Saturday, January 31, 2009

On my, what a pleasant surprise...

One social event that I look forward to each month is the Putrajaya Critical Mass or fondly known as PCM. So, on the last Friday night of the month we'll have these gathering of riders of all kind of bikes, sizes, young and not so young anymore to engage in something that they love, riding bicycles.

Wari, Big and Lei had never been to one, so its only natural to extend the invitation to them. Make arrangements with Wari to meet earlier as parking is limited, and Big says he will be coming a little later as he just finished some testing in the afternoon. No worries as PCM only starts at 930pm. Called Lei in the afternoon, and teasing him on whether he will be clocking some secret training beforehand. Kantoi nanti, hehehe...

Call it instinct, at 825pm, I called Lei and true enough, he WAS preparing for that secret training ride. Siap gua suruh simpan je la tayar yang kat tangan tuh, hahaha. Its better for you to come and join us for a drink at the RV point. Caught redhanded, he obliged and meet me at the RV around 845pm. He asked about the others, and Wari called shortly saying that he's in the Mamak, waiting for us. Hehehe, so much for great timing.

After 9pm, car after cars with bike racks and riders jostle for parking spaces. Nasib baik datang awal, hehehe. Saw a lot of familiar faces (and I've only been to one PCM. Must be those blogs) and make small talk with Sis Sharifah whom I met last year. Big is late, and he managed to coaxed Hardi along (hehehe, Circle of Influence at work again). Told him, no worries, usually PCM wont start until 930pm.

The crowd swells, bike and riders are filling every available space. Saw Bro Zizan, Bang Man CIOCC, Aini bola2api, Kash and Rais, and made some new friends along the way. The ride proper(?) starts at almost 10pm and off we go. Decided to stay in the middle of the pack all the way till Hardi and Big cycle along us and sped playfully. Suddenly, we are near the front.

After Alamanda, chug along up the incline and then Wari and Hardi sped thru. Tak boleh jadi ni, kena kejar. It was fast (kononnya la) all the way to PICC, where we slowly wind down and take a breather. While waiting for the others, I suggested to Wari, Lei and Hardi to climb PICC. One climb. Two climb. By the time we finish the second climb, a lot of the riders are already at the pit stop in front of PICC.

Not long after, Big came and surprise, he found Cikgu Nasir among the riders. Big is more interested in C'gu Nasir's Merida. Apa lagi, bila nak sambar road bike nih? I worked with C'gu Nasir once in Johor, so planned to bring my bike next time we're working together as he always bring his bike along on those trips. 

We then ride to the Mosque as it was suggested earlier to meet-up there for photo ops. I guess there is a change in plans as apparently some of the riders went back to the RV point straightaway after PICC. Well, maybe next time then. Anyway, by the time I reached the RV, Big, Lei, Hardi and C'gu Nasir had already left as it was quite late. Grabbed my usual 'roti nan', and before long bid adieu to my friends and thank them for a good ride.. Its a pleasant surprise to meet old and new friends...

Thanks to Daoh, Bang Man CIOCC and those who tirelessly make this ride a safe, and accessible one. See you guys next month :)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Its a wash-out, ladies and gentlemen...

Just got back from outstation yesterday so the bike is still unassembled and its still in the bike bag. So when I finally got back from office, rushed to assembled it and to prepare for the planned ride tonight. It was postponed from last nights at Big's request, so after contacting the rest of the team(?), we decided to ride tonight.

The weather is cloudy throughout and we fear for the ride. Ada ke takde agaknya? As I was driving home, there is a glimmer of hope, as Putrajaya is clear. Weather update from Putrajaya was clear too. So once I finished assembling the bike, quickly put it in my car and make my way there. As I drive there, suddenly the rain starts falling down, getting heavier by the minute.

