Thursday, July 31, 2014

Twelve issues later...

The "what if" situation... 

A year ago I began to reflect.
Things weren't looking bright.
There was a voluntary retrenchment. Assholes running the show and idiots hired to a kid's job.
Me, being far down the echelon, there were hardly any ripples.
In the thick of the doom and gloom, I began to think.
I was inspired by Kris Gomeze's work, "Bicycle United", a Thai-English e-magazine.
In Taipei earlier this year, I met her and was really motivated by a short pep-talk.
So, with the resources I had in the blog and my experience as a bicycling adventurer, I started "The Malaysian Foldie".
On the learning curve, I did my own layout.
And it worked for me and since it was a monthly publication, I need to keep going.
That said, I made plans to cycle around the country to chronicle my rides. This became the heart and soul of the publication.

All 12 issues of the e-magazine

The August edition
Finding the right publishing solution..

I ended up using, a publishing domain to enter my e-magazine in the market.
Basically, it's a journal for readers to gain access to folding bikes and such.
There's ride reviews, people, gear, gadgets, bikes and events.
When I put it together, I knew what to deliver and with my editorial background, it wasn't that hard.
Clearly, it was a departure from writing a blog. And I don't think there is a specific e-magazine on folding bikes here in Malaysia. So, it's the first of it's kind.
Joomag is easy to use and The Malaysian Foldie is available on your browser as long as you are using a laptop or desktop.
At the moment, it's not available for mobile browsing.


I am very lucky to have the backing of K2 Asia who distributes Tern Bicycles.
And the guys at Tern are also very enthusiastic about my publication.
Being impartial, I featured some bike dealers, which turned out to be real assholes. 
Other than that, I was very careful in picking the subject.
I think that the ones that deserves the mention and sincere people.
To get things going, I even offered support at no cost to some bike shops and dealers and being Malaysians, people are wary of free stuff.
The biggest disappointment in my humble opinion are some of the key characters that were featured.
When their articles were published, they don't even have the decency to say: "Thank You".
These people behave as if the world owes them a living.
And it's true what they say about certain bicycle people and their egos.


Yeah, in every saga, there's the villain.
I came across a "Tan Leh Chon" who said: "What a letdown, more of a husband and wife adventure."
Learning from this experience, you can please everybody.

The future

This magazine is still lacking of a mobile device browsing feature. I hope to deliver this with some crowd funding so that those who are on the go would be able to access it.

A word of thanks...

The Malaysian Foldie e-magazine won't be circulating on the internet if it wasn't for some words of encouragement from the folding bike community. So, the challenge is content and I am on the constant move to improvise as the e-magazine matures. That said, "Happy Birthday Malaysian Foldie!"

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cherating - Chukai, Part 02

Ruby's resort revisited...

We took our dogs to Ruby's resort in Cherating four years ago.
Barran was there and we took a detour, heading to his sister's place.
It's about 1km from the junction to the Cherating Turtle sanctuary and Club Med.
We rode through a sandy patch and realized that this was the perfect setting for our Dahon Jetstreams.
Unfortunately, my Jetstream EX is out of commission due to a busted brake lever.
After a short ride, we caught up with Barran.
He said he had wanted to talk to me about the new guardhouse in our neighbourhood and asked if I could contribute some cash.
Right now, the project is short of RM1K.
I told him that I agree and later gave him 1/10th of the amount.
We were treated to some tidbits and beers.
While cooling off, one of Ruby's customers came and ordered a beer.
He said something about a bike shop in Kg Tunku that sells Tern bikes and that he had one 20" bike used by his wife.
I did a time-check and realized that we were already at early evening and decided to ride back to Kg Cherating Lama.

Riding to Ruby's

The sandy patch

Chilling out with our neighbour Barran
Bring on the night.. 

We chilled out at our chalet till late in the evening.
Managed to get a shower and stored the bikes in the hut.
Michelle suggested that we fill the icebox with beers. 
And we did just that by heading back to Chukai to get our stock.
Took us a while till we managed to locate a place that sells them.
It's into the icebox and back to Cherating. 
We decided to eat at a makan place called Intan Seafood.
It's a short walk across the beach toward this restaurant and it's packed with customers.
Michelle was rather disgusted with how disrespectful some local tourists were with their dressing.
That doesn't bother me as this is a Muslim eatery and most of the patrons there were breaking fast.
We decided to have a simple meal, so, I ordered Seafood nasi goreng and Michelle had nasi goreng kampung.
That, and with some fried pepper crabs.
Service was extremely slow here, but when the food arrived, the quality of the food served here was pretty decent.
Our bill came up to RM64 (RM42 for the crabs).
After having our makan, it was back to the chalet..
We had some chilled beers and after a few, I decided to call it a night.. 

One of Ruby's cat
Rolling out

An unusual cloud formation...
Mrs Samo and her dinner

Intan Seafood

Fried pepper crabs

Seafood fried rice
Heading back to the real world...

