Thursday, November 26, 2009

Man Gets 120 Days for Shooting Cyclist in the Head

This is downright infuriating. Perhaps you recall this story: while driving down the road one day, Charles Diaz grew upset at seeing a man riding his bike on a busy street with his 3 year-old son. So he shot him in the head. Thankfully, the bullet narrowly missed his skull, instead getting lodged in the cyclists' helmet. Well, Diaz has just been sentenced for admitting to nearly murdering a man by firing a gun towards his head--and he's received a paltry 4 months in jail.

That's right. 120 days. For coming as close to killing someone in cold blood as you possibly can without actually doing so.

WTF...!!! to read more click here


Friday, November 20, 2009

Don't water down those minerals

Dissolved minerals, or electrolytes, do more work than you might think - they play the role of gatekeepers, directing the flow of water in and out of body cells.

'The balance of electrolytes is closely tied to the balance of water in the body as one affects the other," explained Ms Teo Kiok Seng, nutritionist at Nutrition Network Services.

'Very small changes in electrolyte levels in the various fluid compartments in our body cause water to move from one compartment to another," she said.

With water being a major component of organs and tissues, electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and calcium are vital for numerous bodily functions.

Other than helping to maintain optimal heart, brain and muscle functions, these electrolytes are also involved in oxygen delivery and in regulating the body's pH levels, said Ms Jaclyn Reutens, a dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants.

The pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a solution is.

'Hence, dehydration or over-hydration can result in electrolyte disturbances which can lead to life-threatening medical emergencies, such as irregular heartbeat," added Ms Reutens.

Water and electrolytes are lost throughout the day via urine, stools, sweat and breathing, and must be replenished by consuming the right kinds and amounts of food and beverages.

Ms Teo recommended eating plenty of fruits and vegetables in addition to drinking water and other beverages.

'Fruit and vegetables are particularly good sources of water so make sure that you include them in your daily diet," she said. 'For example, water makes up 90 per cent of watermelon."

However, you should not count beverages such as coffee and alcoholic drinks as part of your daily fluid intake. This is because caffeine is diuretic - it promotes urination while reducing your urge to drink. Alcohol inhibits the action of the anti-diuretic hormone, which prevents too much water from being lost through urination, said Ms Teo.

To replenish electrolytes, quick fixes such as a cheese sandwich with wholemeal bread, a chicken sandwich with a banana smoothie or a sports drink can do the job, said MsReutens.

Such replenishment is even more important after exercise, as additional water and electrolytes will be lost through sweat.

'If you exercise, drink up to an extra 1litre of water. If you sweat heavily, take 750ml of sports drinks to replenish water and electrolyte loss," she advised.

Older people should also take extra care to keep themselves hydrated. This is because people become less sensitive to the sensation of thirst as they age. Their kidneys also function less well, said MsTeo.

'A simple way to check if you are drinking enough fluid is to check the colour of your urine," she said.

'The more transparent it is, the more hydrated you are."

Source: The Straits Times/ Mind Your Body by Poon Chian Hui

How much stuff shall I carry?

Ok, I only do light touring because of my work commitment. Therefore, I can only do 1-2 weeks of bike tour.

I always remember Willie Weir said that the amount of luggage he carries for 3 days is the same for 3 weeks' tour. So, the key words here are 'travel light' and 'recycle'.

For me, a pair of medium size pannier at the rear + 1 handlebar bag is enough for my trip. Hence, there is no need for the front rack.

My bar bag is the 'tour control centre' as the late Sheldon Brown put it. It's where i keep my valuables- passport, cash, keys, camera, gps, road map, cellphone, and foodstuff e.g. chocolate bar, nuts, raisins etc. The rest of my stuff will be in my panniers. This bag is never out of my sight.

The heavy stuff will be put on the bottom (But no jeans please- it's bulky & heavy) and the lighter or things that I may need fast wil be on the top.

I usually store my stuff in large or medium size zip-on plastic storage bags for better organization & water-proof purpose. Whereas, the tools will be kept in small pocket of the pannier for easy access.

