Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The long holidays and the small sharp rock...

The long holidays have not been good to my cycling. The Christmas break on Thursday and the New Year on Monday does not mean that it is easier to go cycling. the holidays also means more weddings to attend, and more places to visit.  It is also the best time to visit immediate and distant family/friends/shopping complexes/etc... you get the drift.

It has been a week since I last cycled. So I planned (need/want) to put in a ride tonight, and invited the usual suspect. CH and Lei says yes, Big says maybe and Warimad is still on leave. No worries, even if its three people, we'll still ride. Tries to coax Big to commit, but he says he is still tired from the journey last night. Sure, no worries. Take a rest mate.

Go back home early and cook something to eat. CH asked if we could meet a bit later, while Lei is still on his way home and will confirm his coming later. In the end, Lei could not make it and I SMSed CH to meet at 915pm at the usual place. Felt heavy though. It could be the nasi goreng agaknya... malas betul rasanya nak kayuh!

Am not wearing my usual long cycling pants so I felt a bit 'exposed'. The night is cool, and my legs is cold, and it took such a long time to warm up. I only felt better after Alamanda, climbing that incline and continued to crank it up going down towards PICC. The new RD seems OK but there is still some problem with shifting. Nothing too big except for the fact that CH overtook me before the top. Must be my leaden leg.

Decided to do a double loop so before long we are away from PICC towards Alamanda sprinting away when disaster struck. I suffered a puncture. No bang, no sound, no fireworks whatsoever. Just a sudden wobble of the back tires and that spells the end of my ride. I was stopped by a small sharp rock. Ceh!

The problem tonight is that my rear tire is on a deep rim, and the tube that I brought along has a shorter valve. Not to mention I did not bring my patch kit lest I could have patch the offending tire there and then. thought that the front tire has a long valve, swapped the tubes but to no avail. So, after the futile attempt to repair the puncture, I asked CH to ride back to the RV point and get the car. 'Come rescue me'

The moral of the story is : Make sure you have the basic cycling survival skills. At least you preferably know how to change your tubes. Bring the right sized tubes. And patch kits (if needed). Or have the numbers of the taxi service hotlines, hehehe...  They could come and rescue the stranded cyclist. Like me. Or maybe you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

In search of another Nasi Lemak place?

Last Sunday, the usual crew planned a ride to Lenggeng (again?) but with a slight twist. This time it'll be using the newly paved Broga road (not that I know where it is, hehe). The route? Here. Unfortunately, I had something else to do that day, and also a wedding do to attend so with a heavy heart, would have to say 'nay!' to that ride.

Well, gatal punya pasal la katakan, that morning make my way to the usual RV point, and true enough they are preparing for the ride. There I met Abg Man, Amin and Acap, and also Apai. Tak dapek nak kayuh, hantar orang nak poie kayuh pun jadi la kan. Apparently they are waiting for Hafiz, who suffered a puncture earlier.

While Apai is setting up his bike, his front tire meletup! Luckily its the tube, rather than the tire. So, before the ride another one  puncture casualty. The first tube Apai puts in is not catching air, so they change into another tube. And a short while later, they are ready to roll. Meanwhile, thinking that the guys at the RV point have already left at 730am, Hafiz (I think) cycled straight to somewhere near Semenyih hoping to catch up with the rest. Abg Man then asked him to wait while they are ready to roll out now..

Finally the four of them roll out at a quarter after eight in search of another old skool nasi lemak stall in Lenggeng. Can't wait to read about all that I have missed this week. Sigh. Abg Man, cepat la update cerita baru...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The ride of 10,000 miles...

... starts with the first push of the pedal. Period.

My first adventure in cycling, is due to necessity rather than love at first sight. I was in uni and lived quite a distance away, so traveling is a bit of a problem. One of my housemate, Muaiz is a former cyclist  so he suggested that I got myself a bike. As he have a XC bike, I opted for a cheap full-sus. It was really cheap (student mana ada duit sangat)

Than Montana was heavy but at least it allows me to reach the school in a much shorter time than being at the mercy of the bus schedule. I could plan to leave the house 40 minutes before class and still have time to shower if I need to. Most of the time, I ride together with Muaiz, if our timetable allows it.

Later, when I was busy rowing, Montana was brought to the Rock Dam. Apparently, cycling complements rowing so Montana was used to negotiate the steep climb to the upper reaches of the Rock Dam in the early morning. By then I use Montana less and less because I got a hand-me-down 18 year old car for commuting to uni, especially for my night classes.