With whatever sleep that we can get, we managed to cap off a few hours.
I woke up at 8am, packed our stuff, pushed the bikes to a lawn area near where the car is parked and worked on organizing the luggage and folded bikes.
Took a while, but we managed to cram in everything.
In less-than 20-minutes, we were on the road again.
Our mission was to get some fresh seafood in Beserah.
We went to our regular fish market there and bought some fresh prawns.
Later, we went down to Kuantan and had breakfast at a local coffee shop.
After the simple meal, we fueled up the car and rode towards Karak and met Ah Pan, our friend and had lunch with him there.
The drive back to KL was over an hour and when we got home, it's just great to be reunited back with the kids.
There were lots of unpacking and laundry to do and our day ended just like that.
Cherating is fun, the ride was short and definitely worth a follow-up in the future..

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cherating - Chukai, Part 01


I had a couple of days off over the weekend and it was perfect for a short excursion out of town.
All it takes, was a simple route and we're on our way.
For this effort, I'd circled out Cherating in Pahang because I have been there many years ago.
The plan is to book a chalet, set up our bikes there and ride off along the coastal route to Kemaman.

Tanjung Inn revisited..
So, I did some searching on the internet.
Found a chalte in Kg Lama Cherating and the rates were pretty decent.
There this place called Tanjung Inn. 
They charge RM90/night for a hut with a fan if you book through the internet.
Walk-ins pay RM20 less.
With the chalet's number on hand, I called and they had rooms.
I sealed the deal by leaving them my name and phone number. The guy on the end of the line sounded like a foreigner.

And the weekend finally came.. 

 I packed the bikes the night earler, we are going at the bare-minimal.
The Tern Eclipse S18 is an all-inclusive bike, there's no need to pack lights and blinkers.
All we did, was pack our spare change of clothes, bring an ice-box, bike tools and one side of the smaller Ortlieb backroller pannier..
I prepared the car for the 3-hour haul to Cherating via the East Coast Highway and it didn't took us long to arrive at the junction towards the Kg Lama Cherating.

Calming our pooch down.. 
Preparing the bikes.. 
Rolling out

Approaching a dangerous stretch.. 
A short and sweet ride..

We weren't gunning for epic long rides in this part of the east coast.
Initially, I drew a rout to Kijal, but on second-thoughts, I kept it short and rode as far as Chukai town in Kemaman.
After setting up the bikes, we took it for a spin and noticed that the tires were deflated.
So, back to the car and remedial works were done.
We had the pressure up to 50psi on the Scwhalbe Big Bens and started our journey towards the junction to Kemaman.
This is a familiar route to me as I had spent some time squid-jigging off the coast of Southern Terengganu.
We set out to the border demarkation and snapped some photos there.
While entering Terengganu, I guy shouted out my name from a Nissan Navara pick-up.
It was my neighbour Barran.
Later, Suzie, his wife messaged me on Facebook messenger.
I rang him out and learned that he was taking a break at Ruby's resort.
This place belonged to his sister and I told him that I would swing by and pay him a visit.

At the border demarkation

Waiting for lunch

My favourite hangout in Chukai
Hailam mee

Boxed crabs
By mid-noon, we rolled into Chukai town.
I told Michelle that we are going to have some lunch at restoran Kemaman, our usual joint.
There is a row of eatery along Chukai town's main road. 
A few are quite famous with tour buses queuing up.
But frankly, they were overrated.
And best of all, these makan places are related to each other.
We parked ourselves at Restoran Kemaman, ordered a plate of Hailam mee and two pieces of boxed crabs.
The rest of the time we were there was getting hydrated with a glass of iced Chinese tea.
I find the food to be pretty decent and our bill came up to RM27. Not bad.
From Chukai, we rolled out towards Pantai Chendor back at the Pahang side.
Michelle and I took a break at a Shell petrol station and there, we chilled out and hydrated ourselves with a cool can of 100PLUS.
Some Muslim motorists were staring at us for drinking openly in the Ramadan month.
We kept our composure and rolled towards Chendor.

Leaving Terengganu
Entering Pahang...

Official bussiness only
On a sandy beach next to the blue sea in Chendor..
We hung around Chendor, snapped some photos of the deep blue sea and our bikes.
The day was getting hotter and hotter.
After spending some time there, we explored the shoreline a bit and this led us to a dead-end.
I spoke to a resident there and was told that a small stream separates the beach.
So, it was a cue for us to roll out towards Ruby's Resort in Cherating.
This was about 8km from where we were and that's just a short roll away.. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Garmin EDGE 1000: A gadget beyond our means?

Garmin's latest bicycling GPS is now available here..
There is no doubt about it that Garmin is the world leader in handheld and mobile GPS devices.
They make good stuff and you can get the most out if it.
My first Garmin cycling GPS was the EDGE800 which I am still using until now. With it, I have clocked more than 7,000km.
I bought a smaller one, the EDGE200 for my wife. It replaces her cyclometer.

