Sunday, February 27, 2011

The bike hack.

That is what a cassette looks like if you ever happen to dismantle it. separate gears one by one. And you know the bike my colleage loaned me? It was missing one.

I didn't know that when I first got it. I thought... Hmm... The chain got stuck in between the gears, engaged on a spacer. Thus giving me zero transmission to the rear wheels... I tried shifting the gears up and down... But whenever a powered down hard it would shift off the gears to another spacer nearest the gear I was on. Initially, I thought wear and tear must have lossened up the gears... So all it needs is a good tightening up of the sprocket or whatever. So I brought it to the bike shop and tried my best to explain to him what was wrong. A quote of 1025 Yen later, he said ok. come back in an hour's time. I asked him how much to tighten the headset? he said dun worry included. Than I looked around the bike somemore to see if I can get more bang for my buck. And spotted the bike's stand broken. So I asked him to take that off.

An hour later I'm back told its 525 Yen. Cool I thought. I cycled across the road, the chain engaged the spacer again and the steering was so heavy that I thought he replace the air in my front tires with water. Brought it back and the mechanic was no longer there. He explained my shifters were 8 speed and my cassette was 7. So I asked him to loosen the headset, but apparently despite him having knowledge of the English language he couldn't understand me and simply put oil in the headset. It did help but the steering was still heavy. So he didn't fix the rear cassette and I wanted to know what I paid for. He said you paid to take off the stand.

Ganna chopped carrots! A slang that means I have been cheated!

So what the heck did I do? I figured I could fix the damn gears from moving around as long I as filled the gap where apparently one gear was missing, how the heck did it go missing remains a mystery to me. I got this:

I did not have string, and this was the closest thing to it.

I tied a double knot and it has since lasted me about 50km and counting! hahahaha. My own bike hack! Truly surprised myself.

Get more here at

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The motorcycle couple

Called singaporedream the couple used to blog about the journey around the world on the two wheel motorbike. The blog is actually still being updated and has some interesting reads.

Especially since bicycles are similar to motorbikes with two wheels, aka dual circles.

This post marks the end of a long string of posts where I had constantly posted pictures each time I blogged. To all those who are going to enjoy NTU Bike rally tomorrow. All the best! And have fun!

 tags: Commuting, Cycling in Hiroshima, Cycling in Japan, NTU, NTU Bike Rally, ntu bike rally 2011, ntu bike rally review, ntu bike rally route, singapore

Friday, February 25, 2011

A river stands between my bike and a hill.

Being here for sometime, i usually plot routes to a touristy destinations or places of interest. Some how, one way or another, the easier landmarks a probably rivers! Just ride beside the river till <insert road name here> than turn left or right. And it usually works, even if you don't get there you know pretty damn sure you are nearby!

River sides are really great to cycle in, ducks waddling around in the water, breeze blowing, no traffic lights, no traffic, meaning a faster commute too!

I want to write more about the benefits or cycling beside the river here, can't remember... So till next time!

Picture edited with Cyan Tone... Again, playing with the different settings available for editing... I find that this tone I am about to see more details in the sky (Not much, but a cloud or two), since the sun was shining directly to the lens probably resulting in over exposure... But what do I know? I am no photographer.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My colleage loaned me a bike!

Where in the world can you find such awesome people? Although the bike is not exactly in working condition... But hey! It's something to be happy about and thats what I'm doing wahaha.

Experimenting for the yellow filter for the picture... Not quite black and white but just lots of filter... Light some colours lighter instead of getting a darker shade immediately when using black and white filter... Chim! Hi there, any tips from photographers?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Open tracks and tunnels.

You got to love it in Japan, many of the tracks and railway tunnels are accessible and not fenced up, outside of the main city though. Just about 15 mins cycling to get away from it all. I really love how the country sort of integrates itself with the old tunnels and temples with the new shopping malls and such. I just really appreciate the unspoilt touches to the country! Just like the forests around the city...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Radical Stimulus to ride : Osaka Cycle Chic

Here's a picture I took while waiting for a friend to arrive based on the original cycle(More later). Unfortunately, there was only one lady that cycled pass and she wasn't facing me. So this picture will just have to do.

At 1 Degrees Celsius, it was pretty cold out there, yet this guy looked relaxed and composed. And nicely suited up if you ask me.

One of my radical stimulus to ride is to go to Cycle Chic and look at all those finely dressed Copenhageners and wonder if I can dress better while commuting. If you haven't the faintest for ideas as to what to wear when commuting slow, it is the place to go for a reference. Style over speed they say!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Mega bike shop.

