Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Projek 200

An inspiration...
I was chatting on the messenger with Ng Chor Guan last night.
Braddah Guan is one of the few folding bike cyclists who is a member of the 'Foldie Century Club'.
For starters, folding bicyclists who had ridden more than 100km in a single day are far and few in between.
Guan told me that his record is 200km in a day and I believe everything he said.
From a Polygon Urbano to a Rallyart F1-27 and now, a Brompton P6R, the music composer is one of the most respected foldie in the country.
For the record, Guan has been featured in Sin Chew Jit Poh as a 'Bicycle Hero' together with Kamo @ Ah Kam, Strida Bike Malaysia's brand ambassador..
And for a moment, I reflected on Guan's achievements.
Now, the furthest I've gone was 153km with my wife Michelle.
Taking the bike to 200km wouldn't be a problem at all.
All I need to do, is to train and build up my stamina.

Guan, seen here at the OCBC Cycle Malaysia event in October. He's an inspiration to many new folding bicycle owners especially among the Chinese speaking community...
 The Plan...
Well, having done the USJ 26 - Tg Sepat - USJ 26 ride, I am pretty sure that a 100km single journey ride to Bagan Lalang is possible.
This means, lesser stops and maintaining a constant speed and cadence throughout the ride.
I've mapped out the route which seems right and will do this sometime in late February or early March next year.
From here, I will proceed with my plan to cycle to 'Land's end' in Tg Piai, Johor.

The 200km route..
  Seeing as it is, I won't be doing much cycling in the last days of 2011. 
My wife is having an overseas guest at home, so, its mostly Public Relations work well until the first week of 2012...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mr Yellow..

Lynx spiders are fascinating creatures.
They make fantastic insect macro photography subjects and I don't have to travel far to find them.
Just outside my house, there is a Jasmine tree planted by my wife.
And on the leaves, I can find some small Lynx spiders (measuring about 4mm) prowling for its prey.
The spiders keep its domain free from pests and also guards the Jasmine tree from being gobbled up by destructive bugs.
Here's set I took recently at Gasing Hill...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Macromania Returns..

Inspired by Santi..
My Thai bro Santi Senarat has been working hard with his camera.
I saw some of his pix today and seeing the weather is hot, after bathing the dogs, doing laundry, I got inspired...

Back to the usual hunting ground..
I knew that I can't go wrong at Gasing Hill in Section 5, Petaling Jaya.
Since its smack in the mid-afternoon, the place isn't crowded. Its also pretty cooling underneath the jungle canopy.
I don't know if I still have what it takes to use the Canon MPE-65 macro lens.
This baby can really get you some awesome close-ups! 
I mean, at a 5:1 magnification ratio, anything that is smaller than 10mm in length is dead centre in the viewfinder...

On location.. 
A different landscape.. 
Gasing Hill is even more beautiful now.
Some folks had landscaped the entrance.
You get flowers growing as well as introduced ornamental plants and edible herbs.
My first subject was a Lynx spider.
This was a good sign.
I must admit that I don't have a high expectation of today's outcome in the trail.
And as usual, I packed my EF-50mm F2.5 macro lens together with the 100mm F2.8L and MPE-65 lenses for this exercise.
For the full flash photography, I used my trusty MT-24EX and MT-14 Ring flash.
These are my most reliable source of controlled flash devices.

Lost and found
It didn't take long for me to locate some fine specimens.
And I am happy to report that the spider population in Gasing Hill is healthy.
I was not disappointed with my find along the trail. 
There were some really good shots especially a close-up of the Salticidae or Jumping Spiders.
I also managed to snap a juvenile Tiger Beetle along the way.
With the shots working, I am rigging up for a night macro session at Gasing.. Yep, no more buying bicycles, its Macromania and its back! 

Samo's Macromania Gallery

A juvenile jumper

Another fine specimen: a Salticidae

Close-up shot

The juvenile, taken at 3:1 magnification..

