Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We are athlete (the before and after story)

I can sometime be quite cocky and i sometime have disillusion of grandeur of being an athlete. If one is look at my physique, one would have thought that I belong in the 3 stooges gang. Anyway, i thot i might as well relate what happen in my dream of being a weekend athlete in Singapore doing the Singapore Marathon.

Actually, it all boils down the sentence "We are athlete, ....". It all started with a group of us taking the MRT, and trying the be the gentlement, since there was a seat available, i had offered it to Maysenn. She retorted, "No, we are athlete, we prefer to stand". So we went round Singapore taking stairs instead of escalators and preferring to walk rather then taking the MRT all in the name of "We are athlete".

Now, come after race day, we were walking like crabs. After taking the taxi home, we had this monumental task of trying to walk up the apartment of just 4 flight of stairs. The words, "we are athelete" went into oblivion. Walking up/down a flight of stair case was suffering. We even took lift down and up to the MRT. None of us dared to utter the words "we are athelete" anymore.

On a sidenote, Ihave never seen so much people in my life. Its as if the whole of Singapore has turn out to run. Event went all right except for us being wrongly directed in circles in finding the baggage sorage area. Other then that we had a breeze of a time.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Conquering and managing fear...

I seldom talk about my fears and these are the fear of drowning, heights and darkness. The fear of drowning stems from the fact that in my growing up years, I was nearly drowned three times. This is further compounded by the fact that i cannot swim and thus does not assist me in trying to get into water to learn to swim.

I cannot remember how I acquire the fear of heights, but I always have horrendous dreams about me falling over the cliff, though its commonly falling over the edge of the bed.

I suppose the fear of darkness comes from my upbringing, being continuously threatened by bogeyman and ghosts by uncles and aunties.

Last week, the company decided that staff are required to undertake team building exercises organized by Nomad Adventures near Kampar. The team building consist of undertaking some rope works and Skytrex tree canopy walk, white water rafting in Kampar river and caving in Gua Kundu. Imagine, I have to control and manage all my fear in just one 2 day event.
Arriving there on Thursday morning, we first had to undertake the tree/cliff rope walks at about 20 to 30 feet in height. The debate that your mind have with your heart can sometimes be very deafening as your fear trys to conquer you. I had to control my fear as I took the challenge of climbing the first vertical wall climb and as I progress, the rope works became more and more difficult. By the time, I reached the point of no return, we were already 30 feet above ground and I had to grit my teeth to finished the challenge. Reaching the ground after 1 hour, i was sweating like a donno what animal, and was glad that I managed to finish the obstacle, but more importantly manage my fear heights.
After lunch, the next challenge we were told to do is White water rafting. It had drizzled along the way, and we were told by our facilitator that the event could be cancel if the water gets to unruly. Arriving at the top, we saw torrents of water gushing near the bridge and was told that we could be having a category 3 or 4 rapids today. The instructors looked happy but some of us were beginning to have worried look on our faces. The safety and pedal briefing prior to the start didn't help either as we were reminded what to do in the event the raft capsized.

The river has 14 rapids and drops, and we were broken up to a team of 4 in two rafts. There were other people from ING which amounts to another 6 raft. Our team mates in the other raft were not so luckily having capsized at the start of the challenge and was swept away. All together 6 raft capsized and overturned. U can see people being swept away and even after being rescued, some were shivering with trauma. We were quite fortunate that we had a very experience boatman/guide and managed to go through the drops and rapids control ably. Having gulped much of Kampar river water, i was relieved when we finished that 8 km river trip after more then 2 hours. Much of the time spent was also trying to regroup and salvage other team mates that have been swept away.

The next day, the next challenge entails us to explore gua Kundu. What was not informed to us is that exploration of the Gua also means ascending and descending 15 to 20 feet vertical walls in the dark. Armed with 3 candles and a compass, we had to find our way in the caves some no more then 3 feet by 3 feet openings. Some of the memorable ascends are a two staged 15 feet , 60 degree climb using ropes and secondly a 15 feet 80 degree drop into a recess/cavity. The ending is a spectacular opening at the top of the limestone caves with a long flying fox ride for those who might want to take up the challenge.
We later descended via a short cut which was equally challenging if not more then the climb in the dark. It was via a 60 degrees jungle mud walk (since it was drizzling the nite before). I nearly kicked the guide down as I slipped my footing. Reaching the ground, i have never felt such euphoria of relieved as I can feel the feet on the ground.

The take away that I get from this is, i sometime surprise myself that I am willing to take up something new at my age. I am also surprised that I can complete some of these task and quite happy that my fear did not over ride my logic and make me a non starter. Over all, I quite enjoy myself in the last two days although my body says otherwise.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Drive, Cycled and Ran the Penang Bridge

Congratulations friends who had participated in the Penang Bridge Marathon (PBM). Met Wendy, CK, Adeline, Maysenn, Kam Kasturie, Kar Yan, Adli, Roger, Admiral, Azmaar (my saviour), Tony Q, Saiful, Abu Power and most fantastic Tey (our favourite photographer - we owe him a lot of lunches and dinner). My apologies if I have missed out other names.

I can now safely say that I have driven, cycled (Interstate2007) and ran across the Penang Bridge.

Morning prep for some of us began as early as 1 am on Sunday morning. Prior to this, we arrived in Penang after a 6 hour journey from KL and getting stuck at the entry of Penang with a massive jam just before the PBM toll house. Pick up our kits at Queensbay Mall and went around Queensbay Mall for some late shopping. Decide to carbo load at Kassim Nasi Kandar (near KOMTAR branch) just before 6pm. Went back early to get our planned beauty sleep. Most unlikely as we soon found out as there was lotsa people making lotsa noise at B-Suite.

Decide to leave "early" at 2 am, but unfortunately road block had started, hence had to do "involuntary" warm up by jogging to the race site. Race start was very uneventful, after watching CK, Senn and Kar Yen started, some of us decided to loiter around for the next 1 hr 30 min waiting for our own flag off.

I actually surprised myself by being able to run all the way from the start line to the turn around mark (which was 12.5km).By about kilometer 15km, i was on a walk/jog/walk mode until km 20. Reaching the 20th km mark, with the road being clogged up by the Fun runners (10km) (mere excuse on my part), i resigned myself to just mere walking back. The actual reason being is that my knee had given away and the ball of my feet felt like bursting. It was the longest 5km walk back (1 hour plus) as I embarassingly hobbled to the finishing line. The absence of drink station on the way back and it being finished does not help many of the marathoners. Some even thought that it is very inappropriate and pose a danger to some slower runners, as the days get hotter and some runners might dehydrate.

Reaching the finish line, I was quite surprised that I was given a finisher medal since its about 4 hours 10 mins passed the start time and I had thought that the cut off was 3 hours 30 mins. I thanks god and every one else who had given me the motivation along the way to finish the race and not wait for the sweeper bus like many this year.

Overall, its good training before Singapore Marathon which is due on the 7th December 2008. Looking back, if someone was to tell me that I will be running 25km, last year, i would have dismissed the thought as rubbish, but now looking back, i am quite surprised that I can become this insane and did it, more so since we just came back from Powerman the week before ;-).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Coming back from the DEAD

When u are old, sometimes u wonder whether life is going to dish you anymore lessons ;-). Yesterday, I learnt many valuable lessons.

