Friday, March 30, 2012

What's up Ed?

A follow-up visit..
I gave Ed Foo a tinkle today. 
Told him that I would swing by his store at Subang Avenue. 
He's been running Atmosphere Outfitters for nearly half a year and is the authorized distributor for Ortlieb packs in Malaysia.

Ed and his new ride: A Dahon Mu P8
Now, a foldie!
I haven't seen the guy for months and when I walked into his store, there was a white coloured Dahon folding bike
It was fitted with a white Ortlieb backtroller and hidden in plain sight, was a Tubus bike rack, which I believe - the first in Malaysia mounted on a folding bike.
We exchanged some notes and caught up in conversation on what's going on in the folding bike scene.
He said the Mu P8 was purchased from Godzilla cycles in Kota Damansara.
The same guy who sold me my Dahon Speed P8 had cut a deal with Ed.

The gorgeous Ortlieb backroller classic

Coming to an event near you: Ed's ride
Some cool new stuff!
There's a shipment of the latest Ortlieb gear at the store. More on they way as they touch down at KLIA this weekend.
One particular pack: the COR13 caught my attention.
I was told that some knife expert bought two of them as his bugout bag - fearing that the world will come to an end in eight month's time... Well, good luck fellah! 
The COR13 is small and pretty nippy. But the price, well, can sink a man's heart!
Other than the waterproof pack, there are some Ortlieb Snap camera pouches. I swear by these when I packed my Canon Powershot G12 for my outings. 

The Ortlieb COR13 on the left
It's a dog eat dog world.. 
During our conversation, Ed told me that he nearly got screwed by a premium folding bike store in Damansara Perdana over some pannier deal.
Its a hard way to learn about the business as there some really nasty retailers out there.
He told me that Atmosphere outfitter's website is going live as soon as the final touches are added.
For the job, he engaged a freelance web designer to get the on-line store going.
That said, I think Ed's gonna be around with more Ortlieb goodies in the offing.. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Manfrotto Modo Pocket vs Pocket Support

I made a beeline to Eng Tong photo supplies in SS2, Petaling Jaya today.
My mission is to pick up a replacement pocket tripod.
The target is a Manfrotto pocket support.
This is to replace my ageing Manfrotto Modo Pocket.

The modo pocket seen here mounted on my Powershot G12

Same function, different quality, fit and finish
I purchased the Modo Pocket for RM60 some years back.
Today, due to the rise of the Euro currency, most of the Manfrotto stuff are fucking expensive.
Expect to pay at least 30% more on retail for their tripods and other cool stuff.
The Modo Pocket is a piece of steel, a cord creates tension on the two legs to give it support.
By far, this is the most solid piece of table and ground support you can get for your compact camera.
One the powershot G12, well, now G1X, its blends with the base of the camera.
To sum it up, its built like a tank!
But, it has a weakness. A piece of cheap metal crimp on the end of the cord will wear out.
In my case, it literally broke after two years of hard use.
Now, the pocket support - I had  bad feeling right from the start.
Its made in China. You pay more for the large box its sold in and a nylon pouch and a spare tripod mount that comes with it.
The only thing I found useful, was a cord with a little screw driver.
Later, I modified the cord to retrofit the Modo Pocket.
The pocket support is sleek, but it doesn't come with an tripod mount.
And for RM65 a pop, its a piece of crap!

The pocket support and Modo Pocket
Well, I managed to extend the service life of the Modo Pocket.
The pocket suport, well, it'll most probably be fitted on my wife's Canon Powershot S100..

Tern's new boutique...

Head's up..
During a visit to Johnny Ng's shop in Bandar Utama, I was told that Tern, under K2 Asia is setting up a boutique in SS2, Petaling Jaya.
Having seen most of the bikes in Rodalink at Bandar Botanic near Klang, I'd say that few bikes with the exception of the Eclipse S11i and P8 actually allures me.

The entrance to the boutique in SS2, Petaling Jaya
I went to interview music composer Ng Chor Guan on folding bike commuting today.
After a photoshoot, I treated him to a cup of Green tea and exchanged some views on the folding bike scene in the Klang Valley.
I've known Guan since 2010 and have been following his adventures on two little wheels since he embarked on a tour of Europe last year.
The composer told me about a Tern shop in a double-storey house in SS2.
I asked if he's interested to check it out and so, we took off on a little adventure.
For me, its purely fact-finding. 
I am curious about this place.
When we got there, we had to remove our shoes. I hate doing that.. This is a downer if you are in a hurry and SS2 is a crime hotspot!

