Thursday, September 27, 2012
Friday, August 24, 2012
Lance will be banned for life by USADA and stripped of his 7 Tour Titles. What the heck..I'm still a fan. He beat cancer. He help others with cancer via his foundation. That's what matter most. In fact, he beat other who doped too, so life goes on.
Here is Lance's statement.
Photo from NY Times.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Source: HuffPost Living Canada/ Photo from workout-planet.com
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Bradley Wiggins became the first British rider to win the Tour de France as compatriot Mark Cavendish claimed a fourth consecutive final-stage victory.
Wiggins, 32, finished in the chasing peloton in Sunday's final stage around the streets of Paris with a winning margin of three minutes and 21 seconds.
Fellow Brit and Team Sky team-mate Chris Froome consolidated second place with Italy's Vincenzo Nibali third.
Source: BBC Sports
Monday, July 16, 2012
Basically, coconut water is like natural Gatorade. Like Gatorade, it contains water, simple carbohydrates (or, sugar), and electrolytes (or, minerals). Compared to a sports drink made with refined sugars, artificial flavoring, and blue food coloring, I’d say coconut water represents a solid upgrade. However, the benefits of sports drinks—whether natural or artificial—tend to be somewhat oversold.
Most sports drinks are consumed by people who aren’t exercising hard enough to need electrolyte replacement or benefit from additional carbohydrates. They end up consuming more calories than they’re burning. Here are my general guidelines for sports drinks: If you’re exercising very hard for more than 60 minutes, or in extremely hot conditions, a drink containing sugar and minerals can enhance your performance. Otherwise, plain water works just as well—and saves you some calories.
Source: Nutrition Diva
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Photo from Wikipedia.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Personally, I like Snickers because of it taste i.e. its combination of chocolates, nougat, caramel & peanuts which give better taste satisfaction that other chocolate bars.
Nevertheless, as a touring cyclist, fenders are meant to protect our bike & our clothing from dirt when riding on wet roads. It is so convenient to simply riding throught puddle of water rather than avoiding it especially when riding at fast speed or in the rain.
Photo from eHow.com
Butterfly Handlebar is popular among the commuters & touring cyclist in Europe than their counterparts in the North America. Recently, there were quite a demand for it in Malaysia by budding touring cyclist.
What I like about the handlebar is its flexibility to raise its level to be higher so that I can be more upright during riding and also it has more space to hold on. These are importants as we touring cyclist will spent more time on the bike when on tour. It can be purchased via online from overseas bicycle stores or from local seller e.g. mudah.com.my.
Photos from flickr/ twospokes.com
Prolonged and intense endurance training like cycling increases your protein requirements for two reasons. Firstly, you need more to compensate for the increased breakdown of protein during training. When muscle glycogen stores become low (around 60-90 minutes of endurance training) certain amino acids known as branched chain amino acids which make up a substantial proportion of muscle protein (see box below) can be used for energy.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly for cyclists, protein is vital for the repair and recovery of muscle tissue after a ride. It’s in this post-recovery phase that you may need to rethink what you’re eating. Not only should you be rebuilding your fuel stores immediately after a ride, but you also need to repair damaged muscle ﬁbres as soon as possible.
Eat the wrong foods after training and you’ll end up exhausted with sore, aching legs. If you eat right then your body will get stronger, ﬁtter and recover faster.
Protein-rich foods have additional beneﬁts too – they are involved in producing neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain keeping you alert, focused and energised. They also slow down the release rate of glucose into the bloodstream, helping stabilise blood sugar between rides, and containing energising nutrients such as B vitamins, iron and zinc.
Source: Bike Radar
Thursday, June 28, 2012
You eat 40 whole eggs per week. 5 to 6 eggs daily at breakfast. You eat them with veggies, really like them and feel full of energy at the gym each time your day starts with an omelet.
But everyone tells you you're crazy eating so many eggs. They tell you eggs are unhealthy because they're full of cholesterol. You'll clock your arteries and die if you continue. Sounds familiar? Truth or myth? Let's see.
Why People Say Eating Lots of Eggs is Unhealthy. Eggs contain high amounts of cholesterol. 1 large egg has about 200mg cholesterol and 5g of fat. Almost half of that fat is saturated fat.
The logic is that since eggs are high in cholesterol, a high egg consumption will increase your blood cholesterol. So by cutting eggs from your diet, your blood cholesterol will decrease. This, however, isn't how your body works.
