Friday, January 30, 2009

Does my butt needs a leather saddle?

Is leather saddle really that good as some people said in the review?

The late Sheldon Brown said yes.. OK..I trust the guru, so I believe it.

BUT..does it really worth it with all the maintenance that it requires?

Will it suits everyone? I mean all type of cyclist- tourers? commuters? big small butts? etc.

Is BROOKS the only one making it right now? Why wouldn't the taiwanese make one as they have done with carbon & titanium bikes etc?

Source: photo from

No, this isn't a stick-up: I'm Robbie Williams and I want to buy a bicycle...

Workers in a bicycle shop must have got a fright when a stocky man wearing a ski mask and dark glasses walked in the front door.

Luckily, the man in question was Robbie Williams and he simply wanted to buy a swish new racing bike.

The reclusive singer donned his rather obvious disguise during a day out in Swindon from the £7 million country pile he is rumoured to have bought near the village of Compton Bassett.

The former Take That, 34, stunned locals outside the Red Planet Bikes store in Swindon when he arrived for an impromptu shopping trip accompanied by his bouncers.

The retail excursion marked his first public appearance since he returned to Britain this week after spending the past five years living in Los Angeles.

As Robbie perused the bikes inside the store, one of his security guards popped his head out of the door and asked the dozens of fans outside: 'Any chance you could not hassle him so he could have his first day back in peace?'

Despite the ensuing frenzy outside the store, the shy singer briefly said 'Hello everybody' as he left and signed a few autographs before hurrying into his blacked out people carrier.

One of his aides left carrying his new purchase, a £5,500 Bianchi racing bike.

Red Planet Bikes manager Freddie Platt said: 'He was a very nice man and a pleasant customer.

'I don't think he particularly wanted too much attention. He just turned up out of the blue. I looked out the window and saw a horde of people.'

Source: Mail Online

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Seven Most Common Mistakes Made by Newbie Cyclists

Extract from Ken Kifer's Bike Pages....
  1. Mistake #1 - Seat Too Low
  2. Mistake #2 - Feet Improperly On Pedal
  3. Mistake #3 - Using The Wrong Gear
  4. Mistake #4 - Not Stoping For A STOP Sign
  5. Mistake #5 - Riding In The Wrong Lane
  6. Mistake #6 - Not Using Headlight & Tailight At Night
  7. Mistake #7 - Never Listen
you can click here to read the detail

I am adding this in :
  1. Riding a wrong bicycle size - too small or too big. probably misinformed by the bike shop. This will hurt your body & riding.
  2. Wearing earphone. Must be alert all the time of your surrounding.
  3. Wearing dark colours while riding at night. Make yourself visible to the other road users.
  4. Not drinking because not feeling thirsty. ..Hydrate or Die!?
  5. Not eating breakfast because don't want to feel full while riding. Big Mistake! You'll get bonked sooner or later.
  6. Using wrong gear- too much spin on flat road. Get tired easily & you will be left behind. A little grind won't hurt you.
  7. Too obsessed with brand name & bike weight! Ah...the wannabes!! yes, they are everywhere!
Source : Ken Kifer's Bike Page

When to Use Rear Brake

Skilled cyclists use the front brake alone probably 95% of the time, but there are instances when the rear brake is preferred:
  • Slippery surfaces. On good, dry pavement, it is generally impossible to skid the front wheel by braking. On slippery surfaces, however it is possible to do so. It is nearly impossible to recover from a front wheel skid, so if there is a high risk of skidding, you're better off controlling your speed with the rear brake.

  • Bumpy surfaces. On rough surfaces, your wheels may actually bounce up into the air. If there is a chance of this, don't use the front brake. If you apply the front brake while the wheel is airborne, it will stop, and coming down on a stopped front wheel is a Very Bad Thing.

  • Front flat. If you have tire blowout or a sudden flat on the front wheel, you should use the rear brake alone to bring yourself to a safe stop. Braking a wheel that has a deflated tire can cause the tire to come off the rim, and is likely to cause a crash.

  • Broken cable...or other failure of the front brake.

