Wednesday, July 28, 2010

To drive, to cycle or to ride..

I drove most days to work. I cycle some days to work (not as often as I like to though) and there are days that I ride to work. As in riding on the public transportation. And today is such days.

Driving usually takes the shortest time. Riding could be on either extreme (at least if we're talking about city riding), while taking the public transport would be subject to the adherence to schedule and availability of (connecting)transport. If I am riding, need to be out of the house latest 7am, as with taking public transportation. Driving? Own sweet time, latest 740am.

Cost wise, driving could be the costliest with petrol costs on top of tolls etc (for me at least), with public tranportation would be manageable (no use outpricing yourself) and riding would basically cost, err.. near to nothing ;)

So, in choosing the preferred mode of transport, both facts must be factored in. Like today. Let's do some calculation..

Car : Toll (3.80) + Fuel (±4.00) = ±45mins
Public Transport : Ticket (4.50) = ±70mins
Riding my old bike : sweat, swear = ±90 mins

Note: The journey back home, could be a whole, totally different matter altogether. Especially if you're taking the public transport ;)

So, the song by Queens, "Bicycle Race" came to mind..

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride where ever I like..

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A new rivalry, while another bids the Tour, 'Adieu'

The 97th edition of Tour de France saw a lot of action. The foray into spring classics county sees quite a number of casulaty in the early crashes, which includes Frank Schleck.

The anticipated duel between 7 time tour champion, Lance and Contandor failed to materialised as early as the first week. Lance suffers from punctures in Stage 3 and crashed three times in the stage up Morzine. But another rivalry was cemented with the Best Young Rider was in the yellow before a broken chain derailed his Tour ambition up Bagneres-de-Luchon.

This is the rivalry we will be witnessing for years to come between Contandor and Andy Schleck, one half of the Schleck brother. While we welcome the new rivalry, another multiple winner of Le Tour, bids 'adieu' to the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong suffered a few mishaps in the first weeks and even was denied of a stage victory in a 8 men sprint in Stage 16 to Pau. Nonetheless, Radioshack is the best team in 2010.

Looking forward to an exciting 98th edition of the Tour de France next year!

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Monday, July 26, 2010

A special team..

This is a special team.

I was a member of this team by accident. During a water confidence course I met the Team Coach by accident. You see, I was wearing my favourite tee, with "US ROWING TEAM" printed at the back.

Senior : Hmm..US Rowing Team. Do you row?
Me : No.
Senior : Do you know what rowing is?
Me : I've seen people rowing on TV.
Senior : Do you want to row?
Me : (surprised) Err, they have it here? Sure, I would love to learn to row..

That particular senior happens to be the coach for UM Rowing Team, Mr Azlei and also one of the National Coach. Thus started my journey into the ultimate team sport, rowing.

Coach introduces me to the a machine build for pure torture, the Concept2 rowing ergometer, what is difference of sweep and sculling, singles, pairs, fours, eights, the strength sapping tub to the smooth, fast racing shell, macon (not related to bacon) and big blades, just to name a few thing that I have learned throughout years I was in the team.

In 1999, we were the National champion in Mens 8+, beating the likes of Kedah, in my first rowing regatta. Those days were fun. In late 2000 I became good enough to join the national team and can no longer row on behalf of my university until a few years later. Deep down, I am always proud to be a part of this special team. UM Rowing Team.

This is indeed a special team.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

The cat don't want to bathe..

Conversation early this morning between Father and two year old Sasha.

Father: Sasha, pergi mandi Sayang..
Sasha: Taknak!
Father: Kenapa tak nak mandi?
Sasha: Minyu minyu tak nak mandi..(referring to the picture of cat on her shirt)
Father: Aiyoh..(stumped)

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Of Nasi Lemak and Chicken Rice..

It has been quite a while since I last flown anywhere. No, I am not the tragic Icarus, but at times in the course of my work I DIPERINTAHKAN (saya yang menurut perintah, remember?) and would need to travel by air.

We use to fly using the national carrier, but the global economic downturn forces The Company to look into alternative carrier. Hence unless necessary, we will fly by AirAsia (AA). This means all domestic, and even for international flights (not that I have been on one lately)

Anyway, being a no frills carrier, everything else must be paid for inclusive of food. But, then again, the best thing is when you're travelling on business matters, The Company will factor it all in ie preferred boarding, choice seats and food. And one thing about AA is that they serve local flavours on their flight ;)

For most of my domestic flights, the food provided for us (pre-book) is usually Nasi Lemak Pak Ali, complete with rendang daging. Scrumptious, but you get bored if you had too many over a short span of time. I was already bracing myself for Nasi Lemak Pak Ali on my day-trip to KCH.

So, imagine my pleasant surprise when I was served Uncle Chin Chicken Rice, with juice and mineral water, biscuits, teabag and coffee sachet. Courtesy of The Company.

"Not too bad, eh?". Spoke too soon. On my flight back to KUL, I was once again served guessed it, Uncle Chin Chicken Rice. Sigh. This cycle could be repeating itself soon.. very, very soon..

