Sunday, January 29, 2012

Journey to Land's End - Part 4

This is it!
The alarm rang at 05:00am. 
We got up, and the first thing that came to mind, was the last 38km push.
Michelle and I had done at least 135km from Muar to Pontian and there's little left to our imagination.
The only thing left to do, is the road down Land's End.
Breakfast was included in the hotel's room charge, so, we wasted no time in filling up.
After the meal, we headed straight for the road to Kukup, some 20km away from Pontian Kechil.
Traffic was light and the sky was rather gloomy.

The smooth ride.. 
Bananas, Bikes, Rock & Roll
We packed some light food for this ride and riding without the panniers actually helped.
The night before, we re-packed our stuff and left some of the non-essential stuff at the hotel room.
Earlier, I asked the front desk guy about a late check-out and was told that an extra charge of RM12.60 an hour will be imposed.
Michelle was rather pissed off with that, so, we let it be.
I didn't sleep well the night before and had been carrying a flu bug since we left for Muar from Subang Jaya.
Sleeping underneath the air-cond duct didn't help either.
Before the ride, I downed some medication and it held up as I swept the ride.
The road to Tanjung Piai is actually hazardous to small vehicles. Especially bicycles.
Even the locals here are afraid to use the road.
This was one of Michelle's primary fear - getting whacked by a trailer.
The heavy vehicles don't really care. They zoomed past with barely inches missing our bikes.
With the lighter load, we've made good progress.
It took us about one and a-half hours to reach Kukup.
This town has changed tremendously since my last visit in 1997. 
I did make a follow-up visit with Michelle in early 2002, the development here has been amazing!
Spare the seafood restaurants, there's really nothing much to see in this town.

The slow road to Kukup

Land's End in sight..
The terrain in Kukup is pretty much flat.
Our destination is Serkat, which is about 5km away from this town.
We rode backwards and headed to a right turn towards Tg Piai.
Our destination was the state park in this area and plenty of surprises lurks ahead.
After cycling for nearly 45-minutes, we reached Serkat.
There are a couple of homestay facilities here that are catered to tourists.
We had no plans to stay in Tg Piai and its purely a hit-and-run visit.
And as usual, we took a shot at the signboard in town before heading down to the Southernmost tip of Asia.

The Samos in Serkat

Tg Piai at last!
What a rip-off!
We cycled towards a fisherman's village at the end of the cape.
Found a resort on stilts and asked a lady about the 'globe' monument that made this place famous.
She told me that its one kilometre down the road and its situated at the state park.
After snapping a couple of shots, we made our way towards the directions given.
On a Thursday, this place is dead.
I can see a few local tourists, possibly lost and don't have a clue where they were.
Since the roads here are pretty well-maintained, we cycled towards the Tg Piai state park.
An entrance fee of RM3 is charged for adult visitors.
We cycled towards a signboard that says: "Dataran Tg Piai" but was stumped to see a dead-end.
There is a huge sculpture at the park entrance with a map of Southeast Asia.
We snapped some pictures there and called it a day.
A man came out of the visitor's centre and asked how many cyclists were in my group.
I told him that there only two of us and we were well on our way.
He wanted to collect RM3, but I told him that we weren't even in the park at all.
All I saw, was a crappy place that was falling apart.
We rode off towards pekan Permas where we had an early lunch before riding back to Pontian.

The monument..
And now, 'plan B'...
We had set our target to reach Pontian by 12noon.
A couple of stops meant that the timing had went off by half an hour.
By the time we reached the hotel in Pontian, we were well into mid-day.
So, I discussed with Michelle and told her that rather than wasting another day on the road to Batu Pahat, risking a night ride climbing Bukit Kelichap, we toss everything into a chartered car and head straight back to Muar.
Initially, I planned to get dropped at Parit Jawa and continue to ride for at least 20km towards Sungai Abong. 
But with the flu bug creeping in, I decided to scrap it.
We loaded our bikes and gear onto the chartered car at 02:00pm and shot straight for Muar which is roughly about two hours drive from Pontian.
Our ride was terminated in this town and we are happy to report that we made it all the way from Muar.
A return trip of 382km meant spending more time on the road and an increase in expenses. 
We decided to spend more time in Muar having some good food before heading back to KL.
One of the beauty of conducting a self-supported trip is that we don't have to decide for others and manage them.
Its our call and we made a damn good judgement on this.