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rogue Rider: Projek Jugra - Part 4

Destination: Jenjarom
I had my sights set for Jenjarom, a town located about 7km away from Banting.
This route is also one of the most treacherous part of the ride.
Heavy vehicles drivers have no regards for small bikes. 
This is also where the road accident statistics is at its highest.
Its just a matter of split seconds that you are faced with a life and death decision.
The road is just too narrow for a bicycle to share its path with heavy vehicles like trucks and trailers.
To make matters even worse, there are motorists who drive too close to the white line.
That didn't matter. 
My mind was set. Its ride or die.
After cycling for 7km, I pulled over at a Caltex petrol station.
There, I went to the convenient store and purchased a bottle of 100PLUS sports drink.
While quenching my thirst, I had some time to reflect on the trip.
So far, I've already clocked about 83km.
I spoke to the station attendant, a teenager whom I think is no more than 19 years of age.
He told me that I can take a detour via Jalan Kampung Jenjarom to Jalan Kebun in Shah Alam.
With this detour, I can avoid Teluk Panglima Garang and Sijangkang where traffic is really heavy.
After some deep thoughts, I decided that its best to do so...

Jenjarom is in the distance.. 

My last refreshment break
Into the unknown.. 
I knew what I got myself into by taking the 'detour'.
This will save me about 13-15km of traveling time.
With the directions given by the pump attendant, I made my way towards a village road.
It was unpaved, but I was lucky to have my Jetstream EX. 
This bike is built to take the worse punishment any road conditions can throw.
The front suspension was in working condition, taking off the bumps and roughness off the handlebars, which proved to be a relief to my hands during the long ride.
I had to cover at least 23km of unpaved road.
And it was clear to me that this section of the route was actually used by people who wanted to cut across towards Kota Kemuning and Bukit Rimau.
The journey was interesting as I get to see the real "Hidden Selangor".
Just barely 6 kilometers into the ride, I saw a peat swamp. 
This reminded me of my snakehead fishing days. Its very promising as I can see some activity in the water.
I can also see that the landscape in Jenjarom is vastly changing. A highway will cut across the area, linking Shah Alam to Banting.
Slowly, I made my way to the fringe of Shah Alam.
I reached Seksyen 30 in less than an hour and was back in civilization after crossing a big void.
It was like traveling into the middle of nowhere.
Unlike the earlier ride from USJ 26 to Tg Sepat, I was in a better shape. Physically, I looked like shit, but this time, there was no issue with pain and fatigue.
I crossed into the 100km mark when I reached Jalan Kebun. 
This was my fourth Century ride on a folding bike.
I was in awe and felt great with the sense of achievement. You don't see people doing 100km rides on a folding bike everyday....

The 'shortcut'

This peat swamp will soon be gone to make way for a highway...
From Jalan Kebun, I crossed the KESAS Highway again, this time, towards KM13 near Kampung Jawa.
I've bypassed Teluk Panglima Garang and Kampung Sijangkang.
From this point onwards, it was an easy cruise towards the Puchong interchange via the motorcycle lane.
I reached my home before 4pm and had spent at 6hrs 11minutes cycling. The total mileage clocked was 113.5km.

It was an interesting ride.
But if you are new to long-distance rides, be sure to train up for your stamina and strength.

Mental endurance is also very important in determining how far you can go.
With some experience on this route, I knew what to expect and was prepared with my gear including spares.
The only thing that is out of my hands, is a complete mechanical breakdown on the bike.
I found that the tour of Jugra Lama is enjoyable and with the new shortcut from Jalan Kebun to Jenjarom, my 'Journey to Land's End' project for 2012 seems possible...

The distance recorded on my EDGE800

Route map of the ride
This time, there were issues with the drivetrain. I need to get this fixed.
Other than that, I felt fine and there were no problems with sore muscles and pain.
Immediately after the ride, I downed a glass of Hammer Recoverite to prevent sore muscles the next day.
The bike gets a hose-down after picking up dirt and grime.
I certainly look forward to more Century rides, perhaps to Kuala Selangor from USJ 26 in the future....

Rogue Rider: Projek Jugra Part 3

An early lunch... 
I had ngar pou cheep chap thong for lunch. 
Didn't know what the lady owner of the restaurant called Sarr Bak (boiled meat) was talking about, all I did was nod in agreement.
But from the vibes, and seeing people around me, I think the food quality would be decent.
On the next table, there were a bunch of men talking.
Every five words they muttered was "Lann Chiau!" (the human male's private part in Hokkien).
They don't seem to care who was around them and were obviously carrying on talking in their own lingo.
I think these are the guys of Jugra who made it. 
They just hang around, have a meal, a couple sip of Chinese tea and watch the day go by...

