akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Friday 29 April 2011

RTW 29.04.2011

not subscribing to this
It's a Cycle Friday.
The sun shines early nowadays. I thought I was already late, but a glance at my watch made me slow down my hurry. It is nice, actually, to see the sun up on the horizon as I cycled along the stretch towards Tesco Seri Alam from my house. It seems that there are not many cars on the road this morning, but at the Taman Rinting interchange the situation is dramatically different.
Truly, this morning's ride was quite serene for me. I don't know why. However, I pushed myself to go off-saddle right after Kg Pasir Gudang Baru up until the exit from Pasir Gudang Highway. It's a bit taxing on the quads, but I feel that once in a while simple tortures are needed. It was a just-for-the-fun-of-it thing, really, for this morning's rather leisurely start.
Anyway, what I really want to share is that I feel elated. Perhaps from the feeling of self satisfaction of not being in a car lining up for my turn at the traffic light. And also from not having to walk from the parking lot to the office (more than 500m, I think).
Very nice.
Have a good weekend.
Ride safe.

Thursday 28 April 2011

RTW 28.04.2011 - relaxed ride on the normal route

I decided to take the longer normal route (used to be, now considered old) this morning. It would be circa 40 minutes ride, with about 2 km extra from the (now considered normal) L-Route.
I've got the time, and I had my shower [:)], so I had it as a relaxed, commuter style ride.
Took me 45 minutes, in actual, with the traffic light and all.
Just that I forgot to reset my meter from yesterday evening's commute back home.
Will try to do it more.
That means early out, bro!
Here's the route, and photos.


No wonder my arms hurt from hauling up my bike one storey upstairs to the office pantry.
RTWM with front fender and beam rack = 14.08kg
That's excluding the lights, meter, rear bag. Easily would be a total of 15+kg.
Good training for my offroad rides, that's for sure.
To weigh my Trance, next time.

RTW 25.04.2011 - Oh sweet tarmac

now and then
I was pleasantly surprised when approaching a section at the L-Route. What had been the muddiest part of the route has now turned into tarmac. It has been about six months since, and I had witnessed its progression. From red earth with a bowled section, flattened, gravel, and now tarmac.
It goes without saying also that soon it will be commissioned and I would have to resort to my normal route. Maybe, or maybe not (hopefully). Anyway, I'm still waiting for a bridge to be completed. Thence, I would ride out the whole stretch from Pasir Gudang to Kota Puteri and Seri Alam. All on tarmac, the full L-Route. Well, maybe not for another few months. Even so, I'm looking forward for it.\
Have a good day.
Thanks for coming over.

