akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Saturday 22 August 2009

PCC Presidential Ride 2009!

Alhamdulillah, all went out as planned. Well, almost. I managed only to finish up to the 2nd checkpoint - due to the time limit.

Anyway, the journey before, during and after the ride was quite good.

I picked up Atuk on Saturday morning (nearly afternoon... hehehh...) and we went up to KL straight away from Seri Alam. Had lunch at Machap R&R and after solat we moved on - destination Bandar Utama. En route, we saw many cars and pickups with bikes atop the roof. One was having a bike rack atop, but we saw bikes stashed inside the car. Common destination, Bandar Utama, most definitely.

Arrived at Bandar Utama Centerpoint, and I took out the Ikea blue bag to do the job - collecting ride passports, goodie bags and t-shirts for 20 riders from Pasir Gudang. I almost grabbed an X-Terra jersey (nice) for myself. Luckily it doesn't fit me well (my wallet, actually). After that, headed on to KSH at TTDI. Mission - to get a Missing Link. Haha... can't afford to get those big ticket items just yet. That Yeti 575 frameset is quite attractive, though... hmm...

Straight to Kajang after that, to the cheap hotel that Panjang managed to book for us. Got lost for some time, but eventually reached RM Budget Hotel in Prima Kajang at around 8pm. Well, at least now Atuk and I know where Sate Kajang Hj Samuri is. Distributed the goodies that night, and went to sleep after a shower and solat.

The next morning after breakfast we went out to Broga. By the time we came into Nottingham University Malaysia, a hoard of riders already were filling up the parking lots and getting ready with their gears. No time to lose, Atuk and I set up ours. I forgot to lube my chain, but I guess the last weekend's lube still hold :). We went on to the starting line, and handed the ride passports for Kadafi and Aaron. Not long after that, the Prez Ride started.

Out from NUM, on the road for about 1km and into the trail offroad. Unfortunately, the trail is now jam packed (obviously) with riders, the short climb saw a lot of riders already needed to TnT (turun and tolak). A poor chap stumbled off the bike and received quite a bad graze. Riders with their bikes quietly lining up in the traffic jam (trail jam?). We were well disciplined enough not to honk or yell profanities out that early peaceful Sunday morning. I noticed that there was one section where it was quiet and peaceful, nobody said anything - just enjoying the ride amidst nature.

The ride to CP1 was quite good. The longest section of all 4. Hilly, long descents, and in many places, it seems like riding in Plentong and Seri Alam trails. Felt like at home. Reached CP1 at about 10:20 am. I regrouped with riders from PG (although there were many have gone out to CP2 already) and Cyclemotion JB. And, the shocker of the day was when a big guy in red t-shirt took a photo of me with his iPhone. Nuts! No, I mean, Shahnaz! Nuts is my school mate in Jasin and he took up mountain biking only since the past two months. Finally get to see his orange t-bolt, and himself in flesh. It has been more than 5 years since we last met.

I felt really good, and moved onwards to CP2. Very hilly climbs awaiting, and I savor them all. I tried to climb the first long uphill and wondered for a while: 'am I at Steroid Hill already?'. Managed to go up pedaling, but the last 10 meters or so I lost my front tire grip and had to bail out. Saw bro Yahya resting, and so I joined him for a breather.

A fellow rider, a roadie from Klang, had a puncture on his rear tire. He seemed lost, not knowing what to do. I asked him if he has a spare tube, he replied with a no. I offered mine. I asked if he has a pump, he gave the same answer. And so, I gave him a spank, 'kau dah tau nak ride 60+ km, kau tak bawak spare?'. He tried to peel out the tires out, and I asked him if he wanted tire levers too. A nod as a simple reply. A chance for me to catch my breath an neutralize my heartbeat, while waiting for him to finish up changing the tube. He came back to me and said 'takleh nak guna tube ni la bang, valve besar takleh masuk lubang kat rim'. Ahh... mine is presta and his is schrader (or is it the other way around). Anyway, I helped to patch up his tube (which he had already thrown away) and he did the rest. I took my pump back, leveled my heartbeat and moved on. It must have been about 15 minutes or so. Hey, I'm not complaining or bragging, but if I have tools and spares (food and water, even) I am glad to share with fellow riders. However, if you know that you're going for an epic ride, you should have those with you, yourself. Be prepared. If you don't know how to use the tools, then you just have to only ask for help. Just bring them along in your bag - weight weenies or not.