  • Long mountain descents, when your front brake hand may get tired, or you may be at risk of overheating a rim and blowing a tire. For this situation, it is best to alternate between the front and rear brake, but not to use them both at once.
Source: Harris Cyclery / Sheldon Brown / photo from bikeradar

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

10 Tips for Fast Cornering on a Bike

When I first began cycling, I felt nervous about cornering on descents and so felt of myself as a ‘bad descender’. However, over time, you imperceptibly pick up on how to corner, learning to understand how you can corner faster without risking falling off.

1. Practise on Hills You know well.

On hills that you use regularly, try each time to apply the brakes a little less. This is the best way of gaining more confidence to descend quicker. Gradually, you realise a reasonable speed for descending corners.

2. Braking before a tight turn.

It can be dangerous applying brakes in the middle of a tight turn, you can easily lose balance. It is better to begin braking before the turn and then accelerate out of the turn.

3. Use Both Brakes.

Braking lightly with both brakes is more effective than pressing hard on front or rear brakes. It is good to also try and use the on off technique. This prevents brakes overheating, useful for long descents.

4. Lean the Bike.

This takes a bit of practice but, if you lean the bike into a corner, you will be surprised at how much you can corner without the need to brake. Leaning the bike is much better than just leaning the body.

5. Ride With Experienced Riders.

If you ride with quick descenders you will gain an idea of how to descend. You could try following their ‘race line’; not necessarily at their speed, but you will get confidence from following their descent.

6. Push Down on the Tyres.

If cornering in the rain it is good to push down on the tyres to provide a better grip.

7. Use Body to Slow Down.

If you sit upright the air resistance provides a natural braking mechanism. This can be better than using brakes, especially on corners. As you sit up, also press down on the brakes.

8. Best Line.

It is important to understand the best line to take on a descent. This involves anticipating corners and moving into position to reduce the curve of the bend. To get the best line it is necessary that the road behind is clear, to enable you to move out into the middle of the road before cutting back in.

9. Avoid Taking Unnecessary Risks.

Even in a race, I would rather lose the odd second than end up in casualty with a broken leg. If it is wet, I take hills much slower. The potential gains of going quick are much less than the potential cost of taking that extra risk. If I was a professional cyclist I would probably have a different attitude.

10. Pressing inside knee on Top Tube.

If you press the inside knee on the top tube, it creates greater stability when you corner. Instinctively people often push out the knee, like a motorcycle race, but this actually creates greater instability.

11. Practice with disc Wheels.

If you are a time trialist and race with disc wheels, you will notice it is more difficult to handle with a disc wheel and time trial bars. This is why it is important to get used to riding a time trial bike in training.

In my opinion, most of the best style & technique of cornering can be seen in MotoGP race except that the inside knee should be pressed to the top tube (as per #10) instead of push it out like the motorcycle racer always do. But be extra careful when you are carrying panniers. In normal case, when you are on descent, with the extra load, you might be going very fast. Therefore, the best option is always to sit upright & slow down by hitting both front & rear brakes when you are approaching the tight corner. Better be save than sorry! - mattouring.

Source: Cycling Info / photo from

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bicycle Mirrors- Top 3 Deadly Mistakes Made When Purchasing Revealed

When it comes time to purchase Bicycle Mirrors there are things you should know. There are also some mistakes typically made when purchasing Bicycle Mirrors that if you are aware of you could avoid making. Let us take a look at what mistakes are typically made when making a purchase of Bicycle Mirrors.

The first and most common mistake made in Purchasing Bicycle Mirrors would have to be not knowing what particular pair of bicycle mirrors you want. Some people also call this costly mistake impulse buying. However, this is not truly impulse buying. It is just not doing the research that is required so that you know what your options are. If you go into a bike shop and simply grab any pair of Bicycle Mirrors then it may be a case of both not being aware of what you need and also impulse buying but they are not the same thing by a long shot.

The second most common mistake made is not doing a price comparison of the different Bicycle Mirrors or of the different brands and models that are available. With not taking the time to compare prices you could end up paying a lot more for a pair of Bicycle Mirrors than you have to. Why would you not take the time to compare a few different locations so you ensure yourself that you are getting a good deal on your Bicycle Mirrors?