Connectivity, improvements and tweaks..

Garmin came up with the EDGE810.
It had some minor tweaks including bluetooth connectivity for smartphones.
The EDGE1000 is something new. Not an improvement from the EDGE810.
It has a larger screen and the display orientation can be set on portrait or landscape.
Several cutting edge features on this device includes connectivity with smartphones and direct linkage with and a completely new user-interface.
All these features are impressive. 

But not the price..

I was informed by a Garmin dealer that the basic bundle for the EDGE1000 costs RM2,100. 
For this, you get the GPS, a mount, USB cable and charger.
Garmin USA's website list price is USD599 (RM1,902.72)
The performance bundle - GPS unit, heart rate monitor, cadence and speed sensor is priced at RM2,599 (USD699 = RM2,223).
I nearly fell off my car seat when I received the Whatsapp message from the dealer.
Seems that the EDGE1000 is more expensive than my HTC One M8 smartphone.

You might want to hold on to your horses...

My EDGE800 is still kicking. 
There no urgent need for an upgrade.
And seeing that the greedy Garmin distributor here is trying to skin prices, I would sit this one out and wait. 
At RM2,599, it will be a spectacular failure.. 
My experience with the Garmin retailer here, they will charge you for everything. Even a map update. So screw them!

Ashima PCB: The saga continues..

You've got to hand it to the Indonesians...

Yeah. You heard me.
My 2011 Dahon Jetstream's brake lever is broken again!
A year ago, it was an Indonesian maid who busted it. Cost me nearly RM300 to get it fixed. 
The guys from Zero 2 Hero Coaching did a great job servicing the brakes.
I owe this to Herbert Lye for giving the Ashima PCB another lease of life.
Herbert, of course, was a controversial figure whom I had tried to help after he left his employment suddenly.
I think he is back in his hometown in East Malaysia.
So, fast-forward to my trip in Indonesia, the last day I was in Sumatera, I watched with a heavy heart as luggage handlers loaded my bike onto the ferry bound for Port Klang.
Now, they've stacked my bike on top of friend's one and that's where the trouble began.
We tried t separate the bikes that were stuck together and as a result, the Ashima PCB Brake Lever on my Dahon Jetstream broke.
My immediate reaction was: "FUCK!!!!"

The broken lever, actually, this was the first one..
Seeking help...

I contacted Darcy from Zero 2 Hero.
He said he no longer handles Ashima and would try and see if he had the parts.
Darcy got back to me and said he hasn't any.
He also gave me two emails from Ashima's Customer Service.
That didn't help because I had emailed one of them without any success.

Chinaman bikestore and motherfuckers!

So, I did a Google search.
I ended up on a web page belonging to bike shop in Cheras.
From this lead, I located the shops number and called.
A friendly voice on the other side told me to ring up the shop's main man.
And so I did.
The guy told me to email him details of the parts.
I did so and waited.
A week went by and no response.
So, I called the guy on his cellphone.
He said Ashima had no stock.
I asked how else he could help?
"I need to know how many brake lever service kit you need," he said.
"What is your minimum quantity order?," I asked.
"You a shop owner or user?," said the agitated guy.
I told him that if he can't help, just say so.
"I don't know what to tell you, Ashima would be suspicious if I order parts that I don't usually keep stock, I can't help you..," said the fucking Chinaman.
I wasted 20-minutes on the phone explaining to him, but this was a futile bid.
From his tone, the way he handled my issue, he wasn't going to even bother contacting me.
So, there you have it, fucking Chinaman doing business!

Never give up..

I went home, my mood was on the downhill spiral.
I have tried at least contacting the local sources. 
I tried Ashima, to no avail. Basically, their Customer Service SUCKS!
My last resort, is to order the parts from the UK. 
I've located at least a dozen on-line retailers that sells the PCB Lever Service Kit.
At the meantime, I mended the broken pieces together. 
It's holding, aesthetically, but the right lever wouldn't function.
The next thing is this: If I can get the parts into Malaysia, the challenge is to remove the broken lever assembly and fit in a new one. That, we'll have to wait and see.
Oh yeah, that running down the Chinaman part, I guess some scum-sucking bottom feeding lawyer would pick this up inform the guy and try to slam me with a lawsuit. Well, good luck to you!

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Malaysian Foldie - Issue 11 - July 2014

Issue 11, July 2014 now live!

Cover of the July edition of The Malaysian Foldie
I just wrapped up with this month's issue of the Malaysian Foldies. 
Haven't really got the time to work on other articles, so, I chopped down the pages to 18 instead of 24 as I'd planned earlier.

Feature on the Port Dickson - Malacca ride

This month's personality: SC Chin
I've maintained the Ortlieb advertisements even though nothing was earned out of it. This is a goodwill gesture to my friends. And I hope they do appreciate it.
Will be working on the August issue of The Malaysian Foldie featuring some rides I've done over the last few months.