Monday, February 23, 2009

Any rebates for a bicycle?

You've heard it on the news. 5k rebate to dispose your old car and get a new one. This is...ahem...the only way to save the malaysian economy?

Here's a better idea, why not give rebates for people wanting to commute using bike as well? In fact RM 5000 could buy you 10 bikes if each cost 500 each. 5k in fact could get you a super good branded road bike.

Ever wonder why Malaysia has so many cars, and yes, you get stuck in traffic all the time? Each year, car sales has been on the rise, with figures up to 500,000 cars sold each year. The first time I heard it from my friend, I was shocked. I knew Malaysia cars sales is high but it couldn't be this high.

I had just stumbled a nice site promoting cycling commuting. Now don't complain about the heat and humidity if these guys cycle during the winter.

Cars does have it's function, but we ought not to think of using cars each time we want to travel in our neighborhood. In fact, if you are bold enough, cycle to work. Get those heavy duty back pack to store your laptop and other items. You'll appreciate the travel instead of sulking behind a car that says "I got better things else to do instead of getting stuck in traffic". The irony is You are part of the problem.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Another By Election Soon?

Yes, Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman Jailu managed to cough up an MC, saying he had heart problems, so he can't attend to court. But more surprisingly, he met the press, saying this while waving a ciggarrette.

Look, you've got heart problems, and I bet that your doctor already asked you to stop. Continue smoking, and we might as well have another by elections.

Look at the stats folks. 25% of death in government hospitals is circulatory disease and strokes. 5 million malaysian have hypertension (this leads to other diseases).

And yet, we see BAT profits soar to 812 million in 2008. F**k your "fiscal concern", BAT.
If BAT should be concern, they ought to sell nicotine free gums, and not poison.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cycling Everywhere

Hmm..the electric scooter on The Star does look pretty promising. All it does is running on electricity generated from lead acid battery, hence you got to charge it to run. While it doesn't consume petrol, it does not mean that the cost of running the scooter is way much cheaper than running a petrol equivalent machine. Electricity comes with a cost as well.

The only real free from fuel vehicle is the bicycle, powered by your legs.

Having to cycle around for the past few weeks, I've discovered a few things:

1. Kuala Lumpur is actually pretty small. Klang valley is not as big as it looks like. I've cycled the furthest to Shah Alam (took around 1 hour from KL). In fact if you want to travel within KL, it's much faster on a 2 wheeler compared to cars. I had whizzed by Jln Sultan Ismail, while the cars piled up in a bumper to bumper crawl. And finding parking space is free, and convenient. Just find a pole, and lock in your bike.

2. Cycling exposes your senses to your surroundings. Driving and cycling along the road is 2 different experience. You get exposed to sunshine, dust, noise, smells that you won't get while driving. While sometimes exhaust gets in your face, you feel connected to your place and time you are in. Driving cut all that off in your comfortable, airconditioned small confined space.

3. You get sweaty. I don't deny this is kind of troubling. But you could look it from another point of view. What's wrong with getting sweaty? You had put in the energy and effort to move from point A to point B by your own power, and in the process, get a bit healthier. To solve this problem, just get another piece of new shirt and packed in plastic. Change when you get to your destination.

Look at it this way. Our population is getting bigger. People need to get around. But buying cars and building more highways is not the most cost effective solution. A typical house in KL has 2 or 3 more cars. One each for mom and dad, and the third for the teen who had just gotten his/her license.

Government needs to build a good public transport system (bus, MRT), so we don't need cars as the base line of traveling around. Roads needs to be friendly for 2 wheelers like bicycles, and motor bikes, to promote usage. Cars actually takes up a lot of road space causing traffic jams.

Here's a comparison of spaces it takes to transport 72 person.

So, get a bicycle and pedal around for a start.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Are our politicians in good health?

Now, we already had 2 MPs who died because of heart problems. The latest victim is just only 50 years old from Bukit Gantang. The previous MP Razali (59) also succumbed to heart failure. Heart disease does not choose which side of party you are from. It sometimes shows symptoms, but it could also come suddenly.

If we have MPs with health problems, it'll be harder for them to tackle rakyat's issues. In fact, with all the energy spent on bickering on the latest frog jumping issues, won't they rather be doing more exercise? (no...walking is not exercise, and that includes senam robik).

Anyway, being malaysians as we are, we are quite comfortable with middle age man with bellies. In fact, it probably shows how well you are doing in life. And we are also 'ok' with them smoking and drinking excessively. In fact, all this unhealthy habits will just equate in dangerous and risky health problems, if not tackled seriously.

Besides, Changkat Jering assemblyman Mohd Osman, can't turn up at the court for his trial because of suspected heart ailment. And the other guy from Behrang is unwell as well.

Here's what I suggest as a requirement to keep our politicians fit:

To get Datuk-ship, you've got to complete at least an olympic tri distance. (swim 1.5, cycle 40, run 10km)

To get Datuk Seri-ship, you've got to complete half ironmnan distance. (swim 2, cycle 90, run 21km)

To get Tun-ship, you've got to complete ironman distance. (swim 3.8, cycle 180, run 42km)

Won't that be darn great, seeing our politicians fighting it out at the course?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Putrajaya Ironman Simulation

Thanks to Lee for the ride and Tony for his effort in organising a successful tri simulation for ironman wannabes last sunday.

Was surprised at quite a number of turnouts of people. We had Hugo from Surinam, and Ben Swee from Singapore.

As for the swim, managed to do 2.2 km in 45 minutes. The pace was ok, but I was really hoping to dip below 2min/100m pace. It's pretty darn slow. Haven't been swimming for quite some time, and the last time I swam, I knew it's rusted. However, I was pushing above moderate pace. Not so fast but at times sprinting. Hugo, who was an olympian breeze the pool doing 1.5min/100.

Then it was cycling. I got myself a new helmet from Edwin's shop. Had been trying to find a smaller helmet because the previous one was for mountain biking. Luckily he had an S size. I had also fitted the front wheel with a racing tyre Vittoria. Was a bit nervous about it because I just can't seem to pump more air into it, and it seems to be leaking?...(I later found out it was indeed leaking, because the valve, even though screwed, still leaks air).

I knew the route, so I blasted away fast. 1 loop = 25km. I wanted to know how long I could go aero, and how long I could sustained almost max effort without losing it. After 2 loops, I was still going strong, but come the third and after, it was slower.

I was wondering where the rest were. Only did manage to catch up with Hugo on the last lap, and made it back with 129km. I had calculated the average speed hovers around 28km/h. Still slow...I was hoping to make it 30km/h.

As for running, this is actually my first Brick (cycle & run). At first, it was a bit tough, not because it's hard to run, but I was kind of lazy. But seeing the rest puting it up on the tarmac, had me laced up and did a 30 minute run. At the end of the run only did I finally got the legs moving correctly.

Finish the whole thing in less than 6 hours, and still feeling kind of ok afterwards, albeit hungry.

Lesson learnt: Nutrition is important. Eat before training, and eat regularly while training to keep up the energy level. Fatigue is mostly due to inadequate hydration and lower energy level. After 3 hours pushing it, I was beginning to slow down. Eating some powerbar from time to time, did boast things up, but I had only brought one Power bar for the whole thing.

Ironman would require double this effort.