When I stopped rowing competitively, I heard Montana was used by one of my teammates, but i could not really find it. Even if it was cheap, it WAS my first bike. Cycling slowly drifted away while I pursued other interests. It was until a couple of years back when I was finishing school that I got hooked again. I ran into Scotty then, disassembled and broken, after an accident. Built it back painstakingly and it has been with me ever since.

Once I started working, only occasionally I rode Scotty, at times going on a four hours plus, 120 km solo ride, just to test myself and my resolve. I remembered being battered by the wind as I pedal my way to KLIA and back. And I also remembered being broken on the 100 km trip to Ijok, where Yafiz and Lei has to rescue me from my cycling incompetence. I put it down to lack of endurance and training. There is only so far your resolve could bring you, without some preparation the rest is just pure foolishness.

My interest in cycling is rekindled when I ran across CH on his way to work. Now, we manage to influence (Circle of Influence kan Bro Zizan?) a few more of our colleagues to pick up cycling. Big has bought his DaBomb (and seriously considering a road bike), Warimad has started to ride the yellow Scott and actively looking for a bike to call his own. 

Am, Albert and Samba are looking for bike. Someone from Medical is asking around about bikes. LeeMing is planning to bring her bike from KB. I hope by next year we will have a few more colleagues to join us on our twice weekly night ride. I read someone commented on the Net that he plan to ride to work in 2009. Why not? Maybe less incentive due to the lower price of petrol, but health is an important enough aspect of life. 

Like what Bro Zizan's has written, 'Don't wait until your heart beat faster, or your urine tastes sweeter', aptly sums it up. Read Bro Zizan's take on his adventures on cycling to work, here.

Here's to riding more and more in 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ride to the sea, eat a lot, and ride back (slowly)...


It was not the best of preparation. I could not really sleep. We had a somewhat heavy dinner, quite late yesterday. Before that we travelled almost 300km. Make a detour at the office to pick up Scotty. Slept late. Woken up a few times, fearing for being late at the RV.

At 7am, rushed to the RV, without breakfast and no water in my tank. None in my bottle too. Somehow managed to reach there with a few minutes to spare. The weather is clear, signaling it will be a really, really hot day, all the way to the sea. Greeted Abg Man, and were told that we are waiting for CH, who apparently woken up late.

Took the opportunity to grab some watered down isotonic drink to fill in my bottle, half of the fun will be lost if I 'died' before we reach the sea. Sneaked over to Petronas, and afterwards to the loo. Too much water in too little time wreaked havoc with me. Luckily I am done, just as CH and the rest of the party arrive. Consensus taken, with all saying 'aye' all the way to the sea, even if the sun threatens to bake us all.

The ride rolled out sometime after 8am, everybody working their legs in anticipation of the long, hot ride. The pace slowly picked up from 20kmh to 25kmh, then it became fast and furious, trying to make up lost time it seems. Like Abg Man's comment, Sham Dewa seems to be in a cycling trance (in the zone perhaps), pulling everyone along. Laju pulak tu.

The two km towards De Palma, the riders regrouped and make short change of the long climb. Then we fly towards Salak, where we negotiated the heavy traffic (to the market perhaps?) and after than raced towards Sepang. The undulating terrain posed some problem, but none too big. Working as a team, pulling everybody in, all the way to Sg Pelek town.

The last few kilos are flat and the 'sprinters' in the group have a field day, hitting high 30s. Tried to tag along but my tank is getting emptier by the minute and contended with being in the middle. Amin, like a true leader, falls back and rode as the sweeper to make sure everyone is accounted for. Caught up with Abg Man and the rest who slowed down after the entrance to The Gold Coast.

Cikgu Hisham goes all out to the sea, while we slowed down to regroup. Suddenly we heard a commotion behind us, and zoomed in a green Viva full of young girls cheering us on. Ni yang rasa macam nak kejar ni, hehehe. Cyclist groupie, perhaps? My mind wander back to uni where a group of cyclist going up the back hill is always full of admirers. Hehehe.

Reached the sea and sure enough we met with the cheer squad. Ha, dah dekat2 ni malu pulak, tadi siap sorak2 lagi... What else to do, photo ops for posterity. We then proceeded to the eating place, to refuel and lo and behold, the cheer squad is at the next shop. Nak buek apo, tengok yo la. The hungry crew could not wait no more, even if the one who takes our order is sweet. WE WANT OUR 100 PLUS! NOW!