A guy who knows his stuff...
The boutique is located on the first floor on the two-storey house.
When we made it up the flight of stairs, we saw some bikes.
Not many, some Link C7, D8, P9 and a P24h touring folder.
A guy, who is probably in his mid-40s (urgh! If I guessed his age wrong, I might get lynched!) came up and greeted us.
He introduced himself as Kevin and told us that he is involved with Le Tour De Langkawi.
Then the guy went on to give us a product tour.. 

Mr Kevin showing off the Terns at the boutique
Close, but no cigars...
For product knowledge, I give Kevin an A+.
He seems to know a bit about Tern's products.
But he made a critical mistake by saying: "All our bikes are a complete package, that's why you don't see any accessories here.."
Tell that to a prospective customer who had never seen a folding bike in his or her life, you get away with this.
See, Guan has 6,000km on his Brommie and besides that, Kevin is also dealing with a seasoned foldie. Strike two.
I cited the Link P24h as an example.
When 'complete package' is what this guy is trying to sell, it came short of a front and rear traveler's rack.
These are standard fittings on a Dahon Speed TR.
The Link P24h is a touring folding bike. But, Tern has the right to specify that the products that they ship may differ than 'actual photographs'.
A complete experience means: Fenders, racks, bags and all the knick-knacks that comes with it..
I think with experience and dealing with more 'customers from Hell' the guy would be able to do even better!

Kevin giving Guan the low-down on the Tern Bikes
Grand opening
The boutique owner said that there will be a grand-opening in April.
"We are inviting the Media to cover this event and the people from the cycling magazine will be here too!," said the excited Tern man.
I was informed that the New Straits Times, through a famous sports reporter who specializes in cycling will be at the grand opening.
"Eh boss, you never invite Star ah?," I asked.
He gave me a strange look.
"Why ah? The Star reporters very lansee ah?," I taunted.
Well, the guy was sincere enough to admit that he has no contacts in The Star, which is the Number One English Daily in Malaysia.. hahahah!
All good things said and done, I think Tern Bikes is going to do well in the Klang Valley.
With the opening of the boutique, there are high expectations especially among the elite cyclists looking for a premium ride. I wish Kevin the best in this respect.. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Surly Disk Trucker

Life is full of uncertainties.
Now, to put things into perspective, if I ever consider getting a large-framed bike, it would be a Surly Disk Trucker.
Why? Because this bicycle is going to go anywhere.
Mechanical disk brakes provide stopping power in any condition imaginable.
They are far better than v-brakes in various aspects.

The bike shops far South..
I know for a fact that at least one bike store in Singapore sells Surly frames.
The prospect of a four-hour road trip and walking in to a store managed by Cro-Magnons, Neanderthals, apes and monkeys is well, simply a put off.
Now, the funny thing is this: There are no official dealers in Singapore on Surly's website. But, there is a distributor.
I guess my ugly face isn't well-liked at bikestores in this puny island republic.
Each time I walk into such a place, I get a dirty stare and was once told to return back to my country because my business isn't needed.. Hahaha!
So, having said that, I don't think I will ever get a Surly even if my pants is on fire!

The Disk Trucker offers something that other touring bikes don't have: Real brakes!

The Surly is a bicycle that needs no introduction.. 

With a good reputation and a solid built, Surlies are respected and highly sought-after by tourists who cycle...
True class..
The fact that there is a 'Surly Club' here in Malaysia came as no surprise.
I met at least two fellas who ride their Surlies around the country and abroad.
One of them even bought a pair of panniers from me and the other, well, I met him at a bikestore in Kuala Lumpur. Seemed pretty stuck-up at first, but as we struck a conversation, it dawned on me that well to do people don't socialise.. Sad, but true.
And now, there's even a Surly Long Haul Trucker Malaysia Club on Facebook. How interesting!
Well, all good things said and done, I guess its a matter of time if I ever meet these guys when I'm touring. So, to all you Surlians out there, I lift my beer mug to you.. Cheers!