Lesson 1 - Preparation for cycling event and multisport event is different for oldies like me.
We, being the forgetful bunch that we are, can be well prepared in bringing everything to the Transition area, but not to pack it in our jerseys. Case at hand, after my 5.5km run, i was on my bike phase, i had a pucture 5km before the transition area. What do I have, tubes - but no tyre levers, no pitt stop and no pump. I thought my race was finish and i had already started to walk with my bike back to the Transition start point until 2 saviours came to my rescue, which brings me to my second lesson. Lessons learnt, bike stuff are best kept with the bike during race.

Lesson 2 - There are many kind souls out there who was willing to make sacrifice and give motivation, when all seems lost.
My hats and hearts go out to Azmar for loaning me his pump and to Bandit for loaning me his tyre lever and another pump. I had asked them not to waste time with me as I had lost my steam as i saw all the cyclist/runners that I had overtaken me had gone pass and I had lost about 10 minutes already. I was also not in the mood to continue my race, as a dear fren of mine (May Senn) had passed out at the begining of the race and was concern to get back to transition to find out how she is?

But credit had to be given to Azmar and Bandit for being the gentlement that they are and made sure I can go back to Transition area gracefully and not walked back the 5km. While changing my tube, Tony another fren also had a puncture. Seeing that someone had blessed me with pump and tyre lever, I stuck out another 10 minutes to helped out Tony with his puncture.

I cycled back quietly thinking my race was finished. At transition, as i was sitting around and looking for May Senn, I just couldnt find her, so I though "Well, since I had a bit of time, might as well finish the race, even if I had to walk all the way", which brings me to lesson number 3.

Lesson 3 - Complete your objective, you will have one less regrets
At this point of time, I was not in the mood to race, adrenaline had gone down, legs felt heavy, donno what happen to senn, seeing all the people I had overtaken during cycling all passed me by a good 30 minutes. I went out walking, taking a powerbar in hand, and as I walked out, I saw there were many other runners who were worse off then me who had cramps. I started running again and was doing my running/walking stint just before the second water stop. After that, my legs came back and managed to run all the way into the stadium to be greeted by recognizable faces. So much satisfaction, horrendous timing but the feeling of coming back from the dead is a happy one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Say it While U can!!

We sometimes go through the day and we take our friends and partners for granted. Though the Music video of this song suggest something about world peace, i find the lyrics fascinating about taking chances and not procrastinating. The song is by Daughtry:

"What About Now"

Shadows fill an empty heart
As love is fading,
From all the things that we are
But are not saying.
Can we see beyond the scars
And make it to the dawn?

Change the colors of the sky.
And open up to
The ways you made me feel alive,
The ways I loved you.
For all the things that never died,
To make it through the night,
Love will find you.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?

The sun is breaking in your eyes
To start a new day.
This broken heart can still survive
With a touch of your grace.
Shadows fade into the light.
I am by your side,
Where love will find you.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love, it never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?

Now that we're here,
Now that we've come this far,
Just hold on.
There is nothing to fear,
For I am right beside you.
For all my life,
I am yours.

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?

What about now?
What about today?
What if you're making me all that I was meant to be?
What if our love never went away?
What if it's lost behind words we could never find?
Baby, before it's too late,
Baby, before it's too late,
Baby, before it's too late,
What about now?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Last Action Hero

I sometime salute the ability of the USA to be able to project a positive image of itself as part of its defence mechanism and strategy of protecting its sovereign state. I have always believed that countries that need to protect its sovereignty needs to do the following:-
a) Have a mechanism of Self preservation
b) Have a protection mechanism against attack and lastly
c) Be able to project a positive image of the country by any means.

The reason why i brought up this issue, is that sometimes most of us are so convinced that what ever that was presented to us in CSI episodes and movies are taken as fact and we do not take the trouble to investigate whether such a claim is plausible. I remember Arnold Schwarzenegger taking punches at this in his movie "Last Action Heroes" about how most movies misrepresent the reality of people in California.

I was told and informed that there may be a possible requirement of the powers that be to be able to determine the exact location of a cellular caller to within 10 feet. Now, upon checking the FCC website and getting some of the vendors (who by the way are US based vendors), most of these technologies can only ascertain the location of the cellular callers to about plus/minus 150m.

The irony is not that we are to explore and recommend the best technology suitable as recommended by the FCC, but that can operators look into some of this solution becoz we have seen it in the movies/CSI. I am reeled because our bearing is now changed from basing on facts and standards to what is available on movie scripts and the TV.

Nevertheless, the conclusion that i draw here is that the US has been able to project its superiority through this new media that we are now not able to tell fact from fiction. Now, how about that for projecting positive values. Not only do they lead in a) and b), but now to our mind they also lead in c).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Few Good Man - Wish I was!!!

I have always been fascinated by the movie "A few good Man", especially this part of the interchange of argument between Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise.


A Few Good Men
written by Aaron Sorkin

Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I'm entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!
Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.
Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
Jessep: You're goddamn right I did!!

I some questions the motives and intent of the leaders and the Government, but sometimes I myslef will always wonder, " Have I done enough to contribute to the safety and wealth of the country...". "Am i reaping the wealth (and as Jessep says), they provide the freedom , and we reap the freedom and yet question them on how the freedom is provided for".

A point to ponder nevertherless...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Interstate 2008 - Another Done on checklist

This year Interstate can be summed up as follows:
Day 1 - Like Roti Puree (with a high ascent) - 131km
Day 2 - Like Roti Nan (With undulations and rolling hills) - 178km
Day 3 - Like Chapati (Flat) - 155km

But if you just go for the Interstate like some of my friends just for the bike ride, then you are actually missing all the fun( Its almost like looking at the trees and missing the forest). You get this from their conversation that only describe the ascent, descent and nothing else. I look forward to the Interstate as a place of self test on rides, enjoying the scenery, enjoying the company and enjoying the food (along the way and end of the road).

It was funny when i was sitting round the table and i was discussing the nice water fall that we stopped by before Bahau and the nice beach that we were at before Kuantan and the nice authentic nasi lemak that was served at a gerai near Rompin. Some of my cyclist friends actually missed this and some even missed the accident that happen near them too.

On the first day, we set off from Kajang early morning and was on to the foot of Peres by about 745. The scenary and mist on Peres was wonderful. Adeline, Senn and me was supposed to set a small peloton to Bahau, unfortunately Senn had difficulties with her contact lens and had to abort the ride. We waited for her for almost 30 minutes before pushing of for Bahau upon hearing that she has gone up the car. At kilometer 90 (Pertang Town), the route took us to a challenging climb and rutted road that was bad on my wrist. There was also a lot of aroma from the bomb that cows had excreted and dodging these bomb are quite mind boggling. Lessons learnt here is never to take two bowls of ABC before continuing on long ride. Otherwise you might just barf. Nearing Bahau, there were quite nice kampong scenary that made me reminisce of times when young. Reached Bahau just before 2 pm.

Second day, the Marshall car lead us out of Bahau (quite a quaint old town) and lead us to the junction that lead us to the Bahau Keratong highway. This road was built to cut across the palm estate and also serve as the security road (air craft can land- so I was told). May Senn, Adeline and me made a small pace line together with one other KOTRT boys and headed for Kuala Rompin. We had to surrender the peloton as Adeline's shoe cleats came off and I had to do some minor adjustment. We pushed off a few minutes later and caught up with Boot (Letuang) and made another pace line until we caught up with PK's peloton.

