Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Third bike: Argon 18 tt Mercury

Ok...finally got a TT (time trial) bike. It's probably 3rd hand. I've always wanted to have 2 bikes, one road and the other a TT bike. To build a new one easily cost 10k and above. And that, we are talking about basic configuration. Getting a cervelo p2c can set you back 15k. Slap in those HED carbon wheel sets and you add another 4-5k.

Allrite, since it's third hand, I've found out some surprises. The front derailleur mounting is not the original. I suppose it fell off during a fall, and they had one screwed up to the frame. The work done on this, according to the bike workshop, was not at a good angle. So he had a small rubber padding to reangle the FD.

The second surprise, was although it had ksyrium wheelset, it's actually for tubeless tyres. At the moment, I've not much knowledge on how to deal with this, in case of flats. Looking up the net gave some idea that you need some inner sealant, that quickly seals when a puncture happens. The tubeless tyre is actually glued to the rim, so changing a new tyre for puncture doesn't kind of cut it. Oh well..nvm..another thing to learn.

Pedal and rear casette is ultegra, FD is 105. And the seat really need a change.

The previous owner ( a lady ) probably haven't sent it for servicing. The rust, and almost impossible to shift gears issue, testifies to that. That's why ...woman needs man, to fix stuff...ehem..

After servicing, I took it for a ride to Salak with team THG.

Aero position, another new thing to learn. It's kinda hard to get down and cycle. But this will take some time. But once you go aero, and pump in the power, it really flies. I reached speeds up to 46km/h and boy..that was fun. However the uphill part would require some adjusting of climbing. Since your whole body actually is brought forward, you'll lack rear power transmission.

But then, the front tyre had a puncture after resting at Salak. Thanks to Michelle's pump, at least the bike can still go on. Yet, with deflated front tyre, the bike still goes fast.

According to a cycling article I read which compares normal road bikes & TT bikes, you'll get 4kmh more from the same cycling power. So, you could either go faster or cruise at the same speed with less work.

This will definitely help in Langkawi Ironman.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Msian Footballers Not Fit Enough

While we don't question the commitment of our soccer players, who kept on failing to score, one could raise the question of why they are not at their right fitness level?

Wait, this begs the other way round of questioning.

If you are really, totally, committed, then how come your fitness level is still in the dumps?

Aren't you guys suppose to train real hard? Most of us in the Tri scene, has full time jobs, and yet we could manage 10+ hours per week training our butts off. So, I suggest those footballers read some of our ironmen blogs to get inspired, or else, nobody wants to watch msia football.

Rebranding FAM with Nike will not just cut it, if majority Malaysians still thinks it's worth watching EPL, compared to local players.

Football: National coach ready to walk after mauling by UAE

And then there's the issue of Malaysia hockey players, whom some are smoking. Put it this way, if you are a professional in sports, and you smoke, then there's something real wrong with that thinking. In fact, it's better you quit the sports, and let someone else better goes in.

Hockey: Take the NSI way to quit smoking

Now, our sportsmen have all the best help they can get. They get overseas training, datukships, money.

But you don't win by getting lots of help. It's those tough situation that pushes you to the edge, which makes you stronger. It's the pure fight for survival that will make you fight harder. Take it from Greg Bennett, who thinks those athletes who received help from National Tri Organisation as weak. This guy races for incomes. If he deosn't make it, he'll have nothing.

Nothing comes easy, you'll have to fight for it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2nd bike....

She's exactly the type I am looking for. Not so pretty by outlook, but at least she will fulfill a few functions such as going for nearby places like the pool, eating outlets, and the nearby Tesco. And the good thing is, it's a bike that I don't mind losing to theft.

The bike is pretty old, and I think I am third hand. The wheelsets are sealed bearing, and surprisingly not so heavy and smooth going. The back shifter is an old Shimano 105. And the crank is a bit lighter than the polygon i am having. The frame is a bit large for my size though, but I soon got used to it.

