akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Friday 29 July 2011

RTW: 10th weeklong, and the first Monthlong

Alhamdulillah, I completed my 10th weeklong this morning. Well, as one good thing is a mask of another, it is also my 3rd back-to-back weeklong.
The big news is (yes, only for me), it's my first monthlong. Hope that this would continue on.
Have a good weekend, y'all.
Selamat berpuasa.

Wednesday 27 July 2011

RTW: 9th weeklong

I completed the 9th weeklong last Friday.
It's also a second back-to-back weeklong, a 3 week continuous RTW.
Now, I'm 2 days away from my first monthlong. Well, technically it's gonna be a weeklong this week although I didn't ride on Monday due to an emergency leave.
Baby steps, and hopefully it would continue for another monthlong, then a back-to-back monthlong.
In overall, I'm getting comfortable with RTW. Perhaps a full-fledge bike commuter. If I could sort out the niggles, like, getting out early from home.
Ride safe, y'all.
Have a good one.

Tuesday 26 July 2011

RTW: Small Adventures

Quoted from the Editor's note in Bicycle Times issue 10:
There are opporrtunities for small adventures whenever you travel by bike. The road to work can become a mini-tour wih some creative route planning, and the chance to ride with fewer layers as it gets warmer can make a normal ride seem like a vacation. Even just a renewed appreciation for your surrounding can turn a routine trip into a pleasant sightseeing excursion.
True. Normal routine is boring, need to have a change every now and then.
And I always enjoyed those small adventures.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

First Test - Sportourer Jammy Gel Grips

A new pair of wings for my handlebar.
I found these ugly but comfy pair at Nick Yeap's store in The Zon Stulang Laut. After a quick haggling, I parted RM85 from my wallet (the price tag was originally RM120, then slashed to RM99). It was without the box, but I can tell that they're new unused. From the info I gather, they're Selle Italia Sportourer Jammy Gel.
Yes, Selle Italia.
From Dr. Luigi Cugola:
this grip design reduces possibility of carpal tunnel pathologies
Really? You could get that from riding a bike?
I took them for the first test on my RTW on Monday with half finger gloves, and today, without gloves. First impression, they're not as comfortable with gloves as the Specialized's BG Ergo lock grips (bought RM80 during that time) that I have used for close to a year now. Or as sexy, for that matter. The grip is a bit bulky, and felt snug when used without gloves. Well, I tried it on at the store without gloves, in the first place.
There's an array of vent holes along the grip, but I think due to manufacturing technique or something else, they are not effective. I tried to blow through the end of the grip before installing them on the handlebar, but it's like blowing into a hot water rubber bag. No air vented through the holes. Anyway, the holes are really small. If your hands are greasy or with dirt, it is enough to block the pores. Well, my hands were sweaty without gloves. So, I take it as only cosmetic addition to make them look loaded with technology.
The compound is quite tacky. I've no slippage problem while using gloves or without. I could feel the tackiness of the grip while using it without gloves. The cushion is adequate, meaning that they are soft but still hard enough to retain the shape and support the palms.
I like the way how my palms and thumbs are completely supported on the grips, they are able to relax. Pure ergonomics. I actually decided to buy these because the way the thumbs are taken care of in the design. Love at the first grip.
For Specialized's BG Ergo lock grips, I feel like there's a compromise for the grip while pedalling off-saddle. Fingertips of the rest of the fingers are somewhat 'hanging', not really gripping wholly while the thumbs are fully wrapping the grip. However, these pairs aren't like that. The underneath of the grip has a brickwall textured area for the fingers to grip on.
They are made in Italy, as embossed on the bottom of the grips. However, the appearance are not as good as you would expect from all things Italian. Hey, even them La Cosa Nostra appear dapper, don't they? Anyway, looks are secondary for me as long as they're functional.
There's still another pair left at NY's shop when I took these uglies home, if you want to get yours. Come down to JB, dude.
Sportourer's Jammy Gel page for your reference.
See more quotes in Sportourer's catalog.

