Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Augusta to Bunbury Ride - its happening...

Its funny how time creeps up so quickly. I was just talking about doing this ride a few months back and now, I'm packing to go. Pat, Ken,Christoph (who I will picking up in an hour's time from the airport) and I will drive down south to Busselton, leave the car there and catch the bus to Augusta. Here, the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean and this little town has a nice lighthouse plus superb bakery.

Then, its a ride to Margaret River for an overnight stay, an easy 50km. Great vineyards, superb surf beaches and a very artsy culture await us. Off then to Busselton via Dunsborough to enjoy the scenic coast of WA. Ken leaves us via car and the 3 of us continue our exploration at Bunbury.

Thats the game plan, lets see what happens. We will be riding all foldies, namely Bike Friday Tikit, Pocket Pro, Dahon Speed Pro and a Ventura Touring. At least the weather forecast is promising and our sojourn down south co-incides with Queen's Elizabeth's visit to Perth for the CHOGM. I hope the whole of Perth won't be down there with us!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Sunday ride with Love Cycling Singapore Group

Pic fm Francis Chu

I had the privilege to squeeze in one more ride before I left for Perth with the LCSG. This is a group started by my friends TW and Francis with the objective of doing easy Sunday morning rides to discover Singapore, enjoy gliding on whatever wheels be it folding, mountain, racing, commuters etc augmented with good food, friendships and great photo opportunities.

Its very alive on Facebook where views and opinions are freely shared, the older birds helping the younger ones in the world of cycling and it was so touching to know that even a marriage proposal was made a few weeks ago. Every 10pm Facebook discussions come alive!

The group has grown to over 600 strong in membership in just over a year and this excellent video done by Matt Chia , a most gifted lensman, captures the essence and spirit of this wonderful easy going bike group. May I invite you to join them if you are in Spore. Barrels of fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3 to Malacca

It was really great to be riding again with Chris and a new friend KC when I got back to Singapore. Our destination this time was the historical town of Malacca. Using the coastal route, it took us 260 easy km and we did it with stopovers in Pontian Kechil (75km), Batu Pahat (80km) and thereafter to Malacca.

KC was riding the only foldy, an Eminence while Chris rode his Titanium bike and I the Surly LHT. Despite his smaller wheels, KC was the fastest rider and his idea of an ideal touring speed is 30km/h, much much higher than ours at 23-25km/h. It didn't help my ego that KC is nearly a decade older than I! Its a good thing we had the excuse of stopping a lot because there were so many pictures to take...

The 3 of us had a wonderful time exploring the quiet Malaysian small towns and over eating as usual. The food in Malaysia is absolutely a delightful gastronomical adventure.

I cannot express adequately the joy we feel just pedalling from one town to another on our own strength and discovering and experiencing so many new sights, smells and sounds.

Despite the heat, I think Malaysia is very promising as a bicycle destination with great food, and low prices. We spend a total of US$130 for 4 nights including our bus fare back from Malacca to Singapore. Friendly people, considerate drivers, yummy food, value for money hotels (Our best deal was a US$24 room for 3 of us, plus aircon at Tang's guest house at Jonkers), it is certainly a trip worth doing again.

Thanks KC and Chris for a beautiful trip!

*pics courtesy of CW & KC.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lighting up my life

Steve Jobs, Founder and CEO of the famous Apple Computer Company died 2 days ago and left his mark in the lives of the millions of satisfied Apple users. iPhone, iMac, iBook, iTouch, iPad etc and I count myself as having benefited by his passion and products.

It reminds me that a life well-lived is one that adds to the life of others. It doesn't matter if its done in big or small ways. In this regard, I received a precious gift from a dear friend TW for a special occasion.

This antique bicycle-dynamo lamp has been with him for 20 years and TW modified it skillfully to become an LED modern bike lamp, housed in its classic form. I am so thrilled and honoured to have this ingenious and super-thoughtful gift. It even comes in its original box with instruction manual plus the dynamo too! The "TW Lamp" will be carefully brought to Perth and will add to the classic look of my nearly 20 year old Bridgestone XO5 bicycle.

Thanks TW for adding and lighting up my life!

God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That's why he sent Christ to make us what we are. Ephesians 2:10

Monday, October 3, 2011

Riding to work - Sydney Australia

Lets be honest. Many of us city folks find little time to exercise and it shows. Just look around at the growing number of out of shape people around us, and heh, we may even be one of them. This ad by Sydney Cycleways is inspirational. The words of the guy in the ad says it all, "In a car, you just get in and get out. In a way, you are missing out on the whole journey!"

I hope you give riding to work a try!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Adjustable handlebar for long rides?

On my recent ride of 260km to Malacca, I used the Mary On One riser bar. This is slightly swept back and gives a most comfortable position for most rides. However, being on the bike for nearly the whole day, I'm beginning to realise the importance of switching hand position every now and then to prevent aches and pains on shoulders and palms. No matter how good your handlebar position is, staying in the same place continously is not how our maker designed our bodies. A quick check with Dr C Tan illumined me to this condition called Handlebar Palsy. It can happen even within an one hour of being in a fixed position.

No wonder Heinz Stuck , renown world traveller came out with the concept of attaching 2 handlebars on his bike. Having traverse the world for nearly 600,000 kms, I think his experience and advice merit serious consideration.

It is therefore with great excitement that I stumbled upon the latest Dahon Speed TR with this feature - adjustable Andros handlebar stem. I looked at its goofy design and didn't quite appreciate it at first but after studying at it carefully, function must take preference over form. This feature alone can make or break a tourer's comfort after a long hard day on the saddle. So easy to get a myraid of new positions with one simple adjustment.

With full respect to Heinz, it sure beats his solution of having the "bi-plane" style handlebars on his bike!