not want them to catch a cold. Ceh, do I pack and bring my bike all this way only to be kayoed by some slight drizzle?

Definitely not, so I suited up and readies my bike. Hmm, the road is still wet so better be careful. Thought of riding all the way to Sg Lembing, as the rolling hills would give a good workout. Its still drizzling but I took it all in my stride and treat it as a refreshing ride (other than needing to hose down the bike later :( )

As I was minding my own, my canine radar was suddenly alerted by a  slight movement 200m up the road. You see, I have always been terrified of dogs since I was chased by a group of 20 stray dogs when I was 11, which fortunately I outsprinted somehow. Putting a brave front, I cycled cautiously by the dog on the roadside. He gave out a bark, and my heart jumped. Ceh, buat takut orang je...

With that under control, I continued in the rain feeling quite good, until a few kilometers away. As I reach the Chinese cemetary, the road gradually rise on the back of three rolling hills. No problem. That is up til the middle of the second hill, when... BIG PROBLEM. I saw 5 dogs, making a line at the top of the hill looking menacingly at me. Shite!

That means I DO need to turn back. There is no way I can outsprint 5 dogs going uphill. If its downhill, I'll take my chances, even if its wet and drizzling. What else to do, have to cut short my ride then. Baru 14km nih...

But rather than going back, I took a slight detour and decided to enter the highway. Just to check how long will I be on the highway before being hauled up by the authority (as it is illegal for a bicycle to be on a highway), hehehe. But thats another story :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

And off we go, Massers...

On the last Friday of each month, masses are held all over the world. Nope, its not the Christian kind of masses, but its a cycling movement of sort called a 'Critical Mass'. So what is this Critical Mass is all about? As usual I asked my friend, Mr Google and he came up with these...

Anyway, in Malaysia there have been a few instances of Critical Masses held, to increase awareness and provide safe biking experience to the... masses (of course). I first heard about these masses are the one held in KL, but it seems to die a natural death (correct me if I am wrong) as i was just contemplating riding one.

As I was surfing the Net, I stumbled upon.. Putrajaya Critical Mass. The venue is near enough to where I live, and the thought of a social ride once a month seems a great idea to me (especially when I seem to grow in weight every month ;P) Even the distance is do-able for a semi-retired rower like me.

Finally after two month of missed Mass riding opportunity, I manage to haul my sorry arse to the meeting point for the October mass. I even dragged CH to come along. We reach Double Trouble at 9pm, in time for 'ngeteh' session. Slowly the place is filled with cyclist who rolled in on all type of bikes, (body)shape and colours. Hmmm...

The actual ride started a bit late, as we waited for a few more of the late comers. Make some new friends, ogled at nice bikes. after a short briefing by Daus, off we go. The first few kilometers were slow, to get everybody in the rhythm (moi included as i am a Critical Mass newbie) but just after the Botanical Park entrance, the ride is stopped by marshall due to some members are left waaaay back by the group. Oops, it must be those roadies in front, hehehe...

We regrouped and rode slowly to Alamanda, after which all hell broke loose again. The roadies seems to be in a hurry to get to the RV point (maybe riding slow is detrimental to their health or almost falling over due to the slow speed), while for some of us, we are taking our own sweet time. Hey, its a social ride :) and I reached the RV point in the middle of the pack. Not too bad. Not too bad at all. Once everybody is in and accounted for (and after a few minutes breather) we are off again.

As I am riding away, got a call from CH. he says he's at the traffic light. OK. No problem. Aiyoh! A few minutes later only it makes sense that CH is actually at Double Trouble traffic light. Duh! can't let him wait for so long so crank it up for the ride home. Caught a few cyclist along the way, but overall a good ride, not too tiring which we topped up with a glass of tea with fellow cyclist :) Whats not to like about that? Can't stay up too late, need to go back now before I woke up the baby.

For this Mass, i am content to just ride slowly and enjoy it. Maybe next time I'll hang out with the roadies. Nice to meet and make acquaintance with Daoh Darko, Bro Zizan (singlespeed some more), bola2api, Kak Syarifah (all the way from KL), Razlan and his 'Everybody can Fly' friends and some other people I can't seem to remember. Hope to meet you all next month :)