The third and most silly of the mistakes that are made would be buying a pair of Bicycle Mirrors that attach to the helmet and not to your glasses. The types of Bicycle Mirrors that attach to helmets are not as smart of a buy as Bicycle Mirrors that attach to your glasses because they are not as sturdy or scratch resistant. Bicycle Mirrors that attach to your helmet are more likely to break or get scratched in an accident. The ones that adhere to your helmet also tend to fall off during an accident and then they are completely useless.

In conclusion, if you avoid the three mistakes mentioned above, you can get a pair of Bicycle Mirrors that are at a good price and will do the job you want them.

Source: Ezine Articles / by Marky Malsky

Fenders For Your Bike

If you are a "fair weather" cyclist, you don't need fenders, but if you are a serious cyclist, and don't live in a desert climate, you really should have at least one bicycle with fenders.

Fenders by themselves won't keep you dry in a pounding rain, but they make a tremendous difference when you are riding roads that are wet from drizzle, recent rain, or snow-melt.

Even in hard rain, you will become wet with clean rain from above, but your body and bicycle will be protected from the mud and sand kicked up from dirty puddles and rivulets. Rain capes.*****

Many cyclists protect themselves from rain by wearing rubber clothing, but they forget that their bicycles don't like dirty water any better than their bodies do.

The water kicked up by your wheels is much worse for your bicycle than the clean rain falling from the sky. If you ride in wet conditions without fenders your chain, derailers and brakes will all get sprayed with sandy, muddy, scummy water, often mixed with gasolene residue. This is very bad for these parts.

Even more vulnerable is the lower section of your headset. Headsets are designed to shed water like the shingles of a roof, and are basically rainproof...but the gritty spray from below has easy entry to the bearing surfaces of the heavily-loaded lower races.

Source : Harris Cyclery/ Sheldon Brown/ photo from

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bicycle Song

Red Hot Chili Peppers!

Source : YouTube

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Anatomy of a Bicycle


How to Fit a Bike - Is This the Right Size for Me?

Stand Over the Frame

For most riders, the first step in getting the right size bike is to stand over the frame with both feet flat on the ground. A properly-sized road bike frame will give an inch or two clearance between the top tube of the frame and your crotch. Not too much, not too little. A mountain bike should have more space - maybe the width of your hand across your fingers.

On women's bikes that don't have the high top tube going between the seat and the handlebars, you can skip this step.

Adjust the Bike Seat to the Proper Height

Notice on how this rider's leg is almost fully extended at the bottom of his stroke, with just a slight bend to the knee. You want your seat set to the height that allows your leg the same extension.

You want to have the bicycle seat set to a height that allows your leg to extend until it is almost completely straight when you are sitting on the seat. There should be only a slight bend to the knee when your foot is on the pedal in the bottom position. This will maximize power and minimize fatigue.

A common mistake is for people to think that they should be able to sit on their seat and still plant their feet firmly on the ground. Riders should come off their saddles and straddle the bar when stopping the bike. If you can sit on the seat and touch your feet to the ground other than on tippy-toes, your seat is too low.

Adjust the Level of the Bike Seat

For maximum comfort and pedaling effeciency, you want your seat to be pretty much level, so that you can sit on it and pedal without having to consciously monitor where you are on the seat. Too much forward tilt, and you'll feel like you're sliding forward. Too much backward angle, and you won't be able to get any power and you'll have the sensation that you're slipping off the back. Both of these situations are distracting and uncomfortable.

When on a bike seat, your weight should be borne by the same spots on your rear that you feel underneath you when you sit upright on a hard firm surface. In addition to adjusting the tilt angle, you can also move the seat forward and backward in relation to the seat post. This will help make sure you're comfortably centering your weight in the right places.

Proper Handlebar Adjustment

Notice the handlebar height on this woman's bike, set slightly above the level of her seat. The higher setting allows her to sit in a comfortable upright position.

The goal of handlebar height adjustment is to find the position where you can ride comfortably without putting strain on your back, shoulders or wrists. There is a lot of personal preference here, and a fair amount of variation between body types, so don't be afraid to experiment until you find the setting that is best for you. And remember, the staff at your local bike shop are always happy to offer advice on finding the proper fit.

