akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Wednesday 30 December 2009

RTW 30.12.2009 - energetic

I felt a bit energetic today, and that translated into a relaxed-yet-aggressive mode of RTW.

Part of it stemmed from the early time going out from home. Sort of a motivating factor. It has been quite some time since I last rode an average of 22km/h on the way to work. I guess part of it contributed by the above 20-22km/h spin while climbing up towards the cross-junction at Masjid Jamek Pasir Gudang.

Man, what a great feeling. Of course, my jersey was drenched with sweat when I tapped the attendance epass at the office ground floor. I must have smelled bad. Thank goodness there's nobody lining up behind me. Or were they keeping distance, I may not know... :)

stats today:
Out from home
Arrive office
Ride time
 (45 mins DTD)
Ave. speed
Max speed
Good doggies

By the way, I've passed 3000km on my odometer on 23rd December 2009. Suddenly everything seems bland. Have to find a new motivation for my RTW.

Have a nice new year, and keep on spinning the year throughout in 2010. Hope that it brings us more kilometers and lesser kilograms.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

RTW 16.12.2009 - the 'no sweat' ride

As planned, alhamdulillah, I did the 'no sweat' ride this morning. Well, I didn't manage to make it without sweat. Albeit, I enjoyed the cooling effect when coasting downhill and leisurely rolling on the straight paths.
With only a plain, white tee and padded shy shorts, I pedaled from home quite early. The average speed is at 18 km/h much lesser than the usual 20. So, the total ride time is more than 40 minutes this morning. Of course, helmet and cycling shoes were also put on. I stuffed the multitool, keys, patch kit and spare tube in the wedge bag. The hand pump stowed on the downtube.
I tried hard not to strain the leg, as I felt I could go faster. All the time I felt the temptation to rush, which I successfully denied.
Perhaps the weather is a bit humid this morning following last evening's downpour. Or perhaps I need to lower down my speed. Or get a lighter bike for commuting to get the speed at 18 km/h average. I'm starting to picture a practical commuter already - 7x3 speed, rigid fork, pannier rack.
One more thing. Although if I do make it, RTW sans sweat, I don't think I could ride from home ready with work clothes on. My t-shirt's sleeves and front smell of exhaust fume. Sleeveless? Nope, not me. Too risqué.
Stats today:
Out from home


Arrive office



Ride time


 (47 mins DTD)


Ave. speed



Max speed




Horny doggies



Batavus in the Yard

I went down from FPSO Ruby II yesterday afternoon, and I saw this beauty chained (heavy gauge) to the staircase tower next to Allseas Audacia, a pipelay vessel. A quick research revealed that it's a little stripped down Batavus Favoriet. It's a classic Dutch bike, with a touch of modern production. A modern classic.

It looks sturdy. I like the design of the pannier rack, rear stand, tail light, nurse lock (it has something like 'chip locked' scribed upon), pedals and the chain cover. No brake levers on the handlebar, because it's using coaster brake. The only item adorning the handlebar is a safety bell. Look at the tail light - the size is big enough and quite practical for city rides. The standard unit is equipped with 3 speed SRAM internal hub gear. Standard weight? A hefty 22.3kg.

The price? A little less than $850 Canadian Dollars. Modernly priced, indeed.

photo credits: Ilias Mohamad Radzi and Batavus

Tuesday 15 December 2009

RTW 15.12.2009 - ride as usual

Another RTW this week. Not too strenous, and not too relaxed. Nothing much different. That means, I get the usual buzz of arriving at the office sweaty and charged with endorphin inside.

I read about riding no-sweat in the online mag from Cyclescheme (p46, issue 2) this morning. Something interesting to be tried out. No pannier rack on me bike (yet?), I'll bring the wedge pack instead. Tomorrow, perhaps - if I could get the items ready on my bike tonight. And get out 15 minutes earlier than usual tomorrow morning.

Stats today:

Out from home
Arrive office
Ride time
 (40 minutes DTD)
Ave. speed
Max speed
Good doggies

Need another at least 6 RTWs to end 2009 with 3000km on the odometer. Offroad rides could speed it up a bit, too.

Friday 11 December 2009


Mu penah nengok dok, tayar hok ado Keblar?