Facts on Cholesterol. You can find studies showing that high cholesterol levels will make you live longer and more immune to infections & diseases than low cholesterol levels. More facts:
- Your Body Makes Cholesterol. Your liver makes 3-6x more cholesterol than you can get eating eggs and other animal products.
- Cholesterol is Vital To Your Body. You need it for the production of steroid hormones like Testosterone and to build & repair cells.
- Dietary Cholesterol Isn't Bound to Blood Cholesterol. There's no relation to cholesterol & saturated fat intake to higher cholesterol levels.
Benefits of Eating The Egg Yolk. Eating the yolk makes your life easier since you don't have to separate it from the egg white each time. Eating the yolk is also healthier for 3 reasons:
- More Vitamins. The yolk is full of vitamins A, D, E. Vitamin D is especially important since most people lack vitamin D.
- Twice The Protein. Eating whole eggs doubles the protein intake you'd get eating egg whites only: the yolk contains half the protein.
- Increased Testosterone Levels. Saturated fat and cholesterol increase testosterone production. Both are heavily present in the egg yolk.
How to Protect Yourself Against Heart Diseases. This is the real concern people have regarding cholesterol. Some things you can do.
- Lose Fat. People with high cholesterol usually have excess body fat. Read the article on fat loss and apply.
- Exercise. This will make you lose fat and improve your health. CheckStrongLifts 5x5 if you don't know where to start.
- Eat Healthy. No more junk food, sodas, artificial trans-fats and refined sugars. Apply the 8 nutrition rules.
- Get Antioxidants. Like berries and green tea. These keep your LDL particles acting normal, preventing blockage in arteries.
- Relax. Stress can negatively influence your cholesterol levels. Relax, take breaks, exercise, think positive, ...
- Avoid Drugs. Cholesterol lowering drugs are harmful to your liver in the long-term and useless if you don't eat healthier, exercise and lose fat.
If you tried the above and your cholesterol levels haven't improved, then MAYBE you're part of the minority of the population who's genetically predisposed.
Furthermore, bicycle touring allows you be more relax, funny and more interactive with your fellow cyclist. Hence the ride will be more enjoyable!
Let's travel on bikes.
Source : Pic from travellingtwo.com
According to Star Online, 1 serving of Nasi Lemak is 644 calories. Add another 290 calories for a fried chicken. Meanwhile, 1 piece of Roti Canai (or Prata) + dhal gives you 360 calories. While Roti Telur is 414 calories. Teh Tarik is 83 calories and 2 half-boiled eggs & plain Roti gives you 227 calories.
There you go people! Malaysian cyclist whether they are riding or not still favour these dishes despite high calories over some 'mat salleh' food for breakfast. No wonder, it is hard to lose weight even on bike tour!
The natural choice for hydration is water. It hydrates better than any other liquid, both before and during exercise. Water tends to be less expensive and more available than any other drink. You need to drink 4-6 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise. That can add up to a lot of water! While some people prefer the taste of water over other drinks, most people find it relatively bland and will stop drinking water before becoming fully hydrated. Water is the best, but it only helps you if you drink it.
Sports drinks don't hydrate better than water, but you are more likely to drink larger volumes, which leads to better hydration. The typical sweet-tart taste combination doesn't quench thirst, so you will keep drinking a sports drink long after water has lost its appeal. An attractive array of colors and flavors are available. You can get a carbohydrate boost from sports drinks, in addition to electrolytes which may be lost from perspiration, but these drinks tend to offer lower calories than juice or soft drinks.
Juice may be nutritious, but it isn't the best choice for hydration. The fructose, or fruit sugar, reduces the rate of water absorption so cells don't get hydrated very quickly. Juice is a food in its own right and it's uncommon for a person to drink sufficient quantities to keep hydrated. Juice has carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, but it isn't a great thirst quencher.
Carbonated Soft Drinks
When you get right down to it, the colas and uncolas of the world aren't good for the body. The acids used to carbonate and flavor these beverages will damage your teeth and may even weaken your bones. Soft drinks are devoid of any real nutritional content. Even so, they taste great! You are more likely to drink what you like, so if you love soft drinks then they might be a good way to hydrate. The carbohydrates will slow your absorption of water, but they will also provide a quick energy boost. In the long run, they aren't good for you, but if hydration is your goal, soft drinks aren't a bad choice. Avoid drinks with lots of sugar or caffeine, which will lessen the speed or degree of hydration.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea can sabotage hydration. Both drinks act as diuretics, meaning they cause your kidneys to pull more water out of your bloodstream even as the digestive system is pulling water into your body. It's a two-steps-forward-one-step-back scenario. If you add milk or sugar, then you reduce the rate of water absorption even further. The bottom line? Save the latte for later.