And the amount of clothing that I usually carry are:

1. cycling gear (2 sets- dri-fit/clima365 shirts, cycling thights, knee warmer) + rain jacket
2. sleeping/prayer attire (1 set- cotton t-shirt & track pants + sarong + light prayer mat)
3. sight-seeing/ casual clothing (1 set- shirt+track pants)
4. underwear (3-5 pieces- it's small & light)+ medium size towel
5. additional clothings (if required depending on the location)- sweaters/light weight jackets.No parka (thick and heavy)- i opt for layers of clothing instead.

I prefer Synthetic clothings because they are very light and easy to dry off.

So, in overall I will carry luggage of not more than 30kg (including my bike) when check-in. The heavy stuff (jacket + shoes + helmet) in small bag (exclude tools) will be hand carried (usually 7-10kg) and the rest will be checked-in- i.e. pannier + bike (in bag). So, I will board the plane with a small (but 'heavy) hand carry bag and my handlebar bag with shoulder strap (act as my camera bag- I usually carry my dslr) This is because some airlines only allow 1 hand carry bag but excluding laptop bag, handbag, camera bag, etc.

And it is advisable to carry a spare t-shirts/light pants/underware & toiletteries in your hand carry bag - I speak from my 'bad' experience after being stranded in heathrow during one winter blizzard - where all domestic fligts were cancelled and I had to spend overnight in the airport. The worst part was I only got my luggage 2 days after my arrival. I guess, this is common when you change your flight at last minute.

But hey, don't listen to me. This is just how I pack my stuff for a tour. It might not be suitable for you and your tour.

What you can do is to make your own list. Just remember not to overpack with stuff that you dont need. Actually, the less the better!

And if you tour with another cyclist, you can share some of the stuff like cooking utensils, repair tools, lubes, etc.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Touring Bike

Despite the fact that Steel Bike is more suitable for a touring bike compared to Titanium because steel is stiffer & easier to repair, we should not look at the material of the frame when looking for a comfortable ride.

Remember, Comfort & Durability is more important than Speed & Weight.

Therefore, we should focus on:

1. Frame Geometry- the more upright, the less aerodynamic but the more comfortable. Consider frame with longer wheelbase like my specialized sequoia or Surly LHT.

2. A good saddle give you comfort. Im happy with my brooks saddle. Other 'high-tech' saddle like Topeak also give you comfortable ride but less comfort when paying $$$ for it.

3. Fat tires like the Big Apple give you more smooth & comfortable ride. Make sure the air inflation is right by considering the load that you are carrying.

4. The right bike like LHT or my folding bike, allows me to fix the fenders. this give me comfort when riding on wet roads

5. Proper gears like the granny allows you to climb with heavy load with ease. Butterfly handlebar also give your more space to hold on during long rides.

6. Correct Riding position especially when the bike fits you, will prevent body pain. Comfort = No Pain.

So, there you go. In order to get a comfortable touring bike, make sure the bike and its equipment is suitable for touring. Enjoy your ride!

Source: Sheldon Brown

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cycling the world at 74

Not many people would swop a night's sleep in a regular bed for a snooze on grass on the side of the road in Woodlands.

Yet a 74-year-old cyclist from Italy is happy to do so.

Meet sprightly Janusz Rivers, who has been cycling solo around the world for the past nine years, getting by on the equivalent of $5 a day and sleeping rough. All this at an age when most people are sitting out their golden years in a comfy chair, not on a tiny leather saddle.

The intrepid (some would say eccentric) bachelor is visiting Singapore for the first time, having flown here from Poland on Tuesday. He is here to start the South-east Asian leg of his seemingly never-ending journey.

He aims to cycle across the Causeway, cover the whole of Malaysia and southern Thailand before returning in April for a month's rest. He will then fly to Papua New Guinea to cycle there and on through Timor Leste, before flying to Australia in early 2011.

Rivers, a retired sports manager, is being put up here by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports at the Singapore Sports School in Woodlands. Despite having a comfortable room to stay in, he reveals that he left it at midnight on Wednesday to sleep on a patch of grass he had found by the road.

"I always sleep in the open. It's quiet and natural," explains this self-described "citizen of the world" who has no home base.

Rivers hails from Poland originally but moved to Rome in 1979 until the call of the road hit on Dec 31, 1999, and he began his journey. He tours an area for about five months, rests for a month or so in one country he chooses as a base, and then continues.

