Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 World Car Free Day

A lone warrior.. 

I just got home from a 205km ride.
Took me two days over the weekend to explore the possibilities of touring down South with my rather new 24" touring bike. 
Which turned out to be pretty okay if I had observed the golden rule of timing.
Barely recovering from the long-ride, I've got less than six hours sleep to continue with a commute to the workplace.

All points bulletin broadcast

Prior to the World Car Free Day ride, which fell on a Monday, I've posted a Global message on the Prestige Editorial system at work to invite potential riders.
My colleague Jacob was the only executive on our Metro desk who cycled to work.
I had Melizarani, a rookie Sub-Editor who had agreed to cycle to work for the first time as well as doing a first-person account on her experience.
Other than that, I had also done a write-up on the World Car Free Day, explaining to the public what it was all about.
I also interviewed some fellow cyclists about the event to get fair comment.


The article appearing on Sept 22
Madly committed to the cause..

So, there we were, rolling out on a Monday morning and it was a working day.
I contacted Melizarani who told me that she wanted to do the short distance of 7km from Sungai Way to the office.
It was not a big deal, so I agreed.
We met at Tukang Basikal Fook Sang, a traditional meeting place for the cycle to work programme that I had set years earlier.
I arrived at the bike shop and met Mr Yong, it's owner. We chat a bit and later, Melizarani came by and set up her bike.
My role as a chaperon, was to guide her on the Federal Highway bike lane to the office in Section 16, Petaling Jaya.
Along the way, I told her about what lies ahead and all the pitfalls.
The girl was very attentive and seeing that she's new, I kept a close watch on her.

My gurl wasn't too happy

She gets a denta bribe.. 
At SS19 in Subang Jaya

The Federal Highway Bike Lane
Arriving at the office

These bike gloves have seen better days
Some called it torture, I call it "cycle to work".. 

I've taken my bike to work on many occasions.
Cycling to work is something very few people would commit to.
Why? There's a lot of hassles.
I tried it and loved it. Given any chance to do it, I will.
So, on the average, I cover a distance of 43km round-trip.
While on the road with Melizarani, I coordinated with The Star's pixman P.Nathan to get shots of her cycling.
The last push was climbing the hill on Jalan Datuk Abu Bakar on Section 16.
On the average, the gradient was between 5.8 - 7% gradient. If you are unfit, it spells trouble.
After clearing the hill, I told Melizarani to steer off the steel gratings. 
And while rolling downhill at 48km/h, she hit one of the indented gratings and lost control of her rear wheel.
Fortunately, she regained control and steered her bike out of danger.
If she had ridden on a sleek 700cc wheel, it would have spelt trouble.
But her foldie's rather wide and large wheels took the impact.
After a short climb, we arrived at the office.
I had some work to finish and spent about an hour there before leaving the office.

At Johnny Ng's shop in Bandar Utama
A satay treat!
Home sweet home.. 
Beyond the office...

I had to pick up some sample T-shirts from Mr Yeo, Johnny Ng's customer who is a designer and a premium item supplier.
From Section 16, I rode towards the ramp near Sungai Ara.
There, I climbed a motorcycle bridge and rode towards a kampung area near Bandar Utama.
I spotted a makan stall and had my lunch there.
Later, I rode towards BU 4 and met Johnny at this shop.
Seated at the lazy chair was Master Urban Cyclist Sin Tai Lim who is currently grounded from cycling due to a back injury.
I collected the sample tee from the shop and observed an old-timer who sent in his folding tricycle.
He wanted to fit a cyclometer and fix his headlight on the trike.
The said person is a famous personality who had recently took up cycling.
My cue to leave when it started to look it was going to rain.
From Bandar Utama, I cycled towards Kampung Cempaka near SS2 and made my way across the LDP to SS3.
The trick was to cycle like a bat of out hell to the Federal Highway bike lane and I did really good time.
By 6:30pm, I was already at USJ7 and decided that it was best to have an early dinner at the food court.
I had satay in mind and patronised Satay Retro which is owned by a friendly Malay guy.
There, I ordered sup tulang and whacked the satay before heading back to USJ26.
On the whole, the ride was smooth. I clocked-in 51.6km throughout the day and was glad that nothing happened during my journey.
Speaking of participation, well, it was rather expected that only the mad people would make an effort to wake up early and cycle.
Even if its not a World Car Free Day, I would make it a practice to cycle to work whenever I can.. 
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