Nota untuk penjual/pengutip besi buruk/baru:
Demo tok payoh lah nok bakar tayar hok ni. Takdok hasil. Abih jadi abu seghemo.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

RTW 09.12.2009 - I'm Back

It's been a week since the accident in Masai.
Bike is squeaky clean, with new set of tires courtesy of Dino who sold them to me dirt cheap (many thanks, man!).

The ride was as usual, except that this morning I took a shortcut at the Suria area in Seri Alam, bypassing the climb at Kg. Baru Masai. Oh, and I was riding in a leisure mode. Still, the ride time is less than 39 minutes door-to-door. My odometer reading has less than 200km to reach the 3000 mark. Not really a target to end the year with above 3000, but it would be nice nonetheless. No pressure there.

One thing I noticed is that the ride is much more pleasant when the bike is clean. Nice, err... for once in a while.

Out from home
Arrive office
Ride time
(39 mins DTD)
Ave. speed
Max speed


Monday 7 December 2009

06.12.2009 Seri Austin - Seelong offroad

It's one of my riding wishlist. Why? Because it's quite interesting how you could cut off kilometers of road going from Tebrau area to Seelong. We practically cut through the palm oil plantation straight to Jalan Seelong. Well, we didn't ride all the way to Seelong, just to a breakfast shack before the mosque near Kg. Sinaran Baru on Jalan Seelong. It is the old route people take to get to Senai airport. One of the attraction is Star Hill Golf Resort (well, that's the only one I know). Seelong is also home to Jalen soy sauce.

I went out of the house at 6.35am - the earliest so far, and reached Caltex petrol station on Pasir Gudang Highway at 6.45am (first time being punctual!), the rendezvous point for Kadafi, Reza and I. They arrived 10 minutes later, and we headed straight to Setia Indah to meet Helmy and have our breakfast at a mamak joint over there.

After breakfast we proceeded to Hafiz's house in Seri Austin to join the riding group. Quite a number turned out that morning, about 13 I think. The morning's weather is overcast, looking like it's going to rain. We eventually headed out at 8.45am, led by Hafiz. The first 4 kms were riding on tarmac, and we ventured into the plantation via a slim and short singletrack towards the plantation's wide lorry route. All of the offroad riding in the plantation is through this kind of track, so not much action really. The track was wet from the night's downpour, hence it's quite slippery and of course, muddy.

The track itself is not quite challenging, but the route chosen was mildly hilly at certain spots. I have to agree with Ali Tamago that the route is short, and suitable for speed riding. Or, in our case yesterday morning, a relaxed ride for a breakfast in Seelong. En route, we passed by the back of the golf resort, lined with small patches of vegetable farms, greeted by dogs. Yad should've followed us for this ride. I would enjoy the drama.

After a half an hour breakfast, we retracked the route and went back in the plantation up until the wooden bridge. Thereafter we took a right and proceeded into nearby housing area. The sign says 'Perjiranan 10'. Not in Pasir Gudang, but Bandar Dato Onn(!). Just beside it is Seri Austin, much to my delight. The time was 10.45am. The shortest offroad so far, and quickest one I think. Courtesy of Hafiz, we lined up to rinse our bikes.

About half an hour later I was already in the car in Pasir Gudang highway, destination home. 10 minutes later I was greeted by my beloved wife with a long, sweet kiss. Man, gotta have these sort of rides once in a while.

Stats of the ride:

Ride time
1h 9m 45s

Ave. speed
Max speed

Wednesday 2 December 2009

RTW 02.12.2009 - the tergelebok

I think this is the first time I tergelebok while RTW. It happened so fast, in a matter of few seconds the right side of my body decorated with gashes (elbow and knee), and scratches (rib, waist and shoulder). Not a nice sight. Not a nice feeling, either.
It happened at the short hill from the Masai shortcut to Taman Bukit Dahlia. I gathered that the road was clear, and I was ready to roll down with high speed and tackle the double turns in style. Suddenly a white kancil emerged from the second turn, and I applied both brakes in response, partly startled. Skidded a bit, before I took the fall. The outcome: gashes and scratches, pain in right shoulder, broken hydrobag right sling buckle, handlebar endcap gashed big time, and FD is not responding very well. Other than that, alhamdulillah, all still as normal. Plus, it means that the brakes I mount on the bike really work well :)
I modified the bag's right sling and continued to ride as normal to the office. Surprisingly, I'm climbing Bukit Dahlia with higher speed at 20km/h, compared to the usual 17-18km/h. It's either the 'oh no, I'm already late' driving factor, or merely gear ratio choice. Usually I would use 44T all throughout the journey, and climbing up BD would warrant me to use 4th largest cog. Since the FD is not responsive and it stayed at 32T, I continued on, pairing it with 5th or 6th largest cog. Fortunately the front gear is at 32T, not the granny.
What's for tomorrow? Ride on! InsyaAllah. I set up a target of doing RTW for full week, Mon to Fri, taking advantage of the school holidays. A few things need to be done at home tonight - endure family members' comments (read: sympathy), repair the bag's sling, nurse (and admire) the decorations, and change new tires.
Oh, another good outcome of this is that Yad (my office's certified first aider) had his first experience of nursing gashes - need not to refer to manual, just followed my guide.
Reminder to self: the first aid kit is only less than 200 grams. Bring it along, always.
Out from home 0713  hours
Arrive office 0750 hous
Ride time 32'41" (37 mins DTD)
Distance 12.4 km
Ave. speed 22.7 km/h
Max speed 40.7 km/h
Odometer 2748.9 km
Good doggies 3 'tails'
If I RTW for another 10 days in December, that'll notch my odometer to the third thousand. InsyaAllah.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

RTW - 24.11.2009 cuti sekolah

It's the year end school holidays! I don't have to bring the car to work to fetch Marsya from school. Or send Umar to the babysitter's house. Weather permitting (like this morning), I would RTW.
Yes, I did it this morning, and I started early (read: before 7:00 am). Been quite some time, so for today's ride I intended to ride in relaxed mode - hence it is imperative that I start as early as I could. The earlier plan of going out at 6:30 am scrapped, as I was still holding Umar in my arms consoling him to go back to sleep after his breastfeed. Naza had been half-asleep since 4:00 am, so I have to jump in and take my turn. In vain, actually, so again Naza had to step in.
No stats again, this morning. I left my Velo8 at the office (duhh!). Anyway, the ride time is 45 minutes. 3 good doggies, and managed to chase 1 dog while passing through Kg. Baru Masai. Hehe...
Well, the dog was about to 'play around' with a poor jogger just when I was about to roll down the hill. Acted as a saviour (konon), I rang my handlebar bell and chased the dog away. And, greeted by 3 dogs up the hill. Luckily those are good doggies were oblivious to what had happened some 50 meters away before that :) Pheww... if they were part of a gang, I would surely be out of breath spinning away like crazy into Masai.
Overall, my RTW comeback was a good one. Not too tiring, and I felt so good, especially after my shower. That dog chasing was an awesome bonus. Tomorrow, insyaAllah, another RTW for the week.
In the spirit of RTW, I'm putting once again the link for Bike To Work 50-page sampler:
Can't wait to go back at 5 today, cycling towards home, and Umar (oh well, Naza, Marsya and Adam too).

