akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Sunday 28 February 2010

Firsts - a note to self

Note to self:
My first mountain bike is a 24 speed Polygon Xtrada, bought second hand in August 2007 during my short stint in KL.
My first offroad (it was at FRIM) was on Deepavali 2007 (November) .
My first offroad in Pasir Gudang was on Sunday, 6th January 2008.
I first started my RTW on Saturday, 12th July 2008.

Saturday 27 February 2010

LTdL 2010

Le Tour de Langkawi 2010 | 1st - 7th March
Two things amiss:
  1. Langkawi is not part of the tour
  2. What's with the event name in French?
What's wrong with 'Jelajah Langkawi' or 'Jelajah Semenanjung Malaysia', for the sake of logic.
Bahasa Melayu is not good enough for the world stage?
Also, people are quite surprised there's no criterium in KL this time.

Tuesday 23 February 2010

Cateye Mity 8

I lost my trusty meter during last Sunday's offroad outing in Seri Alam.
How's that for a nice excuse to get myself a new one. Yay!
Thinking that it would serve a few purpose, so I went ahead with it. To be honest, it was not really with much thinking, actually.
Anyway, it means:
1. A newer design than my Velo 8.
2. Hopefully better features.
3. A spare magnet for my RTW wheelset with slicks.
It was purely by chance that I ended up with Cateye Mity 8 (CC-MT400). Well, it's no accident that it's a Cateye, since I wanted it to be compatible with Velo 8's bracket and sensor. I've more or less narrowed down my choice to either Enduro 8 or Mity 8. I made a few calls that Sunday afternoon, and most shops are selling at about RM85. Surprisingly, Velo 8 is priced at RM80.

I went to the bike shop in Masai to send Marsya's front wheelset for repair. They have a Mity 8 (the only Cateye meter in the shop), and after haggling with the owner, I managed to get it for RM80. Not too bad. No need to burn fuel to Skudai or Tampoi. No need to wait for a few days if through BBS. And best of all, it's priced the same as Velo 8 - although I would be happier if it's not more than RM70.
Spent an hour to understand the functions of Mity 8 through the included manual. The difference with Velo 8 is that this one does away with the calorimeter (not of much use to me, by the way). Other new functions are dual trip distance and dual tire setting. Both are perfect for my RTW/offroad rides.
With dual distance, I could set the distance for my RTW to and from the office. With dual tire setting, I could set it for the two wheelsets I'm using - one for slicks (26/1.6") and another for knobbies (26/2.1").
Another plus: I could set the odometer manually. Currently continuing at 3500 km mark (my rough estimate of my dear 'ol Velo 8's reading).
I have to note here also that Cateye has improved the meter bracket for handlebar (no more using cable ties) and the sensor bracket for fork leg mounting. Much better than the Velo 8's.
Well, it proved to be a good buy in many aspects. Just that this morning I went out RTW without installing the new extra magnet on my slicks wheelset. Duhh!

Night Ride: Offroad Seri Alam - Plentong

19.02.2010 - Friday
Panjang et. al. have been doing NR around Pasir Gudang on Friday nights for a few weeks already. I joined them for the first time last Friday, thanks for things being in order at home. The other factor is that that Saturday is a non-working day for me.
I phoned Panjang half an hour before they start rolling from the RV point in Nusa Damai. He told me to use knobbies instead of slicks, for we are going offroad. Due to lack of time, I decided to wait for them at Seri Alam.
At the back of my mind, I thought we were to go only a short distance offroad. Heck no, we went offroad all the way from Seri Alam to Plentong! Return route was via Jalan Masai Lama on tarmac. I went with them to the restaurant in Seri Alam near Atuk's residence for a drink, and then only we part ways.
Two things:
One - what a nice different atmosphere! Totally different experience, although we went through familiar routes.
Two - the headlamp I got from BC Kelolo is simply awesome. Retailing at RM45, uses 3 AAA batteries, it lit up the trail very well. So much so that I was unofficially nominated to be the sweeper. It lasted for a good one hour and a bit more on the batteries using low power.
Kadafi, Yad: korang takde masa tu. Best gile (sebab offroad NR, bukan sebab korang takde).