This shop right here is proabably the equivalent of the Rodalink or T3 Bikes of Singapore, they are a chain of bike shops and this is probably the biggest i have yet to see.

The shop house on the right is quite big, it houses all kinds of lower end step through frames with basket meant mainly for commuting and a few hybrids. Probably for the main consumer.

The separate building on the left houses children bikes in the basement, level 2 dedicated to foldies and cruisers, level 3 Mountain bikes, hybrids and road bikes, level 4 is the holy grail tri-bikes, high-end road and hybrids. Sweet. Taking a look at the price tags there, they must be doing quite well to be able to bring in those bikes there. the foldie range include a couple of Bromptons too! Cool!

Friday, February 18, 2011

"MRT" bicycle parking

On the way to Asa Zoo I wanted to make a stop for a quick banana energy boost and to go to the toilet. Where else would there be a toilet but the MRT station? And when I looked for the area to park my park I saw this.

A cyclist's dream come true, it is like a basement carpark! A small decline down and there you have it! Simple, no racks, just some shelter and painted white lines. Damn, will I ever get to see such a sight in Singapore?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Car brands on bicycles.

Let's face it, it definitely cool when you own a Lamborghini car and bicycle. Heck, its cool just to own the bicycle.

Or if you are like me, a mere peasant. Owning a Chevy sounds awesome too!

"My choice of transport, is my trust Chevy!"

"Drove my Chevy to the Levee!"

In the land that produces a significant portion of the world's cars, I am not surprised!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bridges in Hiroshima, Japan

Ps, trying out this photo layout.

Bridges here in Hiroshima often means going uphill, few pedestrians (who wants to walk uphill right?), wider than normal side walks, dedicated bicycle lanes and sometimes bridges just made for cyclist and pedestrians.

Thats saying a lot about how much Japan cares about their cyclists and pedestrians, having rode across a few of these dedicated bridges you feel like king! No traffic to worry about and only other cyclists around you pushing harder to get across the slight incline. Some fellow cyclist taking it easy and literally pushing their bikes up, this is where everything slows down and speeds up. I can imagine a cafe at the peak of the bridge, a nice book and a hot beverage of your choice, nothing like watching the world go past. And once your done, take a leisurely coast down the bridge with gravity smiling at you and you heart relaxing after an increased effort.

I wish I could say the same about Singapore, some of our flyovers are notoriously dangerous for cyclists(Lornie road comes to mind), no pavement, no shoulder, lots of traffic and barely any alternative routes. I'm already feeling stressed imagining crossing the flyover.

Japan 1 Singapore 0

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In a sea of cars, lies a fellow bicycle commuter.

Sorry guys for the lack of posts, i went off for a short trip to Osaka and when I came back I was just dead tired. Well then, let's get back to regular posts.

In the above picture was taken at the carpark of Asa Zoo that I went to a few weeks back. I was hoping for some camaraderie of sorts, as i scanned the area for a sight of a bicycle. Probably a mountain bike with gears... And was pleasantly surprised to spot another bicycle almost exactly the same as mine! See if you can spot it! Close up soon...

Taking note that it was about 1 degrees that day, and the climb was on a single speed step-through market bike. Of course the owner of the bike might have ditched his/her bike there for the bus... But I like to think otherwise ;)

My first post with two pictures, do you want more? Write me a comment.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Radical Stimulus to ride : The impromptu encounter

I was riding Home from Hiroshima Port and saw this tall lighted structure that resembled a Christmas tree from afar, I didn't know where it was or what it was. I just decided then and there that I wanted to check it out. I rode around looking, and eventually found it.

The silence at the spot was deafening, almost surreal. After surveying the place further, it appears that in the day, it is a popular place judging from the four vending machines nearby and what seems like a bustling office during the working hours.

At night there was a lone restaurant, and yes i did say Hiroshima Port, so as you can imagine being by the beach with a nice lighted structure at night, it sure felt rather romantic.

You never know what an impromptu encounter might bring you, just have a sense of adventure!

Tags: An impromptu encounter, adventure when cycling, romantic spot in Hiroshima, Hiroshima Port

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Transparent Umbrella, it is clear now.

I have been in Hiroshima City for some time now, probably like a month. And I keep seeing these Transparent Umbrellas attached to bicycles. Whether the bicycles themselves were being ridden or simply parked.

Today I became a proud owner of a transparent umbrella too, because it was raining. Once it started raining it became clear(yes clear, as in transparent). Besides the obvious reason that the umbrella is to shelter you from the rain, when riding your bike in the rain with a little bit of speed or head wind, you will have to lower down your umbrella to keep the water out and when you do that with a normal umbrella visibility drops!