Alamak! Called the rest of the gang and inform them of the situation. Decided to meet first at RV and evaluate the situation. By the time I reached the RV, Wari, Big and Ayie were already there. The rain is heavy, and no chance of riding then. Proceeded to order something to eat, then I realise, none of them had any food in front of them.

"Geng, tak nak makan ke? Takkan kecewa sebab tak dapat ride sampai tak makan?" I asked them. 'Yup, aku tak nak makan sebab tak dapat ride malam ni. Jauh aku datang', quipped Big. Wari adds, 'Kitaorang minum je'. I admired my friends, sampai begitu sekali kekecewaan mereka krana tidak menunggang basikal malam ini.

That is until two plates of Mee Goreng Mamak arrived, complete with Telur Goreng Mata Kerbau. Ceh! Hahaha, so much for the sorrowful duo... we'll ride again some other time, right? HAHAHAHAHA!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Row, row, row your boat...

These past couple of years, I have not done justice to this blog. Of almost 200 posts on 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat', not even 10% is dedicated to rowing, so I would like to make an additional target to achieve this year. To be a member of The Million Meter Club. To be able to be inducted into that club, one would have to row one million meters, either on on water or on the indoor rower, also known as the rowing ergometer. Read about indoor rowing here and concept2 here

To know more about the Million Meter Club, read here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One long weekend, no long ride?

The long holiday weekend normally would present numerous riding opportunity, but as it always is, "...Man plans, God decides...". I planned to ride on Saturday, Sunday, Monday AND Tuesday, alternating between long ride, short hard ride and long/short recovery ride. As fate would have it, something came up on Saturday, which put paid to my hopes of riding an easy 75km with Wari. Sorry Wari, bukan aku nak sabotaj ko punya training, hehehe...

So, on Sunday, I plan a comeback with revenge. Well, spanners are thrown into the plan as well as my partner in cycling crime is back to his hometown, which means I would be riding alone. He even forget to link me up with the JBS boys, which usually have rides on Sunday mornings (aku pun lupa nak tanya...aiyaa!

So, its a solo 50km ride then. The first 8km was a breeze, but once I took the left turn towards Tg Lumpur, I was hit from the front and sideways by fierce wind. It was no fun riding in  a headwind, and to be hit on the sides was worst. I weight almost 100 kilos and at some instances, I was nearly swept off with my bike, which prompted me to change into bigger gears. Ride lagi masa monsoon, elok duduk rumah tido je gamaknya...

The next day, make plans to ride again but miscommunication and sheer egoistical behavior (on my part that is) means easily a 40+km possible ride deteriorate into... no ride. Late that morning, I was left ruing lost chances. Moral of the story : Even if you make plans, be flexible enough to change if necessary.

The last day of the long holidays (and the few lost chances) means I would need to ride, by hook or by crook. Prepared early and by 745am were ready to ride. The monsoon season means there is a good chance that I would be battered by winds, but what doesn't break you, make you stronger, no? Unfortunately, the weather is a bit under, and rightly so, after riding for 15km, it started to rain.

Good thing it only last for some 20mins, but then the wind makes me feel colder than it actually is (the windchill factor). Its no fun riding in a wet, cold weather. Especially if you're riding alone. It just makes you want to stop and go back. Well, we can't have that do we? Finally decided to call it quits (sejuk sebenarnya) after 50km. Total planned ride : 200+km. Actual ride: 100km. Something is always better than nothing, right? Hehehe... alasan je la tu... 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

And where is Mr Big?

After the recent 'brouhaha' with regards to the helmet and the shoes, I make it a point of preparing in advance for Friday ride #7. I was late again (what else is new?) and only reached RV at almost 9pm. Hey, a new addition to the group, and we welcome Azhar to the fold (Circle of Influence eh?)

We started off slowly in view of Azhar being a newbie and Mr Big who havent been riding diligently for the past few weeks (banyak urusan keluarga, hehe). Ayie is unable to join us for some emergency matters, so the four of us took the usual route towards PICC. 