Of all the hills en route CP2, I savour the most this one climb - a short but steep hill, followed by a long climb. At first I thought I could never make the steep climb, but I pushed on anyway. After a few seconds, it came up upon me that I could somehow make it - all the way. I blurted without thinking, 'you can do it! you can do it!'. And yes, I did, followed by a triumphant 'Ohh, yess!!'. I don't know why I stopped at the top of the hill, though. Perhaps to celebrate, and perhaps I needed to catch up my breath too. A rider with white long pants rode past me and said 'good climb, bro'. Well that brighten up my day, for sure. Within, it was a self achievement. I didn't know that I could do it, myself. And, I savour the long descents. Really nice, although a bit taxing to my arms. I enjoyed them tremendously.

Indeed, the cadence training I've been practising really helped. A lot. Because a few km after that I had signs of muscle cramps. Can't afford to power pedal. I moved on steadily by pedaling with high cadence.

Fortunately I came to a point where a marshall told me 'another 2 km to CP2'. Unfortunately, I was 1 hour late from the cut-off time. It could be good to me, but I feel that I can still move on for the 9 km towards CP3. To this day, I'm still feeling frustrated with that. Anyway, I could enjoy those juicy watermelons and Revive. Gulped 2 cans of Revive straight, no problem. And perhaps half a melon all to myself. Bro Yahya was already there, and we sat at CP2 waiting for Atuk, EG and Melaka. To kill time: chat, eat melon, drink Revive, eat melon, chat, sit, stand and eat melon.

Atuk, EG and Melaka finally arrived and after a short while we took the chicken run for another 9km road ride back to NUM. I could still charge on, and went down to the finish line to sign off. End of the ride. But not the end of the event just yet.

While waiting for the lucky draw, I wandered around and bought myself the premier issue of Cycling Malaysia magazine (cheap! only RM7), collect some SRAM stickers, eat the yummy karipap, and meet up with others.

The lucky draw started at 4:00 pm. I didn't win anything, but PG riders went home with 2 forks, a water bottle, and a pair of Nevegals. I guess the lucky draw sponsors had an avenue to do good to the mountain biking community, but they came up short - some of the items are obsolete, and to me it seems it's an avenue for them to free up their storage area. Sour grapes? Nahh... However, there are a few notable items: Fizik Gobi saddles, tires (not sure if they are nearing expiry date), KSH Alite frame, to name a few.

Atuk and I were the last of PG riders to go home. We went to the surau in NUM for a bath and solat. Headed on to Sate Kajang Hj Samuri after that, and then only onwards to JB. We stopped by briefly at Pagoh R&R for solat and kopi 'o' kaw. Met with CM riders over there, and moved on to Seri Alam. Reached home around 1:00 am. Alhamdulillah, we made the journey and came back safely.

My sincerest congratulations to the event organizer for coming up with a splendid event. It was very well organized right from the start. No big glitch, as far as I can witness. Kudos to all of you!

Photos with captions here:

Thursday 13 August 2009

PCC Presidential Ride 2009 - 16.08.09

It’s listed in my ride wishlist (see the panel on the right). With Panjang’s help, I registered for the ride along with 20 others from Pasir Gudang.
Look out for a white Bianchi bearing number 61 in Nottingham University Malaysia on 16th August. That’ll be me.
InsyaAllah I’m driving up to Kajang this Saturday with Atuk and ride on Sunday for the eagerly anticipated PCC Presidential Ride 2009. Now contemplating whether to bring a camera or not. This time around, my ride objective is to finish all the 4 checkpoints. Social riding is now only a side agenda. Of course, there’ll be many, many familiar faces amongst the 1000+ riders – riders whom I know, from JB and KL at least.
Fun aside, it’ll be a testing ground, too. I pray that we all could go through it.
See y’all there!

Monday 10 August 2009

Seri Alam Offroad Ride - 09.08.09


34.92 km

Average speed

12.8 km/h

Max speed

34.9 km/h


2500.9 km

Ride time

2h 42m 28s


Number of bad doggies: 3.

We were at offroad 7-eleven when greeted by these snarly dogs. Naim replied their welcoming growls with a missed (on purpose) on-the-bike sidekick. That stopped them from making noises. No animals harmed, by the way.

The ride started from Ruza Café, into Seri Alam and ended at Ruza Café. Before ending, a Cikong Sejuk session at Cahaya Baru.

Total of 9 riders on a humid Sunday morning. The sky looked like it was going to rain, but it didn’t. We were joined by a young, talented (and strong) roadie Amirul of Politeknik Johor Bahru.