Not with the Transparent Umbrella! Simple yet effective. And when Japan's most popular thrift store sells them(Daiso), you could be sure they will be snapped up.

Mystery solved.

tags: daiso clear umbrella, mystery of the clear transparent umbrella, transparent umbrella

Monday, February 7, 2011

NTU Bike Rally 2011

Well, I must say I was really looking forward to joining this year's bike rally. In fact, I started looking forward to it right after the event ended. And if I really wanted to exaggerate, during the recce ride before the actual event last year. It was that positive of a experience.

No pressure, go at your own pace! Don't tire yourself out! If you have never done this ride, I strongly urge you to go register. When else can you get a whole army of marshals at every point you need to make a turn, motivational notes along the route to keep you going, refreshments and snacks at every checkpoint, ambulance and medical assistance at the ready, security forces on motorbike, tons and tons of people joining in the fun, the potential to meet new friends, getting a good tan, the crazy goodies in the goodie bag, the INSANE lucky draw prizes this year, just to name a few...

Oops, that was not "a few" was it?

Well, for those of you who are like me. In some foreign land or some other reason that you can't join in the ride for this year. There's always the next year. Cheers!

tags:  NTU Bike Rally, ntu bike rally 2011, ntu bike rally review, round island ride, singapore

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Radical Stimulus aka An Impetus to ride: Parking

Not wanting to steal the title "An Impetus to ride", yet still wanting to keep a relation with "sister site" commutinginsg. I looked up the Thesarus and found "Radical Stimulus", sounds pretty damn good to me!

So "An Impetus to ride" = "Radical Stimulas" on dualcircles!

One of the keys things of why I enjoy commuting so much is because I can park really close to where I want to go, often within arm's length (Say if I stop by a coffee shop for lunch). And when you can park so close to both the beginning of your journey and the end of it, you save precious time and maybe a bit of energy(compared to walking, the advantages just keep coming).

And yes, even in Japan they totally get it. The picture above is a typical parking area under apartments, almost full and if vacant could have probably parked 2 or more cars. Not really a big deal, but from what I have heard, parking here each day can cost an average of 500 Yen or SGD$7.50 at your apartment's carpark. Park in the city for work, and it could easily double, add the doubled cost with your apartment's cost and its technically triple. So what many people here do is find the cheapest lot parking their cars there, leave if for the weekdays and cycle instead. Cycle to the parking lot to get your car, sounds like a multi-mode commute to me!

So its free and you can always find a parking lot. No doubt in my mind is this a Radical Stimulus to ride!

 Tags: Bicycle Parking, Commuting,, Hiroshima, Japan, motivation to ride, parking, Radical Stimulus, singapore

Friday, February 4, 2011

My first subscriber!

Ladies and Gentlemen, pop the Champagne, light the fireworks. I have my very first subscriber! And yes he is not from Singapore! Malaysia right?

Check out his blog!

In other news, I visited a bicycle shop at the end of my first week here named Nekomoto (thus the namecard) in search of a bicycle shop that maybe sold a street/trials bike since I'm rather interested in those right now. Or maybe a XC bike, or road bike, or fixed gear, of foldie.... Damn... Bikes sure come in a lot of varieties don't they?

Back to the point, the owner knew a little bit of English and so I asked him if he knew any mountain bike trails around the area. He gave me his name card and the recommendation of a website where his friend teaches clinics on mountain biking. Sweet! After making a few rounds in his shop, he handed me a Year 2011 Trek Catalog, the brand his shop is filled the the brim with and said, "For you". I walked another round in disbelief and handed him the Catalog and said thank you. Again he said, "For you, please keep."

You know a good bike shop, when they have as friendly of staff as him. Prices of the bikes/other products were almost exactly the same as in Singapore, sad to say.

Thrilled, I went home thinking I would buy a bike from his shop. Now... The thought of packing the bike and sending it back home isn't really my cup of tea at the moment. Besides, the weather is way to cold to enjoy one's ride.

 tags: chanjerping, Don't Fart Too Loudly, hiroshima bicycle shop, japan, malaysia, nekomoto, Nekomoto bicycle shop, singapore, trekkk

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!

Its not a National holiday here, but here is a picture from New Year's Day Jan 1st.

It's just beside Benjamin Shears Bridge... You usually can go up on the bridge on a normal day. But not days with fireworks apparently... Oh well. Happy Chinese New Year guys! Ps. Haven't been taking much pictures lately due to work. Will see what I can do!