Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A peaceful day after a scary moment in the air

We were delighted when our boxes of "spare parts" checked in non-descriptly at Changi International at the Air Asia counter, thanks to a wonderful and friendly Yadi. It could have been an additional S$54 if it was full-size bikes. We thought we were off to a great start until the time of landing at KKB when the plane suddenly put on the power and took off again at 11pm.

There were strong side winds and heavy rain so we ended up trying to land again only to abort once more. Cruising at 10000m for another hour, the pilot announced that he was going to try again failing which, the plane had to land at Brunei, some 300km away.

Pic courtesy from J Hodges, Photobucket

It was in times like these that I realised how we take things forgranted so easily and how fragile our lives can be. Bouncing away in the air in bad weather, we remember our mortality very clearly indeed. On the third landing attempt, with engines screaming away in heavy rains, we managed to land safely and everyone broke out in loud applause to the pilot. I did that too but knew that He who controlled the weather heard my feeble prayer and I was very grateful.

We managed to get a Toyota Innova MPV to send us to Kinabalu Backpackers, and it was amazing that all our 4 foldies plus luggage and us could fit! A testament of travelling convenience with foldies. Arriving at at 2am, all we wanted was a good sleep and we settled for a very peaceful rest of the day here at laid back KKB.

Tomorrow, our ride adventure begins... meanwhile, we plan to take it easy and gourge ourselves silly with the amazing food KKB offers.


When you are not certain what will take place tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist, which is seen for a little time and then is gone. James 4:14

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Avoiding airline surcharges

In their bid to increase their bottom line, more and more airlines are introducing all sorts of charges to make up for cut throat competition. Air Asia is no exception, and recently charges US$13 one way for sports equipment. Strangely, these are limited to only golf bags, surf boards and bicycles.

So it will be interesting to see if our foldies are going to get hit with their sports equipment surcharge. I can imagine with the huge bike box, it would involve some "extra" labour as well as take up more space in the precious airline cargo hold, but our foldies are barely bigger than a huge suitcase.

My tikit is travelling snugly in its original Bike Friday box while Le Cuppa will be in its special home-home Ikea bag stuffed with cardbox. As far as I'm concern, these are spare parts and not a "bicycle" per se. Lets see if we can escape the surcharge tomorrow...

*Special thanks to Joseph from CycleMax of Bukit Batok Central who never fails to help me out so faithfully with my biking needs in Singapore. Friendly, humble and skilled.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The route for Borneo

Its always important to know where one is riding on a daily basis and I'm indebted to Mike for this route map for our Borneo trip next week. What will be a challenge are some of the climbs and being really slack with very little training done, the sparing use of public transport will hopefully be our saving grace.
Trouble is getting transport is going to be tough as this is not exactly a bustling part of the world where one can just hail a taxi... That's when things get exciting I guess.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

4 small wheels for Borneo

Wondering which bike to use for a trip can be a real unnerving, even sleepless affair. Such was the case for our upcoming Borneo adventure. After much thought, discussion and evaluation, these will be our rides - for myself and the missus.

Le Cappuccino by KHS

This is a highly modified KHS Cappuccino with some very high end bits from "once upon a time" era like a 92 XTR RD, Ultegra front hub and a host of quality recycle parts and brand new Schwalbe Marathon XR tires etc that my buddy Chris skillfully put together. When I asked him what foldy should I use for the trip, he very generously offered this beauty! Best of all, it comes with a double chain ring for those steep hills, and is able to carry 2 full size panniers.

Le Tikit by Green Gear Company

My other ride is the world's fastest folding Bike Friday tikit commuter that I have toured with before. This bike re-defines the role for 16" wheels and it has been modified with a 44t chain ring for better climbing ability. There is a fellow tikiteer in Bike Forum who prefers to tour on the tikit instead of the other more "accomplished" BF range like the NWT, Pocket Llama et al, so that says a lot for this baby Bike Friday. But it will be a rather challenging trip, and I'm holding my breath to see if the tikit can cut the mustard.


A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Proverbs 17:17

Photo credits - CW

Friday, September 11, 2009

If u have 20 mins to kill...

I came across a very interesting article while skimming through Sean Luke's tikit review. Its about life with a folding bike in New York City found in Bicycling by sports journalist Steve Friedman. Its a bit wordy but fairly entertaining read if you are mildly bored at the office and day dreaming about your fav foldy... or harem of foldies. Friedman's love/hate relationship with his first foldy intrigues me.
I know that in a relationship, forward movement is necessary. I look for something for Foldy and me to seek together, some life-changing goal. Something that will bring us closer, that will make Foldy and me happy. Happy together.
What grabbed me was his falling in love experience with a foldie and the challenges of being a "circus bear on wheels". It was moving too to learn how "Foldy" slowly became his one and only reliable friend. This is something we who are infected with Foldinitis can identify. His account of David Lam, NYC's folding bike apostle and the account of an exciting Foldie Bike race are also fascinating.


Monday, September 7, 2009

An early Christmas present...

Thks to buddy Chris Wee for the pics & making it possible for this to happen!

I've just got word that a goodie box with something white from the Green Gear Company has arrived in Singapore for me today. Its so exciting - like receiving an early Christmas present. Will get to actually see it when I fly back in 2 weeks. Can't wait!