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Plentong Epic Ride 2009

I registered for the ride, and I also volunteered as officials. On the day, I found myself manning Checkpoint 3 with Shamsudin Fadzillah .
Yad came to my house in Seri Alam and we went together to Plentong to get ready. My bike was left in Plentong since the previous week's ride, together with other things - helmet, shoes and bag. Went out for nasi lemak and wam Milo with Yad and Zul at Abang Syam's breakfast shack. Zul? Oh, he's a noob from my office, making PER 2009 as his first offroad ride.
About 8:00 am, I was ready to go - back to Seri Alam. Checkpoint 3 is nearby my house in SA, so I need to get there, riding the bike on road from Plentong. I'll be riding to CP with Atuk from my house in SA. It was quite exhausting, actually, on road to SA. I wonder how I did about a year ago on my first RTW from Plentong to Pasir Gudang. At about 8:40 am he arrived in his Wira with Coilair Deluxe perched atop the roof. Getting the bike from the rear passenger seats out and placing the wheels is a thing of the past for him now.
Once ready, we went out towards CP3 on road. There was an uphill before we came to the trailhead offroad. That too, is exhausting. The fun started very soon, and we hit the see-saw ride a few minutes later. Not one to be missed, I guess that technical downhill singletrack is the highlight of the ride from CP2 to CP3 in PER. However, there's a catch - you're greeted with an uphill ride to CP3 as soon as you're out of that section. Befittingly, as a gesture of victory, CP3 is located just after the uphill ride. Almost all riders who came around CP3 were panting out of breath, begging for their souls, and water.
So that's where Atuk and I were, donating blood to evil mosquitoes for more than 6 hours. We were there from around 9:20 am. I went out at about 3.25 pm, though, to catch up with Zuhur prayers. And something to fill my stomach, too.
The first rider to reach CP3 is Ali Tamago, at 9:52 am. We were not surprised to see him that early, for he's a fast rider. However, what we were surprised to see is that his ride passport bears only one sticker from CP1. Perhaps he luckily got lost and skipped CP2. 10:40 and a bunch of local riders came around, including Tulang. Peak time at CP3 was at about 12:00 to 1:00 pm.
I enjoyed manning the station. One: I could drool at the riders' bikes. Two: i'ts not tiring, although it was washed away by greeting the riders coming up to the CP. I hope that we lifted their spirits up for them to move on for the next 7km or so back home to the starting point. Three: I met lots of people from Johor, S'pore, KL, New York (yeah, the first time I met a New Yorker, and there were at least two of them), Australia. Okay, the ang mohs are from S'pore, not directly from faraway lands coming over especially for the event. Oh, and to my surprise I met Benjamin Soon, a guy I know from my previous job, just two months on a mountain bike. Quite an achievement, really, to have reached CP3.
I went out alone, back to Plentong at about half past 3. There's a surprise in store, actually. The route back from CP3 was initially a gentle uphill (still enough to make you mentally busted after all the distance). The payback is awesome. Downhill singletrack amidst green grass, open area beside the Plentong apartment area. As usual, you can always expect something fresh from Cyclemotion. Kudos for that, bros!
If you participated in the event, Cyclemotion is asking for your feedback. Leave your votes for their poll, and your feedbacks too.

Thursday 5 November 2009

K2 Proflex - resurrection?

S2H cycle in Muar is selling the A2Z DM-UNI disc brake mount adapter (although RM143 is quite steep a price for metal plates and some bolts+nuts). I spotted the item in their website by chance. Well, perhaps it was subliminal, for I have been looking for it at local bike shops but without any success.

Also, recently Jason in Permas Jaya said that he could strip old paints from bike frame for RM30. RM70 if with spray paint.

I have a spare pair of Mavic 719 wheelset complete with 9 speed cassette, BB7 with levers and rotors, LX crankset (with one damaged tooth on midring), chain, stem, handlebar, grips, pedals and seatpost. If I were to make this my new project, I'll have to get the rest: headset, new midring 32T, shifters and derailleurs - fd and rd, and fork. I wonder if the Fox Float R from t-bolt can be used for this frame.

To date, I have no idea what's the purpose of the build, other than to revive a classic full-susser.

Damage to the pocket is estimated to be about RM1k (yikes!) - that's with SLX shifters and derailleurs and 2nd hand Suntour XCR fork. If there are any buyer, I'm eager to start. Bidding starts now, reserve price is RM2k.

Any takers? Anda ada berani?

Tuesday 3 November 2009

01.11.09 - plentong offroad: epic ride preview

I had to choose either one for the weekend's ride: Kota Tinggi with Shahrul and his gang, or Plentong with Panjang, Cyclemotion and co.

Kota Tinggi is in my wishlist, and the last time I rode with Shahrul was at PCC Prez Ride (although it was more like he's always kilometers ahead of me). Plus, I'd like to see, hear, touch (and perhaps a test ride) his buddy's rig with new pair of RM3.5k CB Cobalt wheelsets.