2009 Speed P8 - An update...

After scrapping my Raleigh road bike, well, back in late '97 - I began researching about effective ways to get around.
One of the methods was having a folding bike.
Back in the days, internet was slow. We had to share terminals at the office and I remember talking to my co-workers about it.
Fast-forward to 2006, I made a trip to Melbourne, Australia with my wife.
During the holiday, we made a trip to St Kilda's pier, a recreational area.
There was a bike shop there and the first thing I saw, was  a selection of Dahon Folding Bikes.
That's where the love affair began.
Back in mid-2009, I was window-shopping in Taipan USJ and came across an Obsidian Black Dahon Speed P8.
I don't have a clue what big chainrings, multiple cogwheels meant.
What drew me to the bike, was its colour, frame design and simplicity.
So, with that said, my journey to the world of folding bikes began...

Three years and still running: Samo's 2009 Dahon Speed P8
Got it right the first time...
I am not a competitive person.
Don't see the need in modifications to make the bike 'faster'.
Not interested in track races or smoking other bicyclists on the road.
The Dahon Speed P8 helped me to appreciate my journey.
In short, it was an experience.
From a simple 'bare-minimal' frame and the fittings, I added a pair of SKS fenders.
Later, an Arclite rack (now serving my 2009 Curve SL), and following that, a set of front and rear traveler's rack.
These became essential on my tours to parts of the country.
Initially, I'd outfitted my bike and Michelle's Speed TR with a set of Topeak panniers.
These were crappy, so, I got them replaced with a set of Ortlieb front and backrollers including a rackpack.
For night-riding, a Cateye Reflex rear light was added.
And for the long-haul, I changed the Biologic saddle to a Selle Royal Ergo Gel insert seat.
Other bells and whistles on the Speed P8 included a Cateye Commuter Cyclometer, a Garmin EDGE800 basic bundle GPS including a GSC Speed and Cadence sensor.
In short, after slowly building the bike, its now touring-ready...

The bike's cockpit
Long-term upgrades
I don't see a need for parts and components upgrade as everything is working fine.
Maybe a tire change as the Schwalbe Big Apple 2.0 wheels are superb in terms of puncture protection.
To date, the Speed P8 has clocked-in more than 3,000km and is one of my highly used folding bike.
I see more adventures with the Speed in the adventures to come.
This bike would be even better if I can replace its stem with a VRO stem. But whether it impairs folding or not remains to be seen.
Till something better comes along, the Dahon Speed P8 will see a lot of action.

The happy tourer: This is one of the best bikes from Dahon

All-round visibility: The Cateye rear mirrors are a life-saver!
It couldn't get any better!
Hahah! Yes, its true.
Of all the four versions of the Speed - D7, P8, TR and Pro TT (replaced by the Vector X27h), the Speed P8 is one of the best Dahon has ever produced.
I really dig the Chromoly steel frame (now, mostly aluminium on the present models) that can take so much punishment.
When fully rigged, the bike continued to haul and with an extra 30kg load, speed is no longer an issue.
I did express my interest in the past to add a Rholoff-14 internal hub gear. But this is reserved for my Bike Friday Pocket Llama project.
Right now, I am happy with what I have and I don't think I would want to change anything on this awesome bike till its parts begin to breakdown...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bike Friday Malaysia's Official blogsite

Off to a good start: Bike Friday Malaysia's blogsite

A follow-up
I met Doc Andy and Daisy Lee yesterday to discuss about their business.
They are ready to take orders for Bike Friday folding bikes and this is good news if you are in the market for a high-end bike.
For starters, Bike Fridays are made entirely in the USA with components from all over the world.
Pricing is from RM4.5K - RM12K for the bikes.
Not all the bikes are the same as they are hand-built by bike craftsmen in Oregon.
Best of all, the BFs are backed with a lifetime warranty. This means that if its broken, they'll fix them.

Build that dream bike of yours
If you are no longer fascinated by 'off the shelf' bikes, even the most high-end ride won't turn you on, then its time to turn to Bike Friday.
Why? The guys in Oregon can customize your ride.
Just name it, they'll try their best to accommodate you.
I was told that the turnaround time is between two to six months.
Well, is it worth the wait? 
I've seen the BFs up close, they are solid.
Two models that caught my attention was the Carbon Drive Tikit and the Pocket Llama Select.

