Sunday, January 18, 2009

Penang Fellowship Ride

Over the Christmas period (27th Dec), Penang's KOTRT together with the City Council organized what I thought was a massive event with 700 riders. All it cost was RM10 through an online regsitration.

I have ridden in many group events before but never with so many riders of all levels of fitness.

It was very well organized and gave me a chance to ride from the Esplanade to Balik Pulau and back (I think it was about 70 to 80km-not sure I haven't got a cyclocomputer).

The route from the city centre to Batu Ferringi was great in the morning but not so great on the way back. The route from Teluk Bahang up the Balik Pulau hills was spectacular and I would recommend anyone going to Penang to ride this route. The best way is to park your car at Teluk Bahang/Muzium Perhutanan and begin your climb up a deserted hill route. The view is worth the climb. I think the climb was just about 10km and the gradient is less than 10% mostly so it wasn't so bad.

We then rode down to Balik Pulau and into scenic kampungs. I had my nasi lemak stop in Kg Sg Pinang. I was all alone by this time but heck I was having a great time exploring the backwaters of Penang.

As usual I was pretty much a "back marker" . Although I knew there were a few riders behind, most had chosen to be picked up by the broom wagon. By the time I rode the Batu Ferringhi stretch back to the city centre it was well past noon and the traffic was pretty heavy. This was the part I least enjoyed.

Anyway kudos to the KOTRT and the cycling fraternity of Penang for this ride. As is usual with all KOTRT events, they are very well organized (I recommend readers to join their mountainbike jamborees as well).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Riding with kids

I am sure there are a few parents among us cyclists who would like to bring our kids along on our rides. Cycling doesn't have to be a past time which you enjoy at the exclusion of the rest of our family.

Omar is my 13 year old who doesn't ride much except when he is sure he won't get left behind as a stoker on the tandem.

Yasmine gets a baby seat at the back of the trike. She'll soon outgrow it and when she does I'll probably get a trailer to be hitched to the trike.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Yasmine hates the kindergarten

This year is Min's first time in school-a kindergarten-and she hates it. It went well the first day, not so well on the second and it has been downhill since the third. Here is a photo of her on the Monday of the 2nd week. Little does she know that adults also go through Monday blues.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Interstate 2008

Last August for over 3 days I rode the PCC Interstate ride. It was over a distance of 450 odd km from Kajang to Bahau (130km), Bahau to Kuala Rompin (185km) and Kuala Rompin to Kuantan (150km). It was a great way to see the country.

It was my first Insterstate since 2003 (in my post below I thought I last did it in 2004). As is usual with any PCC organized tours it was run smoothly and you do not expect anything less from a bunch of people who enjoy riding themselves. Great logistics, great organization and all credits to them for a thoroughly enjoyable 2008 Interstate.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The trike

I had the trike for a year now. The IS will be its first multiday tour although I have ridden it on a few day rides. Call it a shakedown tour

At home, I snap on the child seat for pootling around the neighbourhood with my 3 year old Yasmine. She loves being taken on a ride in it, often falling asleep at the end of the ride.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Interstate 2008

The last Interstate I rode in was in 2004 on a tandem captaining a blind rider from the Malaysian Blind Association called Roy. It was from KL to Malacca and Batu Pahat then back to Malacca. I recall that it was a short IS and it was over when I barely had a chance to stretch my legs. There were days where we arrived even before 12.

I have missed 3 consecutive IS rides and am hoping to enjoy the one this year which will be to Kuantan via Bahau and Kuala Rompin. I'll do it on the trike this time around.

It was easy to decide on the trike. Firstly I have gained some 10 kg from all the cycling inactivity over the last 4 years. Thus I need a mode of transport which will take me there in the least amount of suffering as possible.

Second the route is hilly at least for the first day. I hear it is rolling on the second day. A trike will allow me to climb at as slow a speed as I care to do due to its low gearing and its inability to keel over. My trike is by no means a wraithe, lithe or agile climbing machine. Minus racks, mudguards, pump, spare tubes it stands (or rather squats) at 40 lbs, which is almost 18kg. As this is a supported tour we get to travel light, but even so I think 45lbs is probably its rolling weight on day one of the IS. So no, it is not exactly a Pinarello Prince withCampy Record gruppo and a Zipp wheelset. But because the trike does not fall over I can go really slow up those climbs. I have ridden the tandem to Genting Highlands before so I know how to go slow. I realized that a two wheel bike can just about do a minimum of 4 km/hour before you need to put your foot down (unless you do a track stand). No need for such skills on a trike, you can be stationary if you like.

Finally, and this is an important decision on why I choose the trike. I get to sit in a reclined position. This means no hunching over the handlebar for the hours I will be expected to spend on the road. This consequently translates a much more comfortable ride as I will not have to put up with a sore neck or bottom or pins and needles in my hands. This will be a major factor during those long second and third days. Triking allows me to just enjoy the ride and the view. I am getting the iPod uploaded for I intend to really take it easy.

The trike is also an indestructibly rugged touring machine. I feel as though I can ride forever on it over any bad pot holey road surface. It takes it all in the stride. The comfort of the mesh seat is second to none.

Here's looking forward to IS 2008.

p.s I haven't really figured out how to bring the trike back to KL from Kuantan

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What is the ideal number of bicycles anyone should have? Answer n + 1. ("n" being the number of bikes you currently own)