Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Epic ride to Malacca

Some 240km away, organised by the most seasoned riders who frequent Malaysia... They decided doing it in a day was the way to do it, meeting at 2am in the morning:

12 riders set off into the night!
  Cruising at a modest pace of 26-27km/h, we cleared Johor and followed Route 1 where eventually the street lights were non existent... It made for a dangerous ride as the road quality deteriorated and visibility no more than a 20-30 metres, ave speed dropped to 22-24km/h and I moved to the front and switch my OEM Magicshine to high.

Even in high, not much can be seen, and hills were unidentifiable, playing an effective mind game where taking it easy and simply playing with the gears kept the heart rate stable.

Riding a Time Trial bike for long distances was a crazy choice and the thought was confirmed right after entering Malaysia . Trying many ways to change my riding position to as upright as possible, but doing so meant less control and I didn't want to do anything silly with so much distance to go...

After a short shower from the heavens, and what we thought was going to be a miserable ride in rain, sunrise in the horizon and we made it in to Ayer Hitam. Where there was a small coffee shop, time for food!

Circular bread toasted with Kaya and Butter... Too awesome... Gulped down 100 plus, a small packet of rice and off we went again.

Only for me to witness the most spine-chilling mechanical every cyclist should never ever witness. A rear derailleur going into the spokes.

I immediately knew a single speed conversion was the only way and the journey would get a lot tougher for the rider. A broken rear derailleur hanger was about as rare as it gets...

Looking good! But as we went on, the chain sometimes slipped and changed rear cogs, once the chain even came off.. Probably due to the damaged chain, as the chain was no longer true, bent beyond repair.

We were getting desperate for a solution, and some locals kindly showed as the way to a local bike shop:
The owner was so nice, he made a call and went off in his motorcycle, came back in a car, went off again and only came back some 45mins later where he said he couldn't find a similar rear hanger. Out of luck, the solution was for a new chain and to tension it tight!

Just like that we found new momentum, and enter the rolling hills towards Muar. On this 60km stretch, distance markers became our new found friends as the countdown began, kilometer after kilometer. One of our guys decided not to make take a rest and decided to push on all the way to Muah. Except we weren't going to Muar! We were going to turn right into the AMJ... We realized a little late, and the guy didn't have mobile coverage! I needed a rest but the others looked burnt and the fast guys were dealing with punctures.

Up to me, I sprinted for what seemed eternity and thankfully just before my limit I caught up. You know that if guy A travels at 25km/h and Guy B travels at 26km/h It would take 30 mins for Guy B to catch up with Guy A if Guy A had a head start of 500m.

During the day, hills were that more intimidating  as you look up the see where seems like a easy hill only to by spinning at granny at 10km/h wondering when the damn incline will end.

Anyway, we finally entered the AMJ (It's an abbreviation for the highway name, i think):
It was the last 50km stretch to Malacca, and it's the land of speed cars, smooth tarmac and luckily a decent road shoulder where we can ride two abreast. Probably the best/worse stretch of the whole ride depending on how you see it. Easy smooth flat terrain, or extremely boring sleep inducing road.

First it was the latter than the former, after which darkness came again but this time the body responded and I was falling asleep. Thanks to a Caffeine ball (Worked instantly), I took the lead again with my brighter lights all the way into Malacca.

Glorious food, a great ride there, lots of shopping malls, I should have stayed longer! But I guess there is always a next time!

Most of us took the bus back, but a brave four cycled back... To those four guys! I salute you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Safe Cycling Day 17th Dec

 The scene at Long House was pretty epic, I should have shared this information to you guys sooner! But with ICT burning me out everyday, there is not much time to blog!

To cut the story short, OCBC was giving out 1000 free jerseys in conjunction with Safe Cycling Day at Long House and I went there to try my luck! I reached at 5.55am and they were started giving out the jerseys right after I locked my bike up. Although the amount of expensive bikes there would probably mean my bike is worthless! The whole process was very quick, hundreds of people infront of me yet I got my Jersey and car decal at about 6.10am, simply efficient!
Yay! Thank you OCBC Cycle Singapore!

Immediately after I had to commute to town, and I took a picture on the way!
After commuting for some 10 days (and counting) straight, I am certainly unaffected by the epic Train faults, taxi fare hikes, bus breakdowns, saving lots of $$$ and one of my friends actually rode to camp after seeing me do it day-to-day! We agreed cycling saved as time and money! Cheers all stay safe!