Pocket Llama Select

Folding bike Hero: The legendary Heinz Stucke with his BF Pocket Llama
I am a HUGE fan of the Bike Friday Pocket Llama.
And best of all, you can order this bike to your specifications.
What I want to see: is a belt driven folding bike with a Rholoff-14 internal hub gear.
Well, since BF can throw in all the bells and whistles to accommodate the Pocket Llama, this would be a nice follow-up for a custom folding bike project.
What befits a long-distance ride on the Mongolian Steppe, is a badass Pocket Llama which is made-to-order.

So, in a nutshell... 
With a good attitude and 'never say die' credo, I think Bike Friday has a fighting chance in a market which is dominated by Dahons, Tern, Oyamas, Birdies and some chap burung (crap brands) folding bicycles.
It would definitely give the Bromptons a run for its money.
That said, we can expect some surprise announcements in the months to come from Doc Andy and his crew.. Good luck and all the best! 

Hands-on: Tern Link P9

Finally, an up-close and personal session! 

The Tern Link P9
My 2011 Jetstream EX needs a tune-up badly. 
So, I sent it for service at Rodalink and the guy who have been looking after our Jetstreams really well is Fadhli, the head guy at Precinct 15 in Putrajaya.
The bike had a loosened transmission cable.
So, there I was, minding my own business and lo and behold! The Tern Link P9.
This is their latest shipment to hit our shores and I had some quality time checking it out.

First contact
I saw the Link P9 four months ago during its product launch.
Since the K2 Asia guys are so fucking stingy, I never had a chance to examine it up close.
I asked Fadhli if I could check it out, he was obliging.
So, I took it out for a short spin. Handles very well, stable and the notorious locking latch on the Tern's Physis handlebar was no longer an apparent issue. Tern had fixed this.

White Knight: The Link P9

Nice clean lines

Now, available in 9-speed!

Love the integrated rear blinker

SRAM's new 9-speed gripshift, one handed operation on the go

Improved: The notorious Physis stem and handlebar latch
Now, if you had ridden the Dahon Speed P8, the Tern Link P9 is a forward evolution of the successful Speed platform.
This bike is clean, sleek and solid.
Its one notch higher than the Tern Link D8 and it seems that Tern had a beautiful colour scheme for all their 'P'-series bikes. 
White and Red seems befitting on this frame. But its definitely not the colour of my choice as it gets really dirty in our environment.
What made it appealing, is the white rims.

The possibilities are endless
I believe the Link P9 has plenty of potential as a 'go anywhere' bike.
It folds well, has a lightweight frame (now, aluminium) and is pretty compact.
This means, you can stow the bike when not in use and Tern has a range of accessories to go with it.
Its also a simple no-frills design and if you take good care of it, it will give you years of fun on the trail and the road.


  • Clean lines
  • Nice colour scheme, would be better if they have it in black!
  • Solid folding lattice hinge
  • Able to take accessories for touring and commuting rides
  • Pretty light for its class 
  • Comfortable and also pretty fast on the road
  • Pretty expensive

Monday, March 26, 2012

Give Shawal a chance

The fastest man on a foldie.. 
Twenty-year-old Shawal Shafee is the fastest man in Malaysia on a folding bike.
He is so and will be until someone beat him on the track.
The Terengganu boy defended his title in January and once again in February at the Kencana SIC Bikeathon to claim first prize in a two-lap race.
Clearly, this young man is ahead of the pack who are mainly composed of weekend thrill-seekers and trackstars wannabe.

A winning bet..
I had the privilege to meet him for a short interview at Johnny Ng's bike store in Bandar Utama. 
We talked about his humble beginnings and how he had trained.
Even with the win, he is still looking for able sponsors to put him on the track or any road circuit.
Now, if the Dahon distributor had picked it up, they would have done very well in branding their product with Shawal.
At the Kencana event, Shawal smoked his competition with a Dahon Dash P18 loaned by Ng.
He left some really high-end bikes behind such as two carbon Ori folding bikes. 