He claims to have travelled to 115 countries, been kidnapped 30 times and survived a potentially deadly snake bite. What's more, he has made his epic journey on the same US$50 bike he bought when he first set out. The frame is original, but the tyres and gears are changed yearly.

Amazingly, he has not had a single puncture. He credits this to his German puncture-proof tyres, which he changes twice every six months.

Unlike some adventurers, Rivers is not undertaking his journey to raise money for charity or draw attention to himself. He says he is financially comfortable and is doing this just to stay active.

Speaking to Life! at the Singapore Sports School, he recalls the fateful New Year's Eve when he decided he wanted a change in life. "I was sitting at home, eating macaroni and sipping Italian wine, when I thought, 'I'm getting old. What can I do with my life?' "

The next day, he bought a cheap bicycle and jumped on a ferry bound for Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. He says the decision was easy because he is not married and has no children.

From Lanzarote, he went back to Europe and cycled north to Norway in five months. It marked the beginning of his love affair with the open road that he says has taken him 125,000km across the world. He reckons it is the best way to see the world.

Each day, he aims to travel 30km. Every country he visits, he ensures that he has the sanction of the local government. He obtains this by either faxing or calling ahead, and the government usually provides his accommodation and food.

He sticks to the backroads so that he can interact with locals.While traversing the desert in Egypt, he says the local tribes would follow him on their camels to give him food and water. He says he has encountered generosity everywhere, and claims it is almost impossible to spend any money. This is just as well, as his prize possessions on the road consist only of an Italian coffee maker and a small radio.

He names Cuba as his favourite country so far, where he says he was the first tourist to cycle around the island without a police escort.

Rivers' world tour was scheduled to finish at the Beijing Olympics last year, but after taking a fitness test at the Russian space centre and finding that his heart and lungs are strong, he has set his sights on the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

Then he plans to stay in a South American village for the rest of his days. But for now, when asked why he keeps on cycling, he says: "I don't want to be found dead in front of the TV."

Source: The Straits Times/By Christian Seiersen

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I love durian.

For me it tastes like 'heaven'. Some, like the Thai's tastes sweet but for me the bitter the better, like durian 'kampung' or D24 (cloned).

Most asians like it because you can get it only in side of the world- Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, etc.

But many people especially the non-Asian hate it- some said it smells like 'shit', garbage, vomit, etc. Well, I can't blame them. It does gives a strong pungent smell. And that is why most hotels ban durians from being consumed in the rooms.

However, despite being good source in Vitamin C and dietary fibre, low in cholesterol & sodium, a slice of durian does give you 300++ calories. In comparison to 1 sachet of PowerGel (120) & Gu EnergyGel (100) and banana (200).

Ah, people will say..what the heck! it's only 300. Yeah..but ask yourself these questions- do you only eat 1 slice? How many times do you have your meal? 2? 3? What else do you eat? meat? rice? potato? nasi lemak? roti prata?

Remember that our body can only take 2000-2400 calories a day (average), so you do the math. How much calories can you take in each meal?

I'm not here trying to stop you from enjoying your durian, but due to it's high in carbohydrate (67%), fat (30%) and protein (3%).. please eat it moderately. Do not over-consume durian especially when you are lacking of exercise or sports activities.

And for those who has never try this 'king of fruit'...give it a try ok. In my opinion, it smells better that those 'smelly' cheese that you love. Or perhaps, this carbo/ fat rich fruit is the 'PowerBar' that we need before a long hard bicycle ride!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wear Your Helmet

Awwww..elmo is so cute! ..See, even elmo wear his helmet.

Ok, maybe the helmet is a bit too small for his head but the message we need to send to all kids is to wear helmet when riding the bicycle, tricycle, etc. because helmet can save lives. So, Safety First!

Source: Sesame Street/ YouTube

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Inching Around The World

This is one of the best bike travel journal I have ever read.

They are Zoe & Paul, who are in their 50s, got tired of their job, sold their home and embarked on a world bicycle tour.

What I like about their journal is that they are full of nice photos, 'interesting' information about the local foods and their accommodations. And I really envy the way they tour... slow & steady with no time constraints. This is what I call 'Bicycle Touring'!