Generally, the following guides may be used for different types of bikes:

  • Road bike: on a road bike, the top of the bike's handlebars should be a bit lower than the top of the saddle, in the range of an inch or two. This allows for a definite forwarding-leaning, more aerodynamic ride.
  • Mountain bike: on a mountain bike, the handlebars will often be set even lower, perhaps three to four inches below the saddle. The point in this is to provide a low center of gravity, particularly if you're going to be riding off the pavement. so as to give a lower center of gravity. Also, mountain bike riders often come out of the saddle to negotiate bumps, logs and other obstacles, and the lower handlebars provide a better, more balanced position in distributing the rider's body weight across both wheels.
  • Hybrids and Cruisers: With these bikes, where you're sitting much more upright (in contrast to road and mountain bikes) the handlebars will be raised correspondingly higher, approximately an inch or two (or more) higher than the seat. This means much more of your body weight will be borne by your rear, instead of your shoulders, wrists and arms.
Setting Handlebar Height - Do What Feels Right

Remember, when setting the height of your handlebars, personal preference and variations in physique will have an important effect. You should feel free to make adjustments until you find the position that allows you to ride comfortably for extended periods of time. In general, the higher the handlebar is set, the more upright you will sit.

NOTE: All handlebars have a minimum insertion mark. Make sure you don't raise your handlebars into a fixed position so high that you pull this mark up out of the frame. Below this point, it means that there is less than two inches of the handlebar stem remaining inside the frame, and the handlebars are susceptible to breaking which will cause a mean crash.

Source : : Bicycling

Bike Sizing

Mountain Bike Sizing Guide

Mountain bikes are generally measured in frame size (inches), which is the distance from the center of the crank to the top of the frame at the seat tube.

Mountain Bikes - Finding the Right Size
Your HeightYour Inseam LengthBike Frame Size
4'11" - 5'3"25” - 27”13 - 15 inches
5'3" - 5'7" 27" - 29" 15 to 17 inches
5'7" - 5'11" 29" - 31" 17 to 19 inches
5'11" - 6'2"31" - 33"19 to 21 inches
6'2" - 6'4"33" - 35"21 to 23 inches
6'4" and up35" and up23 inches and up

Road Bike Sizing Guide

Use the sizing chart below to find the right sized road bike for you. Knowing your height and inseam measurements, you should be able to determine what size frame will be most comfortable for you. Of the two measurements, height and inseam, inseam is more important.

Determining Your Road Bike Frame Size
HeightInseam LengthBike Frame Size
4'10" - 5'1"25.5” - 27”46 - 48 cm
5'0" - 5'3" 26.5" - 28" 48 - 50 cm
5'2" - 5'5" 27.5" - 29" 50 - 52 cm
5'4" - 5'7"28.5" - 30"52 - 54 cm
5'6" - 5'9"29.5" - 31"54 - 56 cm
5'8" - 5'11"30.5" - 32"56 - 58 cm
5'10" - 6'1"31.5" - 33"58 - 60 cm
6'0" - 6'3"32.5" - 34" 60 - 62 cm
6'2" - 6'5" 34.5" - 36" 62 - 64 cm

Source: : Bicycling

Crossing the Darien Gap by Bicycle

Rare footage of world famous bicycle-tourist- Ian Hibell

Source: YouTube

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Computers are like a bicycle for our minds."

After being ousted from Apple, Steve Jobs headed for the Tuscan hills of northern Italy, where he bought a bicycle and a sleeping bag, and contemplated what he would do next. That turned out to be NeXT Software, which he sold to Apple, fuelling his return and second act. (from Is there a deeper, interesting cycling thread here? I began to wonder...

Of course the internet makes researching a story like this easy.
Quote from an interview of Steve Jobs by “The Belfast Telegraph” at the recent Paris Expo:… asked what is the last piece of technology that he acquired — not made by Apple — that really delighted him? He pauses for few long seconds, looks down, puts his hands on his knees, looks away. “I actually bought a bicycle recently. It’s just … wonderful.”