I seldom ride in Plentong, although it's in my (mom-in-law's house) backyard. Plus, the guys are going to mark the trail for the upcoming Plentong Epic Ride. It will be a long 55km ride for sure, with foreseeable many stops for the marking. I was hoping for a chicken loop trial run that I could follow, actually, although I prepared mentally (and ample volume of liquid) for 55km plus more.

Eventually, I chose Plentong. Simply for getting the sneak preview of the Epic, and also add my kilometers of riding the Plentong.

I'm not going to reveal much about the trail, except for that:
1. lots of sweet flowing single track (many kms I've never ridden before)
2. the fun badminton court downhill
3. the lake

I did 45km or so, bailing out the final section of scaling Bukit Panjang (or Bukit Dagu). With EG, I followed Neo back to Plentong parking lot via a fast rolling shortcut with an enjoyable, nice downhill section.

Read Reza's account of the weekend's ride here:

I didn't say anything about the new pair of Avid Elixir R hydros, did I?

Friday 30 October 2009

GPS update - BikeTrial Demo & Clinic!

Here's what the organizers of GPS (this coming 15th Nov.) have in store, besides the main event:
Check it out...
After weeks of sweat & mud, we have marked out more than 80km of riding trails. This includes hilly terrains east of Gua Tempurung heading towards some interesting waterfalls and scenic sandy rides around the ex-mining pools of Kinta Valley.
Besides the GPS event, Nomad Adventure is proud to host Syarul @ The Race Boy who will be running special BikeTrial Demo & Clinic on Sat 14 Nov from 2.00pm to 6.00pm.

More than RM10,000 worth of prizes are up for grabs! We wish to thank our event sponsors for their contributions: - TEVA, Corezone, Redbull, Prospecs, Camelbak,  GPS-Hypermart & Antabax. We wish to also welcome Cycling Asia as our Official Media Partner.

We're very excited to organise GPS, as this event introduces a new cycling concept in Malaysia with riders choosing their own riding routes. Participants will enjoy a variety of riding levels based on their chosen trail and also the opportunity to avoid bottlenecks.

Our latest website updates include FAQs, trail pictures, Base Camp info & goodie bag collections timings. Please take note that we have also brought forward the event schedule to accommodate outstation riders.

Limited to 500 riders – so sign up early!

Monday 26 October 2009

Another one added to the brotherhood

My schoolmate in MRSM Jasin sent me a message in Facebook:
Lapt, kau punya pasal la aku dah beli beskal... Khs hardtail. Ok tak untuk xc.

Welcome to the biking brotherhood, Nik Ammar.
See you on the trails, someday.

RTW 24.10.09

Ride Time

good doggies: 3

What a feeling, on the saddle again for RTW.
Really need some, for I feel my pants are a bit tight. The numbers confirmed it, my weight is now 72kg. That's more than my average of 70kg. I guess it compounded from Aidilfitri feasting, lack of riding these past few months, and being happy with Umar's growth. Seems like I'm getting bigger along with him. I really don't like my body to be in this state, really. Have to find the time for my kilometers.

On the way back, I went through Kg. Baru Masai. A mother doggy chased me for about 50 meters. Good sprint I had, indeed.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

18.10.2009 - Plentong Offroad

Sunday 3:30am. I finally switched parts from T-Bolt to Mutt and tuned it, although there's still a bit more to be desired. Why the switch? I missed the hardtail already, following last week's ride.

7:45am Yad arrived to ferry us to Plentong for the weekend's offroad. Packed the bikes and riding paraphernalia in his car, we went to the house in Plentong. As soon as we arrived, we set up our bikes and I helped Yad to patch his tube (from last week's puncture) amidst the welcome buzz from the resident mosquitoes. Went for breakfast at Pakcik Sham's roti canai shack circa 8:15am, Yad's treat (or is it in exchange of 5 rubber patches?).

8:40am we rolled downhill on tarmac towards Neo's house. Many of the riders are set with their gears already. Soon afterwards, we started rolling into Plentong offroad.

I like the ride, and enjoyed it tremendously. There were singletrack sections that I've never ridden before. Leave the trails in Plentong to Neo, he's like a GPS in there, plus the surprises. I tell ya, if the ride was a preview of Plentong Epic Ride, then it is something to look forward to. 'Nuff said.