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Friday, July 23, 2010

It has been 3 weeks..

This is a picture of my water bottle. I make it a habit to freeze my water bottle the night before every ride. The thinking behind it is as the frozen water bottle thaws, I would have a cold drink for far longer time compared to a normal iced water bottle.

Since the incident of triple whammy three weeks ago, I haven't ridden a bit due to the fact that my rear wheel is still in the shop. The funny thing is, the one time I actually went to the shop to pick it up, I was short on cash in the wallet.

You see, I did not specifically inform the technician NOT to change the tube (as I have a few lying around) so I was expecting the repairs to cost less than 20 bucks. Lo and behold, the repairs was on RM14, but replacement tube cost me another RM17! Bummer! I only carry 20 buck in wallet.

Rush to the shopping complex next door only to found that the two available ATM are either offline or unable to dispense. #*@/?( Apa la! So with 'muka tebal', I went to the shop and tell them I will come back later to pick up the wheels. Ceh, malu betul..

The moral of the story: Next time, bring enough money and more to the bike shop AND please, please lose weight as it might mean that you'll be riding the bike more as opposed to it being in the shop due to broken spoke(s). Hehehe!
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Of fuel, LPG, sugar and RON97

It has been almost two weeks since the announced increase on fuel and sugar. A five cents increase for diesel and petrol, 25 cents increase for sugar and RON97 price will no longer be subsidised, meaning it will be according to market forces (as of now, a five cent premium over the old price)

How does it affects us as consumer? I don't know economics and maths, but I do think the impact would be minimal IF we take the steps to deal with the increase. A 5 cents increase in fuel cost means a range of 2.4-2.8% increase in fuel expenditure. A 25 cents increase in sugar price, is a tad high at 15% but it just might curb our sweet appetite.

For me, it just mean...less teh tarik AND ride more, drive less. Hehehe..if only its as simple as that (hmm, alasan, alasan..)

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ten years on..

I was outstation for the weekends, and out of touch with TdF 2010. So, when I finally got home, straightaway sits in front of the TV and switched on the live telecast on 814.

I was surprised to learn that Lance Armstrong (one of my favorite rider) is more than 4 minutes down in the race, basically 3 minutes behind the peloton lead by Astana (and Contandor, of course) up Morzine. As the camera zooms to the Radioshack team leader, I have a feeling he might have had a (if not a few) crash judging from the tear on his jersey.

The four men Astana train chugged up Morzine, with Contandor intent on putting time between him and Armstrong, not unlike what he and his Discovery Channel team did to their rivals 10 years ago. In the last 700m, Andy Schleck sprinted folowed only by Sanchez, not even Contandor.

Armstrong ended up more than 13 minutes down the GC after Stage 8. It is the passing of the guard, as the vibes, 'Armstrong Dropped' echoes throughout TdF 2010 up Morzine.

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sotong oh sotong..

It was heartbreak for German fans after the psychic octopus, Paul, once again was on target. The Spaniards were in the finals of the World Cup after 'heading' out the Germans, meeting another Final's first time, Holland.

There were already calls for nasi lemak with 'sambal kurita' for breakfast, among the locals (En Coach saya included, hehe).

On Tour de France, another 'old man' of the peloton, Alessandro Petacchi, shows that he still have the kick to race with the younger bunch to win the Stage 4 sprints finish ;)

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Another bike-less day..

It is almost a week since I last ridden my bike. Or rowed. It just shows how much willpower I have (I am a professional procrastinator, remember?)

Am-strong has declared he will be going on a 1800kcal diet, to make sure his weight go down to under 65kg. He figures that being lighter will allow him to beat me, the weakest (no, make that Rider Gemok) of ISN Cycling Team.

Err, maybe I'll talk Am-strong into sharing his 1800kcal diet so that I could slim down (haha!) to 80kg or below. Maybe, just maybe, if I am lighter, my rear, 32 spoke (already) wheel will spend lesser time at the bike shop.

Or, maybe I should just get a new (and stronger) wheelset? Hehehe..*evil grin*

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The bike is in shop?

It has been almost more than 4 days since I lastt ridden my bike, after the double..err, make it a triple whammy last Thursday. Suffered a puncture, lost my hand pump and to top it off, broke yet another spoke on the rear wheels. Berat sangat agaknya tu.

Still can't locate my buruk TdF glove. It either have fallen off somewhere or merajuk and disappears. Moody gloves they are. Anyway, July is here and after almost a month of nothing but 'Waka, Waka', its time to head north and starts embracing all things french, french kisses, french fries (no,no) and french bun (the bread, of course..)

Come July, I drop everything for the biggest (arguably if you talk to a Spaniard or Italian) cycling race in the world, le Tour de France. This year it starts from Holland, and into Belgium before transversing France all the way to the Arc du Triomphe in Paris on July 25th. Makes me want to get my cycling gear out already, and ride..

Owh, bummer. My rear wheel is still at the bike shop!

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