Little did I realize that Mr. Job's had a deep appreciation of the efficiency of locomotion and elegance that a bicycle lends to our otherwise humble species, making us the most energy efficient beast on this earth. In this video, he discusses the bicycle and makes the analogy that the "computer is like a bicycle for our minds." Of course, I think that is a wonderful analogy. Much as computers were the rage of the late 1900's, so was the bicycle the rage of the late 1800's, giving our society this wonderful means of locomotion... a new found freedom.

From an interview with Steve Hayden, the former Chiat Day copywriter who wrote Apple's famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial (,2125,60441,00.html). To illustrate, Hayden showed some slides of some early Apple magazine ads filled with dense copy about "philosophy," which likened Apple's computers to a "new kind of bicycle" and a "wheel for the mind."

Source : YouTube/ article from

Jimmy Carter's bicycle stolen in Atlanta

Jimmy Carter's bicycle was stolen earlier this month from the Carter Center in Atlanta, a newspaper says.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the thief/thieves also made off with a bicycle owned by former first lady Rosalynn Carter.

No one has been arrested. WAGA-TV says the Secret Service and local police are working the case.

“They’ve probably been sold for a $10 rock of crack,” Peter Wicker, the bike shop owner who donated the $1,000 bikes in 2007, tells the Journal-Constitution.

(File photo of Carter on an older bicycle taken Sept. 28, 2002, by H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY.)

Source : USA Today

Sunday, January 11, 2009

'He risked our lives for a bike'

WHEN fire breaks out, what do you try to save first?

For one office worker, it was his bicycle. Which was fine, except that he was fleeing from the 30th storey of a downtown building.

While hundreds of his fellow office workers were evacuating the building after a fire alarm went off at 11.40am yesterday, the man slowed them down by carrying his bicycle in the fire escape stairway.

There was a fire in the basement at 6 Battery Road, and lawyer Stefanie Yuen Thio was upset by this man's inconsiderate actions.

Mrs Thio, 38, the corporate and joint managing director of TSMP Law Corporation, said: 'Lives were at stake, and yet he was willing to risk them for a bicycle.

'We were lucky that it was a small fire, or it could have been so dangerous. By carrying such a bulky item, he made the jam in the stairway even worse,' she added.

'Every few steps, we would have to turn, so people had to give him a very wide berth. There were old people and a heavily pregnant lady walking behind him.

'If he didn't want to wait until everyone walked down, he could at least have let them pass,' said Mrs Thio who took a picture of the man and his bicycle when they reached the ground floor.

The pregnant woman, who wanted to be known only as Ms Teo, said the man may have entered the fire escape around the 30th storey.


The lawyer, who's in her 30s, said: 'I was concerned, because if there was a stampede, the bike would have been an obstacle, and people might have tripped over it.

'I was also worried about his safety, because people may have shoved him aside if they started to panic. Thankfully, it was not chaotic, although I didn't know whether it would have been safer walking in front of or behind him.'

Mrs Thio said she told the man, who looked to be in his late 20s, that it was not right for him to carry a bicycle with him.

But he replied that he could walk faster than anyone else despite carrying his bicycle.

She said: 'I could have shouted at him, but I chose to show him some respect and went up to him to tell him that he was holding everyone up. At one point, the bicycle almost hit my head too.

'If it had been me, I would have been humble enough to apologise and let everyone else pass.'

Mrs Thio said there had been several fire drills and people working in the building would have been aware of what they should or should not do in such emergencies.

'What's more, this was not a fire drill, this was the real thing!' she added.

When they reached the ground, a security guard told the man that he should not have brought his bicycle down.

Again, his response was that he could walk faster than anyone else, said Mrs Thio.

Exasperated by the man's attitude, Mrs Thio said she would write to the building management to make sure that all tenants will brief their staff about the right evacuation procedures.

By the time The New Paper arrived at the scene, the man was no longer there.

Other office workers said they smelled burning plastic on their way down, but everyone moved in an orderly manner. There was no pushing and no panic despite the jam on the stairs.