A beer might be great after the game, as long as you were the spectator and not the athlete. Alcohol dehydrates your body. Alcoholic beverages are better for hydration than, say, seawater, but that's about it.
The bottom line: Drink water for maximum hydration, but feel free to mix things up a bit to cater to your personal taste. You will drink more of what you like. In the end, the quantity of liquid is the biggest factor for getting and staying hydrated.
Source: about.com/chemistry / photo from beginning nutrition
It is made for extreme bicycle touring and is favourite among touring cyclist around the world.
You can use it for both on or off road expedition. The tire is really fast.
I have them fixed to my folding & last touring bike..until now (touch wood) it has not puncture.
So, invest in good tires like Schwalbe that use anti-puncture compound or layers. They really works.
It may be a bit expensive but it worth it because changing tires during cycling ride is very troublesome especially when you are fully loaded.
Why? because they can give instant carbs when in urgent need in a small & easy size to carry.
Yes, they are expensive and tastes funny, so it is optional.
Usually I don't even use them in a tour.
Usually I don't even use them in a tour.
So don't worry, you DON'T have to carry them if you don't want to.
As a Malaysian, I'd eat anything local, but I'd try to skip Nasi Lemak before ride, not because it is not 'sporty' enough for cyclist but because of the sambal that might hurt my stomach. I'd opt for Roti Canai and Teh Halia instead. And sometimes, I'd eat Bee Hoon Goreng or Mee Goreng, if they are available.
And what if you are overly conscious about your calories intake? Then skip Nasi Lemak or Roti Canai, just eat 2 half-boiled egg & plain bread. Hmmm Boring........
During ride, eat simple carbs like sweets, cakes, bread etc. I used to carry biscuits, nuts, raisins or dates for bike tour. Or simply eat bananas which is easy to digest.
After ride, I usually eat Nasi Campur because I love Rice and I need those carbs, and add up with Fish or Chicken for the Protein we need for muscle recovery. And don't forget the junk food like crackers, potato chips, chocolates too.
So, don't worry too much about what to eat. Just enjoy the tour & the food! Bicycle touring will burn out those calories when you ride slow as we usually do, so eat up!
Sipping fluids before and after a hot weather workout is just as important as drinking during a ride. Here we turn to the experts for the when, how and what of staying quenched.
Time it right Hydrating before pedaling helps you avoid drying out on the road. For best absorption, sip 12 to 16 ounces of water four hours before hopping onto your bike; two hours before, sip another 12 ounces. While riding, drink enough to match the intensity of the exercise, the heat of the day and your body's needs—the average recommendation is one 16-ounce bottle per hour in cool weather, up to as many as four bottles per hour in extremely hot weather, based on a 150-pound cyclist. Afterward, your goal is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. If the ride was easy or moderate, sipping water and having a small meal within an hour of finishing should be sufficient, but if the ride was long and intense, use the weighing method below to determine your drinking regimen.
Customize People sweat at different rates, and rides vary in terrain, speed and distance, but hydration goals are the same regardless. "Your aim is to minimize fluid and electrolyte loss or gain," says Douglas Casa, Ph.D., the director of athletic training education at the University of Connecticut, at Storrs. The best way to learn your individual sweat rate: Step on the scale before and after a long or hard ride. If you weigh less afterward, you should be drinking a bit more; if you weigh more, you should cut back to avoid overhydration.
Keep it simple "On easier rides, stick with water. You'll get the mother lode of electrolytes, calories and fluids from the meals and fluids you consume prior to, and after, your ride," says Casa, who's been researching hydration and exercise issues for more than a decade. When a ride is intense, pushes past an hour, or is in hot weather, consider a sports drink. "I recommend staying away from the stuff with 9,000 ingredients," says Casa. "You just need the essentials—fluid, carbohydrates and electrolytes."
Try and try again The only way to find what drinks work for you is by testing them. "Some products may not taste good to you, while others may sit in your stomach in a bad way," says Casa. If you're the type of salty sweater who finds white streaks on your jersey after a ride, you may need a drink with more sodium. For extreme salt sweaters, Casa suggests adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 16 ounces of sports drink (that's 600mg of sodium). If you find that a sports drink upsets your stomach, try diluting it with water. "Just never start a big event with a new product in your bottle," says Casa. "That's a recipe for disaster."