After the ride, there's makan2 at Neo's. I lost count of how many satay I had. The main thing is, although already at the end of Syawal, I finally get to eat nasi himpit with kuah kacang. Oh, and the free flow of 100 Plus was a very much welcomed gesture. I guess I downed about 2 liters of it altogether.

Thanks to Neo and brothers from Cyclemotion for the ride.

Check out the photos here.
Photos by Najib here.

Saturday 17 October 2009

RTW - 16.10.2009 Cycle Friday!

School was closed yesterday due to Deepavali holiday extension, and that meant I could RTW. In conjunction with the spirit of Cycle Friday, I rode my t-bolt to work. The initial plan was to rebuild Bianchi. That has to be postponed due to lack of time.

No stats, for I have not installed the meter. I guess it was the average RTW. I went out at 7:04am, and reached office 39 minutes later. 5 good doggies along the way. I was dreaded to climb up the hill towards the traffic light at Masjid Jamik Pasir Gudang. The pace was slow, and I managed to reach it anyway.

The parking lot at my workplace is being renovated in order to get more parking space possible. Thus, Pasir Gudang highway at the section nearby MMHE is being lined with cars. The scenery is much like the ones found at housing areas having wedding reception, or streets nearby rock concert venues, or any of the uptown/downtown/pasar karat/karut areas. As such, it makes it easier for me to cross the highway to make the right turn towards the workplace. I rode along with other vehicles crossing. There are so many vehicles, such that the ones going towards JB have to stop for quite some time in order to wait for us to cross.

The security guard at the gate stopped me, and asked "you're wearing shorts going to work?". I explained to him that I'll change into work clothes at the office. Another guard gave me his thoughts on how Pasir Gudang is full of smog, compared to kampung. I explained to him that I go through housing areas instead of the highway, but at the same time I realised that I could save each others' time if I just nod in agreement.

RTW cum CF completed after a long break. Also, that was the first time I rode my T-Bolt to the office. Might be the last one, perhaps? If you're getting the frameset from me, it will be.

seri alam offroad ride - 11.10.2009

Photos here.

Got the riding license from my missus.

To maximise the riding experience, I cycled all the way to Taman Scientex after a short breakfast at home. Riding the t-bolt for 13km on road was (pheww!) a bit taxing for me. 40 minutes, like last week, and I'm there. The lockout on my fork really made a difference - I could feel the tarmac, giving a solid feel of the ride.

As I have had my breakfast, I took some photo of other riders, and their different rigs. Yahya with his new Specialized Epic, Panjang with his adopted Xtension Xplorer. Took a spin on both bikes. The Epic's length seemed a bit short for me - I feel like scrunched pedaling, although it's size is M which should suit me. Perhaps a laidback seatpost and a longer stem would be the remedy. Macam laa aku nak beli. The Xtension: berat nak mampos. With Fox 36 Talas up front, however, one would not be bothered by the weight bombing downhill or tackling any bumpy obstacles. With that, I presumed, the ride for that day would be a bit shorter than usual. Heh heh hehh...

We went offroad via Nusa Damai and kovil in the palm oil plantation,  towards Seri Alam. First mishap happened just as we exited the plantation. Yad's first tube change ever. The culprit? About half-inch long nail.

Carried on offroad in Seri Alam. Upon entering, the t-bolt felt different. It was like, much better than I had ridden before. Macam tak jadi nak jual pulak... Well, that's the more reason to let it go. I wouldn't be riding it all the time if I keep it anyway, so I'd love to hand it over to another who would enjoy it better. Amacam, ada beran?

After the climb from halfway of Bukit Anjing, came the payback - the downhill. Kadafi tested the sweetness of Xtension rig, going downhill on the saddle. I was the last one down, and boy, I enjoyed it much better than my many other rides there this time. Like I said, it was different. Amacam, nak rasa tak? Beli laa t-bolt aku tu. The plushness of Fox Float R rear shock is amazing. Compared to a hardtail, that is. The same also going through the rock garden section. It was really exhilirating bobbing down much faster than my usual. Until I had to come to a stop, for I didn't look for a proper line. I managed to stop just before the big gap, and released my cleats. Whew! Deore M595 hydraulic brakes did the job nicely. And I think I'm accustomed to the XT clipless pedals now, releasing them in such emergency. I turned my head to look who's behind me, and that's when Panjang fell on his bike. I didn't manage to capture the split-second moment with my camera, though.