At 1115 we finally make a move. The first few kilos our legs felt like lead, heavy. Just trudging along, forcing blood into the (whatever) jelly like muscle I have. The pace is good, in the high 20s. After Sg Pelek, follows Hafiz all the way to Sepang, trying to catch him. Apparently he want to distance himself as far away from Amin, 'Nanti dia potong saya bang, hehehe'. Such playful nature, these boys.

Hafiz sped in front, and Cikgu Hisham and Azam caught up with me in Pekan Salak, where nearly 'ditabrak mobil'. Tak reti pakai signal ke? Then I came face to face with the De Palma climb. Hard but still do-able. Wanted to stand all the way, but my jelly legs reminded me to sit in the saddle. Hafiz goes down and do the climb once again. Me? No thank you, once is enough.

Decided to wait for the rest, while Cikgu Hisham decided to press on. One by one, the rest of the crew passes up until finally we saw CH and Abg Man. Yaay! Great for you CH. Abg Man and Hafiz sped away, and I decided to keep CH company. Its torturous but I am sure we can do it. Caught up with Sham Dewa, buying drink at the roadside. As I chug along, saw a stall selling... coconut water. Ice cool coconut water. Kena berenti nih!

CH passed me, and when i caught up with him, pass him my last bottle. Hope it'll last the remaining few kilometers. Cycling alone was never fun, but made it to the RV point nonetheless. The rest have gone back except for Abg Man, Sham Dewa and Acap. Decided to look for CH, and caught up with him near Teras Jernang. He declined the assistance, and triumphantly rode into the RV point after a 100kilo ride.

'Not a man best moment', he says but we told him, one should be proud of finishing that distance, in the hot, humid weather. Especially this is his farthest ever. Now take a rest and feel good in a few days, hehehe.

Thanks to everyone for the torturous ride (borrowing Abg Man's word). Abg Man's note of the ride here

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"Macam ni kena kayuh pi GS ni..."

I was late. I was supposed to be at RV at 8pm. But I am still at home. The phone is dead. I guess the crew must be trying to call me. Sorry guys! Lei must be calling me to confirm about tonight. Anyway, borrowed a phone and called Big and tell them to wait for me, as I am already on my way.

Sure enough, they are ready and just waiting for me. My GPS is half dead, so decided not to bring any gadgets today. I even took off my speedo. Today, just a 'feel' ride. No speed, no distance, just cycle away. We decided to take the PCM route as we welcome a new member, Warimad. His bike is repaired just in time for the ride tonight.

Apparently the problem I had from Bagan Lalang trip surfaced again. Both RD and FD refused to change easily, preferring to skip. No problem. I'll  just stay in my cadence gear. The ride started around 845pm (sorry guys for being late) and I am really taking it easy. As if on cue, we toyed around with Big, pulling away whenever he is near us. After the traffic lights, all of us sprinted away, leaving Big behind.

Me and Warimad kept a distance, while CH accompanies Big... that is up till after nearing PICC, when all of us sprinted away leaving Big to work hard on his bike to catch up. Out of the sudden, Warimad says that his crank wobbled. Its either the screws are not tight or the BB is problematic. We then rode slowly, just before a pee break, hehe.

After that unscheduled break, we continues toward the boulevard and the mosque, where Big breezes through cos he got suspension. We roll all the way to the RV point and manage to finish the ride in about 1:22. Not bad, which I think would be a bit faster that the previous time. Average speed should be about 19kmh, a jump from Big's previous 16.5kmh. Good for you, fren!

'Mesti sebab basikal. Kalau aku pun pakai road bike, sure boleh kejar korang punya la', that was Big's assessment of the whole ride. So, now its time to get a road bike, eh Big? Which one? The Merida or the Trek? He felt tonight's ride is easier the second time around. Most probably his body has started adapting to cycling. He added, 'Macam ni kena kayuh pi GS ni..."

Don't worry my friends, before the year 2009 ends, all of us will ride GS. All the way up. We'll make sure of it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jalan-jalan Cari Basikal

Warimad came over and asked me a question, 'Is Scott Scale 80 a good bike?', to which I suggested that I will check it out for him on the internet. I am not that familiar with MTBs (not that I am THAT familiar with roadbikes, hehe). Warimad is the latest victim of our MGM scheme, where we get friends to get interested with our cycling escapades.

Not long after that, Big came and says that lets go out for a drink. CH and Warimad is already waiting. Actually the group is hanging out to discuss about a friend's offer to sell Warimad the Scale. Me? Dunno much I guess. while eating, the discussion drifts to the disassembled Scott lying around. 'Lets send it over for repairs and maybe we could look at a few bikes too'.