Being a Malaysian and a bike tourist myself, their photos and stories really brought back old memories of my tour in Malaysia.

And I'm sure that they are having great time on their bikes , going places. What (I think!) they are missing is they should have taste the durians. Trust me, it tastes 'out of this world'ly great! Just ask my buddy, Steve, a 'farang', 'gwai-lo', 'ang-moh' from Canada who is a durian fanatic! (sorry Steve!)

check out their journal at Inching Around The World and their website,

Bike Helmets : Tips For Better & Safety Fit

Source :

Proper Wearing of Bicycle Helmet

As late as the mid-1980s, individuals who wore helmets while riding their bicycles were often looked at as being a bit off the beaten path and strangely overprotective of their own health. That viewpoint has changed dramatically because most people know that going on a bicycle trip of any length without a helmet is risky behavior. The key to getting the benefit from the helmet is wearing it correctly. The Bicycle Safety Helmet Institute determined that the average bicyclist has one crash every 4,500 miles and that underscores the need for a helmet.

Snug Fit

It's one thing to put on a helmet and it's another thing to wear it correctly. The helmet should cover at least half of the forehead, fit snugly and be attached under the chin. The bicycle helmet should not move more than one inch in any direction.The sizing pads that come with the helmet should be applied for critical protection around the entire head.


Make sure the straps hang down around the side of the head and nowhere near the front of the face. If the straps are in front, they can interfere with your vision. Even if you just notice them in one corner, they are obscuring your peripheral vision. Make sure you buy a helmet that does not have extra long straps so it can fit snugly and nothing obscures your vision.

Wear It Flat

Make sure the helmet is flat on top of your head and not at an angle. Many bicyclists might think they can see better or think it's cooler to tilt the helmet back at an angle. That can be a critical mistake. Many crashes come quickly and the fall can be harsh and straight down. In that case the helmet needs to be flat on your head to protect your forehead and face.

Source: eHow-by Steve Silverman/ photo from


If you watch a major bicycle race on TV, you have to be impressed by how the riders can eat enough to sustain them through races that require more than five hours of near maximum effort. If they do not get enough food during their ride, they can fall off their bikes, lie on the ground unconscious and start to shake all over in a in a massive convulsion. This is called bonking: passing out from low blood sugar.

Your brain gets almost all of its fuel from sugar in your bloodstream. When your blood sugar level drops, your brain cannot get enough fuel to function properly, you feel tired and confused and can pass out. There is only enough sugar in your bloodstream to last three minutes. To keep your blood sugar level from dropping, your liver must constantly release sugar from its cells into your bloodstream, but there is only enough sugar in your liver to last 12 hours at rest. During intense exercise, your muscles draw sugar from your bloodstream at a rapid rate. Your liver can run out of its stored sugar and your blood sugar level can drop, and you bonk.

Bonking is common in bicycle races if a rider does not eat frequently, but is rare in long distance running races. When you run, your leg muscles are damaged from the constant pounding on the roads and you must slow down. However, you pedal in a smooth rotary motion which does not damage your muscles, so you can continue to pedal at a rapid cadence for many hours.

To prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low during intense exercise lasting more than two hours, eat at least every 15 minutes. It doesn't matter what you eat: salted peanuts, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chicken, an apple, a banana or anything else. Almost all fit people can take small amounts of food frequently during exercise without developing stomach cramps.

Source: photo from cyclejerk

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Coffee & Exercise Performance

Caffeine is part of the naturally occurring group of stimulants found in leaves, nuts and seeds of a number of plants. Common dietary sources include coffee, tea, chocolate and a variety of soft drinks and sports drinks. The caffeine content of various foodstuffs is given below.

Table 1. Caffeine content of various foodstuffs

Foodstuff Serving size Caffeine content (mg)
Coffee* 150 ml 50-120
Tea* 150 ml 15-50
Chocolate Drink** 250 ml 10
Milk Chocolate** 50g 40
Caffeinated Soft Drinks 330 ml 40-100

(from Maughan 1999)
* Values for coffee and tea vary widely depending on the source and
method of preparation.
** In addition to caffeine, chocolate contains theobromine, which has an insignificant effect compared to caffeine.

So what is the effect of caffeine on different types of exercise?

