Monday, March 28, 2011

Memories of PK Yeoh

My Memories of PK Yeoh

The year was 2006. I was working in an ISP company but my mind was to quit. I was jobless, but was on the journey of regaining my health. I hang out most of the time in a quaint bikeshop owned by Mr Tan Boon Foo. It was during this time, that i decided to get myself a Road Bike. Having not much of an experience, and not wanting to invest too much, just in case of "Hot-hot chicken shit", I met a gentlemen who had a bike to offload which met my budget. His name is PK Yeoh.

At that time, PK (as he is commonly known in the cycling circle) had just started cycling 7 month earlier and had decided to upgrade. So, there I was about to be the owner of a SCOTT Speedster for just under RM1.5k. BoonFoo, who (oppurtunistic as he is) kept introducing and reminding me that PK is the ride director of PCC (he also did the same to me a year later). There I was, like a little puppy, following PK and his family to rides, where and when possible.

Our normal route at that time include Puncak Alam and Batu Arang. Mid week, we will be doing the KESAS ride on Wednesday nite. I was so hooked on riding that even when PK wanted to ride into the City during second Hari Raya, I would volunteer to attend. Nothing was too complicated, he was ever so thoughtful, always arranging for rides and training. He treated me like family, as he was picking up his training with L2A and the coach Joe (who is also the bike mechanic at BoonFoo), he use to make it a point for me to attend the training every Saturday morning at Kota Damansara. Joe and L2A use to do motorpacing on Saturday with the boys on that 4.2km loop.

PK will drag me to training and pace with the boys, averaging 30-32km/hr each loop and rising to 2 loops of 40km/hr. We will do about 10-15 loops on Saturday. In attendance together in that training was Mei(PK's wife) and Chin Hoe (PK's only son). Chin Hoe was 13 at that time. Imagine, I saw that boy grew up right in front of my eyes. The noble person that PK is, i was so indebted that I tried to emulate him as we ride in PCC often. If he leads the peloton, I would sweep. So strong that he was a cyclist, that he can drop down and play sweeper and in the next hour, go to the front and lead the peloton again.

He also threw in a gauntlet and challenge after just 3 month into my cycling. He and Joe decided to cycle from KL to Penang to participate in Pesta Pulau Pinang Race in middle to December. He said, if you seriously want to cycle, follow him and Joe to Penang. He said, "There is nothing to worry about, the L2A boys will pace and we will draft". I have never ever at that time cycle beyond 120km in day let alone 780km to and fro. But it was to be my most adventourous journey that help my mental to show that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. The 15 of us left for that journey and many friendship was forged out of that journey. L2A (Anuar Manan was still a boy) and me became tight, Kimbeley Yap became a close buddy and PK, William and me became close friends/family. Rides after that was always a "family"affair.

Coming back from Penang, I will always be on a look out for a PK lead ride. In the PCC group, PK is always known as the leader of long rides or the PK Special Ride. His ride once to Sungai Tenggi was originally published at 130km-140km, but most riders will remember the additional 30km since the halfway mark is already 85km. During Interstate rides, we will always ride with PK as the peloton ride leader. I remember his famous words of "tag" or encouraging words such as "Ah Mack ahh", "Tahannnnnn".

2007 was a memorable year for me for rides, I was active in PCC as sweeper and also for being actively involve in two most memorable ride with the PK clan. That was the year we did "Interstate" to Penang and "Ride for Life" to Melaka. In the year 2008 and 2009, I was hectically involve in running and cycling, which made my cycling days with PCC to be rescheduled. However, that did not stop me from riding with the PK clan where possible.

The next long ride was the Century ride in 2008, I was always looking for the PK peloton, though that year I was unfit, and I had to let the peloton go after 80km. However, during IS2008 to Rompin, we had a fun a memorable ride again with all the upsaddling and speeding up, trying to play catchup. Those were memorable times. Last year, he had not cycle much, choosing to focus more on Chin Hoe's education. Chin Hoe was taking SPM in 2010. I have not seen him much.

Recently, I had an accident and broke my collarbone. But the ever so thoughtful PK kept contacting me on the BlackBerry and also took me out for Teh Tarik. We chatted about Chin Hoe and how he has grown and was working part time now at Subways. I only felt that I should accept the recent invitation to have the teh tarik days before.....