We load the bike to his car and off we go to K-Fine, near Big's house. The Boss was nowhere to be seen. 'Macam mana nak bincang bisnes ni, Boss takde plak'. But we ogled a few new bike that has arrived since I last been there. As we are making our way back, suddenly The Boss arrived, and we talk what else, cogs la...hehehe. He promised it to be ready tonight. Just nice for our ride tomorrow night.

Its still early, so CH suggested that we visited a few more bike shops and look at the options that we have. Warimad actually is seriously thinking of acquiring a bike. Just that he is not sure whether to get a road bike or a MTB. I told him that me and CH only rides on tar, but Big has a MTB. 'Lets just see, tengok apa yang ada, then nanti buat keputusan'.

We ended up in BikePro. Sure enough, there are lots of choices but he carry mostly  mid to high end stuffs. I saw a bike that catches my fancy. Nice bike, good component and its in my size. The price? I do think its manageable. Most probably I'll get it before Powerman 2009 (if its still there la). We manage to check Scale 80 at the shop as it was in store. Hmm, Warimad is deep in thinking.

After BikePro, CH suggested the Merida shop nearby. Even Big was interested on one of the Merida road models. Warimad was looking at 901 and 903. Big was eyeing the 880 as his beginner road companion. Maybe the 904 could be the better option, with 105 grouppo. But for each increase in numbers, the prices increases as well. More choices make it more difficult to choose, right Warimad?

We then went over to DU for prayers and visit Edwin's shop. More high end products, and Edwin offered a carbon Schwinn with 105 groupset for a mere 4.5K, if I am not mistaken. Its the right size for Big. Me? I'll stick with alloy for the time being. I am not that careful a person, and a cracked carbon frame would mean a cracked bank account.

Its almost 5, when we finally finished our 'Bike Discovery Tour', but its a day well spent. At least we would know at what price point our bikes will be, and maybe I'll look for year-end 2008 bikes sales prior to the 2009 range are due to be in, hehehe. Who knows?

Either way, we will have our 'really slow' group ride tomorrow night.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It is so easy to make a living here

I just got down from the bus at one of the smaller town on my way back home when i decided to grab some food. Looked around and after walking to check out the choices that I have and proceeded to walk to a nearby shop (actually its the only shop open). As I make my way there suddenly a long haired guy with a backpack walked beside me and said...

'Abang, saya nak balik Alor Setar, tak cukup lagi RM2 aje. Abang boleh bagi dua ringgit?'  he asked.'Mana ada bas ke Alor Setar dari sini?' I retorted. 'Ada bang, pukul 1030 malam. Boleh la bang, nanti tak sempat nak beli tiket' he pleaded.

I told him that I don't have small change, but he was persistent. I was in no mood to argue more and I told him if he wants the two  dollars, he will have to wait for me finish eating. Menyusahkan orang aje la. Anyway, my hunger pangs get the best of me and I opted for bubur pulut hitam.

After my meal, I went out and sure enough the long haired guy walked towards me. I gave him the two bucks, grab his wrist and says, 'Kata nak beli tiket tadi, jom la kita pergi kaunter. Nanti tak sempat pulak'. He refused saying that he will buy it in a short while, to which I am still adamant of taking him to the ticket counter and getting him a ticket to wherever he wants to go. 

'Jangan la macam ni bang. Sebenarnya, saya nak makan, bang. Tapi malu nak minta duit nak makan', he said. WTF! Badan sihat, tapi malas nak kerja. Tahu minta duit saja. Tapi bila dikata sebagai masyarakat yang meminta-minta, cepat betul melenting. Tapi realitinya, ada juga segelintir ahli masyarakat yang dengan mudah menyalahkan orang lain, dari berusaha dengan tulang empat kerat mereka untuk mencari rezeki yang halal.

It is so-oo easy to make a living in Malaysia. If you do not feel like working, just ask for money. There are many generous Malaysians are willing to part with their hard earned money and give it to you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What in the world actually happen to Mr Big?

Monday morning, when I reached the office, a few of the people I met asked me, 

'Apa kau dah buat dengan Big? Siap sakit kaki lagi...'

'Teruk kau belasah Big masa cycling, sampai siap MC hari ni pasal sakit kaki..'

' Takkan la cycling sampai MC kot?'

Aik, kenapa plak ni? What in the world actually happen to Big?