Azhar seems OK, even if the bike is a bit big for him as we opined he should be riding a 50 or smaller rather than a 52 (its easier to make a small bike bigger than a big bike smaller). We decided to make a u-turn near PICC and go towards P16. To spice things up, me, Wari and Azhar decided to play catch-up and sprint. Mr Big? We keep him within distance, hehehe...

Nearing P16, Wari suggested Wisma Putra hill, to which I gamely accepted. Result? Of course he reaches the top first, he still is 30 kilos lighter than me. Azhar even followed suit, riding up the hill and then we gleefully descent down. But wait, something is wrong. I can't see him, he should be waiting for us here. Where in Putrajaya is Mr Big?

We decided to sweep the Boulevard all the way to PICC, looking for a guy riding on a DaBomb. We scour the area, but we could only find Kenari's and MyVi's lining up the road. Ada pesta Perodua ke? Tried calling on his cellphone but to no avail. Has he been kidnapped? Mana la tahu kena kidnap for ransom ke, Mr Big kan nampak macam tokoh korporat...

As we are going towards PICC, we suffered our first casualty. Azhar's leg refused to cycle anymore. He cramped. So what else to do? After letting him rest his legs for a while, we ride slowly towards the RV point, reminding him to keep the legs moving to pump blood in and to drink often. He survived, but I think its a case of trying to do too much too soon (dah lama tak exercise la katakan...)

Lo and behold, once we reached the RV, there he was, Mr Big, waiting for us. Apparently, he is in one piece. Takkan ambil shortcut plak Mr Big? I took a raincheck on the post ride rehydration session, and bade the three of them, goodnite. Good ride, good company = feelgood, no? We'll do this again, my friends...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The not so LEKAS weekend...

Opting to rest rather than riding the night before in hindsight, allows the body to rest a bit and mentally makes you hungry for another ride to make up for the lost opportunity. The actual truth is, fear of being the last one in the peloton is a great motivating factor, hehehe.

After Perez, there are talks of going fast on LEKAS, the newly opened highway. But as I wont be able to join those speed demons on the windy highway, I decided (albeit quite late, sebab bangun pun lambat) to clock in some kilometers on Saturday and some more (if I am up to it) on the day after.

Starts riding at 9am and thinking of doing a KLIA loop (as if la), but then changed my mind once I reached the roundabout after the airport mosque and cycled towards F1 instead. Felt good (other than the searing heat) and actually contemplating of going to Sg Pelek, but good sense prevailed and decided on KLIA instead (so fickle minded, eh?)

As fate would have it, as I was reaching the entrance of F1, "POP!" and I suffered a puncture. Ceh, aku tak bawak plak spare tube. Thought of calling my brother to rescue me, but he went to the factory today. Luckily, I did chucked in the patch kit into the bike bag, and preceded to repair my tube. Tube baru plak tu :( Nak kena pi cari tiub baru la pulak...

Decided to cut the ride short, and head to my car, but not without riding around Nilai. Total distance : 48km. A good distance for a guilt ride, hehe. The next day, when the rest of the crew did LEKAS, I do a SLOW (get it? haha) one hour recovery ride (kononnya la) around my place. Staple of my ride: Lots of spinning and try to keep my HR averaging 140 and below. Total distance : 24km. Total distance this week : 110km. Not too bad a week, if I say so myself... 

"sometime you have to go slow to be fast" (ni kira ayat pujuk diri sendiri la ni)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The top and the bottom of it...

I was in a rush tonight. I was supposed to meet the guys at the RV point at 830pm. The time now is five minutes after 8, and I have yet to put in the bike in the car. Rushing down with bike, water, gears, GPS and HRM and chuck it into the car. Backed up the car and was on my way in no time.

Along the way, calculated the best route to be at the RV point by the stipulated time. I have been late a few times already (what else is new?) so I'll try not to be late again this time. Called Big and he's in SuRaDa, so he should be a bit late. Called Wari next and he says he's on his way, which means that I might not be that late after all. CH is taking a rain check, he's tired after a long testing session in the afternoon.