Monday 25 April 2011

GUMQ'11 - My Experience

This s a bit late, but there are a few things I'm gonna jot down here.
I was quite surprised to know that there are good trails in the UTM area itself. I really enjoyed this particular section whereby it is in a reserved forest quite like in FRIM. It is really good to know that we could have a go at such trails in JB, a change from the usual rubber estate and palm oil plantation. What's more is that riders are acquainted with UTM Skudai campus (mostly hilly tarmac). Nice.
However, I think the killer is the long uphill to CP1 at Balai Cerap. Well, that was expected, but the non-rideable downhill (for me) towards CP2 and a couple more after that was quite a disappointment.
There are a few things that should be in place, and there are things that are best left out to cater for the latter. RM50 gives you the 30 km ride in UTM, a good quality jersey, 2 candles, one canned pineapple and a ride plate presented in a nice UTM paper bag (plus a shot at the awesome lucky draw - which I didn't get anything).
I think it would be desirable for the total 12k+ prize money (sponsored by faculties) to be spread evenly to all the participants in the form of lunch. Let's say there were 800 riders, that would be a very nice RM15 worth of meal for everyone. Well, that's me.
Event organisation is good, particularly the trail signages. They are clear and adequate. Kudos for the team for reusing banners as signages. There was a major accident and I believe the team had responded well to that. Too bad it was raining the day before. However, it was not as bad as many of the trails are still rideable.
I like the facilities around the start/finish area. There's a toilet (but without shower). What I love most is that there are lots of water taps, some with hoses for riders to wash their bikes. The parking lot is also spacious.
The event was a clear-cut 'jamborace', but I take it personally as a jamboree in its true sense. I spent quite a lot of time chatting and socializing. Don't have the legs for a race, anyway, so why waste it. Met a few of BBS kaki there. Zaza, Bugs, Ali, Kona (only from afar, though), a few fans of this blog (hehe...), and Anuar Manan of course. If that's part of the event fee, well, I guess it was quite okay then.
I started as the very last rider, and ended the ride at 1.15pm. I don't know what was my placing, for the oganizer didn't cater for that. Well, at least I know that I'm faster than a lot of people for there were still many more riders coming in at the finish point after me. The most important thing of all: I rode the whole course collecting all 5 checkpoint stickers.
If there is to be another GUMQ for next year, I'll give it another go. But I'll not waste my energy riding uphill to Balai Cerap. Pushing the bike while chatting would be much more fun. Care to be my buddy?
One question, though. Is there going to be an ebook with our 'best closed-up picture', after all?
Photos are here.
Check out this video by faizpa - I'm at the 55th second.

Saturday 23 April 2011

RTW 18 - 22.04.2011: yet another weeklong

Alhamdulillah. I made the third weeklong for this year.
I've got to say that it was really good. The weather, together with my wife and Mak's help, of course, helped in big ways. As for myself, it was a good April so far. I drove to work only for 5 days up to today.
Two things:
1. In recognition of my RTW Machine's role for my commuting, I sent it to Jason's for a 'bike spa' treatment. That's a service package complete with cleaning thrown in. Right after work, I cycled to his bike shop and left it there for the job. Panjang sent me home in his car from there.
2. I really enjoyed riding without anything behind my back (except for my shirt lah), thanks to my Ibera Bag. The beam rack in my opinion is not quite suitable for it could sway. I'm thinking of having the proper pannier rack for the RTWM. Perhaps when I'm in Senawang some time after this, or anywhere else that carry the item.
So, that's that. Looking forward for another weeklong, back-to-back with another one, perhaps.
I'm happy, and I hope you have a glorious weekend.
Sorry, can't join you offroad, though.
You have a good one.
image from Ibera's website

Thursday 21 April 2011

RTW & Sadaqa

Hadrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) saying, "Every bone of men's fingers and toes must give sadaqa every day the sun rises. If one gives justice between two men it is sadaqa; if one helps a man with his beast, loading or lifting his goods on it, it is sadaqa; a good word is sadaqa; every step one takes towards prayer is sadaqa; and if anyone removes anything injurious from the road it is sadaqa."
(Bukhari and Muslim)
Alhamdulillah, RTW gives an opportunity for giving sadaqa. The part I'm referring to is 'if anyone removes anything injurious from the road'. On narrow roads, especially, bicycle riders are the ones who could do it safely and without much obstacles. He (or she, well, you know what I mean) could easily dismount and park the bike on the kerb or somewhere safe. Then he could proceed with removing the obstacles on the road. Or dead kittens. Easy. However, your safety should come first.
Have a great ride.
Always look for those opportunities, along with zikrullah.

Tuesday 19 April 2011

RTW 18.04.2011 - Help! There's a gap!

mind the gap
I was steadily pedaling along the uncommissioned new highway on my L-Route. At about another 1km to reach the office I saw this big gap across the road.
So I proceeded while my mind processing the possible options to take.
1. Get down into the gap and carry the bike over it (and climb back up)
2. Pedal back towards Kg. Pasir Gudang Baru and go through the long route via Taman Mawar (definitely not a good option)
3. Go through this.
Alhamdulillah, I made the right choice, and arrived safely at the office. On time.

