Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

More about milk..

Ok, I love milk. But I'm a lactose intolerant. After I drank a cup of milk, My stomach get gassy and I'll go straight to the toilet! So what can I do about it?

The answer is SKIMMED MILK!

Skimmed milk is less likely to cause symptoms of gastrointestinal dsitress or bloating according to Dr. Phil Watson of Loughborough University!

Yeah..skimmed milk. But normally it comes in powder form and I'd still prefer the Low Fat Milk for its taste. And as long as I'm at home, I don't mind going to the toilet again and again...But no milk for me on the road, though.

Source: cycling asia magazine/ photo from healthkicker

Why Milk?

Evidence has suggested that cow’s milk can be more effective than commercially available sports drinks for recovery after both resistance and endurance exercises. Based on so far limited research, milk appears to be an effective post-resistance exercise beverage that results in favourable acute alterations in protein metabolism: acutely increasing muscle protein synthesis, leading to an improved net muscle protein balance. Studies have now reported that when postexercise milk consumption is combined with resistance training for at least 12 weeks, greater increases in muscle hypertrophy and lean mass are experienced.

There is also some evidence to suggest that milk may be an effective post-exercise beverage for endurance activities. Low-fat milk has been shown to be as effective, if not more effective, than commercially available sports drinks as a rehydration beverage. Moreover, milk is more nutrient dense for individuals who do both strength and endurance training, compared to traditional sports drinks.

Therefore, bovine low-fat fluid milk is a safe and effective post exercise beverage for most individuals–except for those who are lactose intolerant!

Source: mudphudder

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Manali - Leh Tour Update

For the last 2 months, I have been observing the weather at Manali & Leh (Himachal Pradesh & Ladakh) to decide the date for our departure. Unfortunately, even by today (mid June), it is still heavy snowing & raining in some area of which the reason why they still closing the road. In fact, 2 days ago there was a massive avalanche near Baralacha La.

Out target for the tour is on 3rd week of July and back to KL by early Aug so that we will have at least a week to rest before the month of Ramadan.

Preparation of cycling training and bicycle tour equipments are still on going. We have decided to expect the worst of the weather especially with the current climate change, so we will equipped ourself with winter gear to prepare for sub-zero weather especially at night and waterproof and light gear for chilling/ raining or hot cycling day at daytime. Still looking into the details of the routes, pit stops for food and water, especially the water points and camping sites. Hopefully by July, we'll be able to proceed with our dream rides on the highest motorable highway in the world.

Keep praying for a good weather.

Source: Photo from world66

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bike Touring 101 (Reprise)

Lately, I have received emails from visitors to my Blog who expressed their interest in Bike Touring. Hey, it's always a pleasure to encourage people to try Bike Touring because it's simply FUN!

OK, Bike Touring is NOT for macho people who wants to go fast & furious and those who fancy light carbon bikes. Bike Touring is for ANYONE with sense of adventure who wants to explore the back roads, highlands, country sides, coastal roads, etc. It's not about the speed or distance. Instead, it's about the journey that you are to take. Whether it is 30km or 100km, along the way, you will meet and talk to people who you just met, enjoy the food at roadside, taking photographs with your friends, enjoy the beautiful sceneries, etc.

It doesn't matter if you are 25 or 65, if you are in sound physical condition and willing to take some time to prepare, you will be ok. Bottom line is, in Bike Touring, gearing & patience are more important than raw strength!

As long as you know how to ride a bicycle and are familiar with the basic operation of gear shifting and braking, then you are ready for a Bike Tour. No problemo!

For a beginner, I would advise that you don't splash your money on a new bike. Just ride your own bike whether it is a road bike, mountain bike or a hybrid. Try to fix a rear rack to your bike to carry your stuff. Then, invite your friends to join you for a short trip, maybe a day trip or an overnighter.

Once you got hooked on the Bike Touring, i.e. you don't mind riding for 5-8 hours for few days under hot sun or in the rain, getting dirty and smelly, get used to the local foods at the road stalls, then only you should consider invest in a proper Touring Bike and its accessories.

Welcome to the world of Bike Touring!

Cameron Highlands Tour Photos

Barrat Tea Plantation @ Tanah Rata

Kranked 8 Revolved Coastal Crew

My favourite cycling video! Awesome stuff from the Coastal Crew!