I stopped somewhere along the way, within good time to reach the RV point, and decided to do some extra kilometers on the bike. Put out my bike, take the wheels and put it up. Strap in my transmitter and GPS and suddenly I stopped in my track. @#%!^&*(!@#%! How could I forget?

In my haste, I forgot to bring two things. My helmet. And my cycling shoes. Hence the top and the bottom of it. That, ladies and gentlemen, means the end of my ride for tonight. I am not sacrificing safety and pedaling efficiency.

The moral of the story: Prepare well in advance and never rush. Better late than never (better to come late to a ride than not riding at all, cheh!)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rest is part of training, no?

Rest is part of training. Period.

2100hrs Make my way back from KT after the event ended at 1830hrs. Packing etc takes another hour.

0300hrs Just got back from the East Coast and later tonight is the usual training session in Putrajaya. 

1130hrs Met CH and Wari, who did not go to the East Coast and discussed about the ride tonite. Both of them are looking forward to tonight's ride. Me? In all enthusiasm, agreed to meet them at the RV place at 2030hrs.

1700hrs Started to feel the effects of long waking hours and travel (the past two days) and lack of rest. Dehydration too. Starts to have doubts about tonight's session, but played it down. Need to be resolute about training.

2015hrs My body feels heavy and creaky, throat dry and movement lethargic. Decided to take a rain check for tonight. SMSd wari to inform so that they do not wait up for me. So much for being resolute, hehehe.

Sorry guys, can't make it tonight. But rest is also part of training, right?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Somewhere near the border of two states...

I am on my way to the East Coast now for an office related work. As I was sitting in the van, I suddenly realise that I was nearing one of my targets for 2009. Near the border of two neighboring states. Genting Sempah.

One day I will ride and triumph over you. Period.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The usual Tuesday Night ride # 2

I was late again. Its already 835pm. I don't want to keep them in the dark so I called Wari and asked about his whereabout. 'Kat lokasi biasa la', he answered. 

'Sapa lagi ada?'

'Aku sorang je' he said a matter-of-factly.

'CH ada ke?'

'Tak nampak pon dia'

'Takpe, ko tunggu kejap, aku dah on the way. Kejap lagi aku call dia'  I ended the conversation.

When I reached the RV point, both of them are already gone thinking that I'm riding to the RV and plans will meet me halfway.  Wari then called and I asked him to wait somewhere in front and I'll join them shortly. Set up my bike and sped away looking for them. Apparently they waited for me some 3km away.

Regrouped and decided to do double hill loop tonight. CH suddenly hurts his knee so I suggested that we stick to an average of 25kmh. Starts slowly and up the Alamanda incline, feels good and CH, hurt knee or not, is just 10 meters behind us. He then picked up speed along Persiaran Timur all the way to PICC exit, while Wari and me decided to stick to our earlier agreed average.

CH continues to power on on the way back along towards Alamanda. He even leads us up the long incline, until Wari decided to step up a gear and speed along, leaving me and CH in his wake. I tried to follow suit but as I am 1.5 times his weight, its easier said than done. Note to self : lose another few kilos soon. Only then I can think of being a better climber.

One hour into the ride I suggested that we do 3 loops (CH suggested 5) of the big roundabout. The first loop was done at an average of 33kmh, the second one at a speed of 28kmh and the last one around 24kmh. Then we rushed over to the RV point for our refuelling and comparing calories session, hahaha.

Tonight we manage to put in 38km of riding, and I used in excess of 1300kcal, while Wari and CH burned around 800+kcal each. Tak puas hati la tu. Aku ni berat la, sebab tu la aku boleh burn lebih banyak kalori, hahaha. Lepas tu, sekejap je dah nak sampai max HR.  Here's to our next ride on Friday night. Dengarnya En Big, Albert(?), Lei dan Encik Is will be joining us...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Resolute about the resolution...