We worked together until the turn off to Melati at kilometer 51. At kilometer 60, my saddle bag came off and I was debating with myself whether to rectify this and loose the peloton or not. After about kilometer 75, i thot i had better rectify the saddle bag and also refill at one of the support car stop, while PK's peloton continued. Adeline was nice enough to slow down as I caught up with her 2 km later. We also caught up with Boot and work together for another 10km or so (ehem, we somehow lost Boot) as me and Adeline worked until Bandar Muadzam. As I came about just before Muadzam Shah, a smiley face of Joanne greeted me (she is my support car driver) and May Senn was also there (having hung on to PK's peloton, she was nice enough to also wait for me at Muadzam). Went into Muadzam looking for gerai at the Bus stop, where Jeff, Tan Seng Khooi and Terry was just about to finish their lunch. We had the longest lunch ever, having stopped there for an hour.

It was a good time to regroup as the Letuang Boys was there as well. We left off at 12:00pm and worked a pace line until Kuala Rompin. There were nice stops for Water Melon and Coke along the way and we reached Kuala Rompin just about 3pm. Had also a nice Kentucky chicken just before the dinner that nite, somehow Kentucky in the outside of Klang Valley taste different.

Day 3 began with the Marshall car leading us out to the Kuala Rompin Kuantan road which has one of the most beautiful scenery and beaches that I have seen. I also had the opportunity of eating the nicest nasi lemak at km 34 and the nicest nasi dagang at Pantai Lagenda. having being burnt out following the fist peloton for 21km, i set a pace line with clarence and Ivan for another 13km until Clarence wanted to stop for food. We had nasi lemak and pushed of towards Pekan. I survived only another 26km before surrendering the day due to in inflamed pimple near my a**e. My leg and body say ride, but my Ar*e said "U gotta be kidding me, please, please stop".

Well, I played support car driver for a while and we raced of to support PK's peloton and reached Kuantan at about 1230. I also had the nicest nasik Ayam and mee maggi sup while waiting for our rooms to be readied. What a memorable Interstate08.

Ok, done all together 380km for 3 days, it was more then my expectation, i am happy. Without any training.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My dream bike

A fren bought this and I have been salivating on it....

I am still waiting.....

Prices of petrol has gone down. Why has the price of my nasi lemak and teh tarik has not gone down yet. In fact, the price of nasi lemak has gone up 10sen this morning....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lesson learnt to holiday on the cheap in Australia

Sydney is actually a city full of back packers hotel. The room rates ranges between AUD18-30 per nite and depends on the sharing basis. Generally, the rooms are twin bunked double decker which means its 4 to a room. Its quite nice when u think that most of the time you will be out. The best location is to choose a backpackers hotel near the Central station in Sydney.

Running around in Sydney is relatively cheap if you want to take the torist day out. In front of the Central train station (which u can find the Greyhound Interstate service and other Intercity travel options), there is a Sydney Hop on Hop off bus. It cost AUD30 for a days pass, which u can go to 30 top tourist destination at 15 min intervals. U can choose to hop off for ur photo oppurtunity and get the next bus at the same stop. The Hop on Hop Off also has another loop which goes to Bondi Beach. To me, for AUD30 (which works out to RM90) its a nice way to familiarize with Sydney.

Eating however can be slightly expensive if u are depending on 7-Eleven stuff like MARS bar or Crisps. It cost an average AUD3.50 for those. I would recommend to take either take your meal at the Hungry Jacks (Burger King to us Malaysian) , Donor Kebab or Fish and Chips. The meals will set u back an average of AUD7.50. I was more dependent on these kind of meals during my stay in Aussie.

Internet Access in Sydney is realtively cheap. PC terminals which are available almost in every corner of Chinatown is available at between AUD1.50 per hour. U can choose to upload your photographs and news in the eveing when most shops are closed. Sydney shops do close early at about 5:30pm.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Positioning - Where are we ?

a) Strategy is in the positioning.

b) Hubbing or being a hub and Centre of Excellence all points to position where every one finds u as the reference.

c) Hubbing helps a country like Malaysia to boost its economy by the influx of money be it from investor, tourism, spin offs and also letting the money flow from persons to persons

d) Malaysia has been known to want to position itself as a hub in many areas. In the Telco industry, as a tourism destination spot in this region and perhaps a a champion for the third world or muslim nation.

e) To do this, it needs to compete. If it needs to compete, it needs to execute these plans, lest other neighbouring countries execute it first. If we are loose as a none first mover, we ourselves are to be blame.

f) Sometimes, i often wonder, do all of us share this position or are we people who fail to see the big picture. Industry, businesses and rakyat will wonder whether the policies and direction of the country is not clear and consistent.

g) Case in hand - Avril Lavigne concert. I am not a supporter of the concert and neither an opposer. But to cancel it will also mean to position the country as not a destination of interest for entertainment and lo and behold, our neighbour gets the cake. This is taking prosper thy neigbour to the other extereme. To make matter worse, our people will go down south and thus enrich the economy of Singapore.

h) I have nothing against Singapore, but the issue I have is for us not to compete.

i) Even in the F1 scene, our efforts seems lacklustre in the promotion of the event regionally and we are more concerned on the issues of management of the F1, whereby the Night race of F1 is being promoted aggressively by Singapore in Malaysia.

j) To make matters worse, we cry foul when Singapore was bidding for it and competing with us. Why, because we could be scared of the competition.?

h) I am a firm believer of the Microsoft saying, let us evolve internally and make our current software extinct before being made extinct by other outside.

I am getting more confused by the days, as we seem to shooting ourselves in the foot and moving our position from the also ran to the follower and later perhaps as non-relevant. I am very sad.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Snipets of Observations - Aussie style

Olympic Coverage in Australia

One thing i noticed when watching TV in Australia is that the news coverage cover so much about Aussies sports person which is gunning for medals that you would have thought that the Olympic revolves around Swimming and Cycling. You need to switch to BBC World or ESPN to get some other news. I missed ASTRO since we are able to watch a broader spectrum of Olympic coverage since none of our sportsman are potential medalist and Astro would have finished their coverage in 15 minutes if it was to focus specifically on Malaysian sports man.

Public Transport in Adelaide and Sydney

Such is the effeciency of Public Transport in Adelaide and Sydney that within the space of 3 days, I was able to cover and see on average about 60% of Sydney and Adelaide. Armed with a yellow pages and a well coordinated bus route map, I was able to travel from one end of town to another at very little cost. I thought I would have to rely on Taxis, not necessary, buses, trams and trains are order of the day.

Internet Access

Sydney is a metropolitan town where internet kiosk rules the day. There is almost a kiosk with 3-4 terminals every other three shops. Even 7-eleven has internet kiosk. Rate is about AUD1 to AUD2 for every hour use. Unfortunately, the same is not true for Adelaide, being a city with a high older population, internet access is more available in houses rather then on the streets. There are kiosk but not in every corner though and access is slightly higher at about AUD 2- 3 per hour.

Cycling Objectives - Lessons reminded

My recent visit to Australia has reminded me and has brought me down to earth.