Later, I went to Big's office. True enough, he is not  in office. Jaja says that he is on MC. His staffs actually want to know what happen to him that caused him to be on medical leave today. From the little that they know, Big went to cycling on Friday night (read here), and voila, today he called in to inform them that he is on MC.

Going back to my office, a few of our colleagues continues to ask the same question. Ini tak boleh jadi ni, I dont think his injury is caused by cycling. So I gave him a call at noon. He answered groggily (he was actually sleeping then), then I proceeded to determine the cause of injury (cycling was at stake, my friends)..

He described the symptoms, which is 'sakit, berdenyut2 on the lateral side of the right foot. Sakit menyucuk pun ye jugak'. Hmm, doesnt seem like DOMS or fracture injury symptom. 'When do you starts to feel pain?' I probed. Big explains he felt pain around noon. 'So, pagi tu ko pergi la gotong-royong dengan ADUN pagi tu?, is my next question, to which he says 'yes'.

So my friends, its highly unlikely to be cycling injury. If its due to cycling, most probably he wont be able to walk to the 'mamak' after riding the night before. Given that last night it was his longest ride, there are possibilities of overuse injury, but the symptoms doesn't point to that. 

My two cents worth? He might have stepped on something (awkwardly) or bitten by some poisonous insects/bugs/snakes or even toyol during gotong-royong. Or it could be his gout acting up. Or he could just be dehydrated which exacerbates his gout. Or some spirit is angry with him for trespassing on their area, hahaha (this is the probable supernatural explanation).

Get on your bike Big, pronto!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ride, Climb, Eat and Ride again...

Dreams of these could drive a man to go places. I got to know about it as I was surfing in JomKayuh

With those dreams I coaxed CH and Lei to come over to Bangi and join me for a ride last Sunday. Destination : Lenggeng. Reason : Breakfast with nasi kukus with sambal ikan keli. Distance : 74km. Ranking of ride : MUST DO!!

0600hrs I could hardly sleep the night before. Make arrangement with CH to meet at 7am. Woke up early for prayers and proceeded to cook my pre-race meal, three piece of (my version of) 'french toast'.

0630hrs Suddenly, a familiar sound was heard. The sound of water hitting the roof awning. 'Alamak, takkan hujan plak', which to my horror, it actually starts to rain. I decided that as the RV is some distance away from where I live, it might not rain there. A SMS from CH, 'wei hujan la...', confirms the bad news. Lei messaged me. He just woke up. Dont think he could make it in time.

0700hrs Waits for CH at Petronas. Its not like him to be late. Suddenly he calls, and asks 'Fren, ada ride ke? Bukan hujan ke?'. 'Kita pergi je dulu, kalau takde ride kita pergi la Putrajaya', I reasoned with him. He says he will be there in a jiffy. I felt each seconds of waiting is excruciating, especially when I know that the ride will roll out at sharp 0730hrs. And the RV point is easily some 20 minutes away.

0715hrs Finally CH arrives. Lets go! Raced to the RV point as I don't want to miss this ride. Each seconds flies, and my heart racing as I drive towards UKM.

0735hrs Reached the RV, and I catch a glimpse of a few cyclist getting ready to ride. Parked my car and greeted them. Abang Man CIOCC, Daoh Darko, Bro Mi, and two young (and fast) riders, Hafiz and Acap(?). Abang Man graciously offers to wait while we set-up our bikes. Thank you so much :)

0750hrs After a short introduction to everyone, we rolled out in a double line towards Bangi Lama. Took the opportunity to chat up with the rest of the crew. We avoid the big hill after the Semenyih exit by taking the route to Bangi Komuter and proceeded to Rincing Hulu where we took the scenic route. Abang Man shares anecdotes and gems such as which road goes to where etc...hehehe.

After going through the kampongs, we popped out somewhere after Jalan 6 Kaki, and cycled towards Seremban old road going thru Staffield, KTJ all the way to Mantin, maintaining 23-25kmh. Not far after Mantin we took an exit towards our destination, Lenggeng. Abg Man warned us that the next 2km will be switchbacks going up all the way. Hmmm, confirm kena focus, focus nih...

It was like going up Sempah (which plan to do soon) but only much, much shorter. Going up the climb, not without some photo ops of course. At the middle of the climb, we stop at a small waterfall(?), if you can call it that, for a breather and one of us took the opportunity to create water-falls of his own. Unbeknownst to him, we capture him in action. Ooopps!!