The ride would have been more fun if we had broken it into shorter distances (60 - 70km intervals).
But, seeing as it is, there are no proper accommodation in towns like Senggarang and Benut.
So, if we are to head back down this road, we would have to pack our tarp, sleeping pad and bags.
Heavy vehicle traffic: Maniac express bus drivers, renegade trailers and mad passenger cars made it a challenge to get from point to point.
And if you are thinking of cycling a folding bike to Tg Piai, be prepared to average at speeds of  15km/h. You can't go any faster than that without straining yourself.
As a pre-departure precaution: be sure that your bike is in top condition where moving parts are concerned.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Journey to Land's End - Part 3

A late lunch..
Senggarang was a big upset.
Basically, its a cowboy town with rows of wooden shops and I guess nothing has changed in this neck of the woods for some time...
We pushed as far as we could and reached the town on Rengit about 15km away from Senggarang.
Here, a bunch of bananas cost RM1 a piece. Now, that's cheaper than dirt!
Later, we found a chicken rice store and had our late lunch there.
I can see the sigh of relief on Michelle's face as she down's the food.
Two plates of rice costs RM9.50 with drinks.
We also ate satay and had a small chat with one of the boys who asked us about the folding bikes.
He told me that there is a shortcut from Parit Botak to Batu Pahat, bypassing the Bukit Kelichap area.
During the conversation, the guy also said that the coastal route is also a popular place for long-distance cyclists.
As a matter of fact, we came across a solo touring rider outside Batu Pahat.
With a decent lunch, some good advice, we moved on towards Benut in the horizon...

Bananas in pyjamas: a fruit stall in Rengit

A decent fare: The chicken rice 
Used up the entire day..
We left Rengit at about 4:00pm and there's still a long way to go before hitting Pontian town.
The plan is to ride as far as we could - suffer the first day of the tour and have an easy ride to Tg Piai, which is another 38km away.
So far, things had worked out fine.
There were no punctures, mechanical problems along the way. 
We were glad to have cycled more than 100km without any major issues.
My concern was Michelle. 
She hasn't been cycling over the last couple of months and I can see that she was lagging behind.
Its no joke when you have to lug your panniers and all the extra weight.
Her Dahon Speed TR was built for this purpose.
Its an all-rounder bike and we specifically got it for our long-distance rides.
Michelle and I had done two Century rides together and she's pretty comfortable with the bike..
We entered Pontian district by 5:30pm and had to cycle through at least three more counties before entering Pontian Kechil..

Entering Land's End territory.. 
A test of teamwork, will power and relationship...
The woman I married has an iron will.
But the stress on the road, fatigue and saddle sore had slowly taken its toll.
I can see from my rear view mirror that she was lagging behind.
By the time we crossed Benut, I was trying to look for a place to bunk-in.
Sadly, there are not hotels along this route.
The only way is the hard way.
Make it or break it, we had to cycle to Pontian.
This is another 35km from Benut.
As the day slowly fades in the horizon, we cycled through a small town called Sanglang and made a stop outside Ayer Baloi. 
With the failing light, the rear lights and head lights were deployed. 
Our vests were set on flashing mode.
We rode in the dark and in this final push, I can see the face of agony, especially on my wife.
The 135km journey was as tough as it gets, morale was low as we rode in near pitch-dark conditions.
At this point, the twin Sigma Powerleds were doing its job, illuminating the path.
Its even brighter that the motorcycle headlights that rode past us.