Tags: Safe cycling day Singapore, OCBC cycle Singapore, free jersey and car decal from OCBC Cycle Singapore

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New hoots : Aero Bars from

Ever since embarking on my time trial bike, I am loving the aerodynamic advantage aero-bars provide. So since I have been commuting daily why not install them on my commuter?

Besides the less drag created, it also enables for more positions on the bike, increasing comfort levels on long distance rides.

Just one thing, Aero-bars are really hard to fit on curving, winding MTB riser bars... I tried and failed.

Time to look for a cheap flat MTB handlebar...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Featuring a friend.

I believe the picture was taken in the land of the Dutch and the best part? My friend doesn't even know how to cycle!

I cycled home in the rain today with 2 near misses... Mainly drivers not paying attention, I reacted and avoided. Need brighter lights to feel more visible...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Radical Stimulus: Wee hour commuting!

I have been commuting 3 days in a row now, and it's great! The problem about reporting to camp so early in the morning is that the frequency of trains/buses and significantly lower, and trains sometimes don't start that early either! Add to the fact that my destination is no where near a MRT station or even a bus stop, it just makes bike commuting that much more appealing!!

Public transport would probably take me more than an hour, but instead is taking me at the minimum 30mins! Crazy crazy time savings!

Traffic is light, the air is fresh, parks & PCNs are empty, I'm not paying fare-hiked taxi fares, and am independent transport wise (no need to rely on others to tom pang me!).

It's also helps that my destinations also have other bike commuters! With the help of more cyclists, more people are aware that cycling is actually a viable mainstream transport option and the are asking me for details and how to get started.

All of them so far are surprised how quick I get to places but I still get that "Woah, you cycle here ah?" comment.

Just hoping it doesn't rain during my commutes!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Radical Stimulus: Cycling Movies

I wrote a similar post on Travel Movies that you might want to check out too.

This post is about cycling movies!

Chasing Legends, about the Tour de France, a power of Team play and strategic moves in the world of cycling... If you ever wondered about the innings of the world's most well known road race, wonder no more.

It definitely spurs you on to ride more, faster and harder! Definitely recommended!

24 Solo, I watched my friend join the recent (ok maybe not that recent) 24 hour race at Tampines Bike Park and wondered who in the right mind would join such a race! After I watched this movie... I realized... Well, that I agree with the Chris's friend and manager's thoughts about people who join the race... What is that thought? Well you have to go watch it to find out!

This movie is really shows me that if you want something bad enough, you will push yourself to the utmost limit. Cheers!

Tour de France 2010 Review, not as spectacular as Chasing Legends but still worth a watch, it's a different year and different events happened... But if you only have time for one, Chasing Legends has be the one. For this particular tour it depicted an battle between the top 2 riders... Going all out to destroy each other, and boy was it intense!

Break Away, a classic that I have never heard of, from the year 1979...  More on the Life of the student who just fnished High School than just about the cycling, there are so many things that I could relate to and just taking a look at life back in the days was a real eye opener, a movie with cycling mixed in? I love it!
After every movie, I just felt like riding... If that is not a Radical Stimulus, I don't know what is!

I will be writing less this month... Got ICT ah!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Searching for an Electric Bike

Before I got my current commuter, I was considering getting an electric bicycle as an alternative... Since I tried cycling to school 3 days in a row last year, it certainly felt impossible to do it 5 days a week... 60km a day is pretty hard on the legs... And besides, if I really decided to buy one, it would become my primary means of transport...

So searching the web... I found what I think was the most suitable and good looking Electric Bike.

Behold the Tornado STA-1020 :
It has a range of 60km, which was exactly my commuting distance... And I was rather surprised that this was actually the E-bike with the longest range out of all that MKP had... The batteries were Lithium, which would mean a lighter bike, longer range and longer life. I want down to the Jurong branch and saw the actual bike, it looked good but the hefty price tag! $1299 I believe... Decent considering they come with warranty and other extras...

I eventually decided against it when I search the net and found I could "parallel import" one for about $800... And than proceeded to scrap the whole idea when I bought my current commuter. Who knows? Maybe in the future if the price tags drops...

And while searching for electric bikes in Singapore... Check out this:

I especially like the "Fusion" version... Although considerably heavier than the Carbon one...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

V-brake wear on Wheelset

If you haven't heard, once of the disadvantages of running v-brakes is that the braking surface of your Wheelset, more specifically the Rims will be worn out after extended use.

This is especially true, if you constantly go offroad (debris like mud, sand acts like a file/sand paper wearing your rims down faster), don't know when to change brake pads, and just generally cover a lot of kilometres...
Most of which I am rather guilty... Except maybe about the distance!