Shawal and the bike that took him to the podium 
Plying the circuit
It doesn't really cost much to outfit this young man with a Dahon Dash P18 for races in the region like in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia.
All he needs to do, is to win or finish in the top 5 in Southeast Asia.
I certainly wish him the best in his racing career and hope that someone would take lead by sponsoring this talented youth...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thick-skulled people

Text messages are impersonal..
Nowadays, people get fired with a simple text message.
Some months back, I stated my stand on moving away from the folding bike scene.
I've shunned the K2 Asia people for being morons.
First, for taking advantage of their customers and secondly, blaming the user for a faulty handlebar latch.
I also predicted a surge in trend, especially on Tern bicycles. They did well.
Don't get me wrong, Tern is a good brand, they are committed to their customers.
But when you have a non-bicycle guy running the show here in Malaysia, I doubt that the brand would go far.
Little has been done to promote the brand. 
Customers alone, cannot be taken advantage of to sell the bikes.
I don't think I will ever get a Tern bike.
Why? Because I am very happy with my Dahons. They are serving me very well.
Well, getting back on track, I received a text message that read: "Hi, long time no see, we should catch up."
I asked the guy, what I can do for him? 
His reply was: "I just came back from Taiwan and had a meeting with Tern, there are some new things.."
Really? Do I give a fuck about the 'new things' at all? No.
Like I said earlier, I am pretty much done with buying folding bikes.
No Tern for me. Never.
Very politely, I told the K2 Asia guy that I had no time at all.
Truth to be told, I am really busy.
Till I run out of things to write, I will maintain my work on other stuff. Not Tern or Dahon. 
I think they are good enough on their own.
Even the guy who is in charge of Dahon is not interested in any help rendered, so, why the fuck should I bother?

So, what now?
I hope that there is some continuity from elsewhere for the sake of K2 Asia and Le Run Industries.
They need some publicity. But they are not getting any from me.
The Dahon Folding Bike Club was a failure. The Dahon Video contest too was a spectacular failure.
Its just bad marketing.
If the guys can see this, they need to do more. Not sit on their ass and take advantage of their customer or make their customers 'associates' so that they can wipe their ass.
With such obvious weaknesses, I think both brands will continue to be stale unless something really exciting pops out.. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oyama Dazzle 26

You don't see a 26" full-suspension folding bike everyday.
And with a pricetag of RM1.5K a pop, the Oyama Dazzle is set to turn heads.
I managed to catch a glimpse of the bicycle at Johnny Ng's shop in Bandar Utama.
For its price, the bike's frame is pretty well-finished.
Love the locking latch design which blends in very well with the frame.

Johnny, with the Oyama Dazzle

The front fork

Rear disk brake

Quality, fit and finish
At the first-glance, I'd say that the Oyama Dazzle would fit the bill when it comes to budget.
If you are looking for a bike to thrash - that can be folded for transportation, this may take the cake.
The built is pretty solid, but for RM1.5K, this bike is nowhere compared to a Dahon Expresso or the higher-end Dahon Matrix.
But, hey! Its a full-suspension ride..
For the meager sum, you also get a set of mechanical disk brakes and best of all, it has a wide gear range with its multiple front chainring to tackle any terrain that you would throw at it.

With some tweaking - throw away the crappy assed rear shocks and put in a 'real' adjustable rear suspension, front fork and groupset, you will have a very decent ride.
I really dig the design and paint job on this bike!


Monday, March 19, 2012

First impressions: Bike Friday Tikit

First contact
I rang up Johnny Ng from My Bicycle Shop today.
My intention was to touch base with Doc Andy of Family Cycle Services Malaysia, sole distributor of Bike Friday folding bikes.
Earlier, I made mention of this man who wanted to introduce a series of Bike Friday models to the Malaysian scene.
He cycled to Johnny's shop with his partner Daisy and showed me the BF Tikit and Tandem.

A good impression
Like what I saw in Singapore months ago, minus the hostility, the BF Tikit is a bike which is built solid.
For an asking price of RM6.5K a pop, this Made in Oregon ride is meant for the serious rider.
Tikits are built compact and they fold really fast!
Some season cyclists can actually flip this bike while they were pedaling it.
The Tikit's compact folding size made it an ideal commute bike and also for bikepacking.
Best of all, you can outfit this ride with tonnes of bells and whistles.

As good as it gets: The Tikit, proudly made in the USA

Doc Andy and the folded Tikit

Ready to roll...
The best is yet to come!
Bike Friday also customizes their bikes.
This means, you can opt for a belt-driven Tikit with a Rholoff Internal Hub Gear.
For many seeking the perfect folding bike, this is the ultimate 'Holy Grail' of folding bikes.
Doc Andy intends to reach out to the public and educate them about the BFs and I think he will do well.
In a realm that's dominated by Dahons and now Terns, the Bike Fridays will shine the way.
I have good vibes about this brand making it in Malaysia. So, a Malaysia Bike Friday Club is definitely in order!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Be Prepared

My favourite motto
The phrase: "Be Prepared" never left me since I left school more than 25 years ago.
I for one, am not the kind of person who likes to be caught unprepared.
In the cruel world that we live in, shit happens everyday.
It bites you in the ass and if you are not ready, you the price.