Although the mechanism whereby caffeine may aid performance is not fully understood, there is substantial research that concludes that caffeine does improve physical performance. Its effect also appears to be widespread across a diverse variety of sports and exercises. Studies have also been wide ranging and have included well-trained athletes and relatively sedentary individuals of both sexes and different age groups.

One of the most comprehensive and recent reviews (Doherty and Smith 2004) looked at 39 published studies. Of these, 21 involved endurance exercise, 12 used short duration and high-intensity exercise and the remaining 6 used a graded exercise test. Including all these data, caffeine improved performance by 12.4%, relative to the placebo trials and this was shown to greatest effect in those who undertook exercise for a longer duration at any one time.

There are also a number of studies that show the beneficial effects of drinking coffee and/or caffeine ingestion on high intensity exercise. These include improved performance on a 1500 m run (Wiles 1992) and Anselme (1992) showed that anaerobic power in a cycling test was improved by the ingestion of the equivalent of two cups (250mg) of caffeinated coffee. Cycling was also the sport studied more recently by Bell (2001) when caffeine (5mg/kg) was shown to improve performance in a high intensity cycling test.

The beneficial effect has also been demonstrated in swimming trials. Collomp (1992) showed that in a swimming test (2x100m) there was improved performance after ingestion of 250 mg of caffeine.

What is the effective amount of caffeine?

Recent studies used small amounts of caffeine (1-2mg/kg). In many studies, coffee was used whilst others have used caffeine. However, they all show that small amounts of caffeine are effective in improving exercise performance significantly and these smaller amounts, as little as 90mg caffeine, are not associated with any unwanted side effects.

Caffeine and fluid requirements

The diuretic effect of caffeine is often over stressed, particularly in situations where dehydration is a major issue. This affects particularly competitions held in hot, humid climates where the risk of dehydration is high and is more important for endurance athletes where dehydration has a greater effect on performance.

Athletes competing in these conditions are often advised to increase their intake of fluid but also advised to avoid tea and coffee because of their mild diuretic effect. Current research, however, shows that, not only is this mild diuretic effect insignificant during exercise (Armstrong, 2002), but the negative effects caused by cutting such drinks from the diet may be more damaging (Maughan and Griffin, 2003). Conclusions from published studies show that intakes of less than 300mg caffeine a day will not affect levels of body's fluids.


In many of these studies, where performance was improved by the ingestion of caffeine or drinking coffee, there was the also the additional benefit of an associated reduction in the sensation of fatigue.

Given the various initiatives aimed at promoting physical activity to improve health, anything that encourages participation by reducing the discomfort and fatigue most people feel when exercising, has enormous potential implications for improving public health. Caffeine, in the form of coffee or as a pure ingredient, has that ability.

Source: positively coffee

WD-40 as lubricant

Never use WD-40 to lubricate your drivetrain.

WD-40 is meant for rust-prevention. It's a 'squeak-stopper'. It is also a degreaser as well as water repellent. It's a wonderful household item. It may be used as cleaner or 'light' lubricant for door hinges, locks, toys but not bicycle drivetrain especially the chain.

The fast-moving bicycle chain will strip away lubricant and leave the chain dry. This is bad!

Instead, use suitable lubricant that is specially made for bicycle like the one from Finish Line, White Lightning, Pedros, etc, to lubricate your drivetrain. They are heavy duty, also water-proof and great for your chain.

For degrease purpose, I personally use citrus degreaser because they did a great job & safe to use. If I am to use the WD-40 as degreaser, I will wipe it off clean before applying the lubricant. This is to prevent it from striping away the lube after applying it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Calories Burned Bike Riding per hour

Calories Burned Bike Riding per hour

140lbs 195lbs
Bicycling, 10-11.9 mph, light effort
Bicycling, 12-13.9 mph, moderate effort
Bicycling, 14-15.9 mph, vigorous effort
Bicycling, 16-19 mph, very fast, racing
Bicycling, >20 mph, racing
Bicycling, Mountain or BMX
Bicycling, stationary, general
Bicycling, stationary, very light effort
Bicycling, stationary, light effort
Bicycling, stationary, moderate effort
Bicycling, stationary, vigorous effort
Bicycling, stationary, very vigorous effort

Source : NutriStrategy

Established in December 2006