Daoh was entrusted with the camera so he was up and down the climb snapping pictures of us all the way to the top. Going down was fun, especially negotiating the switchbacks, refraining from using the brakes where possible and going as fast as we can. Abg Man tries to took a picture of us negotiate the corners. Can't wait to see them..

0945hrs We finally arrived at Lenggeng after almost two hours of riding. Luckily, the much feted nasi kukus is still available, even if just barely as only a few bungkus is still available. Nasib baik cepat sikit, kalau tak... melepas!! We help ourselves to the nasi kukus and Abg Man ordered the last plate of pulut available, going around. CH even had two of the nasi kukus. Its either he haven't had his breakfast OR that nasi kukus (below) is as good as it is said to be :) BURP!!!

1030hrs After a good breakfast and borak2 session, we make our way back. Someone asked whether we are taking the same way back (thinking of the big hills and the chasing/barking dogs) etc, which to our delight Abg Man confirms we will be taking the flatter route. Phew. We continues chugging along on a totally different route, taking the small roads along palm oils plantation, a few kampongs and along the perimeter of Camp Millenium. Wrong timing. No female PLKN trainee in sight.

The route we took are littered with cow dung which we maneuvered deftly, hehehe. Before long we are nearing Bangi Lama when we decided to go (and attack) the hill along Semenyih road, just beforeBangi Lama town. The boys, Hafiz and Acap decided to attack, standing all the way to the top. Daoh follows suit. Tak boleh jadi ni, kena ikut jugak. I followed, and at the top of the hill, I was only behind Acap and we managed to leave everybody behind.

We continues toward UKM, and surely, Hafiz sprints away followed by Acap shortly after. Just after the Salak Tinggi exit, I decided to press and chased the two. Upped my tempo slowly to the big chainring, all the way to 52x13, hitting high 40s (max 48kmh). Managed to catch Acap, then konon-konon working together trying to reel in Hafiz but we were thwarted by a traffic light and a couple of cars. Nasib baik, sikit je lagi nak if la!

Maintained 30kmh towards our RV and am the third to reach it. Hafiz was smiling from ear to ear. Hehehe, youthful exuberance. Not long after, the rest of the gang came in and we are basking in the sense of accomplished ride. What more could I asked for. Going on a ride with a friend, meeting new friends, good food, nice scenery and being in the company of fellow cyclist.

A big thank you to Abg Man CIOCC, Daoh Darko, Bro Mi (if I got it right), the two kaki rempit, Hafiz and Acap and of course, CH. We'll do this again next time, eh? Maybe to Kuala Klawang perhaps?

Some more witnesses account of that ride here

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chronicles of a Guilt Ride

At 830pm, my phone rang. 'Kat mana?' asked Big. I replied that i should be at the RV point shortly, and asked whether CH is already there.

'CH just reached home and will be coming over shortly' says Big.

'OK. I'll see you in a short while', I ended our phone conversation.

Once at the RV point, suggested we went to P9 and asked CH to meet us there. At least if Big decides to join this month's PCM, he would know the meeting point. Proceeded to Double Trouble at P9, park our cars and prepare our bikes. CH arrives in a shortly and our ride starts soon after.

Pics (This is the first pics of DaBomb and its proud owner)

ROUTE : PCM route (to hopefully prepare Big for his first PCM ride next week)

TARGET : To get him and DaBomb back home in one piece, hahaha...

So, its decided that we are taking the PCM route. We started slowly and I asked Big if he would have problem riding on a big road (he usually rode in the comfort of his 'taman perumahan') to which he confidently answered, 'nope. no problem at all'. Me and CH keeps the speed low (not that we are that fast, hehehe) and I am always by Big's side to keep him company and keeping tab of the speed.

After Alamanda, came the big (at least to him) climb but Big manages it quite well. The roads after that is a bit rolling, but he stills not troubled by it. He has troubles with his changing of gears though. I suddenly noticed something peculiar about his riding style. His saddle is a bit low, which causes him to pedal outward rather than downward. 'Sapa yang buatkan ko punya bike fitting?' I asked him to which Big answered, 'Takde sapa', a matter of factly.

Me and CH then asks him to raise his saddle by one cm and not more than two cm for starters. At least it will force him to pedal downward rather than first outward and then downward. Slowly but surely, we reached PICC area and CH suggested that climbing that small hill, to which Big refused. Hahaha. Maybe next time eh, Big:)

The three of us continues along the boulevard, thru the pasar malam all the way towards the Mosque and all the way back to P9, all the way asking Big if everything was Ok with him and assure him that don't worry about our pace, we will follow his. We arrived at the meeting point and shortly, where else, its chow time.