Human resources executive Taufik Taib, 29, said: 'Everyone knew what to do because we just had a fire drill three months ago.'

The building management had evacuated the occupants before the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived.

SCDF public affairs director LTC N Subhas said in a news release that it received a call at 11.41am yesterday about smoke coming out of the building.

Fire-fighters found that a store room in the basement three carpark was on fire and put it out within five minutes using an internal hose reel.

A woman, 44, was sent to Singapore General Hospital due to smoke inhalation. Occupants were allowed back into the building at around 1pm.

SCDF is investigating the cause of the fire.

A spokesman for CapitaCommercial Trust Management, which manages the building, said there was no physical damage to the building.

Smoke was visible from the 5th storey as the smoke from the basement was channelled there through the ventilation shaft.

Source: The Electric New Paper

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cycling-friendly Airline

This is why I love travel on Malaysia Airlines.
  • Bicycle is considered as checked baggage. Therefore no extra charge for 'sporting equipments etc' unless your total baggage is exceeding your allowance.

  • There is no need to box it like other airlines. Simply push your bike to the check-in counter, remove the pedal & turn the handlebar sideways. Of course, deflate the tires. (although i find it unnecessary!) Then, someone from the airline will bring your bike to the over-size baggage section.
However, there will be a problem when you take a connecting flight. Some carriers might not accept bicycle as checked baggage and require it to be boxed. Furthermore, they might charge you extra.

Therefore, try to avoid taking connecting flight. Otherwise, boxed your bike (aargh!!) or bring your folding bike with you! (yeaa!)

Two Thumbs Up for Malaysia Airlines!

Source: Malaysia Airlines website

Sunday, January 4, 2009

'New Bicycle' Ad

British Ad. Probably from the 1950's

Source: YouTube

Confessions of a Junk-Food Junkie

..An interesting article i found on the Net, written by Daryl Fuller and originally from Spoke Magazine... enjoy it!

I only recently discovered cycling as a means of commuting. For years I worked at using the bus system for traveling to and from work, with limited success. Then two years ago I started thinking about bicycling as an alternative commuting method. I immediately found several reasons (excuses) not to be able to cycle, like "It's too dangerous" or "What do you do when you arrive all sweaty?" or "How do you get your good clothes to work, and home again to get them cleaned?”

After taking 6 months closely observing the various roads, steepness of different hills, directness of different routes, I finally took the plunge, pounded most of the rust off my bicycle chain, and tried to ride to work and home again. I loved it. My bike wasn't suited for commuting; being an old mountain bike weighing 35+ pounds, but it did have a granny gear, needed for me to get up one particular hill on the way to work. I am fortunate to have run into several enthusiastic, long-term (committed, in all senses of that word) cycling co-workers. They showed me a "bike locker room" at my work, where there was an unused locker to store my work clothes in and they showed me where the shower facilities were.

From October 1997 through to about March 1998 I rode on average 3 days per week. Then another cycle enthusiast friend lent me some toe clips. Instantly, I gained one gear in every situation. Two weeks later, after finally springing for some proper booties to cover my running shoes in the rain, I bought myself some used clipless pedals. Once I sourced and bought some shoes, I was set to relearn how to ride. I gained another gear on my almost daily commuter rides, getting up to a high of 13 workdays in a row of cycling. In my 3 years of commuter cycling here are some of my observations:

* Bicycle Butt:for the first 6 months my but shrunk (shrank?) down to a skeleton of its former self. Great encouragement to regain the hollow butt look from my (distant) youth. Then something diabolical happened. My butt started to grow again! Closer inspection determined that as I start to push myself more and more on my (almost daily) rides, I have starting to develop a "real cyclist's butt". My gluteus maximus is developing into the strong muscle that it is capable of becoming, and as a result, my butt is growing again. It is a new world I am entering now. Pants are starting to fit differently and people look at me differently. I seem to have more confidence and energy. My waist is shrinking still, but my butt and thighs are growing the right way.