Pontian at last! 
We kept on pushing as far as we could.
And on the horizon, I can see the bright lights of an Esso petrol station, indicating that we are very near civilization.
I radioed Michelle to pull over and got ourselves a bottle of isotonic drink and refilled our near empty bottles.
After nearly an hour cycling in darkness, I can see her face glowing.
Having worked in this region, I think she knew that Pontian is just down the road.
I had a chat with the petrol station worker who told me that there were ample accommodation in  Pontian Kechil town.
For a soft bed and a hot shower, I didn't mind cycling for another 5km.
Slowly, but surely, we progressed towards the Pontian Business Centre and rode into an entirely new area.
My last visit to this town was in 1997 and much has changed.
Michelle went up to the check-in counter at Hotel Pontian and managed to secure a room.
I hauled the bikes into the room and felt relieved after completing the long ride from Muar.
We later had a late dinner across our hotel and were glad that everything went well.

The bikes, stowed in our room..

Journey to Land's End - Part 2

The path less-travelled..
We were well into our third hour of cycling and progress was slow.
Averaging at 16km/h, my projection was reaching Pontian town by nightfall. 
We rode past small towns like Semerah and Simpang Lima before hitting Batu Pahat in the afternoon.
The road down South was quite boring. 
Nothing much to see except for oil palm estates along the way.
We rode past these and managed to reach a small village outside Batu Pahat.
The sun was scorching hot as it slowly sapped our energy..

Cockpit view from the bike along the route..

Leaving Muar district...
Coping with the heat..
I must say that after doing the Century ride to Bagan Lalang, I handled the heat pretty well.
When you cycle under the sun, the heat coming up from the tarmac and surface reflection can burn you.
Like most long-distance cyclists, I took precaution.
Before the ride, I downed two Endurolite capsules. No cramps all the way!
The clothing that we wore, Race Ready long sleeved runner's jerseys actually kept our body cool.
While on the road, we kept our distance at 10 -15km intervals before taking a break.

Gear factor
We've had very good experience with the Dahon Speed series bikes.
I love the Speed P8 that is virtually no-frills and can be rigged to carry panniers on its front and back.
For this ride, we used our trusty Ortlieb frontrollers.
We packed essentials like clothing, personal grooming kits, clothing, recovery kit for the bikes, a netbook and other electronics to stay in touch with the world.
I also revived my Icom V-85 VHF transciever which is capable of delivering 7watt of radio power.
These proved to be useful for staying in touch with Michelle..

Batu Pahat in plain sight..
It turned out that Batu Pahat was a huge town.
We took about 20 minutes to round the area and managed to find a stall that sells bananas.
The night before, we gave up our search for this natural source of energy.
Later in the ride, we were literally running on bananas before reaching our destination...

Crossing the Batu Pahat bridge..
Dessert break..
My plan was to bypass Batu Pahat.
Too much time is wasted in this town since the distance is only 58km.
We pushed for at least 135km towards Pontian.
From Batu Pahat, we slowly made our way towards Senggarang.
Half-way negotiating the traffic, my chain got jammed on the last cogwheel.
This was down-time and it took me about 10-minutes to fix the problem.
The ride out of Batu Pahat town was a gradual climb towards Bukit Kelichap.
This is at least 12km of hills before a village called Koris.
We climbed under the heat, slowly but gradually made our way towards a short roll.
At Koris, we took a break.

Fuel for power and energy: Banana!

Senggarang sucks!
The Southern coastline of Johor is pretty boring.
Nothing much but oil palm after oil palm estates.
We reached Senggarang during mid-day and sought refuge at a petrol station.
There, we had a round of isotonic drinks and as Michelle rested, I spoke to a local.
I was told that there are more choices when it comes to good food in Rengit, another 10 to 15km away..
So, from there, we pushed on as the odometer began to clock-in a higher mileage..