The two cities that I happen to visit is Adelaide and Sydney. Both are cyling friendly cities which has dedicated bike lanes and bike facilities such as bike parking spots and bike friendly public transport system.

The cyclist over there are not very hung up on fashionable bikes but cycles with an objective of health and getting to destination. Unlike me, who of late, seems to be drawn to having a nice bike and nice jersey but is horrendous in the art of cycling. Bottom line, I have been adultrated with the wrong sets of culture and values.

Even visiting bike shops, which much to my wifes' disgust, i noticed that the stock of high end cycling stuff are rare. Frames such as Specialized Tarmac SL is a rare thing and Groupset such as Campy Chorus/Record, Shimano Dura ace/Ultegra are kept in jewel case and brought out for select few customers. Bikes that are equiped with the Shimano 105 (for those in the know) are considered high performance equiped bikes.

Wheelsets such as Token are considered highend rims and is kept together with the Zipps and the Reynold. I think, we in Malaysia are spoilt for choice and spend extravagently on cycling without actually looking at the proper objective of cycling (in this case for me, I have lost my values)

My take home is that I should be grateful for what I have invested and lets focus on the sports and not on the bike.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Quotable Quotes

Its amazing that people sometimes give the best quotes while in competition and when they are in pain. While running the last leg of the Duathlon in UPNM, arif was keeping me company. Me in my full running attire and him in his crocs jogs by my side and he quips, "Let me run beside you, I need to justify my plate of nasi lemak afterwards". Talk about the itch to run, him having a torn ligament ;-)

While passing another runner, this girls scream, "arrrggg, why do we do this every time, all this pain from competitive sports, its as painful as giving birth to a child. When u are feeling the pain, u dowant to have a child anymore, but you still have unprotected sex and have more babies."

Another words of wisdom from another friend of mine, "what ever you do, even though you are in pain, don't walk when there is a crowd - run. Walk when there is no crowd"

To all these frens, i salute you and look forward to endure AGAIN all this pain.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Value of Friendship

Going to race for me is just an objective.I race with myself and no one else. It gives some kind of target for me to continue training during weekdays and sometimes weekends.

It has been quite an eventful 3 weekends in a row, much to the chagrin of my wife who wonders what do i do during weekends. First, there was Century Ride, then there was the PD Triathlon and recently the Malakoff University Duathlon Series. Its not my objective to write race reports all the time, but the recent event caused me to ponder awhile and look at the bigger picture.

While running back to the finish line (I didn't know that UM is such a challenging course with short hills for both run and bike), feeling knackered, i was accompanied (what I thot was two friends) by three frens, who has finished the run and was concern by my pace. The first (Phoebe) paced me about 50 m in front while the other two (Ihshal and Adeline) ran along side coaxing me to give that extra bit and motivating me to run and not walk. In fact, i even managed to overtake another runner towards the finish line, when i thot i have nothing else to give, such is the power of motivation.

Looking back, to all the race bunnies which had motivated me, the three above, Maysenn and Joanna, it brings new meaning to the word friendship. Its not about the race, its about the willingness to celebrate the joy of victory together. I wud also like to that Sulyna who came to watch.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Warrior - The PD International Triathlon

What could be my most satisfaction experience to date this year must have been the PD International Marathon. The feeling of euphoria of receiving the finisher medals and then handing it out to my team mates is pure joy although i was in pain and close to dehydration.

How the event unfold was the following:-

Our swimmer was flagged of at 8:20 am and he came in under 30 minutes to tag Chipang our cyclist. Now, normally for a 40km course, one would average about 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 30 minutes. Coming to the 1 hour 30 minutes mark, I received news that our cyclist had a puncture and could be late, it was about 10:45 at that moment of time.

There were only a handful of us left (6 or so runner) and our swimmer walked up to me asking me where our cyclist was, and when would I start running. His subsequent remark made me more panic, when he uttered "Oh, please, please..I need to have this medal after all the efforts I have put into swimming".

I sat there feeling helpless, since if the cyclist came back too late, it would be almost difficult for me to make the run and come back within cut off, and worse still, if he did not have the replacement tubes and pump, we will not finished and not get our medals. That was the most uncomfortable feeling that I had although I had agreed with Cipang that this triathlon was only for fun. I also was not sure how i could help Cipang out there.

15 minutes later, he came back and i rushed to take over the arm band to carry out my run at 11 am. It was blazing hot and some of the water station did not have any more 100+ or were on the verge of wrapping up. Standing down or giving up is not an option, I had to carry on with the run irrespective of the weather. Word of encouragement from fellow runners on the other side of the road encourage me to carry on and as I managed to overtake a few runners, i got to feel better. As I was about to reach the 5 km mark, i saw my close fren Phoebe walking. I slowed down and walk with her coaxing her to take my water as she had cramped. She assured me that she will recover at the next water station and i pushed on.

At the 7.5km mark, i was greeted by an Angel who had cycled to look for me to keep me company. With her coaxing, i had managed to keep a steady pace and managed to catch up with Patsy and paced Patsy to the finishing line. I had made several walking stops and had it not been for the encouragement by Patsy and this Angel, i would not have made good time back under the hot scorching sun of PD. I reached back at the finishing line and was greeted by the medals and a cold towel.

I had not let my team down.........what a weekend.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Century Ride 2008

KRI (Kelab Roadrunners Ipoh) annually organizes the Century Ride. This is my first time that I am attending it together with some of the PCC members. Upon arrival at Casurina Ipoh to collect our goodie bags, we were enlighten with the "ride/race" briefing ala PCC Interstate. The tulips accompanied within the goodie bags also reminds me of the Interstate.

Upon collecting some of the goodies and stuff, we then went out to recce the start point of the ride which happen to be closer to Chemor town (ie 10km from Ipoh). Back we went for rest and pre ride bike check and some carbo loading at Tesco extra Ipoh.

Early morning of Sunday, we pushed of towards the start point and were there much like PCC normal 160km ride. Except rather then the usual 60 odd riders, we were amassed with 400+ officially riders and "unofficial" riders. PCC was well represented with familiar faces such as Adzim, Andrea, Azhar, Chris Milton, Daniel Lim, Lim Yew Meng, Lisa, PK and family (already one small peloton), Terry and William. Other familiar faces were Abu, Fadzil, Jaja, Ihashal, Azmar, Shazly, Stupe, Laif and Wendy (she is so much prettier in real life).
I would say that atmosphere was like a Competitive Carnival kind of atmosphere and the makeshift car park was packed. We checked in and was flagged of at about 7:10 am. The route and Terrain was (as typically described by PCC) described as rolling hills was actually flat downhill for 40km and then short undulating walls of climbs. For those who did not do the full route, it can be described as a mix of two of Puncak Alam Dragon Back, Temple Section before Ijok, Batu Arang and Sungai Tengi all in one ride. It was quite a fast ride for those who manage to cling on to the Peloton but was a lonely ride for me back to the starting point as I suffered severe cramps.

Unfortunately, I have not been heeding the advice that I usually give most people, drink every 15 minutes on long rides – well, I deserved the cramps that hit me immediately after the second water station. I would like to record my thanks to Azmar though for stopping by and dropping a few salt tablets to help me recover. Those bus stops along the Kuala Kangsar Sungai Siput road look very tempting though, for me to stop and have a nap. The weather was, however quite beautiful though, (wonder how KRI manages to managed that as well) so I pulled myself back to start line after 7 hours.