I know its a bit late, but in keeping with the spirit of New Year, its only natural for me to write down some new year resolutions (things to do better than last year perhaps?). I am not going to bore you with the usual so I will only put in my 2009 sports resolution. So here goes...

  1. Cycle and row as much as possible in 2009 (basically kena work out la ye tak?)
  2. Ride these climbs (in no particular order). Perez. Sempah. Broga. Kelawang. Fraser. Cameron?
  3. Do at least a century ride (100 miles or 160 kilometers)
  4. Starts running again (in preparation for No.5)
  5. Do Powerman 2009 and hopefully finish within the stipulated time (nak try gak dapat medal)
  6. Pick up swimming (in preparation for triathlon, hehe)
  7. Do a cycling tour (maybe a few days ride with friends, kan guys?)
  8. Influence as many friends possible to pick up cycling (Circle of Influence kan Bro Zizan?)

As at mid January 2009, the farthest I have cycled in a day is 100km (read here) and I have already done Perez, so I hope I am well in time to achieve those resolution before 31st Dec 2009. See you on the road in 2009...

Monday, January 12, 2009

The (first) ride into the clouds

I always have this fascination with climbers. Nope, not in the mountaineering sense, but in the cycling sense. KOM. Alpe de Huez. Angliru. Col d'Izard. Our own Genting. So when Abg Man SMSed us that the next ride will include the 8.8km ride up Perez, it was not to be missed.

I can't sleep actually. Saturday was resting day, other than the visit to KFine. Wash my bike and try to sleep as early as possible. Like a small boy who are anticipating the visit to the Lego shop :) I actually woke up at 5am, and force myself to sleep a bit more.

Woke up at 6am, call Lei but he's not answering. Cook breakfast and somehow only manage to go out of the house quite late. That is definitely for not putting my bike in the car the night before. Ha! Sikit punya kelam kabut, baru ko tahu. In my haste (it was already 650am), I left Garmin at home, and the thought of being left behind by the 730 roll out time, decided against turning back and get it. Kena buat manual training note la lepas ni for this particular ride...

On the way, Wari called. He's already at IKBN, and I told him I'll be there before the ride. Racing there (both my heart rate and the car) is stressful. Takut kena tinggal, dah la tak tahu jalan. Finally I reached the designated RV point a few minutes after 730. Cyclist in cars and bikes were lining the street. CH just arrived. I saw familiar faces, even some who their adventures were the staple of my bloghopping.

After everyone is ready (its almost 8am), we rode together to the first checkpoint. We have CH and Wari, the usual Sunday crew, bola2api, Kash and Rais, Nurina and a few other nice people that I have the pleasure of making acquaintance along the ride. It was a rolling route, thru a few kampungs, and the cool weather makes me thankful I was wearing the long sleeved tee. In all we have almost 20 cyclists in our group.

At the T junction, we made a pit stop. Kash had some problems with her RD. Apai swings into action, and the problem was solved in no time. After a breather and everyone is accounted for, the climb begins. The first few hundred meters are steep, but with the right gearing and companion it was made bearable. I rode with Abg Man and Cikgu Hisyam for a while until I became too slow for them :(

I reminded myself not to overexert myself. The secret they say is to set and follow your own pace. You know yourself better and I was thankful for the Polar loaned to me by Wari that allows me to keep a tab on my heart rate over the ride (and especially the climb). My strategy is to spin along and keep my soaring heart rate in check.

It was a refreshing ride, early in the morning and the sound of the chain gliding over the drivetrain hums a sense of purpose, the sight along the way is just awesome and the smell over dew on leaves is pure and invigorating. Then, reality sets in. My breathing is labored, my throat are dry, my lungs are screaming for air, my quads are bursting with lactic acid and with every spin, 'Bila la nak sampai nih!'