Saturday 16 July 2011

RTW: 15.07.2011 - Ei8hth Weeklong

I'm happy to share with you that this morning's RTW marks the 8th weeklong for this year. That's more than what's initially planned - 3. Looks like I'm car free for most of the week nowadays, travelling to work.
Unfortunately that's all that I can claim to be, "travelling to work by bike". Sometimes my wife would offer to fetch me home by car, usually at night when she's out sending Marsya and Adam to tuition class. And, I'm not a real bike commuter whereby 100% of travelling from point A to B (and wandering off to C, D, E, Z even) done by cycling. At least not yet. What I do is I Ride To Work. Getting home by car is sometimes optional although I kind of like it, night rides.
InsyaAllah, this weeklong (and last week too) would continue to make it my first monthlong.
Now, what are the challenges of adopting a cycling lifestyle? A lot, in my case. Listing them out and see how to tackle them, insyaAllah, later.
Up to now, the odometer is displaying 8313.6 km. That's the distance I've cycled so far in total (offroad, RTW) from when I first started using a cyclometer a few years ago. Not that far for the span of time, compared to some cyclists I know. There were times when my rides were without the meter, though. Perhaps a good 100km or so.
It would be interesting to have a dedicated meter for RTW and offroad respectively. Well, looking at things nowadays, I'm sure RTW odometer would see far greater kms compared to offroad.
Anyways, the meter display would only show up until 9999.9 km afterwhich it will go back to 0.0
Oh, and my wife texted me just now that she's fetching me at 6 this evening.
Have a good weekend, y'all.
Ride safe!

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Event: OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2011 - 14-16.10.2011

Event: OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2011
When: 14 - 16 October 2011
Where: Dataran Merdeka
Type: Road cycling - on closed roads
More details:
Quite costly the fee, I'm tellin' ya. I think the most expensive so far of all biking events.

Friday 8 July 2011

RTW 06.07.2011 - in blue

me, in a coverall
Tuesday, at the gate entrance
guard: nak pergi mana?
saya: ofis design
guard menoleh pada chief guard
chief guard: design pun kena pakai (c)overall jugak
guard: esok pakai (c)overall ye
saya: :P
Wednesday morning, I wore the blue work trousers and pedaled from home. At about 600m from the gate, I stopped and took out the blue jacket from my bag. The first time I cycled to the office wearing company issued blue jacket and pants together. They're the equivalence of the said coverall, although in some aras in the yard they are not deemed so.
Even for a short distance, it was quite hot. My body heat was trapped underneath the jacket, and it wasn't pleasant at all.
The dress code for office personnel is not the coverall, unless going out to the worksite. I can't imagine all the people in the office wearing coveralls and safety shoes. But hey, at the entrance, I don't want to waste precious time arguing about this with the security guard.
Wednesday evening while I was going out of the gate, I spotted the chief guard and stopped to discuss with him about the dress code thing. Apparently, the issue is that it is deemed not proper for people to go in wearing shorts.
Well, I'm wearing 3/4 pants, but same difference to him. He cited that there were a couple of people who copied me cycling in (I could guess who they are). Also there's the question of what if the subcontractors would also get in dressing up like I do while they are supposed to wear red coveralls (no pants and jackets equivalent for them). Well, I have the answers but that would only steer away the conversation to other topic altogether.
Eventually we agreed that it would be okay if I'm wearing track bottom while cycling in. As for the jacket, it's a non-issue. I can wear my riding jersey. The coverall? Far from the real issue.
Thursday morning I'm wearing track bottom riding to work. The NiteIze Marker Band is an essential item now.

Tuesday 5 July 2011

DPM: build bicycle lanes

As a follow up to Malacca's CM Datuk Seri Ali Rustam's RTW on Fridays, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin commented:
Many European countries have dedicated bicycle lanes ... we should also have such a facility here
Cool! Now that we have big voices, we can have them lanes, hopefully. JKR, townplanners and such shall look into it. Err.. while at it, I recommend to also consider cycling facilities as well.
Anyway, more importantly now is for us to start be seen on the roads. With bike lanes or not. Find your safe routes for now, ya.
Read the article from thestar.com.my

Saturday 2 July 2011

RTW: Malacca CM's Cycle Friday

2km RTW would definitely permit people to ride in style
I read the news first at BaikBike.com this morning. Malacca's Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam is doing Cycle Friday. Well, 2km may not be much, but the message is there. The story was also reported in here (NST), here (The Star) and here (mynewshub.my) too.
He mentioned
I would be cycling to work from home every Friday. This would be my role in educating my employees and the people here on the importance of helping to reduce the emission of poisonous gases from our vehicles.

1.5m wide bike lanes? Super. Better yet, stretch it to be more than 4km, like in Penang.
Err... how about bike lanes for JB, Masai and Pasir Gudang?
Anyway, way to go, Datuk Seri!
Perhaps we could also ride along this October's Burung Hantu?
Jom Basikal!
photo nicked from mynewshub.my