Source: YouTube

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Travelling with a bicycle (by Air)

Back in 2002 as I was walking in the Sydney Airport Transit Hall , I saw a guy pushing his touring bike. And I asked him whether he carry his bike just like that without boxed it up. He answered (with his French accent) Yes and told me to check with some airlines that allow bikes to be carried without box. And I did checked it out and found out that it is the Malaysia Airlines.

In the South East Asia, it is very convenient and inexpensive to travel with bicycle by plane. I have fly with Qantas, Air Asia, British Midlands, Tiger Airways, Jetstar and of course, the Malaysia Airlines. No hassle and no problem given by them. My only worry is how the airport staff handle my bike at the baggage area and when they unload/off load to/from the plane.

In my past posting (Jan 2009), I have stated that Malaysia Airlines as Cycling Friendly Airlines due to their baggage policy that facilitate cyclist like us. But there are also other airlines, for example Qantas, Jetstar & British Midlands that allows you to carry your bicycle without additional charges as long as the total weight of your luggage + the bike does not exceed the baggage allowance. However, you still need to box up your bike. But you must be warned that the charges for access baggage is expensive. It can be as high as SGD20 per kg in Changi and 20GBP per kg in Heathrow.

Jetstar is another airlines that offer you a good solution. They allow you to purchase your luggage allowance according to your requirements. What I normally do is to declare my bike as a sports equipments and pay SGD35 per sector for my bike. With that I have covered approx. 20kg of weight. Then I purchased 20kg of luggage allowance at SGD15 per sector for my bags, panniers, etc. In addition, I still have 7kg for my hand luggage. Again, I still need to box-up my bike as per their baggage policy.

So next time when you plan to travel with your bicycle, do your homework first. Check out few options on the internet before you choose to travel with which airlines.

Happy travel!

Friday, June 11, 2010

How to choose a good rack

If you are travelling with your panniers, choosing the right rack is very important. Pictured above is my rear rack recently fixed to my touring folding bike. I will briefly explain to you why I think this rack is a good rack.

Even though Steel is the best material for the rack because it is stiffer, mine is made of an Aluminium. It's lighter but to provide the same stiffness as the steel, the tube is thicker, i.e., 10mm in diameter. And it is less expensive.

The design of the vertical support of V-shaped stay will feed the loads of the panniers directly into the dropouts. The straight stay will provide effective trangulation therefore it won't flex.

A good rack also need to keep it from moving back and forth. To prevent this movement, it is fixed to the seat stay, i.e., the nearest to the frame. The shortest connection support the better for optimum stiffeness.

It is also important that the support prevents the rack from swaying from side to side. A single support, normally clamped to the seatpost has to resist both compression and tension within small width. While two supports that in line with the rack and fixed to both seat stays separate the compression and tension as far as possible making the rack much more stable.

In addition, I love the two tier horizontal supports because I can fixed both my panniers and the rack bag together.

A well design rack is stiff, lightweight and strong. It makes your load intergral with your bike, minimizing its negative impacts on overall handling. So, to choose a good rack, look for a large-diameter tubing, good triangulation and strong attachments. A good rack like Tubus meets all these design criterias but it is very expensive. So look for the one that comes closest to the deal.

Source: Adventure Cyclist Magazine- Mecahnical Advantage, Jan Heine.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sg Koyan to Ringlet Highway

This is a brand new highway that connect the inner Pahang to the Cameron Highlands. The road is from the junction at Sg Koyan straight to Ringlet for approximate distance of 81km. There is no R&R stop along the new highway.

As expected the road climbs from 109m to 1095m with gradual climb for the first 45km. Then some moderate climb till 65km where there is some water point for you to refill your bottle. (a life saver!) The last climb till Ringlet is a bit harder but manageable with low gear if you are riding a fully loaded bike. No problem if you are riding a road bike, though.

The scenery is beautiful where you can see some matured tropical jungle of the Taman Negara (National Park). The road is brand new with detour in our spot due to major landslide. However, at this moment (June 2010) the last 16km is still unfinished. You will ride on some compact sub-base and concrete in some area. No problem.

However, be careful if you ride at night, because according to the locals there were some incidents involving the indigenous people who drank too much and disturbing the passerby whether you are on bikes or in cars. Actually, we experienced some people observing us on their motorbike while we were riding at night. Luckily nothing happen.

So if you want to try the route, start early and bring along ample supply of water and food. And enjoy the ride. One more thing, don't forget to bring a duct tape along!

Good Luck!

Established in December 2006