After struggling for 33 minutes up Perez, after a bend I saw, 'SELAMAT DATANG KE NEGERI SEMBILAN" and sure enough, I saw a few of the crew is already there. The climbers (light in weight, of course) are cheering everyone who are making it over the top. At that moment, it makes it all worthwhile. The pain disappeared and the endorphin rush envelops you.

After the customary UMNO Jelebu pics, we turn to cheer everyone who made it over Perez. Abg Man and a few other even rode down to make sure Zul ride safely to the top, cajoling, cheering, supporting even telling a few white lies, 'lepas ni ada satu selekoh je lagi, hehehe'. A big round of applause for all in the group. See, CH and Wari pun boleh survive. So Mr Big, bila nak join kami?

The descent was furious, especially the first few kilometers as the switchbacks are to my liking. I guess I averaged around 40+kmh only. Daoh suffered the first of our puncture on the descent. We waited for him at the junction and later makes our way to the RV point to regroup. Once we are there, we received news that CH suffers a puncture. Kash and Rais swings to the rescue while we waits for them.

Once the punctured party arrive (tayar saja yg pancit, orangnya OK lagi), the next leg of the journey was to Pangsoon, but as fate would have it, CH punctures again on the same front wheel. CH, agaknya wheels ko tu jinxed tak? We changed the tubes and the group decided to cut short the trip and go to Sg Congkak instead.

We had our breakfast there (basically taking everything in sight, these ravenous cyclist) and enjoyed the

company of fellow cyclist over food and drinks. Even Md Noor Ba

lung Merah and Zharin was there a while later. After the usual photo ops, with a filled tummy

(not yet full), we bid goodbye and make our way to the RV point.

Its great to be riding with friends (old and new) who makes it all the way to the top. For some of them, this is their first time, mine included. And the next time I am here, I will do my best to conquer it in a much shorter time. This climb up Perez makes a good weekend. Period.

Read other riders take on the ride and pics, pics and more pics... hehehe. Read the thoughts and writing of Bang Man, bola2api, Kash, Nurina.....

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I was late...

...and my phone is ringing incessantly. Its Lei and Wari. Called Wari and asked him if everyone is already there. He says that  even Ayie Nexus is there. Hmm..

"Aku tengah cycle on the way ke sana. I am near JPM now. Err, CH ada tak?" I asked. "Belum call lagi" says Wari. "Call and check dia kat mana. Aku sampai kejap lagi", while continuing to spin and warm up all the way to RV.

True enough when I arrived there, Wari, Ayie and Lei is already waiting. Even CH is there, setting up his bike. Sorry guys, I'm late this time (macam last time jugak la, hehehe). Lets ride guys, its late already so off we go on the usual PCM route. All roadies today it seems as Big is away in JB.

We started slow, decided to maintain 20kmh for the first few kilometers. It does feels good, riding with buddies :) Lei can't resist the playful sprints chasing Ayie after every traffic light, ceh. The competitive nature in him is too great. Sabar bang, tak banyak mileage lagi in those legs.

We spin along the Alamanda incline, with CH, Ayie and Wari dancing up those incline. Lei is slowly finding his rhythm and setup on Scott XS. We zooms down the long descent and hitting 40+kmh and the sprinters are having a field day. Takpe, takpe, nanti aku brush up aku punya sprinting boleh la challenge korang...

I decided to spin along (slowly) before meeting the 'sprinters' near PICC. Decided against going back the long incline and instead go down the boulevard, where the cobbles is made bearable by our carbon forks (as if). From the Mosque, me and Wari cycled down to the RV chasing CH, Lei and Ayie in front. After the traffic light on the 9th, Ayie and Lei sprints it out all the way to the finish, reminiscence of the usual ride ending sprints after Asasi in UM.

Thanks guys for a good ride. We'll do this again next week. Maybe over two laps this time?

Friday, January 09, 2009

And the (dawn of?) new beginning...

