akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Monday 27 July 2009

Measuring Cadence 80 through Zikrullah

Al Quran Kareem, Surah Al Ahzab [33:41]

"O people of Imaan! Remember Allah in abundance."


By language, Zikrullah (Arabic) is  formed by two words – zikr (remembering) and Allah. Thus, it is 'remembering Allah'.

By practice, it is repetitive chant of words (or phrases) in praising and remembering Allah, in abundance. Me no pious person, but hopefully by remembering Allah, could cleanse the heart and steer away from bad deeds (hmm… somehow still a long, long way to go).


The usual zikrullah is

'subhanallah (Allah the most sacred), walhamdulillah (and all praise to Allah), wa laa ilaa ha illallah (and none other worshipped but Allah), wallahu akbar (and Allah the Greatest)'


That's tasbeeh, tahmeed, tahleel and takbir.

However, there are also many other phrases and Asma-ul-Husna (Allah's 99 other names) used as zikrullah, not limited to the example above.


Measuring cadence:

Muslims in this part of the world (Malaysia, usually) have the tendency to make zikrullah rhythmic. So, there's a fixed tempo there, as you might find in a song.

I stick to the zikrullah in the example above. Coincidentally, it spans 10 beats (the beat points marked with bold red).

Normally the above zikrullah is repeated twice, and with my knees going up with every beat, that makes it 20 beats.


I would measure the time taken to complete that 20 beats. The usual tempo is within 15 seconds. This, I know that I'm doing about 80 rpm cadence on average, without having to glance at my watch so often :)


If I complete 20 beats more than 15 seconds (tempo getting slower), that means I'm simply sloppy with my cadence :P



Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

"Allah Ta'ala says: 'I am with My servant when he remembers Me.

When he remembers Me in his heart, I too remember him in Me. When he remembers me in a gathering. I remember (and mention) him in a superior gathering (i.e. the assembly of malaa-ikah and Ambiya)."

(Bukhari, Muslim)


See here for explanation of zikrullah:


Thursday 9 July 2009

RTW 09.07.09 - cadence training with zikrullah

Went out at 0705 hours. Reached office at 0745 hours.


Stats today (to):

Ride time: 31m 4s

Dist: 11.64 km

Ave: 22.5 km/h

Max: 40.8 km/h

Odo: 2317.2 km

Good doggies : 3 – looking for their breakfast. No time to play around chasing people on bikes.


Forgotten to reset my computer for this morning’s stat. Only noticed it when I was already about 1 km on the road.


Carred out cadence training, trying to get the rhythm for 80 rpm. Gear changing plays a big role here. Too many times I slipped into 60. My thighs are burning in getting to 80. Have to keep reminding myself that it’s the rpm that counts, not the speed.


One of the things I like about RTW is that I have a quiet time for myself along the 40 minutes journey. For me, it’s not an ideal session for self-reflection, so I try to fill it with zikrullah. Zikrullah also helps in cadence training. The rhythm aids in the cycle of spinning the crank. Up the tempo, I’ll get higher cadence. If I notice that I’m doing it slow, I know that my cadence is low.


It is more or less inspired by a movie (an old one) starred by Bruce Willis – can’t remember the title. Two burglars, who time themselves by singing songs. If they have only 3 minutes, they would sing a 3 minute song that they know, and so on. It kept them on track, timewise, and keeping out the tense. With zikrullah, insyaAllah, the journey is a blessed one.


Quite often, I found myself slipping into a song playing in my mind. Not an easy thing, zikrullah. However, I believe that with repetition, it will become second nature. Give it a try.

Wednesday 8 July 2009

RTW 08.07.09 - pasir gudang highway counterflow

Went out at 0711 hours. Reached office at 0751 hours.


Stats today (to):

Ride time: 31m 13s

Dist: 10.56 km

Ave: 20.3 km/h

Max: 41.9 km/h

Odo: 2294.7 km

Doggies : nil.


Out late (taking out the trash, feed the cats, yada yada yada…).

It’s been quite some time since my last ride via Kota Puteri, Bukit Rinting and Taman Rinting.


Two hills, an estuary and coming out to the Pasir Gudang Highway. I decided to go towards the workplace using PGH, counterflow. It was already past 0745 hours, so the flow towards JB is not as busy had it be earlier than that. I rode on the grass most of the time, sometimes hopping up onto tarmac when there are no vehicles coming up. The journey is quite smooth, as in uninterrupted, while the grass gives bumpy ride all along.


Distance cut by 2.5km, ride time shortened by about 8 minutes. And, no doggies at all.



Boy, it’s quite exhausting. Trying to keep cadence, while riding on grass and the incoming wind from the lorries and other vehicles. Not to mention, the two hills at Taman Bukit Rinting earlier.

Friday 3 July 2009


I’m scouring the net, to find out about Avid’s Matchmaker. It led me to some other thing.