Everyday carry
There is no compromise.
In my bugout bag (I recently purchased a Camelbag HAWG-500), I pack a Strider MSS fixed blade.
My ready pouch is packed with a firesteel and I also carry a Leatherman MUT multitool and my trusty Surefire A2 Aviator tactical flashlight.
In short, I have no excuse for not packing the tools when the shit hits the fan.
Back at home, there's food enough to last at least a month.
What's important is drinking water.
When the time comes, all the comfort of air-conditionining, cable TV and internet would be gone.

My stash of sharp things: at the end of the day, it boils down to only one and I had picked my choice: The Strider MSS
Bug out bag
My pack is capable of carrying all the essential gear needed to hike home in case of a vehicular breakdown.
The knives would come in handy for building a temporary shelter.
But all this is useless of I lose the bag.
In my pocket, I pack at least three folding knives. Make no mistake about it. Three.
During emergencies, its important to have a plan.
I told my wife that the safest places is home where we will hold out.
Family members comes second. 
If there is a need to regroup, we will take our dogs and stuff to the rally point.

My Every Day Carry tools in the Camelbak HAWG-500
Better safe than sorry
I use what I carry and the tools I pack should get me out of a fix.
With the right training and mental attitude, I shall prevail. Unless if I am dead.

Luncheon meat to the rescue..

A simple meal
This was a week for leftovers.
I had a sackload of mutton and chicken curry courtesy of one of the bosses stored in the fridge.
The rest, it was a matter of striking 'balance'.
I went out to the supermarket to get some vegetables and replenish my Tulip-brand luncheon meat.
My wife do not approve of this, but it saves the day.
When I dug up the freezer, there was a slab of siew yuk.
I had an idea about slicing it like a piece of rolled roast pork and have it pan-fried.
The vegetables can be blanched and I had some cucumber sliced to be eaten raw.
As far as gravy is concerned, the curry chicken took the brunt of it, otherwise, my rice dish would be really dry.

My dinner

The stash

Death on MRR2

Another death...
A cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run accident near Shell petrol station on the MRR2 in Hulu Kelang this morning.
The victim, 37-year-old Rafizi Hamdan died on the spot.
This was the second fatal accident involving a cyclist.
Last year, cyclist P.K. Yeoh was killed on the MEX Highway during his morning ride.

The victim's mangled bicycle at the scene
 Be careful
Highways are not a place for unsupported cyclists even how wide the road is.
Speeding motorists don't bother as countless of accidents and deaths were reported due to the carelessness of drunk and speeding drivers.
So, be careful. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Need for speed...

I received a Toshiba SD Card which was given free with the purchase of my Canon Powershot G1X.
Each time I press the shutter, I noticed a 4 - 5 second lag before I could snap another photo.
Seems that the write speed on the card is much slower than it was on the Powershot G-12.

Reality check
Then it dawned on me. 
I was recording still images on JPEG and RAW.
The new Digic-5 processor may take a while to write the images onto the storage card as we are dealing with high resolution shots.
This means that everything that I've owned had to be thrown out the window.
The 30mb/sec write speed is a thing in the past.

The only SD Cards out there that are able to match the speed on the G1X are the 95mb/sec write speed.
So, I set out on a quest to source for a 8GB card.
This is for starters and I found that a stall in the Digital Mall in Section 14, Petaling Jaya was selling it at RM145.
I believe that I can get it cheaper and headed out to Low Yat Plaza.
There is a shop called Sri Computers that sells them cheap.
The price? RM129 a pop.
Can someone match it or better the price? Yes.
The shop next to it was selling the Sandisk Extreme Pro SD card (8GB 95mb/sec) at RM119.
Its the best they can whip out and I think - a damn good bargain.

Does it work?
Yes indeed.
Takes about 2 seconds to write with JPEG + RAW recording.
So, no more issues with lagging time and there's plenty of room for burst capture on the camera.
I might even get the CF version of the extreme Pro for my Canon EOS7D.