Thanks to CH and Big for the ride. we'll do this again some other time.

Guilty as charged

You are hereby charged with first degree of gross neglect to your body, not taking care of it so much so that for the past seven years allowing it to deteriorate from a 7 percent body fat level to the current level of four times over. How do you plead?

ME: Guilty as charged, your honor.

With that guilty plea recorded, we sentence you to a daily commute to work and back and long rides on weekend until you learn that it pays to keep your body at its optimal level.

I was talking to my brother the other day during lunch and he says rather nonchalantly that he got gout. On his toes. Diagnosed three days before. It took me by surprise as he is quite young, in fact 9 years younger than me. That also explains why he was walking with a slight limp as he will find it difficult to push off from his toe.

It just shows how easy it is to neglect our body. The good life, good and rich foods and definitely lack of exercise makes it 'easier' to throw our body out of whack, out of balance. And to regain it back, is easier said than done. There will always be excuses after excuses after excuses...

Need to keep everything working in its optimal condition, eh? No two ways about that. Guess, I need to kick my own butt then.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sweet Italian Ride

This is a friend's bike. He came over to re-check his bike fitting a couple of weeks back before finally riding it. If I am not mistaken, he got his earlier fit spot on, other than we adjusted his saddle height a bit. By now he must have ridden this Guerciotti (ye tak Abang Rahim?), hehehe...

Hmmm... bila la nak ride something like this.. Groupset, Campag Super Record 11 spd some more :) Weighing in at an illegal 6.8kilos. Good bike, good components, good rider equals good ride. Sweet!!

Visit and drool...

The last (non-rempit) social ride of the year

After a fortnight without internet access, being in office finally allows me to update myself on the world news (especially news and updates from my friends). I do have a few sites that I usually visit as listed on the left, hehe :) And one of the site that I look forward to is for its cordial monthly social ride event. I missed last month's ride (read reports here and here) and I am really looking forward to the December ride, even as I was riding Langkawi these past two weeks.

Once in office this morning, I opened PCM blog and... Alamak! The last PCM ride will be held next weekend, on the 19th. I will be outstation on that day as I would need to fetch my parents from the airport. I was hoping to bring Big to his first PCM as I had missed the last one last month (needs to be in Langkawi, hehehe). Seems that I will have to ask Big to go to this month PCM on his own then. Kena paksa jugak la nampaknya...

But then the bottom line remains that I STILL cant attend PCM this month... Ceh! 

p/s Cik Puan bola2api, still takleh pergi la nampaknya. Kena bukak buku baru tahun depan gamaknya

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Are we creatures driven by guilt?

As I plunked myself on my seat, Big suddenly appears in my doorway. He asked about my recent trip (which was productive), comment on my tan (ye la, kulit aku dah gelap) and my rides (which was unfortunately cut short by a broken spoke). Nothing out of the ordinary.

Then I asked his about his adventure on his DaBomb. He said that he have not been riding for quite some time citing family commitment all the way to the current rainy weather. He is not even training on his stationary bike. He reiterates that he needs to ride somehow. Ceh, individual training time memang la kena cari sendiri, ye tak?

To that I suggested that tomorrow night we ride Putrajaya. I will invite CH along with us. With that suggestion, his face lights up and straight away he says yes. He asked on details such as RV point, what time to meet up, which route to take to which I suggested the PCM route to prepare him for this month's ride. He seems itchy to ride and looking forward to tomorrow night.

Thats what you call a guilt ride. I will be on my own guilt ride as well :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Two weeks of online inaction...

WARNING. It has been some time since this blog is last updated. The stories that you read after this post is most probably stale news but needs to be told nonetheless (I shamelessly adjust the posting details). Just need to remind myself that need to update these things on a more regular basis.

Hmm... where should I start?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Soup for the body and soul

Today I am doing nothing physical.

No cycling. No running. No gym.

I am taking a rest. Just eating and making sure I am well hydrated. Doing some work. Will be going down for sailing later in the afternoon. Taking it easy.

An off day is always good for the body and soul. Have you taken your off day lately?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Do bad luck come in threes?

Once kena already, twice also kena already la...

Yesterday is not that good for me. I have to cut short my ride (even if i have been cycling around Langkawi) and Sonny is hurt. I accidentally dropped him while trying to balance him on a ledge and now he can't retract his lens. Macam lanun pakai spyglass pun ada. bad luck 1?