Anyway, I have only good things to say about this man, since he is always and has always been good to me and to many others. Thats what he is...a good, humble and noble man. Yeoh PK, I will always remember you for all the contributions to the Cycling World , L2A , PCC and me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lens for Sale 16-85VR f3.5-5.6 [ITEM SOLD]

Age of Lens: 1 year 4 month
Comes with Box, Manual, Warranty Card, Hood, Front Cap, rear Cap and Hoya Filters
Asking Price : 1550 (Firm) COD Subang Jaya/KLCC

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Knowing the Lowepro Shoulder Bag

I was given to test the Lowepro Shoulder Camera Bag to use it for the Energizer Night Race. This writeup is to give it some perspective of the bag.

Outlook & Finishing
The bag is finished in Black externally and lined with Lime green fabric on the inside. The contrast is quite interesting. Surprisingly though, the bag does not have that much padding as the usual Lowepro standards. This lack of padding is perhaps to keep it light and easy to use. Access to the internal compartment is via a flip cover and two buckle. Comments i received from some girls are that they like the color scheme. I am ok with the color scheme though some of my guy frens thought its too "girly".Internally, you have one big compartment with velcro on the sides for you to place two separators. Using the separators, u can divide that compartment into three distinct areas to place camera body, lens and flash.
I have tried to put my Nikon D40 with battery grip in the bag. It is a bit tough , though doable. It would be more comfortable and convienient to place the camera minus the battery grip, but i was just trying to stretch it. The other compartment, i manage to place my SB400 flash and another spare Nikon lens (18-70). The ideal configuration is perhaps a small camera with kit lens, a flash and another spare lens.

In use review
The camera bag feels comfortable in use for casual travel to carry your camera when you do a walk about. It may not be a fair to compare this bag and my usual Lowepro Flipside400, which i use regularly for sports and outdoor shoot. This shoulder bag is more suited for holidays, travelling and walk about where heavy duty equipment are not being lugged around.

I had used it for my daughters sports days and find it useful to take out and put in stuff. It has a zipp compartment for placement of lens cap and memory card (though it is clearly not identified as in other Lowepro bags). I also use it as a walk about camera bag during the energizer Nite race. I find it light and convienient and easy.

Conclusion and Summary
In summary, these are the findings:-

What it should be used for
a) Casual walk about, travel or holiday
b) Equipment list no more then 3 ie Camera, Flash and maybe another lens
c) Budget constraint and as alternative to other entry packaged bags

What it should NOT be used for
a) Heavy duty users with big lens and big camera body (inclusive of battery grip)
b) Rough use
c) If you are running around from place to place.

I presume, this bag is the entry package for Lowepro to introduce to the first time Camera user. I think its listed in Lowepro catalogue as Exchange Messenger.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Things that shape my life and views (Part 1)

1969 - Hiding under the bed with my mother with a parang while riots are happening outside; hated confrontation after that

1971 - Selling nasi lemak in Iskandar school; the meaning of being humble

1974 - Learning Tae Kwan Do in YMCA Ipoh; after being extorted numerous times near St Michaels School Ipoh; learning to be self dependent

1976 - Washed away by torrent water near Tanjung Rambutan water fall; seeing the feeling of despair in my fathers eyes not being able to save me. Eventually, saved by big boulder; Fear of water and respect the power of nature

1977/1978 - Math tution with Mr Ung Khek Chow and Vincent Lee; The meaning of infatuation and "real black belt" (for not memorizing formulae fast enough)

1979 - Discovering the Art of Cooking; Learning to cook and recipe of 10 ways to cook an egg for dinner (having to go overseas)

1981 - Discovering Love and patience ; meeting my future wife while giving her tution in Applied Math and Physics

1984 - Long Tired Night at Subang Airport while coming back to Malaysia, experiencing an Attempted Corruption during the Bersih Cekap Amanah campaign ; Learning the word apprehension of politican's slogan.

1987 - Going through the Economic Crisis where New Mercedes Benz were sold at half price, ATUR phones costing RM8000 were sold at 1/3rd the price to pay debts at coffee shop in Bangsar; learning the meaning of savings and debt free.

1989 - "Its better to make a decision, wrong it maybe in hindsight then not to make a decision and leave people hanging" ; Lessons in life (from my mentor Engineer) while assisting in supervising the construction of the Langkawi Jetty Complex before CHOGM.