SRAM XX - SRAM's first MTB groupset, featuring:

·         2x10 gearing system.

·         2-ring crankset (not planetary ones like HammerSchmidt – too heavy for XC).

·         hydraulic pushloc for Motion Control (essentially, a lockout).

·         10 speed cog - CNC machined from solid metal block.

·         10 speed chain (okay, they’re using their road groupset for this).


Okay, this news is rather old. It was first unveiled in late May in Italy. Slated to go on sale this month.


sram xx groupset.jpgMy current setup on the Bianchi is SRAM/Avid/Truvativ/Rock Shox componentry. I vouch for the smooth shifting of the X.9’s, paired with Stylo GXP crankset. So yes, I’m glad that they’re finally coming together with this groupset. One thing I really like about it is how boundaries are pushed, revealing innovative ideas and put to reality.


I doubt that they are going to be cheap. The rivalry is against Shimano’s XTR. Me, I could just drool. X.9 setup is doing great for me for now. Besides, I’m using 44T for RTW, and resting it over the weekend for offroads, using 34 and granny rings. I’m happy. No, no sour grapes here.


Ah, and for the Matchmaker, it won’t fit for Avid SD7 levers and X.9 shifters I’m currently using.

Hmm… never mind, then.


take a look at the products here:



design stage storyboard here (very nice):



good previews here:

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/sram-unveil-new-xx-mountain-bike-groupset-21756 (price and weight listed here too!)




photo from SRAM’s website

RTW 03.07.09 - the shortcut via Kg. Baru Masai II

Went out at 0711 hours (again). Reached office at 0751 hours (yet again).


Stats today (to):

Ride time: 37m 14s

Dist: 12.93 km

Ave: 20.8 km/h

Max: 40.6 km/h

Odo: 2204.2 km

Good doggies: 3.


DSCN3790.JPGLate again, and riding mode is mixed. At times leisurely, and some short periods of power pedaling.


I’m bringing a camera along today, just to take the photo of those gorgeous rambutans - my excuse for using the kampung route.



Thursday 2 July 2009

RTW 02.07.09 - the shortcut via Kg. Baru Masai

Went out at 0711 hours. Reached office at 0751 hours.


Stats today (to):

Ride time: 37m 31s

Dist: 12.50 km

Ave: 19.9 km/h

Max: 35.7 km/h

Odo: 2181.3 km

Good doggies: 2.


Running on full knobbies yesterday, I suffered yet another puncture on the rear tire on my way home. I decided to take my time with that, and put a patch on the tube. Usually I would just replace the punctured tube with my spare, and patch it at home. It marked my first time of patch and re-use the tube to move on. Time taken: didn’t care J


This morning I’m riding in puasa mode. Slow and steady, although I’m already late. My plan to catch up with the time lost: use the shortcut that Ramesh told me of. It’s a relatively flat route, going through Kg. Baru Masai.


I enjoyed the alternative route very much, though it’s only a short one before resuming back to my usual route at the downhill behind Balai Polis Masai. A change in scenery is nice. Nice indeed, looking at the rambutan trees gleaming with red and yellow patches early in the morning.  The kampong route brought me back to the days when I used to ride through Kg. Chubadak and Kg. Bandar Dalam in KL. Ahh… bliss…


Reached the office past 0750 hours, and my office mate greeted me with ‘lambat hari ni?’.



Well, the shortcut that I thought of is not really a shortcut. My distance traveled this morning is the same as my usual rides. I did skip the uphill at Suria area in Seri Alam. Not to mention the blissful time riding through Kg. Baru.

Thanks for the tip, Ramesh.


I’m still thinking of the rambutans hanging from the trees…

Wednesday 1 July 2009

RTW 01.07.09 - full knobbies + cadence 80

Went out at 0701 hours. Reached office at 0739 hours.


Stats today (to):


Ride time: 35m 44s

Dist: 12.51 km

Ave: 21.0 km/h

Max: 35.8 km/h

Odo: 2158.9 km

Good doggies: 3.


My rear tire suffered 2 punctures last week. Upon inspection, the rear tire is already thinning, and most of the tread in the middle are nearly gone. My spare tire around the waist somehow is gaining thickness. Thus, I decided to don a full knobby wheelset on the bike. A bit of resistance training, coupled with cadence training.


I don’t have a cadence meter, but I tried to keep track of my cadence by counting the strokes and glancing at my watch. 20 strokes in 15 seconds means 80 rpm. 15 seconds x 4 = 60 seconds = 1 minute. Thus 20 strokes x 4 = 80 rpm. Why 80? Because MBA mag says so. Well… it is quite efficient pedaling rpm, taking into account the volume of oxygen taken in vs. power output.


So far, it is quite tiring. Quite early to say whether the theory works for me or not.