The El Turisto thing.. 
Lunch, including an iced Barley drink costs RM14. 
After paying up, I moved on to the other part of this town.
It was 12:15pm in the afternoon, the sun was not even up. Dark clouds loom ahead in the horizon.
I made my way to the Istana Bandar (an old palace) at the edge of the town.
This is located near a river and thinking that I was lost, I asked a lady who was kind enough to give directions.
She told me that the old palace is located next to the Sultan Alaeeden mosque, which is a well-kept place of worship in Jugra Lama.
I made my way there and found the palace abandoned.
It was next to an Islamic science building.
The palace, although its been vacant for a while, was actually well-maintained.
Next to it, I can hear some women singing and making their political speeches. Some sort of party convention.
Later, I rode towards a young man and asked him what lies ahead on the road and he told me that its the river.
Yeah, the Langat river, lands end on this part of the boondocks.
I later met a man, whom I presume is orang asli (aborigine) and spent some time talking to him.
The man said that some development is taking place and that there is a new bridge linking Jugra to the outside world.
I can clearly see this on my way from Teluk Panglima Garang....

Historical building: the Istana Bandar

Proof: The Rogue Rider was here.. 

The Alaeedeen mosque
Out of Jugra..
Earlier, I asked a boy on a motorcycle about the way out of town to Banting.
He told me that the road from Istana Bandar leads straight to the RMAF regiment's base and all I need to do, is to make a left turn and I am on my way.
So, I took my stride on this and half-way doing so, I realised that my front suspension had collapsed.
I didn't suspect anything as I have not ridden the Jetstream EX since I got it back from the bicycle shop.
Some idiot must have released the air from the front shock.
Lucky for me, I brought along my fork pump and worked on it right away. 
The entire trapezoid frame was really low and if used on a prolonged ride, the damage may have been irreversible.
I pulled over to a sheltered bus stop to work on the suspension and slowly, bit-by-bit, managed to restore the pressure in the air suspension.
Slowly, with the skipping gear, I rode towards Banting and the way home is beyond the horizon...

Rogue Rider: Projek Jugra Part 2

We are good to go!
Banting was disappointing.
So, it was time to head to Jugra and this town is about 13km away from where I was searching for food.
While I was on my way there, I made several detours but nothing convincing.
Jugra is a pretty interesting ride.
I cycled past the Jugra community college and noticed that there is a Royal Malaysian Air Force camp in the area.
As  I slowly made my way, the gear skipping became really annoying.
With some pressure on the pedal, the chainring began to jump.

Nice name for a town..hahahaha!
The junction towards Jugra

Permatang Pasir town formerly known as Jugra Lama
An interesting place
I've hardly seen any write-ups about Jugra Lama.
This historic town has an old palace, police station, Sultan Abdul Samad's mausoleum and the Sultan Alaeeden mosque.
There's plenty to see if you are on a bike.. So, I guess a short ride from Banting for the beginner is in order.
I cycled past the Selangor Matriculation College, which is a real big place and worked my way towards Permatang Pasir village.
Its a simple place where I can see plenty of Chinese settlers who are now well off with their big bungalows.
They are filthy rich!
The main economic activity here is agriculture.
Nearly all the land here is cultivated with cash crops...

Rogue Rider: Projek Jugra Part 1

The plan...
I did a Google Map on Jugra town which is the next stop after Banting in Selangor as my next ride destination.
The plan was simple, set out to the KESAS Highway's motorcycle lane, take an exit towards Banting and that was it..
I also invited a couple of people to join in the ride.
One of them was recumbent bike cyclists Ian Wong.
He had to work on Christmas eve, so was dropped out.
I guess the rest of the flock were afraid to do such a long ride, and being a Rogue Rider, nothing else matters.