I am looking forward to tonight's ride in Putrajaya. It has been five days since I last rode Scotty. I am expecting the usual crew for the ride tonight, minus Big as he is in the southern tip of the country for a family matter. No worries mate, you could always join us next week.

Lei has finally picked up Scott XS (read here) after a hiatus of several years. I love his Shimano wheelset, and a light wheelset means a lower rolling resistance. can't wait to meet you and Scott XS later tonight mate :)

On another note, CH and I managed to use our Circle of Influence to welcome the new addition to our crew. The Fuji twins. Remember our 'Jalan-jalan cari Basikal' adventure sometime last month? Since then we have visited a few more bike shops to look for some good bargains (with previous years models)

We brought along Warimad, who currently uses a Scott Team bike, and scoured the Klang Valley, high and lows (and once got lost in the process of looking for a specific shop in Melawati, where we settled for Penang style lunch) for that beginner bike. AlBert also want to get a bike, though will not be riding it for a couple of weeks as yet.

When Suhaimi PPZ paraded his new yellow Fuji bling, bling at last weekend 'Kayuhan Malas Lepak Santai' (read here), we decided to visit a certain shop along Jalan Ampang, and true enough, Uncle is having a clearance sale. Fuji half carbon bikes going for a mere three thousand bucks. Two models are up for grabs, with either yellow/black or the red ones with Tiagra or 105 drivetrain.

Verdict? Both Warimad and AlBert bought a road bike each. The Red Fuji. Hence, the Fuji twins.

So, Mr Big, WHEN are you getting your road bike? Hehehe... takkan setakat kena jadi support crew pulak lepas nih :)

And then gravity pulls you down...

How many of you have fallen off your bike? I can see many hands and nodding heads.

Why do you fall from your bike? Many reason. Crash? More nodding heads I see. Slippery roads and loose sand on switchbacks? Some nodding heads. Trying to avoid cars that do not signal when turning? Hmm. Accidentally clipped the wheels in front? Yes.

At the traffic light? Loses balance while perfecting the track stand? Still clipped in? I saw a few of those, right Lei?

I got one last week. Equipment trouble as my cleat refused to dislodge from my pedal. Loses my balance while stopping. So I fall with the bike. Still clipped in. Like nangka busuk. Ceh. Akhirnya I join THE group (kan Lei kan?).

This is the result. A few deep gash on my right foot courtesy of the chainring and a bruised left knee. Padan muka aku.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

This (lazy) week in perspective...

This week has been a lazy week, cycling wise. Since the last 'kayuhan malas lepak santai' to Putrajaya, haven't been on the saddle one bit this week. Been eating and enjoying food it seems :) Last week was a good week on the bike. Cycled in excess of 200km in total. Maybe too much so soon, so I might as well cut it a bit this week. Maybe do some total of 70-80km only :)

Lei called me (surprisingly) yesterday, and true enough, just to inform me that he  had picked up his trusty Scott XS and eager for the next ride. His Klein is rested, can't afford to be left behind on all the future rides by speedsters on RBs. I think that is also the same thing that ran thru Suhaimi PPZs mind, when he got himself a new bling, bling half carbon Fuji. Hehehe... I would like to think that its not about the bike. Just like what Lance says.

I am looking forward to the ride tomorrow night. Need to get my legs moving for the ride up to Perez on Sunday. Better keep my hydration status in check. Don't want to be dehydrated for the Sunday ride.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year Ride 2009 : The supposed ride that became a race...

Rumors of the ride first surfaced during the trip to search for the "new nasik lemak makan place" when I heard Apai and Bang Man talked about a planned New Year Ride on 1st January 2009 (duh! of course). I tried looking for it on JK, but it was nowhere to be seen. Hmm... maybe I got it wrong, I think. Anyway, talked to CH and Lei, informing them of the ride and they are game to do it, all the 80km of it.