Overall, i would like to congratulate KRI for the enjoyable ride. The Marshalling was excellent, the water stop was very good and that last water stop with the sponge bath really helped me.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Life goes On

It feels as if it was only last month or last year when i was teaching my daughters on their pronunciations of words, such as buah (boo-ahhhh) or abah (AAAA-bahhh) or even mama (Mum-mah). This fond memories was triggered while i was sending my second daughter to INTI Colleague Nilai for her Australian Matriculation, owh , how they have grown.

My first daughter is already in Australia in her final semester doing Mass Communications (funded by her dad), while the genius of the family (IQ-180), the second daughter has graciously accepted a Government Scholarship (she was formally funded by Taylors) pursuing Actuarial Science.

I suppose the inner feeling within me is somewhat mixed and confused. On one hand, you see both your daughter as being independent and flying the coop so to speak, while you try to come to terms with your age - feeling that you are suddenly very-very old. This feeling gets further muddled when you try to pursue a healthy lifestyle of sports and outdoors.

You sometimes feel that most lifestyle goes through the learning, development, operations and later on renew/review (penchant). My life is supposedly on operations, but i now feel like going into the penchant stage.

If i were to review my life, there are so many gaps, that i wish i could have been more adventurous and done better. Moving on, i now try to seize the day while always trying something new. This lifestyle can sometime take a toll on your family, but i sometime feel that time is of the essence and which i might not have the luxury and enough of.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Trip to Singapore - Change of Scenery

Most of my bosses don't want to travel to Singapore and this oppurtunity was presented to me. Having been cooped up in my Office for a year or so, I willingly took this "instruction" happily since i have a major agenda - visit to the Bike Shop in Singapore.

Arrived in Singapore on Tuesday evening, changed my ticket from Sunday to Saturday, since most of my frens wanted to go back to Malaysia early and no one can entertain me in Singapore ;-), which was aefinitely good decision which I had found out later. Singapore is very much different then what I use to remember before, having been posted there in late 1980's to work with the PSA (Port of Singapore).

They put me up at Copthorne King, which i realized was way out of nowwhere (as far as Singapore is concern) near Havelock road. Having to walk 20 minutes to the nearest MRT, thus curtailed my movement. Got me a StarHub prepaid mobile number for me to call some of my Singaporean frens easily, i then roam China Town that night.

Meeting days was full of food from morning till nite much so until i found out that I had put on 7 kilos within that 7 days absense from excercise. On Friday, having pulled a no show at the meeting, I went galavanting with my Singaporean Tour Guide (Dennis & Jeff) to 6 Bike Shop and one Sports shoes shopping complex. This was done in the 10 hours that was available.

The 6 Bike Shops were - Tay Cycle (Specialized & Giant stuff), Bike Haus (Tri suits), Swiss Valley Cycle (BMC, Campy Stuff), Performance Cycle (Italian Bikes and Jerseys), Cycleworks (Pinarello stuff) and Boon Cycle (cheaper loose items). At queensway Comple, got me a running shoes to replace the NB shoes that was a bit undersized.

What even surprises me more is the fact that those jokers, changed their mind, to go back that same night to Malaysia. Of course they asked me whether I would accompany them back, me being a compliant and safe person decided not to follow and had to be sent to another friends house to bunk in for the night - (my flight tickets was already confirmed and I dislike trouble). Next morning, not wanting to be imposing on that friend, i decided to "ronda" Sim Lim Complex for some IT stuff. Went back at just after 4 pm to pick my bags and just in time to pushed of to Changi for my flight back.

Luckily I had managed to pack my goodies into Dennis's car much so that i had a lighter luggage when i came back.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Nothing Much to Add

Hah, its been about 3 weeks since I have last visited my Blog, just that there is not much interesting stuff to update, but for the sake of documenting my life, here goes nothing:-

New Balance 15km (18/05/2008)

Went to New Balance 15km run at Padang Merbok, the day before I have to be on duty for IMPACT (International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Terrorism). The usual suspect was there, Adeline, Ariff, Yusran, Zailan, Phoebe and surprisingly my industry friend Shereen. Paced myself normally and survived the first 7.5km in about 50 mins,although the start was a bit lazy and slow affair.

By the time i reached Double hill, i decided to walk up the hill and rest while run downhill again to the finish line. This strategy worked for me before and i did just that. I was accompanied by a lady who was 5 month pregnant and we strike conversation. As I was coming down the hill behind Bank Negara, Phoebe turn up and kept me company back to the finishing line (phobe had finished the race 15 minutes ahead). It was a wonderful gesture and I appreciate it very much. Managed to finish the race in an unofficial 2 hours or there about. Spirits was good, but my tummy wasn't thanking me, felt like throwing up. After about 15 mins rest, and as we were walking to the car park, i decided to donate some baja (from my mouth) to the flowers and grass of Padang Merbok.

IMPACT - Being the Liason Officer (LO) 19-23/05/2008

LiasonOfficer (aka Proffessional GRO) to Foreign Guest coming here for International Conference and being confered status of Country Guest. I was assigned a guy from canada who was not very picky and was very professional. So, I had a good time and job was relatively easy. But that week saw my training regime went out the Window.

Cameron Highland Bike ride (31/05/2008)

How do you celebrate a week off not training but with a long bike ride to Cameron. If it was Andrea, I am sure she would not have done this ride (it doesn't match her rational of bike ride distance should exceed driving distance to the meeting point by 4:1), but Ariff, Kevin Han, Clarence, May Senn, Adeline and me decided to go up to Cameron last Saturday. We drove to Tapah and started the ascent at about 8:30 am. We reached Ringlet at about 11:30 am and really felt spent. But our intention is to climb at least up to the Bharat Tea House to have scones and tea and we reached that destination at about 12:15 pm.

As the weather was not permitting (dark clouds looming), we voted unanimously to go down just after May Senn's parents pick her up from Strawberry Park. They came to pick her up at 2:15 pm and we pushed down trying to beat the rain. There was slight drizzle and we made it back safely to the car at about 4:00 pm. Celebration with Mee Rebus tulang and Nasi Lemak was the order of the day. Went back to KL at about 5:30 after resting and cleaning up. Interesting 105 km ride. Calories used 4500.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A-Farmosa Triathlon - a spectators view

The journey to A-Farmosa in Ariff's car (11:30 to 2:40pm)
A must get is the Garmin GPS Muv which though nagging as it is, is a useful tool. Late in arrival due to highway congestion and we took a detour via old road to Rembau/tampin via Seremban. memories of journey - SLOW.

Registration and check in (2:40 to 3:30)
Slow and chaotic, Triathlon check was ok, but lodging was quite slow. Went back to pick up dinner vouchers as we forgot them at the club house. Muahahahah

SPRINT event (4:00 pm to 6pm)
My first view and experience of the Famed A-farmosa (monkey) lake. Famous quips about the lakes:- "its nutritiously better then PowerGel", "You can go in with white triathlon suite and come out brown","The smell is something like dead fish" and a few other which cannot be repeated on this blog. The kids gets a 5 minutes start while adults start at about 4:05 pm. It was fast race to say the least.
The bike route is a bit sandy in parts but nothing to shout about and so is the 3km run. quite easily doable if urs truly can swim.