17.04.2011 Seri Alam Offroad with Wa Cycles - 47 pax!

Shorter ride out from home to RV point, about 2 km.
Hopefully early start and end early, with decent distance.
These were the two reasons that steered me towards Cactus Inn, to join Wa Cycles' Sunday offroad ride. I rode from home at 7.15am, to be on time for their normal 7.30am ride.
Riders from Larkin, Pasir Gudang, Singapore, New Zealand, England, Italy, and of course, Seri Alam got together. Okay, the ones from foreign countries are expats. What a big crowd, seems like a micro jamboree. That makes the third reason - meeting new people. Well, there were (now) familiar faces too, such as Ganesan, Sue, Ah Meng, Nick, Joe (and
Apparently the ride lead, Steven, and a bunch of riders had gone in much earlier for a 5km 'warm-up'. So the rest of us waited at the parking lot.
Steven rallied everyone and gave a briefing prior to the ride. Front liners, middle riders and sweepers were identified. Tom, his son Tim and I volunteered for the headcount. I thought it would be around 30 or so, but there were 47. I made a re-count, and it was confirmed.
At 8.15am, we went in towards Plentong. Started from the side of Cactus Inn, went down towards jongkang-jongket. I was surprised to see the familiar small bump right at the end of the downhill was now cleared, good for a 4x4 to get across. We went up through singletrack lalang and another long zigzag uphill before turning for a long downhill at bukit Long Long. That's a first for me, down Long Long. A very long, enjoyable downhill (needless to say, it's a long uphill in reverse).
As usual, we bumped into other riders as well. We met with people from Cyclemotion (with EG, Lond and Helmy too) at Plentong. When we parted ways, Joe, Hairul and I were puzzled as one rider not belonging to our group was happily riding along. I asked him, are you with Cyclemotion? He said no, but from YMCA. Duh! Okay, I must've asked the wrong question. So I asked him, are you in the correct group? Then only he noticed. So he backtracked to join his original group.
After that, the following trail brought us to parts in Plentong. Some of singletracks and routes are my first. I can say that I have never ridden through it before this. That shows how much Plentong has to offer. The number of riders in JB keeps increasing, and I bet Plentong can still cater for all of us.
On the way back, a group of the tailing riders got lost. Including myself. I know that we were near to the lake at the palm oil plantation entry. We backtracked and stopped at a T-junction. Hairul and Ah Meng went further to the right to look for directions, while Sue called Steven and Loo for help. I called EG for directions, and eventually we went with the right hand trun towards Sungai Daud and scaled up Bukit Panjang. We met with Loo on the way, meaning that we were on the right track. Anyway, my thanks to EG (and Lond) for guiding the way.
Up on the pylon, we met with Glen and Joe. Together, we journeyed back to CP2 of Epic 2010 where we met with Jason and another chap, on their bikes looking for us. Steven was there too. Much to my surprise, Cactus Inn is actually not very far from that point.
Well, this serves as a strong notice for me to collect and have a good sense of direction to at least get back from any point in the trails. As a post mortem, I think the reason why the trails in Plentong seems like a puzzle to me is down to a few factors. One, there was always a ride leader and I followed blindly. Two, the points in the trails are familiar, but I don't know where it actually is. And, most importantly which way from there would lead to where. There might be other factors, but I won't bore you with those.
Total ride was 32 km, and my ride ended at 12.30. Not too bad at all considering I reached home before 1.00pm. I had fun, especially on the 'new' trails. More so because of new acquaintances.
Photos are here.
Thanks for coming over.
Have a good one.