Monday 22 February 2010

Jamboree MTB Jasin 2010

What: Jamboree MTB Jasin 2010
When: Sunday 2nd May 2010, 0900 hrs
Where: Stadium Jasin, Jasin, Melaka
Fee: RM50 (before 2nd April), RM60 (2nd April onwards)
Jarak laluan untuk program ini adalah dianggarkan sejauh 50 kilometer dan lokasi laluan ini adalah meliputi lima ( 5 ) rupabentuk mukabumi ( Laluan Jalanraya / Ladang Getah / Ladang Kelapa Sawit/ Taman Perumahan / Kawasan Kampung ) di kawasan sekitar Pekan Jasin yang meliputi Kampung Air Barok, Kampung Kesang, Kampung Kesang Pajak, Kampung Kemengkang, Felda Tun Ghafar Baba Kemendor, Kampung Seri Kesang, Kampung Orang Asli Gapam II, Kampung Bukit Katong, Kampung Rim, Jasin Height dan Stadium Jasin.
Secara teknikal, Program ini bukanlah berbentuk pertandingan tetapi lebih kepada acara ' cross country ' yang memberi peluang kepada para peserta untuk menjelajah laluan yang telah ditetapkan dalam tempoh masa selama lima (5) jam.
One good reason for me to go back to Jasin (after a long, long time).
Perhaps I could spare some time to visit the school, too.
Shahnaz, Zul Hess, you're up for it bros?

Thursday 18 February 2010

CST tires

Seen a few of the folded type variant of CST brand tires in bike shops lately. I've seen (and used) the inner tubes since my first mtb experience a few years ago, though.
It's quite enlightening to know that they are some sort of a contract manufacturer. And Maxxis is actually their brand name. Psychologically, names can make a product well received, rather than reputation. At least for me, I didn't really give a damn good thought about the CST tires at first. However, they are quite cheap compared to the other brands (Kenda, Hutchinson, ehm Maxxis, Continental, etc.).
Now, with reputation and attractive price, it's a sure bet that CST tires would give a good run for the other popular brand's money.
CST XC treads:
Interestingly, all models start with a C.
Other referenced links:

Saturday 13 February 2010

Batavus Favoriet - photo gallery

I've posted entries regarding Batavus Favoriet parked in the yard some time before.
Got the chance to have some private time (with Kadafi) to take some photos of the beaut.
Photos are here.

Friday 12 February 2010

Change of Guardian

When: Wednesday 10.02.2010, 10.00 pm
Where: Bandar Bistari Perdana, Pasir Gudang
Who: Akmal, Aladin
What: My everdearest Bianchi Mutt with parts new and used changed its guardianship.
It's a mixed feeling.
Sad to let it go. Happy for helping a newbie. Elated with the cash received in lieu.
I think, the feeling is more towards happy. I was once helped with a T-Bolt, and I thought I should extend the deed to another.
Sure, there are memories pasted all over the Mutt, not to mention dirt marks and scratches. I was ready to let go and not be too sentimental about it, hence the frame sitting pretty in my store room was revived for the new owner.
Took parts from Naza's idling bike, and bought new and used ones too for this project. I'm satisfied with the result. Well, the feeling is indescribable, upon seeing your assembly finished off. Wheelset, handlebar, stem, shifter, fork, crankset, chain, seatpost and saddle are all from Naza's. Bought new Deore 2009 RD from BBS, used Deore 2009 FD from Kadafi, and new BR-M575 hydraulic brakes from Tajudin.
Wait. That means Naza's bike is practically stripped off.
Big grin for me. Now hunting for parts to build up again her bike.
value of cash exchanged for parting with my creation is requested to be kept confidential by owner
photo by Aladin