At the KESAS Highway motorcycle lane this morning...
Getting there and back alive..
I am used to riding solo and have absolutely no qualms doing it on a long-distance ride.
Of course the risks are huge, but hey, no pain no gain.
I knew for a fact that the route from KESAS towards Banting is lined with heavy vehicles.
And at top speeds, heavily-laden trailers can zoom past you with barely inches away.
If you get caught in their wheels, you are DEAD MEAT.
These are the perils of riding in Federal roads and some motorcyclists had paid dearly for riding too close to these vehicles.
The Gods were obviously smiling at me when I rode towards Banting.
There were trucks and cars, some just barely missing me as the sped by, I was lucky, really lucky.

Murphy's Law
It rained this morning and the roads were really wet.
Half-way cycling towards the Proton factory in Shah Alam, I lost traction on the Dahon Jetstream EX.
No torque at all. 
On this bike, the SRAM Dual Drive II is the nerve and if you lose it, you are DEAD ON THE WATER.
With the rear-brake problems fixed, I now had a dead DDII.
With a long slope ahead, I managed to coast towards a sheltered bus stand.
There, I removed the DDII's click box and noticed that the tension rod had came out.
It has a threaded end, so, screwing it back was the solution.
I remember the cog wheels 'skipping' and thought that mechanic Wong at Rodalink Seri Hartamas had fixed it.
This became a nightmare that hampered my progress all the way.
I managed to get the bike on the road, but each time when I applied pressure on the pedal, the gears began to skip. 
That was not the end to my worries.... 

A pair of wet shoes just dampens your mood to ride.. 

Waiting for the skies to clear... 
The road to Banting...
To access Jugra, I first need to get to Banting, Which is about 43km away from my home in USJ26, Subang Jaya.
Throughout the ride, it was wet.
I had to seek shelter some 5km away from Banting after clearing Sijangkang, Teluk Panglima Garang and Sijangkang.
After 1hr 35minutes, I finally arrived in Banting.
My tummy was growling and the only food I had, was a piece of Powerbar.
At this point in time, my fitness level had deteriorated.
I wasn't as fit as before, but I held on with everything I had to reach Banting.
When I got there, nothing seems to excite me when it comes to food.
Maybe I need to do another trip just to eat in this town... 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mission: Cambodia

Bitten by the travel bug..
I'll snag the chance of getting out of Malaysia or the Klang Valley each time Chinese New Year approaches.
This year, we had the chance to cycle in Southern Thailand.
For the year of the Dragon, the first thing that came to my mind is Cambodia.
And the very place tha I wanted to visit, is Siem Reap, which roughly about 200km East of the Thai border.

The plan
I've mapped out this trip by taking a train from Kuala Lumpur to Haadyai via KTM's Express Langkawi.
From Haadyai, we board train number 36 to Bangkok.
Right after we hit Bangkok, we switch onto train number 56 to Aranyaprathet, near the Cambodian border.

The plan...
Strenous travel time
There's no issue about me clocking in more than two weeks on annual leave and accumulated off-days.
BUT, that's not the case with my wife.
She wants to go, but do not have the luxury of time.
We are looking at 16 days on the road.
It takes at least four days to get to Aranyaprathet by rail. And about four days to Siem Reap (covering a distance of 200km) on our bikes.

Much of our time would be spent on rail travel.
Beyond Aranyaprathet, its simply on our Dahons. My plan was to roll down towards Poi Pet, the border town in Cambodia and head straight into Siem Reap.
I've read plenty about the road trips by other bicycle tourists. Seems that the ride can be done.
BUT, my wife has the last say in this case. If she don't get to go, I don't go.
So, seeing as it is, Cambodia is out of reach during Chinese New Year and we are most likely stuck here in fucking Kuala Lumpur for the rest of the festive season...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

So, what lies ahead?

What's in store for the folding bike in 2012?
2011 has been an interesting year.
Dahon was all out with their entire range of bikes from the basic and upgraded Dahon Eco 7 series to the high-end Vector X20 and the last production of the 2011 Jetstream EX.
We in Malaysia are very lucky to have these bikes and right now, the distributor is clearing whatever stock they have by offering as much as 25% discount on the higher-end bikes.
On the other hand, there's the launch of Tern bicycles that witnessed the introduction of some really cool bikes.