Finally, a notice came up on 30th December on JK inviting MTBs and roadies to participate in the ride. Abg Man also forwarded me a SMS of the ride, and I duly passed my name to the organizers. I forward the same to CH and Lei, who both confirms of coming. Great guys, see you there.

The night before Lei asked me to call him early in the morning, while CH asks for directions. Ini betul2 nak kayuh ni, semangat sungguh... Anyway, on the day itself I got up early, make some breakfast and out of the house by 0700hrs. Will meet Lei somewhere near the meeting point. After making some calls, decided to wait at the mosque instead, and join the group when they cycle through.

Met Abg Man and the rest of the riders and decided to wait for the riders at Shell. Apparently, the ride starts 30 minutes later than planned so we wait and talk and do the necessary. At about 0845 the riders zooms in, and the first thing I realise is that the front riders are going really, really fast.

We tag along at the back and I make my way slowly to the middle of the pack. It seems that there are a few KOM competitions along the way, which explains the hurried pace. Jangan ikut orang punya pace, ride your own race. With that I ride with Hafiz (found him somewhere in the front of me) and stayed all the way till that first hill where he sped away.

No worries, just aim to maintain an average of high 20s up till the first stop after riding for 20km. We waited up for all the riders to regrouped to the next stop. It was a short wait, as it was still early in the ride (and the riders are still strong, hehe). It was a marshalled ride and it make the ride easier, as the marshalls stops traffic whenever necessary to enable us easy passage. Kudos to the organizers.

After a short drink break, work to maintain the speed of the previous sector. The undulating, flattish route enables me to consistently hits 30s. Not too bad for a starting again cyclist. But then, for all the high speed you have a price to pay. It almost kill me at the De Palma incline. I slowed down all the way to 10kmh, struggling along. Felt like pushing my bike, but I can't let Sham Dewa sees that, hehehe (I ride with him at De Palma)

At the second stop, I gawk at all the nice bikes and components around. You name it, you can see it there. Treks, Colnagos, Pinarellos, Specializeds, Meridas, Orbeas, Shimanos, SRAMs, Campags, C50s, carbon, alloys, scandiums... its all there. Be proud Scotty, you are in the company of nice bikes. Some of wheelset even costs more than you, but I do believe, its the rider that matters most. And in 6 months, we'll dance..

In the last 65km, managed to maintain an average of 28.4kmh. Hope to work more on that in the next few months. The last 5km was a warm down ride to the mosque where Lei is waiting, after he decided to "visit" Azman while cycling somewhere near Pekan Salak. CH got a puncture about 10km from the finish line and he has to menggendong his bicycle on one of the marshall motorbikes. This is the second flat that he had experienced this week.

Have some drinks with the "devils" before all of us "bertebaranlah kamu dimuka bumi ini..."

Word of "THANKS" to the organizer for a safe ride, complete with Marshals and support car. Good start to the year 2009 :)

The highly corroded ring

When I was doing spring cleaning (there is no spring season here) for my house, somehow I came across this old ring. It bring back old memories I guess. This ring actually come in a pair and this highly corroded ring is bought in Indonesia more than eleven years back.

It was my first trip overseas on my own and I am fortunate enough to be able to save some money to go. My then girlfriend, lets call her MA, was also on that trip. Nope, we are going in a big group and not just the two of us. We do have lots of chaperone I say for that trip, hehehe. 

Anyway, the story goes that we are at the airport waiting for our flight back home after a fortnight in Indonesia and I have about 100K in rupiah that I know after conversion rate would not be much back in KL, so decided to buy something. As  I am scouring the airport to look for things cheap enough to by I stumbled upon this nice, cheap pair of ring.

After some haggling, the ring is mine and what else, the other pair is for MA. Hmm, I wonder what happened to 'that' ring? As for my ring, I guess I'll put it in together with all those letters me and MA wrote each other that I still kept. That my friends, would be another story...