Journey to Land's End - Part 1

Realizing a plan..
We were pretty bummed.
This is one Chinese New Year where we were pretty much left on our own.
I had something mapped out for a tour of the far South and the plan is to ride to Tanjung Piai, the Southernmost tip of Asia.
Initially, I thought of cycling from our home towards Tg Piai. 
But this would take at least two weeks to complete on our little folding bikes.
Michelle came up with a revised and improvised schedule.
Its also very simple. 
We drive to Muar, spend a night there and ride the next day.

Cruising through the streets of Muar in the morning...
At Muar, we bunked-in at Michelle's Uncle's place. 
There, we were able to take a rest before setting out at 6:30am the next day.
Our routine began with setting up the bikes and loading our panniers.
We rode towards Parit Jawa before day break.
With the load, I have forgotten how slow it can get moving along.
We hauled at least 30kgs of gear and equipment in the self-supported ride.
The goal was to reach Batu Pahat and have lunch there.
Our first stop was Parit Jawa, some 16km away from Muar town...

Hitting the road at warp-speed.. 
Parit Jawa, home of Assam Pedas fish...
Riding under the sun..
The meteorologist had predicted a dry and hot day.
It was true.
We rode under the sun and kept hydrated along the way with our water and constantly refilled our bottles.
From Parit Jawa, the ride towards Batu Pahat would take at least three hours.
We were prepared to take as many breaks as possible to avoid health hazards such as sun and heat stroke.
Once down, its very hard to recover.
But so far, the journey has been really smooth..

Leaving Parit Jawa..

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rogue Ride - projek Bagan Lalang, part 4

The point of no return
I reached Bagan Lalang at 06:00pm.
It was getting late and the usual thing to do, is to get a snapshot.
The Olympus EP-3 is not as compact as my G12. I can't figure out this camera especially its exposure lock button.
Most of the shots I had set up earlier had turned out underexposed.

Bagan Lalang at last!
By the time I cycled out of Bagan Lalang, the sun was setting fast.
I found a stall and set up my Sigma Powerled Black lights.
For the journey home, I knew that I would be riding in the dark.
A million things can go wrong.

Riding into the abyss..
When you are all alone, cycling down a dark road, its important to remain and stay focused.
Beyond 100km, your mind would begin to deteriorate. 
Fatigue, sore muscles, busted seat bones, these are as real as it gets.
I covered the 16km void towards Tg Sepat and stopped at a Petrol station.
The plan was simple, if I couldn't continue, I will hop onto a truck and head towards Klang.
Or better still, Banting where hired car services are aplenty.
I was ready to fork out a heavy sum to transport the Jetstream back to USJ 26.
While I was cycling, my motivation was a hot plate of char koay teow in Banting.
And there, with the pain setting in on my butt, I slowly cycled towards Morib.
The Sigma lights were even brighter than any motorcycle headlight that zipped past me.
I knew that at this point in time, if anything should happen, like a burst tire or mechanical problem, its gonna be hard.
With char koay teow as my motivation, I slowly cycled towards Banting...

My dinner
The mid-way point: Banting
Char Koay Teow for the soul..
Slowly,but surely, I reached Banting.
I made my way to Jipun Char Koay Teow and found them closing up.
Having seen that, I wasn't disappointed. 
I made my way towards a hawker centre and found 'Banting Char Koay Teow'.
Without hesitation, I placed an order for a plate of fried noodles.
It was Heaven on Earth as I savoured my dinner. It made my day as I prepare for the final push towards home.
The next thing that came to mind after a hearty meal, was climbing the Banting bridge.
I made my way up and rolled down towards Jenjarom.
There were several 'Death Zones' in this area and after cycling for 166km, I reached a Shell petrol station in this town and took a break.