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I started to be interested in Bike Touring about 10 years ago when I visited New Zealand South Island in Summer 2002. It was in Picton that I saw a guy loaded his bicycle onto the train heading to Christchurch. Then, on the way to Greymouth via Arthur's Pass, I saw a lone rider with a trailer. She was struggling climbing some steep section of Arthur's Pass. Then I met an old lady who looked like a seasoned triathlete, camping near our cabin in Te Anau. That was the first time that I saw a folding bike that she was touring with. And her age, lean physique & folding bike really amazed me.
Came back from New Zealand, I decided to embark on a bike tour. But it took me about 1 year before I started my new venture of bike touring to Scotland in Jan/Feb! And it was still winter. There were still snow in some places. The towns were empty but I still can see sheep on the empty grounds and the Highlands.
So I brought my road bike converted to touring bike of striking yellow with rear racks along.
It was my first experience of bike touring as well as winter riding. It was a bit cold for some one who came from a country with 32C average temperature. But I did all my research from internet, on how to ride through snow, winter clothing, winter ride equipments etc. It was cold but I really enjoy my ride. And I learned that it rains everyday in Scotland.
So, when I came back to Malaysia, I start planning to tour Malaysia for 5 days. Therefore, we choose to ride from Alor Star to my house in PJ. About 500km in 5 days. Being young and active at that time, riding 100km a day is fine with us. We successfully finished the tour by stopping at Sg Petani, Taiping, Ipoh, Teluk Intan. It was an amazing experience. I got hooked.
Since then, we have met a local group of 'seasoned' riders who were into Bicycle Touring. And then joined their group riding and touring. Over the years, we have tours around the roads of Malaysia, Sarawak, South Thailand. Riding in a group is always fun and give you a sense of security especially if your tire got punctured, bicycle parts failed, if you meet an accident, or too exhausted to continue, etc. you can always rely on someone to assist you.
I personally love riding in group for above reason. But prefer to ride alone or with another rider because I love to manage my own time on what time to wake up, where to stop for lunch, ride at my own pace, etc..
But riding alone, you will have to carry everything by yourself- tools, spares, cooking utensils etc. Which in group these can be shared among the tour members.
Bicycle touring is exciting. I love stopping at the roadside stall and have my ice lemon tea and pisang goreng.I remember being surrounded by people who got stuck by traffic jam on the way to Maarhi, India. They start asking question about my handheld GPS, camelback and my bicycle. In fact a newlywed did took picture with my bicycle at Manali! Majority of the people thought that my handheld GPS was a satellite phone and even 1 guy thought my Camelbak hose is for oxygen when we were at 12,000ft near Rohtang Pass.
Bike touring allows us to meet various types of people. Majority of them are friendly. Maybe because we shared the same interest.
What I like about Bicycle Touring is that it is for everyone regardless their physical condition but willing to take some time to prepare. It is not for macho men or women with perfect bodies or fancy carbon bikes, it is for anyone who with sense of adventure, humor (cause we like to joke around when travel in group) and those who drawn to explore the back roads, countrysides, the highlands, cruising the coastal roads etc. It is for people who would like to travel with few barriers as possible. Whether you are young or old, male or female, you don't have to be all that athletic, gearing & patience are more important than raw strength.
I personally love it because I can manage my own time to travel i.e., ride at my own pace, take lots of photographs, enjoy the local delicacies and as well as enjoying the beautiful scenery. Also, I don't have to wear those colorful jerseys and tight pants (ha! ha!). And if I happen to come back last from a ride, I can always say that at least, I did enjoy the scenery longer.... HAPPY RIDING FOLKS!
Sunday, May 13, 2012
I have been asked many times what is the best touring bike. Where to buy a touring bike? And so on.
The answer is your bike is the best touring bike.
It doesn't has to be specific brand e.g. SURLY, KOGA MIYATA, RODRIGUEZ, DAWES, etc.
The most important is that your bike is comfortable to ride on, durable for long distance ride whether it is on or off road and it is equipped with accessories that are essential for bicycle touring.
My favourite is a folding bike. Because it is lighter, easy to pack, easy to maneuver in busy places and most important of all, its upright sitting position.
My Dahon Speed P8 is fully modified for bicycle touring. I choose P8 because it is a workhorse. Tough and cheap. Cost me about RM2K. And I modified it to be fully touring-ready.
