akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

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.