The best of 2011
I would safely put it that the Vector-series are the best from Dahon and for you full-suspension folding bike lovers out there, the Jetstream EX and P8 are out for grabs.
One of the highly-overlooked bikes is the Dahon Flo X-20 which has been dropped from Dahon's 2012 line-up.
Everything on this bike spelled class and at a pricetag of RM9.2K, its one of the most expensive Dahons.
Right now, its being dumped at RM7.3K, which is a steal! 
I also would not dispute the Dahon Mu XL, which has all the good ingredients of a town bike that you can also rig up as a touring bike.
The best from Tern bicycles would be the Verge S11i and Eclipse S11i. My money is on the Eclipse-series bikes from Tern.
Other noteworthy mention are the HASA M2, which is a bang for the buck buy for 2011. 
With all the good components thrown-in, I see a good future for this player in the folding bike market.
What I can see is that HASA, being a new player in the folding bike circuit, is all out to please their customer with good QA and QC.
As far as this company is concerned, their bikes are really SOLID!
Another underdog is the Birdy bikes from Pacific Cycles. This full-suspension bike is gaining popularity and has been quoted as 'an all-round' performer by bikepacking guru TT Siang.
I must say that a review for the Birdy is in order.

The coming year.. 
I doubt we will see much from Dahon bicycles as some of their high-end bikes have been wiped out clean from their line-up.
As far as QC is concerned, they have some issues. So, make sure you get your bike tuned and checked every now and then. 
This doesn't mean that Dahon would really suck, but seeing as it is, one must be extra careful when it comes to making the right choice.
From the trend, I think Tern Bikes would do extremely well in 2012.
If you want something reliable, they've got you covered. 
I see a lot of potential from the higher-end bikes like the Tern Link P9 and P24h.
Also seeing a big potential are the Verge X10, P18 and S11i.
It would also be cool to see some internal hub gear bikes from the Link series.
The clear winner for 2012 would be the Eclipse series from Tern. These bikes are the ones to lookout for.
My choices are the Eclipse S11i and P8.
But having said all these, I doubt that the K2 Asia guys knew what they have and actually understood their products.
Instead of relying on users to sell their bikes, they should come out for a ride and do some real marketing rather than sit on their ass...
As far as other brands are concerned, the Bromptons are slowly making in-roads here in the Klang Valley..
One such retailer in town in cashing-in on the Cult-status of the bike..
I doubt that Bike Friday or Moulton bikes would see the light here anytime soon, but hey, life can be full of surprises...

A silent departure..
Well, after a few minor and major fuck-ups, I've decided to slip away from the guys who are distributing Dahons and Terns.
Like Frodo Baggins, I now shoulder the burden as the guy who gave Ah Wai Kor the scar on his lips and palms.
Although K2 Asia had admitted that it was their fault for not tightening the handblebar latch, the damage was done.
What that still pisses me off, is the Dahon Folding Bike Club, which is non-existant and the failure for this group to take off.
I think its very unfair for Le Run to depend fully on their customers to do their job. 
So, thank you very much Le Run for the great privileges and K2 Asia, for busting up my bosses' lips! 
Helping the brands to grow - I must say, is a thankless job. 
I hope that Dahon and Tern will continue to make an impact on the local folding bike community.
All they need to do, is to focus more on the user's needs.
As for 2012, I will continue to ride and write about my experiences and efforts are underway to collaborate with the HASA and Birdy people.. So, stay tuned!
To all you Samo-holics out there, here's wishing all of you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR and may 2012 be a super duper productive year for you....

Cateye Rapid 3

The Cateye Rapid 3 is lightweight and pretty bright
Outfitting the Jetstream
I needed a rear light that is capable of delivering some throw, especially to motorists in the distance.
My search ended with the Cateye Rapid 3 which I found at Johnny Ng's My Bicycle Shop in Bandar Utama.
Pricing for this rear light wasn't too bad, so, I bought two to be rigged on my Jetstream EX and Michelle's Jetstream P8.
We rode with this to Penang and Raub and it worked well.

Pros and cons
The rear light uses one AA-battery and with the LED as its illumination source, its pretty much energy-saving.
One single battery can really last you a while before a replacement is needed.
My only grouse with this light is the switch which is pretty fragile. If you get sand and grit trapped in-between the gaps, you are headed for trouble.
Otherwise, this is a good choice for a rear light...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Night Raider...