Ortlieb: 30 years of waterproof

A head's up..
Ed Foo from Atmosphere outfitters rang up a couple of days ago.
He had informed me about Ortlieb's special edition backroller pannier featuring a Region map.
This is sold as an individual item for 55 Euros (roughly about 220 Ringgit a pop) and its available in my favourite colour - Yellow!

I am not too excited about the pannier which is sold on Ortlieb's website.
And to you Malaysian Ortlieb fans out there, there is an essay contest with 30,000 Euros worth or prizes.
Closing date for submission is in August, so, get ready to snap some shots and share your story with the bag maker and may the best man wins!

Bike Friday is in town!

A phone call...
While having lunch with my buddy in the canteen, I received a call from Johnny Ng from My Bicycle Shop in Bandar Utama.
"Hey Sam, I got someone who is selling Bike Friday folding bikes, can you pass the word around?"
With that in mind, the folding bike scene here in Malaysia is set for some excitement.
If what that has been said is true, then we don't have to travel to Singapore or Indonesia anymore.
No more face-to-face sessions with retarded Ah Beng in the island republic's bicycle shop.
No more stuck-up fuckfaced buggers. No more road trips. Its all here!

The selection
I was told by the distributor that he has a BF Tikit and Tandem bike.
Its now at Johnny's bike store.
"Have you seen the Tikit?"
Well, I'll be damned if I told him I've never held one up close.
He also had a Brompton sample bike.
I told him to keep it because I hated it.
The guy said he will bring in a range of Bike Fridays - especially the New World Traveler and Pocket Llama select.

The Pocket Llama
This is one bike that I want to examine up close.
I told the distributor dude that I am able to meet him next week as I am on leave.
So, let's see how it goes! Stay tuned for a Tikit preview...

Dahon turns 30!

Its hard to believe that Dahon bicycles which began operations 1982 is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Its founder Dr David Hon is running the show with his brother Henry and I guess after the split with his son Josh who went on with his business setting up Tern bicycles, the company is moving on with some interesting folding bike designs.

Getting back on track..
I saw the latest incarnation of Dahon's Dash P18 at a bikestore in Bangsar yesterday and I must say that I was very impressed with their new steering system.
Dahon had produced the bike with a new stem resembling the Andros system.
This improves handling and since the Dash P18 is a best-seller, I don't see any reasons why it should sit on the shelves for too long.

The new and improved Dash P18
Dahon in Malaysia..
I don't think this brand of bike needs too much hard-sell.
As long as the customer care is good, I guess Dahon will be around for a while..

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Banting Char Koay Teow Ride - Part 2

Getting there is half the fun...
Uncle FC Meng, one of the country's leading recumbent bicycle touring cyclist had always insisted that getting to one place is half the fun, while the real test is getting back to the point of origin.
I took his cue and on my solo rides, this was reflected each time I hit the same course as part of the endurance test.

Becoming 'soft'

I must say that all the inactivity and nightly beer sessions had taken a serious toll on my body.
My legs felt the strain and I pressed on with the pain, I can really feel each fibre on my thigh muscle bunching up.
Later, it was imminent that cramps are just waiting to happen.
Nevertheless, I pushed on.
We made it to the Banting bridge and staged our ride towards Jenjarom.
At the familiar Caltex station, we stopped for a can of 100PLUS.
The rest was much-needed as the day grew hotter.

A small vehicle lane at Kampung Jenjarom
We made a turn toward the Indian temple in Jenjarom and used a shorter route to get to Jalan Kebun.
This is easily about 15km of Kampung road.
Roger said he loved the scenery which I agreed.
The last time I was there, the road was still being paved.
This time round, it was ready and smooth.

Along the way, we took a break at a hut near the junction towards Jalan Kebun.
From there, we pushed towards the Kg Jawa exit.
But before that, we stopped at a warung to have a drink.
I think the guys were really exhausted as we had hit nearly 78km.
Another 20km or so, the ride would be over...

Done-deal! 100km for the record...
An achievement
We crossed the KESAS Highway, heading towards USJ2.
When we arrived at the Shell station where we began the ride, I can see the faces on the guys.
They have achieved something on their small bikes.
Clocking 100km in a day. 
To me, it was just another ride. More to come of such nature and even further.
The way its done, it seems that I had won at least one touring partner.
Our group was small and manageable. 
No egos, no gurus, no dictators, just a bunch of guys who can agree on the decided path.
That said, I can certainly look forward to more adventures on two small wheels with the guys...

Our humble effort