The intention of the ride was as a prep for next week’s PCC Presidential Ride in Kajang. We did only 35km, though, and I personally think we could go more. Anyway, I had a blast. In particular, the Bukit Panjang climb. It has been quite some time since our last climb up there. This time around, I tried to match Atuk’s climb (some time ago) using middle chain ring. With high cadence, I did it, coupled with 32T at the back. Only then after the climb Atuk told me that he did it with 2 gears higher than I did. Never mind, I used the middle with high cadence, anyway. Something for me to smile about.

Not much stopping, other than the Cikong Sejuk session. At most, we stopped for no more than 5 minutes. Ride ended at about 2:00 pm.

My Bianchi Mutt 7800 Re-assembled

It was 3:00 am on Sunday when I finally finished with the re-assembling of the hardtail. Discovered a few things that went wrong when I assembled it first time many, many moons ago. That rectified, and a bit more being upgraded. Cheap ones, actually – cables and RD hanger.

Just so happened that Aunty’s shop stocked Jagwire L3 brake cable housing when I went there to get new cables. It matches my existing shifter cables. This time around, I bought Jagwire shifter cables and brake cables – loose ones (read: cheaper). The results: smoother shifting and braking.

Also in the shopping list: spare RD hanger. Well, I discovered that my existing hanger is actually a bit bent. So, that’s going to be my spare, and the new one mounted on the frame. This of course, affected the RD tuning. Still hasn’t got it fully right. Just alright for a ride, still.

I put on also Malik’s Titec X-Wing seatpost (for a test ride). I feel that I need to change the Thomson laid-back – perhaps it would make my ride more comfortable. In deed, it does. I feel more comfortable, and the ride is sweeter.

The bike was squeaky clean, and I almost didn’t want to ride it offroad on Sunday. Anyway, PCC Presidential Ride 2009 is a few more days away, and I need to have an offroad ride – to test the bike on a whole, and so as not to have a long break from riding. It has been two weeks since my last ride – in Melaka.

Thankfully the trails were not as wet as usual, and I had a blast during the 35km ride. The seatpost is nice, the brakes are responsive, (although) the RD needs to be tweaked a bit, and the tires need not be changed with new ones (yay!). And, I managed to climb up Bukit Panjang using the middle front ring with 32T at the back. Panjang said I’m the second only after Atuk to have done that. I felt that I accomplished something. It was over when Atuk mentioned that he used the middle ring with the rear at 2 gears higher than I did. Hmmppphhhh…

Well, I guess the bike is lighter a bit when it was cleaned and tuned – perhaps because I shaved about 50 grams or so, from the dirt residing on the parts.

Ha ha ha.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

MR MoBiC MTB Jamboree 2009 - Melaka


The four of us went to Melaka for the jamboree.

Originally it was only me, Reza and Helmy, participating under MMHE flag. EG decided (more of getting the info a bit late…) to join in as well. The initial plan of Reza and I going there with Avanza (while Helmy going solo) scrapped, and again EG found himself driving us with bikes atop – this time, destination Melaka.

Oops, we did stop by at Muar to collect and reinstall my newly serviced fork at Syarikat Seng Hin. No time for Mi Bandung Muar, though, as we have to rush to Petronas Penapisan Melaka (PPM) for the briefing and collect rider number, t-shirt and have dinner.

The trail is very nice, the organization was superb, and the whole experience is one to be remembered.

Spent the night at Abg Bakar’s place in Batu Berendam. Thanks to him, Adlee and people in the house for the great hospitality (as they always would have).

Adlee, ditch your golf set and get a bike! J


Photo story here:



projek basuh-basuh beskal

Minggu lepas, lesen berbasikal dari jabatan dalam negeri cuma setakat 9am.

Maka aku pun pergi breakfast ride kat Ruza, dan balik rumah on road, split dgn riders bila diorang panjat bukit kat Flora Heights tu (aku panjat 3 bukit).

Malas nak basuh beskal, kotoran semenjak MR MoBiC jamboree ride aritu. Aku pun decide bukak parts satu persatu dan bersihkan sebaik yang boleh.


Gambar berserta ungkapan di sini:



entry format: picture storyboard

Dear riders and readers,


I’ll be posting links of my web photo album for a picture storyboard.

For the time being, this is experimental and it seems to work easier for me, given numerous obstacles in updating this humble bike blog of mine.

I’ll be able to upload photos and give captions corresponding the photos - something I’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t know how.


Anyway, as a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m replacing multiple thousands of words, one photo album at a time.