1990 - "Doing the right things may not necessarily be right especially when done at the wrong time"; appreciating the meaning of timing and the many ways of saying "No"

1991 - Civil Engineers can design IT Network and do programming - having a degree just means you can do many wonderful things; Change in profession from Civil Engineer to IT Network Manager and Administrator

1993 - "Internet is going to be the next powerbase - here, familiarize yourself with Gopher and Mosaic" (so says Dr Mohamed Awang Lah {Father of Malaysia Internet} to some of us); first lessons on the power of the NET.

1995 - Information is power, construction of databases can be challenging when you don't have an idea of the end game ; Undertaking various IT projects while in JKR and SMPKE.

1996 - Hmmm...its quite easy to exploit this sendmail bug and stealing the /etc/passwd file - Might have a flair in Information Security ; experimenting with Security System after studying the probable method of Hack by friend Dinesh Nair.

1998 - "You may have strong opinion and want to be right all the time, but if you do that, you will be LEFT (left out of discussion)" - so says one of my mentor; lessons learn while chairing a IT Audit meeting and about negotiation.

1999 - "If you have nothing good or constructive to say, better not say anything" - while managing newsgroups in JARING ; learning the art of tact and positive enforcement.

2001 - "Some people need to be guided in the thinking process, you need to design forms for people to fill in, to start them thinking" - while doing IT Strategic Plan ; Lessons in preparation and implementation process.

2003 - "Its easy to gauge people's intelligence when they start talking and act, its when they don't say anything, then you start worrying" - while facilitating a Information Security Workshop; lessons in not talking too much.

2004 - "You cannot attain knowledge by just reading, most of the time you have to DO to expereince and understand the shortcoming" - says my ex-boss; lesson in learning and managing Technology Companies (be it in marketing on in technical)

2005 - "The difficult part is not about learning new stuff, its about unlearning all the bad habits that you already have" - says my CEO then; having been pointed out about my habit of procrastination.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Lessons learned while waiting in the waiting room of the Operation Theater!!!

  1. No matter how old your daughter is, even at 23 years old, she is still your baby
  2. That you can have something growing inside you as big as a rugby ball and you wouldn't realize it
  3. A phone call from a friend with similar experience can be so comforting and give you so much assurance and strength that only god know how to repay (U know who you are)
  4. At 49 years, time may be running out for me and I have yet to live my life to the fullest. Seize the day (after watching another patient going in for surgery at the age of 59)
  5. You realize how great having a network of friends can be, they are your source of strength and comfort.
  6. How fragile life can be....
  7. Express your love and spend time with the one you love and care as if there is no tommorrow
I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to all my friends who had sent me SMS and made calls to me to ask about my daughter's surgery and her condition. This posting is one of the ways that I can express my feeling of gratitude to all of you.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Living by Other Peoples benchmark/Objectives

Winning at the expense of someone is not what I believe in. This is part of Steven Covey's 7 Habits Book thought me. As George Elliot puts it "What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?"

I look at success or people who has succeeded in many facets. You cannot call yourself successful if you just do one thing well, and fail at many others. In the recent weeks, i have come to see the other side of some of my "friends". Some of them only sees one angle in life ie just to excel in sports and to make it worse, excelling at the expense of others.

This is not a view that I subscribe to, having gone through life and look at trying to do good in areas of carreer, family, spiritual, frenship, education, health and wealth. There are many other facets, but these are some that i look as my KPI. Sports to me only fill the facets of frenship and health, it is not an objective to me but a means to a better health.

I am commonly asked (or statements are commonly pass), why are u still slow in your cycling since u have all the best bike and spend large sums of money on the bike. I think a lot of people fail to ask the objective of me cycling and forms conclusion quickly based on their standards and believe system. I spend money and buys these bikes as part of my experimentation/research with all the possible equipment available in the market. I buy because I can and also to get first hand knowledge and not just read and try to comprehend secondary information. Ironically, some of these people do try to leverage on my knowledge that I have acquired through my experimentation. They find these advice cheap ;-).

These equipment performance is much dependendent on your riding style, ur bike, ur weight etc. Basically wheelsets, equipment will be based on individuals and I now have a reasonable idea of what suits me. What is also more important, is that I cycle to achieve better health and maintain my weight while having fun with my friends. It is not to be faster then others, not to be able to have bragging rights and most definitely not to "make your friends malu by dropping them".