Dinner at Cowboy town is interesting (7:15pm to 9:30pm)
had some nice food, and get to meet a lot of friends. Its a good bonding session.

Race Day (6:30 am to 11:30 am)
Race day at monkey lake saw many newbies there, frightful experience for many who have never "smell" the lake and those who were eager to go into the water and had to thread water 5-10 minutes before start. By the time the race start, many are left cold and frantic. nevertheless, the race went on smoothly with very minor casualty. Its amazing to to see people like Mok and Schubert out of water in less then 25 minutes.
On bike leg, the pros did it in about 1 hr and 5 minutes and the run was completed in less then 40 minutes.
What was interesting for me in volunteering as a photographer is this:-
a) To take note of frens timing so that I can get the sequencing of photos right
b) To know where are the critical points so that I can take photos of my frens when they are on swim, bike and run
c) To position myself properly at finishing line to capture their moments of joy.

Lessons learnt and takeaway:-
a) Photography can be tiring if done alone and trying to cover as much grounds
b) Doing relay is not as satisfying as doing it alone, be it sprint. Its better to do sprint, and u have the whole SBR all done by u and ur own effort then to participate in a Triathlon as part of the relay team, though I wud still participate a relay team if there is opportunity, since i dont swim. I have to start learning to swim now.
c) At present moment Duathlon is more my scene, and will do more if opportunity presented itself.
d) I really respect the race with people who races with oneself as oppose to racing with ur buddy, it breeds better character.
e) My hats of to all my triathlete frens who completed the race.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Possibly as Painful as Childbirth - BROGA Classic

I think my wife said, "The pain in child birth is so great that u dont ever want to give birth anymore". But of no fault of hers, she got pregnant again by yours truly and had to endure that pain another three times.

Much like my bicycle ride to BROGA with PCC. I still remember the question by PK and DonChan last week, "Mac, should we follow the P2K boys and MKH to BROGA?". I had to repond "Yeah, it is a good prelude to Interstate...". But alas, the ride to BROGA is typically a ride to endure pain and the pain is excruciating - must be like child birth, and much like child birth, no matter how much pain, we seem to be looking for more pain to enjoy.

Well, yesterday PCC was joined full force by more then 30+ riders (some who has graduated from the Thursday Nite ride) on a trip to BROGA. I tried to pace the peloton out of Tekala at about 26-28km/hr, so that the late riders can catch up and also set a reasonable pace for things to come. But no, after Semenyih, some riders in the peloton lost patience and started shooting out at 32-35km/hr. By Lenggeng, some were already out of breath, while I had a quiet Kopi O Ais and nasi lemak at a shop around the corner.

Ariff, Laif and me decide to push of early, but alas, our intention didn't go unnoticed, a heard of P2K boys swarmed us before the ride up the first hill before Pantai. We were still doing OK until comes Bukit Tangga. After being passed by Sayuti and Bikepro Lim as if we were standing still, my perservarence went thru the window. Receiving a call from someone halfway up the hill also doesnt help.

Made it down Bukit Tangga and sped thru to Kuala Klawang. Caught up with Joanne and one MKH guy and we worked together a paceline of between 30-32 into Klawang. We reached Klawang Petronas at 10:45 am and took our deserving stop there. We then pushed off towards TiTi and Peres at about 11:15am, the peloton was kind enough to wait for me to rehydrate myself.

While going into Titi, we managed to catchup with the MKH peloton and made it together as a group towards Peres. Peres climb sorted out the man(old man..that is) from the boys. Old man like me tend to drop like flies and on hill climbs just about 1 km before the summit, I didn't have anymore energy. Only the "hand of god" by Vong, William and one P2K motorcyclist help me up to the summit. I had cramped out big time and while making myself back to Tekala, at the foothill of Peres, i was struggling up the hill balancing between pain of cramps and the ability to drive up the hill. Luck was with me and I was joined by Ariff who gave me water to cool down my thighs.

That helped me back from the dead and we worked as a team to get back to our parking area at Tekala. I owe a lot of people this time round, for the push, the water and the buddy spirit. Its the spirit of team work that I am so happy to see out of this ride.

I take a bow.....

PS reminder: Never do a 10km run before a long ride to BROGA the day before

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tiring weekend - Flat and Hill

Thought of light pedaling went right through the windows after 1 km into the Bangi Bagan Lalang ride. Culprit, Adzim and Andrea!!! I knew that phrase flat as pancake is an invite to disaster. These guys was pushing 35km/hr average with meters touching 38-42 km/hr is considered normal. Ah well, we soldier on for the next 96km to and from Bagan Lalang.

Not having enough mileage, was tempted out of bed again by Don Chan's message to ride the Sempah Bentong ride starting at 9 am. It rained heavily that morning and the thots of snuggling in warm blanket did cross my mind 5-6 times. Went off at 7:45 from home and reached Sempah at 8:40 am. Unpacked and was streaming downhill again at breakneck speed until lost a bit of steam near entrance of Bentong town. Came back was torturous, though the draft that wong CC and Lisa oon provided was ok untill the last 15km. Help out fellow rider with puncture and was late back into sempah at nearly 1:00 pm

Total distance this weekend of about 166km. Damn, i use to cover 160km in a day, now it is so damn difficult to cycle 160 km in two day. Better buck up before interstate.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Keep Moving Forward

KL Marathon (10km run)

Ah well, on the happy side, i managed to shave of 15 minutes of Mizuno Wave 10k run, didnt walk at all and kept running all the way.

Sad side, didnt get medal though i was below the cutoff of 1 hr 20min, better luck next 10km run.

My guardian Angel (literally and physically) was there to coax me along. I dont know why, she seems to inject strength in me. I felt pity for her somewhere near Concorde hotel as she was already overheating with the wings on her back and quips by runners passing by. But it was all fun.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Different Kind of Racing in Sepang

One would think that Sepang International Racing Circuit is meant for High Speed Cars and Bikes only. Well, yesterday the SIC wa sopen to about 510 cyclist from all over Malaysia and Singapore. Went there just to meet friends and enjoy the atmosphere, like they say, "Those who cannot cycle, take photograph".
Met a few IronMan over there chilling out
These guys were going to participate in the Open Category and they seem fast even standing still
In actual fact the peloton was very fast and u can see teams from Singapore going head to head with the MSN and continental Teams
Overall, we had a blast enjoying the event and good time with the Letua Team.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Seen any good Movies lately

In my view, Vantage Point has got to be one of the best movies I have ever seen this year. The movie tells a story of what has transpired to the attempt of assination on the US president. Rather then running the story sequentially, the director and editor has chosen to tell the story in various view points edited in a short story method. I can see and hear many people in the theater giving hugh sigh as they may not be used to viewing the story in this manner as it looks repetitive, i however thot its a refreshing approach of story telling.
Its packed with non stop action and the twist and spin on the plot is very interesting. I would definitely recommend people to see this movie.
Other notable movies worth mentioning are Jumper (though I am not such fan of Hayden Christensen) has very interesting special effects but more of X-Men kinda feel to the story. Not much of a story line and i would only rate it average by my books. Within the same week, I also saw Meet the Spartans, which is spoof of the movie 300. Having some serious actor in this movie make the take very comediac and interesting. Thats enough movies for the week - 3 in total.
A friend of mine who saw CJ7 rated it quite high and is worth mentioning.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lonely Malaysian - Bah Magoh/Long Sheridan

I am very touched by some of my friends initiatives in exploring Malaysia in its true sense. Every year,he takes time off to visit the interior of Sarawak to bring some of these people hope and where possible gifts. I am also amazed at the pluckiness of another friend of mine and this particular girl that has managed to transit from a Triathlete into what I feel is photojournalist. This post is dedicated these friends.