Well than, take look for yourself:

I put a flat metal ruler to contrast the amount of metal that has been eaten away, my iPhone camera doesn't do much justice... But it's pretty significant and put a huge dent on my confidence on the wheels after I saw the damage, I even put a pretty big dent in the rims while offroad... Probably because the rims have gone weak and have lost some integrity.

Well thankfully I have upgraded to disc brakes! Ride safe all, it's good to be back writing again.

tags: v-brake wear, bontrager race 1999 v-brake wheelest

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The TTT experience.

What do you do, when tomorrow is your long awaited Team Time Trials?
The one where you have been putting in the time to train ever 2 days, doing painful interval sprints, going all the way down to Changi Coastal just to ride a flat straight with no traffic lights, when gathering 3 other dedicated Team oriented team members to ride in that same straight line...

Okay, let me get to the point. You prepare! You take your Mum's weighing machine meant for measuring the very precise measurements needed to go into the mixture of flour and baking soda and whatever it is that you use to make cakes and use it to find our which bottle cage is lighter and use the lighter bottle cage for the race!


Not just the bottle cages actually, the bottle cage bolts I swapped out for lighter ones to, took out the chain stay protector, tweaked the aero bar position slightly and of course wiped the bike down for that showroom shine!

And so I rode down the the race venue, taking my time and treating the journey as a nice slow warm up, only to be passed by a elite looking time trial rider all pimped out with a full skin suit, aero helmet, rear disc wheel with those dizzy white and black spiral patterns leaving me slighty light-headed as he whooossed pass me.

As a reached the venue, and saw the pros warming up on trainers:

The atmosphere to me was eye opening, the difference in level between me and the pros were pretty big! The bikes all drool worthy, carbon everything! I was told a T3 carbon TT handlebar cost $654... That's more expensive than my whole bike! I was soaking it in and can't wait to start!

However, now that I think about it... I didn't see much media covering the event, just basically cyclists with cameras... Oh well...

A pretty refreshing sight were also the hand cyclists! Some had rear aero disc(s) too! Pretty hardcore!

Pictures Courtesy of

I'm back from exams, expect more reading material!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Commuted to school!

The ride to school was relaxing, despite the occasional heavy vehicle. It was somehow calming.

The whistling of wind, the rhythmic spin of the cranks, the unending breeze and the greenery which accompanies soothing thoughts of how awesome nature can be.

Looking forward to the ride home!

On an unfortunate note, I will be on a short hiatus due to exams and will continue blogging in December. Ride safe all!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Team Time Trials

Since I came back from Japan in June, I wanted to take part in the Individual Time Trials (ITT) in Sept. So I got myself a Time Trial bike ($600) from Fusion cycles (back in June):
Unfortunately, I was obligated to pass my IPPT before September and I only narrowed did so. And so with insufficient time to train up for the ITT and decided to set my sights on the TTT.

That TTT was today, NTU Cycling Team sent in two teams 36km Sports and 24km Fun Quad:

Finishing times were 53mins27secs (5th place, 40.4km/h) and 41mins31secs (6th place, 34.7km/h) respectively! This is my second time in a race and my first Time Trial, some people say you either love or hate Time Trialing... I say, it is the fastest form of human-powered two wheeled transport (After the velomobile), and the rush you get when hitting speeds of 40km/h and above is pure ecstasy.

I will be back for more (and hopefully a medal)!

Tags: Cyclone Race Series Team Time Trial Pictures October 23rd 2011 (23/10/11)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New part: Mosso Rigid Fork Aluminum

In my requirements for my commuter, I said I wanted a rigid fork. I went around researching... For a cash-strapped student I wanted something cheap, secondhand is fine. So a quick search at togoparts yielded me a $120 carbon fork(800+g) and a already sold (@$105) Mosso fork(665g). Carbon was a no-no due to it's bling factor, the weight difference in the two was a little surprising in the age of carbon bikes that weigh 2.7+ kg(Not a typo,see World's Lightest Bike).

So I figured, if a 2nd hand seemingly weight weenie(for the budget) fork cost $105, the Brand new price shouldn't be that far off... And since C2C did bring them in I went down to ask, just so happens they are out of stock and off me a carbon wrapped version for around twice my budget. Went home and found some on ebay than Alibabaexpress and made an order.

Below was the unboxing process:

I bought two to save on shipping...
One of the protective skewers broke...
The above that didn't break...

Thick cardboard with lots of tape, bubble wrap followed by a thin foam padding. Not bad for free shipping!