Panjang received a few gashes on his knee. At the stop after the rock garden (no, not at Dura Ace), I took out the first aid kit and we nursed his wound. Took a photo of the gash, but I decided not to put in the album. Aurat tu.

We headed to Tasik. On the way, I stopped for a little while on a bridge for I was amazed by the clear water running underneath. Took some time to take photos, with Jamal behind me. Then we realized that the others were already gone. We tried to look for tire tracks, and of the 3 prongs at the clearing, we decided to take the middle one. Jamal and I made one or two backtracks, and I remembered that we have to turn right into the rubber plantation. Saw some tire marks there, and to make sure of it I tried to call the ones in front. No good coverage over there, I had to raise my mobile up in the air. I managed to call Yad, and at that time he's already nearby. Apparently, the group in front sent back 3 macho heroes to look for us - Kadafi, Yad and Amirul (not in handsomeness order). And alhamdulillah, thinking about it, we were not that bad.

On towards the lake. The way in via palm oil trees has become thick with overgrowth. Just as we entered the clearing right after that, I was perturbed to see the different landscape that I had known before. Much, much different. The shoreline is now receded, there are greens on what used to be water, and most of all, we could easily cross the lake without getting wet at all.

Going back, we went via construction site of UniKL & MRSM Seri Alam - the desert. Right then I knew, besides the torturing desert ride, I have to endure Flora Heights' 3 hills. Man... Well, I summoned for a rest at the downhill section entering to FH right after the desert. Really needed that rest, and to gather my mental strength. One small hill towards FH, and 3 more after that to reach home. I managed to go through them (without cursing) at a slow pace, and stopped by Esso at Seri Alam for my reward. Gulped down a bottle of 100 Plus like nobody's business under a cool shady tree over there by the roadside. The 2 km ride home after that was manageable. I guess I replenished enough such that I could wash the bike and do some house chores without much problem.

One regret, though. Takde satu pun gambar aku untuk ride kali ni. Hampehh!

Photos here:

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Plentong Epic Ride 2009 Johor Bahru - 15 Nov 2009

David of Cyclemotion JB sent me an invitation via Facebook last night.

Event: Plentong Epic Ride 2009 Johor Bahru
What: Sporting Event
Start Time: 15 November at 07:00
End Time: 15 November at 15:00
Where: Johor Bahru Plentong
Fee: RM25.
T-shirts limited to first 300 early registrants.

My home ground (albeit I rarely cycle with them, due to fitness level).

The date is clashing with Nomad Adventure's GPS event.

I won't be going to Gopeng, surely, and hopefully would be able to ride this Epic. I have missed 2 grand occasions so far, and I intend not to repeat it this time around.

How about you? Come on, make a trip down south, and have a taste of what Plentong has to offer. See you on the trails.

Thursday 8 October 2009

T-Bolt frameset for sale

As listed in BBS.

T-Bolt with Fox rear shock
T-Bolt Frameset - looking for better owner.
Size: 18" | Colour: Blue
Comes with:
+ Fox Float R rear shock (this alone costs RM300)
+ FSA Orbit XL II sealed bearing headset
+ Shimano Deore LX E-Type FD
+ UMF seatpost - super tough!
+ standard seatclamp & RD hanger

Also available separately:
+ SRAM X9 RD (used)
+ Avid BB7 disc brakes (used)
+ Rock Shox Judy TT fork (used)

Give me a shout.

If you're thinking of getting it as a full bike, we can discuss too.
Drop me a line at akmalhamid[at]gmail.com

Monday 5 October 2009

Bolted Up - 04.10.2009

Saturday night Yad informed me that there'll be an offroad ride this morning. Missus didn't agree for me to go out until afternoon with the bike and buddies. The next best option for me (quietly): a round trip riding to Kafe Ruza and back home to Seri Alam a.k.a. Breakfast Ride.

I remedied the issue concerning the saddle last night following Yad's SMS.