Friday 15 April 2011

My Route on EveryTrail

yesterday's route - now with speed and elevation graph via EveryTrail
Again, thanks to Dino for showing the way, I managed to share yesteday's route with you. This is made possible with EveryTrail. He showed me Jazlan's tracking for the bash #196 at RRI (30.01.2011).
Well, Sports Tracker do have the same thing, and for me it fares better than ET. However, your browser needs to have Flash10 installed in order to view the uploaded trails.
Speaking of uploading, ST needs you to upload the trail from the phone. That means a data connection is needed (or wifi). With ET, I can just transfer the .gpx (or any other gps files) from my phone's memory card to upload the trail. That's free, at the office (during lunch hour like this, of course). I'm not sure if I can do the same to ST. I can't view the website (at the office), in the first place.
Click here for my RTW route yesterday.
I'm enjoying this.
Track your trails.
And thanks for coming over.
Have a good weekend, y'all.

Thursday 14 April 2011

RTW 13.04.2011 - The Longest Route

my longest route so far
It was the longest route I took riding to the office, so far. At 50 minutes, that's the longest time I took, too (with no puncture along the way, that is). 14.56 km on my Cateye meter, and 14.78 km on Sports Tracker data. Well, they're not too far apart, and I don't really bother about the exact distance anyway. What's more satisfying is that I had a rollin' good time along the way.
The ride was as relaxed as I can be, for I have time on my side - went out a few minutes before 7:00 am. At first I decided to take my normal route (well, it should be renamed as the 'old route' now). I did, and extended a bit further with riding in the park at Bukit Layang Layang. There's a jogging/cycling track, so I went ahead with it.
Stats today:
Out from home


Arrive office




Ride time

41' 32"



Ave. speed


Max speed




Good doggies



old route,

 Yukon, slicks, relaxed
Ride safe, and be good.
Thanks for coming by.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Kulaijaya Extreme Cycling Carnival - 12.06.2011

I've never been to Kulaijaya, but my guess is that it is in Kulai.
Specifically, it'll be held at Hutan Bandar Putra Kulaijaya (1°40'13"N 103°39'16"E). That's not too far from JB. That means it's an event not to be missed. Not only because of the venue itself, but for the string of events promised by the organizer as well.
There'll be a 55km epic ride, Urban Downhill by Southern DH colony, Polo Bike demo match (as featured in Cycling Asia issue #5), Mom's Slow Ride Bike Race, Kidz Fun Bike Race and Kidz Colouring Contest. Also in the menu which is quite valuable for me is Proper Cycling Clinic. They also would have info and promotional booth set up. Okay, so that's for everyone in the family. Hmm... will there be a nursery or something for my youngest, Umar (1y+), I wonder?
Organizer is KBRK (Kelab Berbasikal dan Rekreasi Kulaijaya, formerly known as KBC - Kulai Black Crow). Google up 'kelab berbasikal dan rekreasi kulaijaya', hit 'I'm Feeling Lucky' and you'll get to their blog (or click this link, for your convenient). Cyclemotion, Element DH, PG Gerek and HSACC are involved as well in bringing out this event.
Head on to their event site for registration details.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

03.04.2011 Seri Alam/Plentong Offroad - Geotagging

In preparation for the upcoming GUMQ'11, I made it a point to go offroad last Sunday. That, and also to try out geotagging.
Went to Ruza at Taman Scientex by car, and had breakfast. 12 of us led by EG went out via Taman Scientex, Flora Heights, UniKL and meet up with Atuk at The Big Valley Ranch aka Kandang Kuda. Earlier, Atuk had to go back home in Seri Alam to get his shoes, hence the meetup.
We went down Jongkang Jongket towards Canopy where we are to meet up with Neo and his Cyclemotion gang, plus Rideables from Singapore to join their ride. We did meet up with Wa Cycles too, at the same meeting point. That's when my phone battery ran out of juice. Too bad, there are so many riders (including Koh and Sue form WC)  but I managed to get only a few shots. Sorry guys, perhaps next time your faces would eventually appear in my Picasa.
I powered Sports Tracker right from the start, and set the phone camera to retrieve position data from satellite (it sounds real techy, eh?). All went okay, until about 2 hours later when my battery totally exhausted.
Went uphill and at the Brake Pad junction, I replaced the battery with a spare, and resumed ST. Well, the second battery lasted much shorter and my phone stopped at 11.20 am.
The ride total distance for me was about 38km. I did manage to get a few shots (in here) with geotagging and GPS tracking too. You could view the place where the shot is taken, on the map on right panel (Photo Locations), or click here. Too bad, I don't know how to upload (yet) the tracking that I made on Sunday. Or, whether such thing is supported in Picasa.
We went out quite late, circa 1.45 pm, so I decided to just cycle home and get the car at Pasir Gudang later. With Atuk's help, I went to get my car with him at 3.30 pm.
The ride? A mixed feeling, really. Exhilirating, exhausting, boring at some point, but with some adventure too. I have to note here that it's quite nice to have a lot of riders congregating in there, like a mini jamboree but without lucky draws and stickers on the riders' plates.