* Junk Food Junkie: as a cost-cutting measure to help me afford the new cycling over-pants, the shoes, the booties, as well as the fact that I was hungry within an hour of getting to my desk, I started making my own lunch. A big lunch. Well, it actually added almost 8 pounds to my pack. I could eat all day while sitting at my desk, and still be hungry. The only problem here was that I could eat junk food as often as I wanted, and I wouldn't gain weight. Great! I love junk food, so the money I saved on lunch was being spent on the mid-afternoon chocolate bar and bag of chips. The only problem with this approach was the days I couldn't ride, for family reasons or other inconveniences. If they continued for more than one day, I gained all the weight I had taken a year to lose. Or so it seemed. Only recently have I learned to adjust my lunch based on whether I am riding or driving, and this has fixed the weight gain on non-cycling days. Whew! Besides, now I quickly feel the effects junk food really has on my body, and I no longer have the same cravings. I can eat anything I want, but I want to eat better.

* No More Public Transit: when I am late for work, which happens a lot lately, I now find myself driving to work to make up for that lost time. Before I became a commuter cyclist, I always took the bus, knowing that if I wasn't out of the house by 7:25, I would miss the 7:35 local bus, and I would be late. It takes me 20-25 minutes to drive to work. It takes me 30 minutes to ride my bike the 11 km to work, and another 20 minutes to shower and change. If I am too late to ride, I am most definitely too late to take the public transit, which only runs every ½ hour at the most frequent time, and takes 30 minutes of travel time, not counting the wait for the next bus. So I now have the potential of polluting more now than I was when I was only taking public transit. I have an extra incentive to prepare properly for cycling every day, and make the lunches the night before.

* Cost Savings: I am saving a bit of money over driving or taking transit too, but it isn't the total picture. In the past year I made 127 commuter trips by bike, totaling just under 2800 Km. This saved me $444 in either one-zone transit, or $381 in pay parking ($3.00 per day in S. Burnaby). It cost me $188 in parts (oil - $24, new chain - $12, new cables - $10, 3 tires - $110, 2 tubes - $8, patch kits - $4). BUT - I would pay extra for the joy I feel every time I hear the snap of my shoes clicking into my pedals. And I would have to pay for a fitness club to get the exercise I am getting 'for free'.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

I read more now on bicycle-related issues, I notice bicycles more now when I am driving, I am (gradually) changing my lifestyle to a 'smaller footprint' version, and I like what I see when I look at myself in the mirror now. No, it's not the vanity thing - I like the type of person I am starting to become - more in tune with the world around me, and much less in tune with the ads I hear on the radio when I drive. Bicycle commuting has changed my life, and the lives of my family. I think it's for the better. I'll keep you posted.

Source : by Daryl Fuller/ photo from

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Willie Weir

Adventure Travel Speaker & Bicycle Advocate

Man!..I didn't know that he is a stand-up comic..

Source : YouTube

Tour de Ben II (October 2008)

Last October 2008, cycling buddies of mine- Steve, Ben & Azmar (in support car as photographer) embarked on a bicycle tour known as Tour de Ben (named after our friend 'Biriani' Ben). I did the 1st one back in Dec 2006 as a farewell tour for Ben who was returning to UK for good but this time it was specially arranged for him during his short visit to Malaysia by Steve. Unfortunately, I have to miss this one because it was done during the month of Ramadan (Fasting Month). And the tour was covering KL~Ipoh~Penang (approx. 400km++) riding through some beautiful and less busy roads of Perak.

Here are some photos from the tour:

steve & ben

ben trying to catch up with steve

lata kinjang waterfall near gua tempurung, perak

bridge at kuala kangsar, perak

ben, steve & azmar

Photos courtesy of steve

LeTour de Langkawi 2009

LE Tour de Langkawi (LTdL), Malaysia's biggest race sees its shortest ever edition running from February 9 to 15 next year, driven into cost-cutting measures by the global economic meltdown.

Nevertheless, the seven-stage hors categorie race offers and enticing affair as an improved, compact version of the race that covers 1,029 kilometres in total promises to pile the pressure on a bigger mix of riders in a 120-strong peloton made up of 20 teams.