After solat subuh, I queried the 'net and found the solution for the fork's wobble - I didn't take out the crown ring from Ritchey's headset (from Bianchi), and didn't use the T-Bolt's FSA crown ring. Well, it doesn't look like the normal crown ring. It's pretty much like a headset's slot ring. Anyway, I fixed the problem at about 7:00 am and ready to go for the ride.

For the drivetrain skipping issue, I decided to skip the issue altogether and leave it as it is - as barrier for me not to overindulge the ride. It's still rideable, anyway. Oh, adding to that, I brought with me only my handphone, RM6 loose change and ID. No water bottle or bladder bag. I'll have my drink at the cafe.
I put the Netti Equaliser on for a test ride. Went out at about 7:40 am and reached destination 40 minutes later.

The ride? Pretty exhausting. I miss the sweet acceleration of the hardtail already. I can't be sure whether it's the Eid's feasting or the depleted stamina, or the T-Bolt itself. Well, I put the blame on T-Bolt in order to keep myself happy.

With a nice breakfast of warm Milo and mi goreng basah, we chatted and keep up with each other. This is going to be my first ride in Syawwal, and for most of the guys too.

I met Uncle Md Nor at the cafe, finally. He's not prepared to follow us for this ride, although he did bring along his Giant Innova Disc in his car. Soon, Uncle, pretty soon.

8:40 am and we headed to Seri Alam through Nusa Damai and offroad in the palm oil plantation. I enjoyed the rear bounce going downhill towards the Hindu temple. Pure bliss, thanks to the plush as ever Fox Float R rear shock and trusty Rock Shox Revelation 409 in front.

We went to Balai Celup hill and rested there. Going down, again I enjoyed it too. The skipping RD didn't quite bother me at all. Panjang did try to coax me to go offroad with the rest of the guys. He's got spare drinks, spare tubes, et.al. to cover for me. No thanks, I really need to be home at around 10. My college friend Faizi is coming over today all the way from Edinburgh to visit. Have to help Naza getting the house nice and tidy and earn my riding licence points.

The rest of the guys went into Seri Alam trail at Kandang Kuda while I pedaled home with satisfaction. I must've pedaled more than 20km this morning. Love the feeling. Good to be back on the saddle again. And bouncing with the T-Bolt. Oh, and the Equaliser: the best riding shorts I've ever worn so far (massive credit goes to Gjoe in Changlun).

For the record, yesterday was Yad's comeback into Seri Alam's offroad since his mishap at PCP in March.

Saturday 3 October 2009

the resurrection: update 01.10.2009

The build is complete. Made a test run that night, and there are three things to be remedied:
1. Fork is a bit loose, noticably when I pull the front brake to a sudden stop.
2. RD is a bit jumpy on the extreme ends.
3. Saddle is a bit loose. Pointed upwards when I tried a bounce. Sheesh... I thought I've tightened enough already.

Need to be fine-tuned, and that's not going to happen in this weekend.
Verdict on the build: Not fit for ride yet.

Okay, yeah, so it's my blue 18" t-bolt being resurrected. Ah, but there's something more I'm not going to tell you about right now. Let's just say it's a SRAM/Shimano setup for this one.

Friday 25 September 2009

worth RM4k+

akmalbikepark.blogspot.com Estimated Worth $1175.3 USD
Perhaps I could get myself a Giant full-sus frame with the money. And then start another bike blog.

Thursday 24 September 2009

Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop

Even if it's not Lance Armstrong's, it is still a cool bike shop. But then again, there are lots of Lance's memoribilia strewn all over the place, giving out the cool factor. What I mean to say is that, it's more than a bike shop.
The name itself is unique - Mellow Johnny's is based on 'maillot jaune', or yellow jersey for you and me. The bike shop was opened since May 10th 2008. There's a rhyme to all three - well, you'd figure that out already.
Other than the usual bikes and stuff for sale and the normal bike servicing offered by bike shops, there's also a café, bikes for rent, and what I like most: commuter hub. That, in itself, makes the place a spot where you feel you belong to.
Wish we have such a place here in Pasir Gudang. I'll put in an area for solat, too.

photos taken from here and here, retrieved today.