Christmas came early.. 
I was all out to outfit my Dahon Speed P8 and Jetstream EX with a set of Sigma Powerled Black Pro headlights.
After an exhaustive search, I found one at a well-known bicycle shop in Taman Megah, Petaling Jaya. 
The owner offered 40% off its retail price as he is clearing stock.
From the initial inspection, the light looked okay...

The horror... The horror...
So, there I was, ready to cut a deal at the Taman Megah bike shop.
I told the owner, Mr Tan about wanting the light.
"Oooohh.. You came earlier that day right? Ahhh.. Good choice.. "
Tan told one of his staff to check and see whether the light is working or not.
After he opened the box, the man was unable to take out the AA battery pack from the light's barrel.
At this point, I knew that something was terribly wrong.
He then tried to use force, but the piece of plastic was wedge inside the barrel, it just wouldn't budge.
I saw him hitting the barrel on the carpet, repeatedly.
Now, the only logic here is that the supplied AA batteries had leaked and corroded the barrel.
Quietly, I slipped away.
Drove as far as I could from the Taman Megah Bike shop. After seeing what the man did, this is the last time I am ever going there....

The twins: Sigma Powerled Black Pro
Luck was on my side.. 
The next place that I went was a long shot.
I drove to Merida's showroom near the Taman Bahagia LRT station.
Finding a carpark here is hell.
I saw a van coming out from a parking lot, then, a fucktard left a wheelbarrow on the lot, marking his territory.
I made another turn and this lady was kind enough to move the fucking wheelbarrow aside. Thank you ma'am! 
So, there I was, right back where I started. 
I knew for a fact that Ben Tan's store has some Sigma products. Probably imported by themselves.
I asked Yeap, the store's supervisor who was honest enough to tell me that they had some 'problems' with the Sigma high-end lights.
I insisted on seeing them and there it was: Two boxes of the Sigma Powerled Black Pro.
It made me really happy to see the lights.
Yeap said that if he can get one that worked, he will let it go at a 'Christmas' price.
After one of the staff had plugged-in the Lithim-Ion battery pack, the light was on, a deal was about  to be cut.
He gave a price which is much higher than the bike store in Taman Megah, I counter-offered and Yeap had given in.
I scored another Sigma Powerled Black Pro and this time, the only thing that I need to do, is to clean the melted battery cover.
Humidity had destroyed a layer of latex on the battery pack.

The 2011 Dahon Jetstream "Night Raider" edition

The twins, now, even more powerful than ever!
Long-term plans..
The new rechargeable LED lights would be very useful in the field. 
All I need, is a large battery pack with a splitter cable to power up the lights. While the original battery packs can be used as reserves.
The Sigmas will see some prime action next month during Chinese New Year..

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Seremban Experiment - Part 2

The plan...
I told Melvin that we are only going to check out certain parts of Seremban.
Mainly, the busy road stretching all the way to the Mantin junction and back to Rahang where we can find some good food...

The lonely Strida on a busy Seremban road...
We rode the entire length of Jalan Yamtuan and headed back South.
While we were cycling in town, Melvin spotted an old skool bicycle shop, so, we stopped by to check out the place.
An elderly man who was fixing an old bike, told Melvin to see his merchandise in the store.
He gladly obliged and took some photos of the bikes.
For an underdog, Melvin works very had to promote his ware and he is sincere enough to admit that the Stridas aren't built to handle the longer distances.
So, Seremban is an ideal set up for such small urban bikes.
Later, we rode off to Rahang where I showed him the best fishball noodles stall.
We decided to have lunch at a wantan noodles stall. 
This is said to be one of the best makan places at the fringe of Seremban.
But before we could get there, I made a bad judgement call and actually got lost.
We made a detour out of town towards Tampin.
So, after re-adjusting my bearings, we headed back towards town and found the noodles stall, which was partially hidden behind parked vehicles...