The final push..
I spent more than 8 hours on the road, mostly cycling with very few stops.
After Jenjarom, there's Teluk Panglima Garang and Sijangkang before hitting the KESAS motorcycle lane.
This is a ride in the dark. And there's about 35km or more to cover.
With each crank on the pedal, I slowly rode past the small towns. 
Everything had worked as planned.
And as I rode past Sijangkang, I was relieved to know that the home-stretch is getting nearer..
With every bit of strength on my body, I rode up the ramp towards the bike lane and rolled down.
The KESAS motorcycle lane was dark. 
After two hours of burn-time, the Sigmas didn't show any signs of wear on its low setting.
This helped me work my way towards the Puchong junction.
After cycling for nearly 17km, I made a turn towards the Proton car factory.
There, I rested at a bus stop.
Home is on my mind and I am nearing the completion of my ride...
For one final break, I mounted and slowly pedaled my way towards the end of the LPD highway.
At this point, despite the padded shorts, my butt was really getting sore.
As I slowly made my way, the Putra Heights signboard was within sight.
I decided to snap some photos there before climbing the ramp towards USJ 26.
I rolled towards the guardhouse and made it home. My dogs were waiting. 
I checked my Garmin EDGE800 cycling GPS. 
It clocked-in about 194.1km. 
I was short of 6km in achieving my first double-century ride.
It didn't matter to me at all as I have successfully completed the ride. Another attempt is in place, but that would have to wait. I need to train harder.

Mission accomplished!

Total mileage clocked

The route
If you ever plan to ride 200km in a day, better plan it well.
Timing is essential and if you can find a ride buddy, it will be much easier.
When it comes to solo-riding, one has to be able to take on the stress of doing things alone.
I was lucky as there were no untoward incidents along the way.
My mistake was timing. 
I rode later in the morning. By right, I should have started at 6am, taking advantage of the cooler morning.
The bike too was in a bad shape. Having experienced this, well, I guess that in the next attempt, I would be riding my Speed P8 instead.

Rogue Rider - projek Bagan Lalang, part 3

Getting there is half the fun..
Single-handed cyclist Master Meng Fook Cheun once told me: "Don't fear the hills, and getting there is half the fun.."
Meng is one of the leading recumbent cyclist in Malaysia and has a large following especially among newbies.

So, after riding for 10km, I reached Morib.
The sun was scorching and the first thing on my mind was to get my water supply replenished.
Its important to stay hydrated and I always made sure that my water bottle was filled.
I was packing my Ortlieb flight 27 backpack.
This was the first time I hauled such a pack on the road.
Its waterproof, but a bit heavy to lug. 
It contained my much-needed spares as the ride was solo and self-supported.
For this, I relied heavily on my Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires. It performed flawlessly, hardly a single puncture since I procured the Jetstream in July this year.

Refreshment break in Morib, Selangor
On this ride, I was also testing the Olympus EP-3 micro four-third camera.
I was issued an EP-3 body with a 14-42mm zoom lens.
Earlier, I communicated with a PR consultant for Olympus and managed to secure a review for the camera.
My Canon Powershot G12 is reaching the end of its lifespan.
So far, so good, the EP-3 performed well. I've gained respect for the camera although its made entirely in China. 
After a short break in Morib, I cycled towards Batu Laut and Tg Sepat..

The phone, it kept ringing and ringing and ringing...
I've had a sackload of missed calls on my cellphone.
Its mostly work-related.
The slave-drivers at the office are still pressing for work to be done.
As far as I am concerned, I'm out of the office.
But, there were pressing issues, especially on my upcoming book project.
I made a few calls and had it sorted out.
From Batu Laut, Tg Sepat is around the corner. 
My initial plan, was to have a glass of iced-cold coffee and Mui Choy pau.
But time was not on my side.
Instead of stopping, I pushed on to Bagan Lalang.
Now, the point-to-point travel is roughly about 100km.
I still have to ride home from there.
And its no fun as the short 16km stretch from Tg Sepat to Bagan Lalang is mostly a void..
I rode as far as I could, reaching a small break area before the junction towards kg Sg Rawang.
There, I sat down, and refilled my empty drinking bottle. 
Just as I was getting comfortable, a man rode into the area on his motorcycle.
We chat a bit and he kept telling me how fast the heavy vehicles were zooming past the Federal road along Selangor's coastline.
I was not deterred by this. 
Bagan Lalang, is just around the corner. Its either death, or victory..