The same comments and statement is also made about my running to which I find it quite amusing. I started running mainly to prove to myself that I can do better then before. Doctors sometimes tells me not to run as I was quite heavy before weighing in at 115 kg. When I first ran in the Mizuno Wave run, my time was 1 hour 34 minutes just to complete 10km. That was my benchmark and every race after that, I have been battling with myself to improve it by 3-4 minutes every race day.

It is not that I want to beat another Joe who is the same size that I was, nor compete with my friends, I am just competing with myself to show that I can do a 10km run under 1 hour (if possible), thereby achieving better health and gaining good friends and have fun doing it.

I recognize that most of us are weekend warriors, where we have days jobs and these jobs is what pays to put food on the table. I will not steal time of my employer just to train and achieve better timing. When most of us go to races, we would like to enjoy the sweetnest of glory and its better when we are among friends. How can one enjoy their winning alone, if not with friends. Hence, I do not subscribe to glorifying my strength and winning by putting other friends down just so that we can feel better and show that we are stronger. Why can't we win together?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Redeeming the Ghost of dePalma

I thought the morning started bad enough when i first unloaded the bike (my trusty Pinarello) to find that it has one bottle cage only. The morning already looked recovering from wet nite and the sky does not seem to have any clouds. I thought to myself "Shit, I made another bubu". I am so gonna suffer with only one bottle of water at Bukit Pelandok.

That does not go well especially when i screw up one of the ride before this (same route) and bonked big time. Actually i was nearly hospitalized due to dehydration, but not wanting my close friends see my suffering, i chose to keep it quiet and play it down. I was lying down at the Depalma hill, not able to move, being bitten by ants and other insects having to endure the suffering before help came. It is with this insecurities that has thought me that i may have to depend on my training buddies to pull me back from the cold if I needed it. Actually, the last time round, the ever dependable, reliable and steadfast Adeline came to my rescue having ridden back singlehandedly back to MTDC car park and took the car back to Depalma to rescue me. That time, Maysenn and Ariff was also by my side keeping me company. I never did thank them (especially Adeline) formally for that.

The route also is the route that has many good memories having done Aids ride and many of the Ironman training ride which i had the oppurtunity to play support. It is with this background that I began my morning ride. There was about 13 of us, Alwin, Julie, Hadi, Ihshal, Deryk, Yit Thing Bro, Yit thing, Vincent, May Senn, Ariff, Alan (Senn's father), newbie EZeer (who registered in Half Iron and just got bike day before) and myself.

We started about 8 am and reached Sepang by about 9:15 am, which was reasonable. Since my usual training buddie has now moved on, i made a pack with with Senn to Sweep and hoping that in the event anything should happen to me, she could rescue me as she has also proven to be reliable and dependable. Unfortunately, in my zealousness to up the speed from Sepang to Lukut, I had accidently dropped Senn and Ariff and was with Alwin and Julie until Lukut. I was crazy enough to do it again during the trip back from Lukut to Sepang. Senn and Ariff, please forgive me for that.

Having blundered my pack with Senn, and feeling guilty, i stayed back behind in the Sepang-MTDC leg. Senn, knowing that I was being haunted by the dePalma hill ghost assured me, she will be waiting at the top of the hill for me. That was like a sound of relief in my small heart and I climbed that hill determined to redeem myself. Having reached the top with Senn and Ariff, some bikers passed us by and shouted, "Wehhh, ur friend is down at the foothill lying on the grass". Ariff and myself, in panicked quickly went down the hill again to look for Ezeer. It is at the halfway point going down that I said to myself "Shit, now I have to climb the hill again!!". But remebering what Adeline had done for me before, I thought this guy deserves the same kindness and support.

I went up the hill, had a few words with Senn and decided to shoot off back to MTDC to collect the car and come back for them. I have never cycled so fast consistently for that last 19km having averaged 30km/hr. I reached base and got the car out to provide support as Senn and Ariff was on reaching point. I saw Ezeer 5 km from base and gave him water. As he was determined to finish the ride I chose to accompany him back in the car.

Lessons learnt: Repay the kindness other people have showered on you to others as you may not know when your numbers will be up. What goes around comes around. Extend your gratitude and apologies immediately as you may not have the oppurtunity to thank them again.