Luckily (I like to be positive) I broke my spoke almost nearing Kuah town. I do not remember going through a pothole so I can't say what actually broke the spoke other than the immense (downward) pressure my humungous butt puts on the rear tire (and rim). bad luck 2?

Scotty limped back, am grateful to be in one piece, all the while the rear tire rubbing the outer chainstay. Talked to Sahril, and he suggested a shop in town which he says could do it. A few other people also suggested the same shop, so I guess thats the place to head to. Don't want to trouble Sahril so I took the cab there. Hmm, macam kedai buruk je, betul ke ni?

I saw a few frames from afar, and someone who looks like a mechanics working on a bike. Maybe its not that bad after all. Walking closer I saw a Bianchi, a Scott. Maybe this is the place. After all, someone walking around holding a road tire is not your usual daily occurence. So I asked the mechanics if he could help me to true the rim...

" Ini rim road bike ka? Sini takda buat road bike punya la... kalau mountain ada. Sini susah mahu jumpa itu road bike" is his reply. My next question as to other options met with a blank stare. There goes my biking adventure in Langkawi. bad luck 3?

Note to self : Next time, bring a mountain bike to Langkawi.

Monday, December 01, 2008

And around we go...

There will not be any on-water session for the sailors today so I took the opportunity to cycle a longer distance. The past three days, it has been a mixed ride with two trips towards the airport and one, on Saturday, going around town. And I felt like taking a ride around the island.

I started a bit late, filling up with fuel before the ride. After all, I am expecting easily a 60 to 70km ride, if I got it right. Slowly warming up to the ride, when at the 5km mark, I heard an unmistakable sound of chains gliding over a drivetrain. "Nak ride pi mana?", came the question, from a triathlete (I guess) on an aerobar equipped bike.

I answered, "Tak tau lagi" as he passes me over. He is riding faster than me, but I felt that his moving his body too much. The first incline looms and suddenly he seems slowing down on it. I am inching slowly forward and suddenly I am by his side at the top of the hill. He must be surprised that I managed to catch him that he continues to speeding downhill.

The athlete in me wants to chase him down, but the more sensible side of me continues with my warm-up. Slowly increasing speed and I am feeling good, not forgetting to drink at specified interval crusing along Jalan Padang Matsirat. At the airport took the route towards Teluk Nibong. Inclined switchbacks were the staple of the route. I just love these kind of route.

After a good few kilometers of switchbacks I saw the most beautiful petrol station, just by the marina at Telaga Harbour. Stopped for a while and takes in the view. The cable car platform atop Mount Machincang can be seen in the distance. Next stop? But of course towards the cable car station.

Took the route to Mutiara, along the treetop lined road towards Oriental Geopark where the cable car station is. Stops to snap a few photos and were tempted to continue towards the Seven Wells, but not knowing where I will be heading, turn back and take the route along Jalan Teluk Ewa.

I think I should have gone towards Pantai Cenang (and check out the many hotels there), but took the inland route up north. The Teluk Ewa route was deserted except for the occasional car. It goes through a few villages, where rubber plantation is visible along the way.

Riding along I was tempted to go to Datai, and maybe visited the waterfalls but decided to trudge along towards Pantai Pasir Hitam. I saw a sign for Ibrahim Hussein Gallery, but I must have missed it earlier. Its a cool route, with the occasional village kids trying to race me on their bicycle. Hehehe...

After the LaFarge cement plant, I reached Pasir Hitam. the scenery is beautiful. I stopped at the public park there and took a few pictures. Then it happens. !@#$%!!! I dropped Sonny. I was trying to balance him on a ledge, but unfortunately its unbalanced, dropped and hit the lens on the wall. I could not retract Sonny's lens, it's jammed.

Tried to make it work again to no avail. Too bad, but still needs to continue. Hati panas je. Ride through the hot springs, along the way spotted a few nice views, but what to do, no cameras. The Wildlife Park and Galleria Perdana beckons but with no photo ops, decided not to stop. If Sonny was OK, definitely I would stop at every attraction. Sigh.

Approaching Kuah town after more than 2 hours riding (slowly, hehe) I planned to check out the banks so that I could do my banking obligation before its due :)  Cycling around Kuah, I spotted a few of my banks and proceeded to ride back when it struck. I broke a spoke on my rear wheel. Cheh, patah pulak but thankful that it broke nearing the finish.

Scotty limped through and after 2:45 on the bike, I reached base. Not too bad, for a 66km leisure ride. Hmm, now, would need to find out where can I repair my bike... Maybe, I'll ask Shahril then