Tuesday 9 February 2010

07.02.2010 Seri Alam - Plentong offroad: 33km of XC

I went out early morning and cycled 9.55 km to Ruza Cafe for my fix of offroad ride on Sunday. It occured to me that the last ride was during GA Fun Ride. No wonder I was psyched up and looked forward for that ride.
There were 2 groups that morning - XC riders and FR/DH junkies. I went with six others and headed to Flora Heights, led by EG who is guided with Panjang's GPS on his handlebar. The rest went in with Panjang.
We went in and rode quietly non-stop. The first proper stop being at the 17th km mark - neither at Badminton, nor after scaling Bukit Panjang. We rested at the canopy en route to Plentong. Quite nice, for a change. I guess it's workable because the fitness level of the 7 riders are on the same level. The other big factor is the small group of riders that day.
The next proper stop was at the 28th km, just 5 km away from The Big Valley Ranch where I depart from the rest and headed home at 12.30pm. Nope, didn't watch Melodi when I reached home 10 minutes later.
It's interesting to note that I brought enough isotonic with a little bit more to spare in my bladder for that ride - just 1 liter. I brought along a bottle (600 ml) full of plain water on my bike too, still half full by the end of the ride.
The ride was different. We went through the Plentong Epic Ride route. I enjoyed especially the flowy mild descending singletrack towards CP1. Kudos to EG for leading us in and out safely. Albeit for the numerous track checks, for me it's still okay.
No photos, sorry, I deliberately left the camera at home to enjoy fully this ride.
Hope your weekend ride was good too.
Thanks for stopping by. Take care, you, be it on the road or offroad.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Ibera PakRak, Senawang Bicycle Station

I went back to Senawang for Ayah's birthday, and my cousin's son Suhaimi's wedding ceremony last weekend.

There's a nice bike shop in Senawang, which I have been wanting to pay a visit. Senawang Bicycle Station is closed on Sundays (ride day), so I made it a point to go there on Saturday morning. I went out at 10.30 am after breakfast to the bike shop (an excuse to Ayah when he asked me where I'm going to). Before the bike shop, I went to Dataran Senawang to get Ayah's surprise birthday cake (an excuse to the others).
The mission of the visit: One is to check out the shop itself, and the other one is to get myself a Topeak MTX BeamRack, and discuss with Jeffree on which one should I get for the bike - Type A, E or V. At the same time, I'm getting the system bag MTX TrunkBag DX to complement it. Damage to the wallet expected to be in the range of RM350, following discussion with BC Kelolo. All for the joy of back-free RTW journey.
The bike shop is nicely stocked with bikes, parts, and good service. I was attended by Jeffree, all the while. And he remembers my name. From what I heard, he was Negeri Sembilan's cyclist in his heyday. If that's so, he should be good with bikes. Well, I would say that he is.
I told him what I was looking for, and he replied that he's just out of stock with the beam rack. For the bag, he's got only the EX, which is not what I'm after. However, he gave me an alternative - something I have never seen or heard before, goes by the name Ibera.
Time for internet research, then. Well, at least they have a website that I could refer to. That evening, I went to my elder brother Amri's house nearby the shop (how nice...), and began my short research. Short, because I was short of time, and there's not much reference in terms of product review for Ibera's RA1 Carrier nor their BA1 bag. I guess I'll be the first to give a review in mtbr. At the time of writing, there's none.
Things that made me buy the items:
(+) The products are of high quality (well, I would say that it fared well compared to Topeak's EX), although both lacks the waterproofness. However, Ibera's have ABS carbon-look plastic base.
(+) It is a system - in this case, PakRak - looks neat and tidy. The carrier is rated at 10 kg, compared to Topeak's 9 kg. However, Topeak's MTX BeamRack is using QR clamp while Ibera is using allen bolt. Well, I could live with that.
(+) Price for both Ibera bag and carrier is RM228 (RM69 carrier, RM159 bag) - saves me $ by a bit more than RM100, although I have to pay RM10 for a year of BS membership in order to enjoy the discounts.
(-) I have to note here that as a system, Topeak's weigh in at 1.7kg while Ibera is 1.9kg.
Next, will be my review in this blog, and perhaps some time later, my mtbr review. I planned to have my first ride with it for RTW on Tuesday. Good things can't wait, I had it on Monday instead. Still to early to give my views, though. I got to tell y'all this: it's great to feel the wind on my back.
Now toying with the idea of a short road tour... hmm...

Tuesday 2 February 2010

No Cycling on Dock Gate

It could be dangerous, and fatal if you fall down.
About 11 meters deep.
Photo taken from the dock gate.