There's no turning back

Peat fire at Bagan Lalang
I rode along this path before and the last few kilometres ain't gonna hurt.
The evening sun was slowly setting as I made my way towards the Bagan Lalang beach.
There was smoke billowing from an area near the village.
A fire truck rushed by and as I rode towards the location, I can see the vegetation catching fire from the heat.
The coastal area in West Selangor is known for peat fires..

Rogue Rider - projek Bagan Lalang, part 2

The journey continues...
After getting the rear brake problem fixed, I decided to ride to Bagan Lalang.
Its more than 83km away and by the time I hit the road, the sun was already above my head.
Earlier in the day, I couldn't decide.
I spent the first few hours after daybreak watching 'Fright Night' on ASTRO.
Then, a thought came into mind. 
If I don't do this, I will regret it for the rest of my life.
I will never know my true potential.. ahhahaha!
So, fast-foward to mid-day, I was heading out towards Banting.
There were a group of cops manning a routine roadblock underneath a flyover.
One of them stopped me.
I knew that the Dahon Jetstream had attracted his attention.
He flagged me down and as I pulled over, I was bombarded with plenty of questions.
The cop wanted to know if my ride was a folding bike.
I said yes.
He told me that he read about it on the newspapers.
Folding bikes are now growing in popularity. Thanks to the media and the 'representatives' of the community.
We chat a bit and after a couple of minutes, I pushed on...

The friendly traffic cop and my Jetstream

A fellow cyclist, waving for the camera...
Feeling the heat..
I knew what I was getting myself into.
The afternoon heat was punishing.
But this was not the first time I cycled under the sun, my focus was reaching Morib.
This means I have to cycle past Sijangkang, Teluk Panglima Garang, Jenjarom and Banting before getting to Morib.
The SRAM DDII on the Jetstream wasn't 100% restored.
Despite the tune-up, the rear cogwheels were still 'skipping'.
I've pushed this bike to the brink and I think it will get me there and back..
It took me about another 45-minutes to reach the Banting bridge where the DDII was put to its test.
Despite the loss in torque and the constant skipping, I managed to get up to the mid-section of the bridge and roll down towards Banting town.
There, I took a short break at a petrol station before pushing off to Morib..

Rogue Rider - projek Bagan Lalang, part 1

Is it possible?
Commuting guru and Brompton God Ng Chor Guan told me that he had done a 200km ride..
I'm not sure whether his attempt was a one-way ride or a return trip.
I've done 150km, it wasn't easy.
Seeing that it was feasible, I gave it a shot.
It was a cool morning, I started late (which proved to be a grave mistake) and headed out towards my planned route.
I was to ride from my home in USJ 26 to Bagan Lalang and back.
When I plotted the route on Google maps, it was a clean 100km single-journey ride.
If you have a GPS log to track your ride, then its verifiable.
I am not sure if Guan had logged his on a cyclometer, which is inaccurate at most times. But I would never doubt his sincerity on this.

Ride hard, Ride far, or Die..
This was to be my second solo ride.
I did it the first time from my home to Jugra Lama. It was enjoyable.
The road to Banting was paved with danger.
There are inconsiderate drivers on the road, trailers that could sweep you up and make a pile of minced meat out of you.
So, its either you, or the trailer.
I set out at 9am in the morning. The sky was gloomy. It was a good day to ride.
Half-way reaching Kota Kemuning, I noticed that my Ashima PCB disk brake was dragging.
Even after bleeding it, the problem was apparent.
In our weather, the Ashimas are useless.