At one of the busy intersections in town
Wantan mee for the soul.... 
Food, glorious food! 
I never knew that Seremban has so much to offer.
In the past, I would give this town a miss.
The only KTM Komuter experience I ever had, was a visit to my ambulance-chasing lawyer's office off Jalan Yamtuan.
That was more than 10 years ago and I remember specifically walking for 3km from the KTM Komuter station to visit the lawyer.
At Rahang, we had a good fill at the wantan noodles stall.
I was told by the owner that he had been in business for nearly half a-century! Amazing....
I picked up the tab for the marvelous meal at RM13.50.
Then, we moved on to Choi Kee chicken rice just a short distance away.
This is said to be a 'must try' in Seremban.
The food was okay and while we ate, we shared our table with a local dude.
He was amazed to see our little bikes.
Even the lady who collected the bill commended us for utilizing our bikes to see parts of Seremban that I never knew existed.
After we were done, we rode towards town and made a pit-stop at a local bicycle shop.
We took some snapshots and can see that the shop owner had waved to us.
He gestured for us to see him.
Melvin, who was ever obliging, lend his bike for a test-ride.
The owner said he had never seen a Strida, which was in that point in time: the only folding bike of its kind to ever hit the streets of Seremban...

Seremban's most electrifying chicken rice...
Public Relations work: Melvin taking a shot of the bike shop owner...
From what I saw, I can clearly sum up that the bike shop was formerly dealing with electrical home appliances.
It as a drastic decision to switch from selling refrigerators and washing machines to bicycles.
We later rode off to the KTM station and packed out bikes to board the 2:30pm train to head back to KL Sentral.

A successful mission! 
As usual, the train was late.
And swarms of commuters boarded the Komuter which was providing a service to Rawang.
Again, the ratio is like 80% foreigners to 20% locals.
While I was chatting with Melvin, this fucking Bangladeshi dude had put his foot on the railing, obstructing commuters from moving into the coach.
I stared at him and he eased up a bit.
Even at 3:00pm, the train was crowded.
We chose to travel during the school holidays where the KTM Komuter was a choice transport for people living in the fringe of the Klang Valley to head towards Kuala Lumpur's city centre.
The train was packed like Sardines and towards the end of the journey, people were really squashed-up.
Melvin got off at the Mid Valley station while I carried on towards KL Sentral to make my switch for the train to Subang Jaya.
It was a quick affair as I had only minutes to get back into the right platform to board the Klang-bound train.
In the Komuter coach, there was this well-to-do dysfunctional family who boarded the train.
A middle-aged couple with her two sons were lugging their suitcases.
What I couldn't stand was the fact that their teenage son was a skinny assed faggot with earrings. 
They were talking so loud, it was not funny.
At this point, I wished I had my ipod on full-blast. Fuck them!
Anyways, after a short ride, I got off at the Subang Jaya station. My job was done.

Talk is cheap
Funny thing is this: There are people who can talk you to death, they end up doing nothing.
The Seremban experiment clearly shows that folding bikes can be brought along on excursions as long as you are civil-minded about sharing your space with other people as well as courteous enough to bag your bike.
If you ride a mountain bike or a road bike, forget about it.
While those self-proclaimed gurus out there are still imagining things, I set out to do what I had to do, board the Komuter with my folding bike and ride at my destination.


  • IF you expect comfort, well the Komuter isn't much of an ideal ride. For Seremban-bound commuters, I heard that the SKS buses are the way to go, its faster and cheaper..
  • Be prepared to offer your seat to the elderly and handicapped...
  • Xenophobia strikes with so many foreigners onboard, its not funny. Felt as if I was in Bangladesh or Nepal at some point of the journey..
  • Be prepared to wait for trains that are behind schedule.
  • Avoid boarding and traveling on the Komuter during peak hours and public holidays. Its bound to be packed with people.
  • Bring an ipod or MP3 player to switch off from noisy people
  • Expect people to kick your bagged bike when the coach is crammed like a can of Sardines...
  • Carry a lot of small change as some of the Komuter ticketing machines do not accept notes.
  • Most of the stations are not equipped with elevators, or if they have a lift facility, its broken down, so, be prepared to lug your folded bike up the flight of stairs.
  • Invest in a good bike bag. Don't be stingy, be kind, bag your bike...
And lastly, BE ALERT at all times. You have to keep your eyes on your personal belongings as well as your bike....
That said, enjoy your commute and REMEMBER: Be a responsible foldie so that other folding bike owners too can enjoy a ride on the KTM Komuter.

* This public service is brought to you courtesy of the ROGUE RIDER