P8 uses Schawalbe Big Apple tires. This is one of the best fat-tires because it is comfortable & puncture proof. I fixed the fenders to both front & rear wheel. Rack to both front and rear as well.
I changes the seat post to Kore I-Beam (with adapter) because it is lighter.Then I fixed my favourite saddle, At 800g, the BROOKS B17 FLYER. It is quite heavy but very comfortable especially for long distance ride.
The handlebar is fixed with bar ends, side mirror and handlebar bag. but for my future upgrade, I will install the butterfly bar and new sets of gear shifter, just like putting icing on the cake.
But this is my touring bike, my baby.
How to build you own touring bike?
Ok..let's build an affordable touring bike.
Let me start with the frame.
I have a frame, a chromoly, trekking, hard tail bike that cost about RM60. This frame was given by a friend to replace my SILVER BULLET which I was forced to gave away in Lato, India. Just go to any Bicycle Shop (not fancy/pro one) and ask for bike frame. They might have it and will sell to you at reasonable price.
A hybrid can be a nice touring bike. Same goes with MTB Hard Tail.
Try to find a frame with at least 2 sets of bottle cages eyelets, with eyelets for rear rack as well as fenders.
Touring bike is slightly different with 'normal' bike because they have longer wheelbase and their stays have larger clearance for bigger tires. Its geometry also allows you to sit more upright that will make you feel comfortable in the long run.
Chromoly will make a better touring bike than aluminiumm or carbon. Despite its heavier weight, it is more durable and allows for on-site repairs/weldings especially when you tour in country like India or China.
WHEEL & TIRES
My favourite tires are Schwalbe Marathon because it is puncture-proof.
Invest in good tires with some puncture guard/protection because it's so cumbersome to exchnage tubes during a bike tour.
Get a good wheel like MAVIC with at least 32 spokes. Make sure that you get the right wheel set either for using with V-brake or disc-brake.
Invest in a good parts that will be last longer and lighter. I'm not talking about XTR or DURACE level. That are for professionals who were sponsored. I'm mean Shimano Deore, Alivio, etc
MTB crankset with granny gear is a must. A 12-34T cassette is favourable.
And I would prefer using the v-brake because they are easy to adjust/repair on site.
HANDLEBAR & SADDLE
Straight or riser handlebar. My favourite it butterfly handlebar as they have more place to hold on. Fix the bar ends for both straight or riser handlebar. The handlebar shall be as per your shoulder width.
Get a good saddle that suits you. remember that saddle sore is not caused by what brand yr saddle is but caused by ill fitting. Your sitting position could be wrong that cause lots of uncecessary movement on the saddle, thus pain.
Make sure you measure yourself with the position of your saddle, its height. If you feel pain on the above of your knee cap, it means that your saddle is too low. And when you feel pain at the behind of your knee, it means your saddle i too high. And just & tweak it untill you find your best position.
My favourite accessories are handlebar mirror and fenders.
Mirror e.g. ZEFAL allows me to look at the incoming traffc from behind with ease. I always feel safer when I dont have to turn my body and risk imbalance.
The fenders allows me to ride through puddle of water without worrying it will dirty my clothes. I believe fenders are the most under-rated accessories in touring bike.
Aluminium rack with bigger diameter shall be the best option. Because we need a reliable and durable rack to carry our bags & stuff on tour.
And finally, use the dual-platform/SPD pedal. e.g. SHIMANO. It is so convenient to ride wearing my touring shoes with SPD cleats but sometimes I would ride my bike wearing sandals. This dual-platform will cater for both!
Friday, April 27, 2012
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
This is it!
I have to stop dreaming and start making it happen.
I miss cycling. I miss bike touring.
I miss thinking about where to stop for lunch, what to eat, where to sleep while riding.
I'm so tired of working like this.
In a country that full of dust and crazy drivers on landcruisers and lexus.
living in apartment and lying on bed looking at four walls every night. Watching BBC, AlJazeera News over and over again.
I want to be back on the saddle again but it's not going to be easy this time.
I AM NOT WELL.
I have to start from scratch again.
I used to have that 'superpower' that allows me to ride without any training but not anymore. I AM POWERLESS NOW.
I can only rest at my fortress of solitude.
I have lost most my leg & hand muscles but the good news is I lost considerably amount of Kgs as well.
I need to be healthy again, fit again to start touring.
I will take it by one step at a time.
I know it's a long shot but I know one day.....I WILL RIDE AGAIN.