The road to Banting

A detour
I had a decision to be made.
Either scrap the journey, or head to Bandar Botanic to get the bike fixed.
The option was clear. 
Even with the brake drag, I can't get home without losing lots of energy.
So, I picked the option of getting the bike fixed.
I knew the store supervisor EK at Rodalink Klang. He's good.
So, to get the bike on the road, I had to first remedy the brake problem.
I am not sure if the guys at Rodalink are capable of doing it, but hey, no risk, no gain...
While the boys were tending to my bike, I had the chance to fill up my tummy.
Its the wantan mee at a corner coffee shop behind Rodalink that made my day! 

Wantan mee for the soul...

Catching up...
I utilised the down-time in Klang to chat up with EK.
He told me that since the Tern bicycles were launched at the Rodalink in Bandar Botanic, they have been receiving plenty of requests for the Verge P18.
Seems that my 'first impression' preview had generated some interest.
Its a shame that Le Run or K2 Asia depends solely on their customers to do their work.
If the marketing people there have half the brains, they would be aggressively selling their Tern bicycles instead of using the local cycling magazines...
I hope that they will deliver when the Terns arrive in March this year.
Yeah, I am still sore about being used, abused and conned into helping these buggers!
We talked a bit, and I wished EK all the best.. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

PIPR series 13

First cycling event of the year.. 
We've been laying off cycling events a bit.
Michelle's been traveling on her job and she hasn't been riding for at least two months.
She got back from Taiwan last week and I've planned to take part at the Putrajaya Interparks Ride which was held for the 13th time...

Michelle on the road
Mr CS Wee and SK Yeong
Team Jetstream
Old friends... 
While I was mingling with a bunch of people at the flag-off area, I met Mr CS Wee, one of the pioneer folding bike owners who rode a Dahon Speed P8.
I met Mr Wee in 2010 at the Dahon Folding Bike Club launch (Well, sadly, this club is as good as dead..) where we spent some time discussing about folding bicycles.
Mr Wee, a veteran cyclist, lives in Butterworth and Kota Kemuning. He cycles a lot in the North and the East Coast.
Another person whom I met at the event was Mr SK Yeong.
A long-distance cyclist, Yeong is one of the organizer of the "Smell the Roses" tri-state tour that will take place on February 4.

The folding bike crowd at the PIPR ride was amazing.
There were at least 40 bikes, twice as many compared to previous events.
We met a few people who are new to folding bikes.
At the event, I also caught up with some Tern bike owners...

The ride...
Spare the poor sods who crashed their fixies along the way, the course was really smooth.
Having rode most of the easy and moderate courses in the PIPR series, I must say that the organizers had done a good job.
Basically, the PIPR is a social ride and also an avenue for me and Michelle to catch up with some old friends.
After completing the 25km ride, we shot off to Broga for lunch.. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Canon's frontal assault...
Canon Cameras announced their new flagship compact camera: the Powershot G1x.
As far as high-end compact cameras are concerned (I am not comparing this with micro four-thirds). Canon is way ahead in the pack.
And with the large-sensor G1x, its clear that Canon is leading the way in this category.
Having said that, its current contender: the Nikon P7100 is nowhere compared to the G1x in terms of features and design.

Monster compact camera: The G1x and its predecessor, the G12

Better image quality, top-notched features
People would have high expectations on the G1x.
Unlike the previous model, this one has a 4x zoom lens which roughly gives you the focal lengths of 28mm - 115mm. 
This is enough to cover all my basic needs of having a walkabout camera without sacrifcing weight and bulk.
But, having said that, the G1x is slightly larger than the G12.
This is apparent in its larger image sensor, said to be able to produce better quality shots.
In this case, its enough to fulfil my needs when it comes to getting some good pictures for my food articles.


Well, I guess that its still too early to tell how this baby will perform.
I can definitely look forward to its debut here in Kuala Lumpur in the months to come as it is a timely replacement for my battered and used Powershot G12!