Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nothing comes for free, young man...

I was informed that some people from an institution on the east coast will be visiting my humble outfit (office), and as the visit was rather informal I was not too worried as I could just give them some information on my operations off the cuff. As they were running late, I was already changed into my test gear, when they finally came about.

I welcomed all of them, and as I was only given 3 minutes to explain (in general) my operations, things go on quite fast. I was sharing information with them how my outfit could assist them, when THE question came.

'You would be assisting us for free then?', came the question from a young chap. I looked towards him and retorted, 'If you asked me, nothing is for free in this world. The things that you got for free wont be appreciated much, so everything has a price' I explained making a point. 'Other similar institution who are extended our expertise, are being charged a nominal fee, so I don't see any difference in your case'.

'My views on that does not necessarily reflect my boss's view but everything is negotiable' I ended the conversation and thanked them, as I need to continue with the planned test. If my stand seems impolite or brusque, so be it, but I need to put forth what my stand are. 

Nothing comes for free in this world.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The rim killer...

One of the things that we need to be aware of as we are cycling on the road is... drain covers. Drain cover is basically covering of the drain (duh!). As you were cycling on the road, you see them lining the road side, doing what else, covering the drain. 

Basically there wont be a problem, as the drain cover is put there to enable water on the road to be channeled rightly into the drain. The problem is when the orientation of the drain cover unfortunately posed some dangers to the users. The cyclist in general, roadies especially. Due to the small 700x20c tires.

Last weekend, it almost floored Mr Big. Eh, sejak bila plak Mr Big ada roadbike? His front wheel got stuck on his descent from a small hill. Mr Big's wheel became a casualty, and he need to walk a good kilometer to get home. Tu la, buat secret training lagi over the weekend...

Anyway, how many of you have 'near brushes' with the drain cover? 

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The only constant in life is...


In all our life, we change. From the time we are helpless bundle of joy, all the way to the (sometime hapless) individuals that we are, we undergo changes at every part of our life. We hope the changes that we make propel us to be better than we previously are.

So, we change on a daily basis. We even change clothes on a daily basis (kalau tak sure kena pulau dengan kawan-kawan). When I started to row, what starts as a recreational activities evolve to competing internationally. In cycling, from just as a mode of transport to school and the occasional foray to the hypermarket, after a few years graduated to competitive riding of sort, even if its only in duathlons.

So its only natural that my choice of ride evolve from a full-sus mountain bike to a road bike. And most of my riding friends evolve from a mountain bike to a road bike, from an alloy bike all the way to carbon bling-bling,from Sora all the way to Dura-Ace (I am leaning towards rodies). And some of my riding friend here at work, had changed from not riding a bike to riding. And jumped into the cycling bandwagon.

A few more friends are in the fray to join us, waiting to source for their bikes, like Mus and Am. So, the question is... bila BIG nak beli BASIKAL BARU ni? Roadbike! Roadbike! Roadbike!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The night we retire early...

Called Lei. No answer. Called Wari. No answer. I need to know how is the weather like in Putrajaya. CH won't be joining as he is not feeling well. Albert has a clean bill of health and promises to join the next session. Mr Big is still in Kuching for an official visit and won't be back until later tonight. Hardi is non-commital. So, it all depends on the weather tonight, whether we ride or not.

Make my way to the RV, and pleasantly surprise to meet not only Wari, but also Lei. Ayie is not around tonight and the weather is holding. Set-up our bikes, and off we go, just the three of us. We let Lei to choose the route and he suggested going of to P? and later came up to our usual route. Lei and Wari sped away, while I was having some problems with my rear tire. Nanti aku kejar korang, pi la speed dulu. Nanti letih la tu...

True enough, hehehe, Lei slow down just before the big roundabout. Dah lama tak sprint la katakan. Then we ride together towards Alamanda, and we sprinted up the incline. Lei suddenly have a technical problem, while me and Wari dance up the small hill. What goes up, must come down so we coasted down and Lei later sprints down the highway. I tried to follow suit, but Lei is too fast. Takpe, nanti aku training lagi, hehehe...

Before long we reached PICC and decided to ride back, up the Boulevard and later take a left turn toward P9. Playfully ride up the hill towards the Fire Station and then ride slowly to the RV. The ride tonight ended at 10pm and we have a short post ride refreshment just to catch our breath. Ayie joins us and he shares the fate of the Madone who involved in a crash on FT Day. Takpe, Trek kan ada lifetime warranty,

One thing funny is that we finished a 25km ride in an hour. We wonder why. Then the realisation hit us. We rode without Mr Big. Our usual 90 minutes ride became a 60 minutes ride. So, Mr Big, bila lagi nak dapatkan a roadbike. Hari tu kata its because of the bike... 