It is amazing that in our endeavour to achieve a state of developed country, there are still people who lived below the poverty line. Are we forgeting these people?Who are looking into the affairs of these Penans. ?

More of these images on the following links and

I hope she doesn't mind me saying this, but i think this girl is very plucky and brave to have roughed it out in places where even the trekker had thought it risky, took a lot of tumble and with the desmise of her shoes, had to survive on slippers for most of the trekking. Salute!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday Ride - Guthrie

Lotsa starters, but some of us finished early to see LTDL.

Monday, February 11, 2008

CyclingNews - CNY Holiday

7th February 2008
When you have 4 days of holiday break, you then looked out for some interesting rides. Well, the first ride for me was to Frasers on Thursday. It was a day of riding and support car driving for the whole of the day. How the event unfold was as follows:-

Got out of the house to meetup with Weina and Jaja at the Shell petrol station at 0645 am and convoyed with them to Kuala Kubu. We reached KKB at 0745 and preped ourselves while waiting for the rest. Soon, Fadzil(CK) and his friend Jamil came along. We were also joined by AJ (Mr Malakoff), Zamani (ex LeTua rider) and Razak. All six of us left earlier at about 0840 , leaving Zamani and Razak to catch up later.

Zamani caught up with me at the dam and we decided to cycle together until he found me to slow and decided to start sprinting to catchup with AJ. By the 16th kilometer, Razak had caught up with me and was pushing of to the front to catchup with AJ and Jamil who must have been about 1-2 kilometers ahead. Decided to wait at the 25th Kilometer mark near the waterfall for the girls and we reached GAP about 2 hours after start.

We decided to climb up to Frasers using the blocked road as Zamani assured us that it was passable by bike and we pushed off up the 15% gradient and only managed about 5km until we had to turn back as there was a huge sinkhole. After refueling at GAP, we decided to go down to KKB for our birthday lunch feast with CK and we reached KKB at 1255. What was memorable to me was how fast the crosswind and headwind that I nearly flew off with the bike going downhill near the dam.

Knowingly, we decided to wait for the Tria boys and girls who has decided to start from Hospital Orang Asli and shud be passing KKB by about 1-2pm as we had anticipated. There were some casualties from their ride and i decided to give one of them a lift back to HOA as he had a twisted knee tendon. We left at about 3 pm. Curiousity brought me to investigate the Hulu Yam route and upon seeing it, i thought I better stay around near HOA just in case my services was called upon as a support car driver.

As if making my wish come true, the call came at about 4:55 pm to pickup another casualty near Batu Dam, and upon sending him back to his car, some of the riders had reached the last checkpoint (HOA) at about 1805pm. We sat down discussing the ride and later all of us left HOA at almost 1845pm tired and knackered.

9th February 2008
Feeling sadistic and wanting more of the endorphin rush, decided to follow the Fadzil(CK) and geng to undertake the Broga Classic ride so as to answer some the debate posed by Ariff and May Senn. Having decided on the last minute, which as at 0550 am, i rushed out of bed and packed my bike and stuff leaving the house at 0620 while reaching Batu 18 at about 0700 just about to see Jaja unpacking her bike and getting ready. We were joined shortly by CK, Radzi and AJ (they are old Putra Boys). Meeting Shazly at the bridge, we pushed off toward Tekala where we rendevoused with the Tria/IronMan participants (Adzim, Ariff, Maysenn, Laif, Dicky, Bacin, Adeline, Ihshal, Chan, Zamani and Zabil)

We pushed of for Semenyih and was crusing at about 30km/hr and hit Broga for refueling. At we entered Lenggeng, Jaja and Radzi had a puncture and Ariff, May Senn CK and Zamani stayed back to make sure everything is OK. The rest of us pushed off to Bukit Tangga and we arrived at Klawang Petronas at 1200. While coming down Bukit Tangga at about 70km/hr, there was a hugh gust of wind that nearly make my hugh body mass fly of the road. That was hell of a scary moment.

Leaving Klawang Petronas, the guys set off at quite a pace that I decided to drop back and cycle alone at my own pace to Peres by the time we reached the foothills of the Peres climb. I suddenly realized that its quite a scary moment as my energy was sapped and there was no handphone coverage. Will I be left alone, how will the guys reached me, how will I contact them.? Your mind really plays tricks on you when one is knackered. About 6km before the peak of Peres, I metup with Sazly, Laif, Ihshal and Adeline who waved me down by the side of the road to enjoy a cool shower underneath a small waterfall. It was the most glorious sight that I have ever seen - the people and the cool water.

I think, much to my comrades relief that I made it, they pushed off back to Peres leaving me to enjoy my shower. Ariff, CK, May Senn and Jaja arrived about 15 minutes later and we pushed of together back to Peres. Not knowing, whether I will make it back, I did pass my car keys to Adeline (who is ever so kind) to come and pick me up when she has reached Batu 18.

Ariff, May Senn, Jaja and me pushed off back to Peres 5 minutes later and we arrived to the peak at about 1505 pm. I rushed down to Batu 18, and ironically met Adeline at the foothill of Peres. Took her back to her car where we call it a day and i bid my thanks to her.

Conclusion: Broga Classic is tougher then reverse to me (especially for that day) because of the tired set of legs having to endure about 90km of ride (which include tackling the 2 hills after Lenggeng into Klawang) and further tackling the 470m ascent in the final hours of the day, when your leg is well spent. I would look for kinder weather to tackle that loop again. But more then 200km for that holiday - it is a holiday well spent.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fast Service Wedding

This week alone, within a space of two days, i went to two wedding of contrasting atmosphere. One was held in their house and a neighbours compound, while the other was held in a grand hall with much granduier.

Organizing and managing wedding has now become an expensive and complicated affairs. What use to be done in a community, is now managed by Wedding planners. What use to cost wedding organizer (be it the bride of groom's parent) RM7 per head now cost RM1000 a table. How does one cope up with this escalating cost and complication of the event and expectation. A friend who i met during this event, sighed and remarked to me ," I guess you are here to also observe and learn from the event as we both have daughters that are of marrying age" to which I nodded.

I was thinking to myself, "Why can't we just have a wedding at McDonalds, they have an event room, they have menu to fulfill most of the taste of the invited guess (from fish fillet to beef). They will provide the event room for free!!". "I guess, it will look awkward with the Ronald McDonald reading the "Doa" then, i suppose". Must ask my daughter when time comes, at least its an option.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Trail Running anybody?

Bought this from the Net. Tried it and it feels nice and light. Now where am i gonna use this to test out its capability.
Surprisingly, its half the price if I were to get it from here

Community Service - Sweeping

In trying to recover from the GE Run, didnt do much sporting activities this week except for the BRICK in Putra Jaya on Thursday and a 3km jog on treadmill on Friday morning. So I decided to join PCC in their flattish Bagan Lalang ride. I had to open my big mouth to volunteer to sweep, and there lies my problem.