Tags: Mosso Rigid aluminum fork black unboxing alibaba expreses singapore supplier

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stolen bike : My old Aleoca XT

My neighbour's bike got stolen yesterday (15th Oct 2011) at Blk 982 Buangkok Crescent.
Please help keep a look out for especially if any of you are staying nearby...
A Police report has been made.

Please contact Alan if you have any information at 8311127 nine.

Bike: Red Aleoca XT Aluminum 6061 (Triple triangle frame)
Drive-train: Shimano SIS parts
Fork: Chromoly Rigid (Most normal Aleoca XTs have front zoom suspension)
Grip: Foam with black and white checkers
Tires: 2008 Schwalbe Racing Ralphs
Stem bolts have actually been soldered to avoid theft...

Appreciate it to those people who help! Thank you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Commuter changes: Sticker up!

One of the ways to discourage theft is to make you bike ugly, and stickers can do that!

My dad had some free stickers for his car that he wanted to throw away (because he finds them ugly, go figure), so I took them and and started sticking them.

Ok, some how because the stickers are not randomly positioned it seems to look decent! Not as ugly as I intended, well I have more stickers and will stick more when I have the time.

Trying out .gif file I created. hope it works (gave up, here's the 2 pictures instead):

Tags: stickers and bicycles, make your bike ugly with stickers

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Commuter Found!

The Polygon Xtrada 3.0! Behold!

You can take a look at the bike's specs here.

I paid about $350 for it, although it was $50 more than I originally planned the seller gave me a lot of incentive! Lights, a Abus cable lock (He said it's a real solid cable lock, not those cheapo kinds!), saddle bag, spare tube, tire patches, tire levers, hand pump, bell, bottle cage. And the real deal breaker? The bike was in real mint condition! (Not good for parking outside though...)

So the first step to parking such a minty new bike outside?
1. Remove all things that can be quick relieved! (Quick-released)
2. Add good sturdy locks and lock them skillfully! (Refer to Guide!)

Isn't she a beauty? Now to slowly transform her into the commuting dream I envisioned her to be! Fears of losing her will be much higher than my once treasured Aleoca XT, I am putting my money where my mouth is. And let's see if my guide is actually full of crap, or you can can safely follow it and let your mind be at ease.

Tags: First steps after immediately getting your bicycle, preparing your bicycle for commuting, locking your bicycle after buying it, Polygon Xtrada 3.0

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Experts at cycling infrastructure.

You know how the Singaporean Government always employs/consult experts to improve on various issues? You can't help but stop and wonder, if they actually consulted anyone on Singapore's cycling infrastructure. It's either that they are a little too brave and maybe naive or just plain ignorant to think that Singapore can come up with a new system to tackle the issue.

Well you know what? Just use what has been proven to work and implement it! Consult the Dutch!

Tags: Cycling experts Dutch Cycling Embassy, Singapore Cycling network

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

News: Vehicle growth rate to be cut

"... Along arterial roads and within the CBD, the average speed was 24.6 km/hr in 2002.

In 2010, the speed improved to 28 km/hr. ..."
-Quoted from

Well damn! That's pretty slow! Looks like the best place to bicycle commute is right in the heart of the country! In the CBD area!

If the world is looking towards bicycle ownership instead of cars, I don't see why the Singaporean government still doesn't want to give a kick start to bicycle commuting.

1. Numerous Park Connectors have been constructed
2. More bicycle parking spaces have been allocated (In the cases of Tampines & Pasir Ris mrt, both "cycling towns")
3. Police efforts on bicycle theft have been on the rise (More articles of bike thieves being caught and more signs alerting residents are being seen)
4. Bicycle ownership is relatively easy. (Look at the NTUC superstores, $49 for a bicycle! Many many local bike shops within walking distance)

So what exactly is left to do? Lots really!
1. Education on correct locking methods for bikes! All it takes is to spend a few seconds of Singapore's TV broadcast time, for a little as a month! (E.g. Ride-a-bike to work! Save $ and keep fit! But remember to use a good U-lock (20% of your bicycle's value) and you are good to go!)

If everyone locked their bicycles up nicely, would there even be thefts?

2. The higher ups have to set the example, without experiencing it first hand they would not know the problems at ground zero. If a boss cycles to work daily, the lower downs will definitely give it a try (Boss can give incentives!) And Boss here can mean anything from the CEO of SMRT (TAKE A HINT), to Ministers of Parliament, to Minimart & Coffeeshop Owners.

Endless list of advantages here, productivity, less MC, less congestion, etc.

I have more to say but no more time! School is usual excuse. Cheers guys ride safe!