Trek? Merida? Fuji? Cannondale? Sora? Tiagra? 105? Ultegra? Take your pick Mr Big...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A fine line between bravado and foolishness...

A phone conversation.

'Ghodong, kat mana?' asks Muaiz. 'Ada kat KL, kenapa?' answered me while sipping warm lemon. Wari looks on.

'Esok nak pi ride tak? Malakoff ada buat ride pagi esok' explains Muaiz. 'Ko join ride tu sekali ke?', I asked him back. 'Aku kayuh dalam kereta je, hahaha. Aku ada kerja malam ni, still kat rumah lagi ni, lepas game baru pi KL', he said a matter of factly.

'Err, ride dari mana ke mana?', I enquired. 'Dari Selayang ke Bentong. Abang Rahim kata Aini ada sekali. Dia kata takkan ko kalah dengan Aini kot?' answers Muaiz, '...bukan laju pun, ramai orang tua yang ride sekali', he continues.

'Ye la tu, aku tak percaya langsung kalau cyclist kata tak laju, tahu-tahu belasah 35-40kmh', I retorted back. 'Takpe la, nanti aku confirm dengan kau balik, OK?' I ended our conversation.

Glanced at Wari, and told him about the invitation. And Abg Rahim's comment about Aini is also riding the route. '...Takkan kalah dengan Aini kot?...'. The distance said Muaiz, should be around 130-150km. Suddenly, something came to my mind. The fact that either route to Bentong would need a lot of climbing. Its either thru GS or KKB. And if IT IS a 130+km ride, most definitely they'll take the KKB-Gap-Bentong route. Ouch, thats one hilly route. Its brave to attempt it, but its foolish to do it if you are not well prepared.

Even if the invitation is juicy enough, but one needs to gauge their own ability. As much as I wanted to ride to Bentong, but I do not think I have the legs to do it yet. The horror story from Bang Man CIOCC on the ride to Fraser lingers still (read here). Personally, I have yet to put in a long 120km non stop ride, and I havent even done GS (or enough climbs yet) so i think I'll just keep down my head, put in the miles in religiously, and when the next opportunity presents itself, maybe I'll JUST DO IT!

There is still a very fine line between bravado and foolishness.

bola2api account of the ride to Bentong, read here.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The (supposed) 75km weekend ride to KLIA...

Last weekend me and Wari planned a long ride together, but as it happens, the ride was not to be. Something came up in the morning, and we took a rain-check on that planned ride to KLIA. So when the opportunity presents itself on Saturday, and last night's PCM ride was easy so make new plans with Wari to meet at the RV at 730am. The rest of the crew? Most of them is not around, so its just the two of us.

I am late again (ya,ya, what else is new eh?) and Wari were already waiting. We set-up our bikes and suddenly we were chatted up by a guard, En.Nuar who took an interest in our bikes. By 830am, we rolled out planning for a 2-3 hour ride. Destination? Either Salak Tinggi or KLIA. I reckon it would be about 50-75km back and forth, so it could work out to an average of 25km/h. Not too bad, eh?

The first 20 minutes were easy, and we gradually upped the speed to 25kmh. Took a pit stip at one of the petrol station and off we roll again, after taking the route to Salak Tinggi thru De'Palma. The rolling highway allows us to hit high 20s, and I asked Wari if we wanted to go back already and turn towards Kota Warisan or all the way to KLIA. 'Weather sikit punya cantik, jalan pun OK jugak. Kita pi KLIA la', he suggested.

So the two of us, make our way towards KLIA and the open space means we manage to maintain an average of 28-30kmh for that stretch. Taking turns pulling in front, tried to maximise drafting effects. Nearing KLIA, we are undecided of going to Bunga Raya and later all the way to LCCT or just make a u-turn at PanPac. U-turn at PanPac it is. If we were to go to LCCT, it would mean an extra 22km, hehehe...

On the way back, we took the Dengkil route and roll in to the RV in Unikeb. I was too slow for Wari (I was wasted OK) so for a good 10km, he left me at the back, and he only slows down near Teras Jernang, where I manage to catch him. Then we spin to warm down to the RV point and our total for today, just 66km in 2.5hrs. Still a few kilometers short of our planned 75km. Sigh :(

Well, a good ride indeed. We should do this more often eh Wari?