Monday 4 April 2011

MagBook | The Ultimate Guide To Bicycle Maintenance

I bought the Bicycle Maintenance magbook for RM29.90 at Harris Tebrau City on 01.04.2011. Without hesitation, I bought straight away when I saw it on the display. Well, from a quick once-over, it speaks of high quality presentation and contents. Far much better than my Zinn's Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance (2nd edition) which costed me about RM100 through Amazon some 10 years ago. Well, this is for the more modern bikes (road and mtb), and Zinn's is for slightly older mtbs.
Read the review by London Cyclist.

Saturday 2 April 2011

Sports Tracker

Part of the reason for the new (well, bought secondhand) phone is to have the GPS. I installed Sports Tracker app, and now I'm able to track my cycling route for free.

I uploaded my trackings to the Sports Tracker website, and could also export .GPX file of the tracking to memory card on the phone. I'm not sure if 'Export to Google Earth' is actually exporting the .KML file. Anyway, I could then view the tracking on Google Earth. Nice.

Another thing also is that it keep track of the music track I'm listening to while riding. This bonus came as a surprise. Can't view the details on the phone's interface, though, just on the website. Not to worry, for I plugged only the left earphone for my safety on the road.

Here's the snapshot of yesterday's ride home from the office:
riding home from office 01.04.2011
And the vertical profile:
nice graph
Okay, so next up is to try out the geotagging thingy. Best for during riding offroad.

Credit goes to Dino for showing me the way, and being the big part of influencing me into all of this.

RTW 01.04.2011 Another Weeklong

It's another weeklong this week, the second for this year.
Well, it's really becoming a natural thing to take out the bike in the morning and hit the tarmac. Alhamdulillah, the weather in the morning this week has been nice for RTW.
This morning, it's a really different kind of ride. I'm late for work. Very. Out from the house at 0732 hours, it's the latest I've been so far. I pray that it's the last. The morning ride took me 24 minutes to complete, door-to-door. The fastest so far, and the most tiring. My usual normal ride would be about 30-34 minutes via the L-Route, and I know it would be very, very tiring just to catch up a couple of minutes. It's a must do thing, so I persevered.
Unfortunately, the meter is not telling the real truth. I got 26.6 km/h average speed. I was pleasantly surprised at first, but something tells me that it mustn't be true. Then it struck me that I've forgotten to reset the tire circumference for my slicks, from yesterday's knobbies while in the haste of getting out of the gate quickly. Anyway, I'm happy with 24 minutes. Exhausted, of course.
So that's 2 weeklongs already. One more to go, and the year's target will be met. Well, it's only the beginning of April, so I hope I could do more than that.
Oh, and the odometer is showing less than 10 km more to reach 7000 km mark. InsyaAllah this evening on the way home.
Stats this morning (with wrong tire settings):
Out from home


Arrive office




Ride time

23' 53"



Ave. speed


 km/h <-- can't be true
Max speed




Good doggies



tesco + L route

 Yukon, slicks, VERY LATE
Have a good ride, y'all.
And a nice weekend too.
Thanks for coming around.