The riding experience is not really superb, with the back wheel occasionally rattling. There's some gap at the wheel and the frame. The brakes are pretty worn off. And the tyres really needed a change. There's visible cracks on them.

But, it's ride able.

Oh wait...I now got a third bike...but I'll introduce her later.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You can eat my rubber tyres...

I tried cycling to the pool yesterday...and guess what. The time for me to drive there, is almost the same with pedal power. Cars get stuck with traffic lights, jam, and they are pretty slow for short distance urban roads. Bikes and motor bikes however are the best.

For example, it usually takes me 5 minutes to wait for the turn to use the roundabout. But it took me mere seconds to pass all that.

And after swimming, riding the bike, could help give some 'brick' workout. The route around here is a bit hilly, so there's some pretty interesting hill climb to tackle.

I think, I'll cycle more to the pool. It's not because I want to save the earth, or go green. I just want to get there faster. You can thank me for one less car on the road. :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Car gone

I had the misfortune of losing my car to theft last wednesday. And it wreck havoc on getting around town. I never knew that someone wanted that 'old junk' but yet it got lost.

The first thing to do was to figure out how I could resume normal life. How could I get around Klang valley amid the hopeless, stitched together public transport.

So, the first thing I did was getting a 2nd hand road bike from Manage to get one at RM 540. Pretty ok for short distance to the pool, and even maybe town. Sometimes I wonder, why could I not cycle around KL to get around, given the fact that I could easily do a 100km on training rides. The answer lies in the not so safe to cycle road lanes. Malaysia is not a bicycle friendly place. There's no bicycle lane. To get from point A to point B, using the highway, you'll need a car.

But I am pretty adamant of not getting a car for one year,..I hope. I had just paid off the car loan last middle year, and was feeling happy that I could use the extra cash for other purpose like tri, and now, am not truly interested in becoming a slave to the bank.

If I do get a car, it'll be cash and probably around 10k.

And I am taking the insurance get myself a tri bike. :P

On another note...managed to upgrade my wheel set. Hopefully, this would get me faster on the bike..i hope.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Broga Jantan 180km

I started the ride from home approx 7.00. Hope to catch jaja's group doing broga jantan.
For cyclist, broga is synonymous with 140km of torturous hill climbs, which starts from hulu langat bt 18, tekala, semenyih.
Then turn into broga, lenggeng, klawang, and back up to bt 18. I have reach broga once, but not actually a loop because after semenyih, i head
straight back home.

Managed to reach bt 18 in 1 hour, but the guys were not there. So I went ahead trying to cycle to Tekala, then semenyih. Stopped by Semenyih for a drink,
and soon found that I dropped by sunnies some where...oh well. Then head straight for Broga, Lenggeng, and finally reaching the first major climb.
Gradient is around 7 percent. But the second climb was a bit less harder. Zoomed down in 62km/h.

Then reaching the junction to bukit tangga. But still I havent seen the group. Have seen some riders doing the broga 'pondan'* though.
I stopped by to have some jackfruit and coconut water. There'll be some major climb after this.

I anticipated climbing bukit tangga from this side tough, but actually it's way easier. Save for the early part, the rest is a smooth climb up.
Then it was zooming to klawang. I think I reached around 12pm. Had lunch at the restaurant. I asked the boss if any cyclist came, and he said none.
I think I must have missed them somewhere.

Now for the last climb to Peres, it was a bit tough, but actually not so hard. There's around 3 hill climbs but also some parts are downhill.
Save for the last climb up Genting Peres, the rest were pretty manageable. Then it's all the way to bt 18. Plus the distance from home it's 159km.

At last for the last climb up Ampang Hill, this is way tougher. Then back to home to record 180km right on the dot. Hey...ironman distance!

* 'Broga pondan' and 'Broga jantan' is copyrighted by Shazly Khan.
Broga pondan goes the other way round. So it's compulsory for male cyclist to do the broga jantan, unless you want to be labelled pondan.

Year of the cow...

At the border of Jelebu...this is at the top of Bukit Tangga.