Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014: The year in perspective - Part 2

Touring on a 24" folding bike, a unique experience...

We had our Tern Eclipse S18 set-up and tuned for a cycling tour up North.
The intended destination was Pulau Langkawi.
Michelle had made the necessary arrangements for accommodation while I planned the logistics.
With time passing through so swift, we took off to Kuala Kedah and before we knew it, we were cycling in Langkawi.
The 24" folding bike really takes the cake in terms of reliability and comfort..

At Pantai Tengah
Padang Matsirat
Taiping Foldie's Ride

I kept my word to return to the historical town of Taiping where the locals there had hosted a ride for nearly 50 cyclists.
Only four people went up from Kuala Lumpur and the rest were backed by the Ipoh Foldies.
It was a moment of solidarity as we shared our interest of exploring small towns, having good food and great company.

With Taiping's de facto leader Jamell and Johnny Ng of My Bicycle Shop
Return of the Rogue Rider

I have always wanted to challenge myself and this time, I embarked on a 200-km ride from USJ 26 to Port Dickson and Malacca.
It was a solo ride and I took the Tern Eclipse S18 as far as Port Dickson before getting a ride into Malacca on a chartered car.
On the return journey, I was supposed to board a bus in Melaka Sentral, but my ride was already packed to the brim in it's cargo hold and I had no choice but to ride back to Port Dickson before getting a ride from a local chartered car back to USJ 26.
Done it solo, which was a test of mental strength, physical conditioning and sheer determination. 

Fortune favours the bold

The way home... 
Cycle to work and 2014 World Car Free Day

On the second-quarter of the year, I cycled quite a bit from my home to the workplace.
The company where I am employed is very supportive of the Green initiative and I am pretty proud to be a part of it.
I also did a piece on World Car Free Day, where some of us would cycle to work as a tradition.
But sadly, for 2014, I had only one Rookie reporter following me on the Federal Highway motorcyle Lane.

The article I wrote
Page two 

Page three
A chaperone for the rookie

Advocacy work and Aljazeera Arabic feature on cycling to work...

I was contacted by a broadcast journalist from Al Jazeera who wanted to feature Malaysians who cycles to work.
So, I obliged to a fellow journalist and allowed the person to capture videos of the 23km journey from Subang Jaya to Section 16 in Petaling Jaya.
It ended up with an interview and the segment was shown in the middle-east.

A screen-capture of the interview

Off to work and my dog became famous too!
Bikes aside, making up for the doggies!

We haven't been taking our kidz to events and September gave us the chance to participate in the UPM Dogathon and the following month was a rather interesting event called "I want to touch a dog" which was later deemed as "haram" by the Selangor Religious council. The guy who put it together was reprimanded. Politics aside, it was great to see so many Muslim folks coming out to allay their fears on dogs.. The touch thing is a once in a lifetime experience as it became permanently banned.

At the Dogathon event in UPM, Selangor
Our kidz and friends..

The damaged Samo-mobile mk II
What are the chances of getting hit by a motorcycle twice in two years?
Well, that happened to me.
Case one was a Myanmar national who crashed onto my car's front left bumper.
As a result, the guy broke his leg.
A year later, I received a call from my car insurance company. The claims investigator said the Myanmar man is claiming compensation for bodily harm. He could not be trace.
A week later, my car was hit by an illegal racer on a motorcycle. 
The impact crushed my rear panel and took off the bumper.
I sent it to Nissan's accident and repair department and was slapped with an estimated bill of RM10k.
It was then that I've decided to seek the service of an independent workshop and had the job done at 10% of the cost. I also cancelled my claim because the Nissan people had tried to rip me off.
Later, the insurance people too tried to scam me by asking for RM1.08k for a claim that I did not submit for the accident. The case is pending.

The Malaysian Foldie e-magazine
The Malaysian Foldie turns one..

September was a milestone for The Malaysian Foldie e-magazine.
I was inspired by Kris Gomeze, an expatriate living in Thailand who came up with a bi-lingual cycling magazine.
So, I started a simple magazine specialising in folding bikes which is running into it's second year. I am very proud of this and hope to improve it's design and content if time permits.

Giving back: Ipoh Foldie's Open Day

I collaborated with the de facto leader of the Ipoh Foldies to come up with a ride and a skills workshop backed by my cycling buddies Mohd Radzi Md Nor and Johnny Ng.
Four of us took a train up to Ipoh and joined 50 other cyclists on a ride around the greater Ipoh and this was followed by the skills workshop that took place at the Ministry of Youth and Sports complex.

Johnny Ng handling the bike tuning and maintenance session
The gang in Ipoh
December: Laying off cycling and rekindling with an old hobby

I had nearly two weeks off in December to clear my leave and off-day. 
This was the perfect opportunity for me to give the bikes a rest and work on upgrading my ageing Dahon Jetstream EX.
I managed to source for a new set of hydraulic brakes from Shimano as well as a new rear suspension.
At the same time, I recovered some of my old Tamiya model kits and worked on building three armored fighting vehicles of World War II.

The M4 Sherman tanks I built

After two decades, I finally built this Tiger 1 heavy tank
The 2010 Dahon Jetstream EX experienced a re-fit with new parts 
Good, bad and ugly..

If you can't handle it, the workplace can be a prison

I'd safely say that 2014 has been a decent year without much fuss for me.
Though there were moments where some co-workers of mine had tried to pull some fast ones to prove that I am a ninkapoop who is worthless, my Key Performance Index rating had met it's expectations.
Despite my detractors' efforts in trying to dump shit on my ricebowl, I held on tight and braced for the hard fall. 
This is what I believe: no matter what your detractors say, what is not true cannot harm you. I have worked in three English newspapers for half my life. Began my career behind the camera and now, I am managing people and their workflow.
With the knowledge and experience, I will use what I have learned to help others and make it as smooth as possible when it comes to dealing with crisis.
Even that said, there some ripples along the way and I believe that in 2015, I will be sidelined to pave way for my detractors' political ambitions. So, there are some uncertainties, but I guess I'll just have to mow throw and sit out the shit storm.
There are plenty of shortcomings, but hey, you can't stop a man from being happy.. 
I have plenty of adventures to look forward to in 2015 and with a streamlined plan with less baggage to lug around, it will be fun to see everything come together as planned.

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