Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014: The year in perspective - Part 1

A "splashing" start.. 

I was tasked to rig up my section's teambuilding session. And I've engaged a reliable trainer to handle a 3D 2N event in Gopeng. 
By standards, it was the most exciting outing ever.
My co-workers experienced white-water rafting and the young reporters, especially, are really stoked about it.
Well, with the budget for teambuilding slashed to nothing in 2015, the Gopeng experience remains as one of the best ever sessions. 

Getting wet and wild in Gopeng
OCBC Cycle Malaysia: One last fling

I've committed to the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 ride by pre-registering as an early bird the previous year. 
Told the then head honcho, some short ass at KLCC about it at the 2013 edition and his reaction was "uh.. okay". We've done three rides so far; paid for every single event, picked up the medals and well, that was it. No more. 

The Pirate-Ninja at the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 (didn't change the info on my photo's watermark)

China Stockyard and Rail 

I was assigned to cover a media visit to Zuzhou, China.
There, I witnessed first-hand, the commissioning of Prasarana Berhad's six-coach Light Rail Vehicle.
This was in tandem with RapidKL's line extension from Ampang to Putra Heights which is expected to be completed in late 2015.
The factory visit also enabled me to check out Guangzhou where we had a night stop before heading back to Malaysia..

In the new LRT coach bound for the Kelana Jaya Line

The new LRT coaches for RapidKL's 2015 line extension programme
Canton tower in Guangzhou, China
Taipei International Bike Show

I booked my passage to Taipei, Taiwan, as early as December 2013 to attend the 2014 Taipei Intl Bike Show.
It was an important milestone for me as publisher of "The Malaysian Foldie" e-magazine, where I sampled the bicycle industry's finest bike and component manufacturers who showcased their ware for the entire year.
The highlight was cycling in Taipei at the Tern Social Ride. There, I met Joshua Hon, the man behind Tern Bicycles and Erich Mah, my go-between who handles special projects for consumer marketing.
The Tern people are the friendliest lot I have ever met.
Taiwan was an interesting experience and I do recommend participating in the Tern Social Ride if you ever hit the Taipei show. Unfortunately, due to no cheap air tickets to Taipei in March 18 next year, I would have to sit this one out..

The Taipei show is one of the most important trade exhibition in the Asian region
Friendly faces at the Tern Bicycles pavilion
With Josh and Eric after the Tern Social Ride in Taipei

Tour of Southern Thailand III, one last hurrah!

Patthalung - Thale Noi - Hat Yai was my last Tour of Southern Thailand.
Having explored the area for the third time, we conducted a successful ride charting more than 270km in total along the loop.
There, we experienced the Thai Songkran Festival and was greeted with warm hospitality of the residents in Thale Noi lake.
The tour also ended our partnership with a few fellow cyclists as we are headed out on our own in 2015.

The crew in Ban Sathing Phra

Bowing out from the touring group 
Project "Road Warrior"

In phase two of our 24" folding bike acquisition programme, I've singled out the Tern Eclipse S18 as our choice bike for future touring adventures.
This bike has it all and all you need is to slap on the panniers and we are in business.
So, we purchased two Eclipse S18 to complement our existing Eclipse P9 and X20. The only thing that became a major disappointment was the fact that the product guy from the Malaysian Tern distributor was not sincere. The dude was so greedy, he actually ordered a few bikes for his handler's interest. But that doesn't bother me at all because good stuff like the Eclipse S18 or the "Road Warrior" is meant to be mounted and ridden by all who can afford it.. 

One of the best touring bikes in its class

Michelle taking a spin on the Road Warrior

Team Road Warrior
Tour of Indonesia: Sumatera

I've been planning to cycle in Indonesia for a while and the most viable plan: was to explore Sumatera.
To realize this plan, I engaged my cycling buddy Mohd Radzi Md Nor who took time off to travel across to Sumatera with a ferry via the Malacca Straits.
We spent seven days in Indonesia and clocked about 270km covering Dumai - Duri - Minas - Pekanbaru.
Sumatera was an eye-opener and a prelude to more adventures in the Indonesian Archipelago.

At a jetty in Pulau Rupat, Indonesia

A warrior's monument in Pekanbaru, Indonesia
Quarter one and two round-up

I would safely say that the first six months in 2014 was awesome. Did some traveling, acquired two new bikes, and a lot of cycling adventures.
There were no shortage of highs and lows when it comes to work, but I guess being employed to fullfil an 8-hour/day task, I do what I feel is right to get on with the day's programme..

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