Firstly, I accidently left a rider Weina (wandernut) behind and only realised when we reached Sepang. I stopped by Sepang and Maysen Ariff asked me, "Have u seen Weina?". I quickly got on my bike and cycled backwards and met her 1 km behind. Feeling foolish, i kinda made notes to stick with her to and fro on the ride.

As we were on our way back from Bagan Lalang, another rider Annie got the cramps. We coax her to Petronas Salak and rested there for about 15 monutes. Just as we were out of Salak, she cramped again, this time so badly that her body was so stiff, that in order for her to get off her bike, we had to remove the front wheels and drop the frame down. We then had to lift her off her dropped frame and place her on the roadside. There she laid by the roadside and was unable to move. Constant massage from Weina couldnt get her muscle to relax. Time for us to hail a taxi back for her.

After about 20 minutes or so, we managed to hail a taxi and got her into the taxi. But the scene was comical but also pitiful. Try to stuff an unvolunteering body into a taxi with care ;-). With the sun on our back, Weina, Vong and me made ourselves back to MTDC and arrived about 40 minutes later. Some of the guys waited patiently for us and we really appreciated that. That 97km ride somehow feels like a 1++ km ride with us being in the sum for more then 6 hours.

I think i will stick to short ride for the time being. Quite an interesting week this has been. But I suppose, someone's got to sweep while others can enjoy their ride.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Great Eastern Run 20km

If you think cyclist get up early for their biking, think again. Runners get up earlier and are already on the road by 6 am for their running. Quite a memorable run for me as I manage to progress from my previous 10km to another notch of 20km.

Quite a fair bit of quotable quotes during and after the run which are words of encouragement for me:-

Anonymous before race - "There is a difference between Carbo Loading and making yourself fat for those legs to carry you, you know"
Hin Tong at the 6km mark - "Is that you Mac? god it is you"
AJ (MD of Malakoff) at 12km mark - "Come on young man, lets go.." as i slowed down to a walking pace.
Ariff (triathlete) at 12.5km on opposite side of road - "You are doing fine Mac"
Adrian at 13km - "See you at the finishing line"
Adeline at 14km on opposite site - "Is it far to the Petronas loop?", my response "Yes"
Sazly - Fitness Consultant @ 15km mark - 'There is only one way to face - forwards" as i stopped to stretch my calf
Ihshal by txt after race - "Don't worry, we all walk like crab today, avoid stairs"

Finished the 20km in a slow time of 3 hours and 15 min (unconfirmed) fully knackered. Ah well, at least I finished. Four memorable climbs of the race are:-
a) The 2km climb from JKR to Kenny Hill junction
b) The climb near Wilayah Mosque
c) The long climb near Plaza Damas and lastly
d) The small loop climb behind Petronas Hartamas.

The difference between cycling and running, even going downhill, u still need to run - no recovery. Thats what no training does to you, only thing that got me through it is some secret concoction that Bernard had recommended and Ihshal pass it to me.

Two massive body pounding events for the month of January, better slow down old boy.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cameron Trip - Bike Cam

Here is the Video from my BikeCam of the Cameron Trip. The video is about 4min 39 sec. long.

The Test of Perserverence - Cameron Cycling Trip

What do u do, when an invitation comes to you to cycle from Simpang Pulai to Tapah to Tanah Rata via Ringlet and further on to Kampung Raja and back down to Simpang Pulai - a trip that is 182 kim in distance. Well, being one of two hill climbs that i have not done, i approached this ride cautiously. I too, have not been well having just recovered from a bout of Flu three times running, i said yes with much reservation. The only comfort that i had was from a close friend who had promised to support me in case i bonked out.

The assembly
There were approximately 70+ riders from all over major towns assembled at the Simpang Pulai junction from KOTRT, MKH, PCC, ATM and many others. Familiar faces were Adzim, Andrea, Vong, Laif, Kimbeley Yap, Ariff, Lim, Shahrin (KOTRT) and Adeline. Upon seeing so many strong and fast riders, my decision to come along was much regretted and my heart waned. Had it not been support from one friend, i would have chickened out.

The Route
The route essentially is a large loop which starts at the Simpang Pulai juntion, heading towards Tapah on the trunk road and heading towards Tanah Rata (Cameron Highland) and further towards Brincang and subsequently to Kampung Raja. Here, we will turn left back towards Simpang Pulai.

The trip to Tapah (start time 7:45 am) - distance 50km
Journey out to Tapah was conducted sanely only for a distance of 10km. The next 40km was done at a ridiculously fast 42-44km/hr pace. One thing that I learned from long distance cycling, never let others dictate your pace unless u wanna bonk out early. Pacing at a more reasonable and moderate 32-35km/hr with a handful of cyclist we made the 50km journey in about 1:30. The journey to Tapah town is through relatively flat route. We reached Tapah and convened at SHELL petrol station at the Tapah/Cameron junction.

The trip from Tapah to Ringlet - distance 46km
We pushed out from Tapah towards Ringlet at 10:45 and reached Ringlet at 1:30 pm where we had lunch at Ringlet and had our refills. I was really keeping m eye on the Garmin and was watching us climb a total distance about 1300m above sea level which translate to about 4200 ft by the time we reached Ringlet. Memorable thoughts about this stretch is the never ending climb into Ringlet, there seem no end and I don't remember any recovery area. There is only about 1 km of decent into Ringlet that i can enjoy.

The trip to Tanah Rata and Brincang - distance 19km
We pushed on at 2:00pm towards Brincang and it started drizzling about 5km before Tanah Rata. It seems that the rain had been waiting for us in Tanah Rata and was not able to overtake riders like Adzim and Andrea. There are those that got washed out by the rain and those that started before the rain came. For us, due to our slow speed, we were not quick enough to enjoy the washout and had to endure the tail end of the rain and had to enjoy it during our climb to Brincang and "down" to Kampung Raja. We reached a maximum altitude of 1633m (more then a mile in height). There are two killer climb of about 5%, one leading out of Ringlet to the Bharat Tea House and another just after Bharat Tea House. Each climb is about 3 km. Reached Kampung Raja at about 4:00 pm.

Brincang to Simpang Pulai (via Kampung Raja)- 65km
This was published as "going downhill" but alas was not (as can be seen from the ride profile that i had got from my Garmin). There are numerous climbs that we had to endure before really enjoying the downhill that was promised. with about 3 hours left, i was quite concern that we would not be able to make it home on time. But , with last drawn energy and some supply of PowerGel, we made it down and reached Simpang Pulai at 7:05 pm.
Ride statistics
Total Ascent - 2442 m
Max height - 1633m
Average speed - 20.4 km/hr
Maximum Speed - 58.2km/hr
Total Calories - 7281 cal
Post Mortem
I think, this is the toughest ride that i have done, even the ride to Broga is easy by this standards.Though I suffered while doing this ride, i would do it again albeit with better fitness level. But at least, that will erase this ride from my checklist and which leaves only the ride up to Genting as my last on the list of hill climbs that i need to do.

My thanks to the MKH group which was there behind me and their presence somehow give me comfort and concerned text and calls from Adzim, Ariff, Tham and Vong. Lastly, i would like to thank my ride buddy who was there for me always, Adeline.