Undulations in Stage One from Putrajaya to Senawang will see the mountains classification up for grabs right from the start, throwing a sense of wide-openness into the picture, with sprinters' teams not guaranteed a bunched sprint finish. Stage Two sees another categorised climb early in the 161.7 km stage, which can see the sprinters' teams really staking their claim, but that bunch sprint they will look for is not guaranteed.

Tricky categorised climbs are sprinkled throughout the six stages prior to the traditional final stage, the Kuala Lumpur Criterium on Feb 15. This time around, the all-rounders have more options throughout the race with undulating routes mixed in all but two stages. The sprinters' teams can have six stages to look for, but they will have to work harder than before.

The queen stage, the climb to the top of Genting Highlands makes a return this time around, after being replaced by Fraser's Hill in the 13th edition this year, but via a short 95.6km route on the fifth day from Petaling Jaya. This will undoubtedly be the decider, but damage control measures can be taken, given the form of the earlier stages, thus throwing into the picture an expectation of a non-pure climber like 2007 winner Anthony Charteau having the possibility to seize a lead in earlier stages and defend it up Genting, which will now have the possibility of producing an extremely exciting decider.


Jan Ullrich confirms no comeback to pro cycling

German Jan Ullrich re-stated that he won't make a comeback to racing despite the recent comeback of Lance Armstrong. The 1997 Tour de France champion, 35 years old today, is focused on family life.

"When I say I stop, then that's the way it is." However, Lance Armstrong "probably didn't think in the last few years that he would start again," Ullrich said to Eurosport.

Ullrich won the Tour de France for Team Telekom a year after finishing second behind his captain Bjarne Riis in 1996. He finished second in the race, behind Armstrong, three times, and also finished third and fourth. Team T-Mobile suspended him before the start of the 2006 Tour for his connection to OperaciĆ³n Puerto. He announced his retirement in February 2007.

"So far I have not missed pro cycling. I left the sport after a disappointment, but since then my broken heart has been repaired."

Ullrich followed the recent developments of his former Tour rival, Armstrong. He believes that the returning rider didn't find "fulfilment" in his life.

"He runs marathons, changes women and still can't find what he is looking for. I can imagine that he needs cycling again, to find his fulfilment. He certainly won't return to finish second."

Ullrich focuses on family life. "I want to continue my family life as perfect as it is at the moment. I hope that we will have more children." He and wife Sara have a son, Max, 1 year old, and he has a five-year-old daughter Sarah from a previous relationship.

Source: Topix-Cycling News / picture from

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thank You David Hon!

Just completed my first tour on a folding bike...on a DaHon Speed P8, to be precised.
Used to be a skeptic but finally I braved myself to try one after seeing Chris Hoy riding one during the closing of Beijing Olympics.
This bike is a proven touring bike...slower but better handling & a reliable workhorse! I'd call it a KICK-ASS bike!
It took me slightly more than a minute to prepare the bike by simply unfold & lock it with quick-release clip, hook on all the panniers, bar bags etc.. without using any tools. Voila!
Whereas others (road/mtb/recumbent/touring) took approx. 15~20mins to re-fix their tires, pedals, handlebars, saddles, adjusting brakes & derailleur etc.
Almost hit 70km/h on descent, easy negotiating sharp corner ala Valentino Rossi's, able to follow 30km/h++ on flat (have to work harder because of the smaller wheel) but limited of gearing (option- to use internal hub to have 16 speed), I use 39T chainrings x 14T~16T cassette most of the time. But not to worry because a 'normal' touring would not require me to ride that fast all the time.
Able to ride on bad roads and off roads with 20" x 2.0 schwalbe big apple tires.
Full touring accessories are available- front & rear rack/fenders. Contact your local authorised distributor for those stuff.
Up right position & adjustable handle post for better riding position.
Chromoly frame- heavier but allow for more comfortable ride. Able to take up 105 kg of load (including the rider)
And it only requires a small space for storage- in car, train or at home. In fact, it is quite easy to carry around using the bike bag.

- nice, comfortable ride but look awkward and/or funny (to some non-cyclist) when a big man like me riding a small bike. but still love it!

I guess, it has reignited my passion for cycling and bike touring after 2 years on 'sabatical leave'.
Thank you David Hon!

Established in December 2006