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Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Wild Geeks Adventure Club: Bukit Mahkota Trail in Kajang

The Wild Geeks Adventure Club: Bukit Mahkota Trail in Kajang

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I Did It! I Jumped The Jumps in Bukit Kiara!!!

Well, today I went on the downhill in Bukit Kiara, TTDI with the Wildgeeks and I crashed thrice. Once was not from jumping but from getting my front wheel caught between two rocks and basically, I flew off the bike and the bike cartwheeled and basically landed on me... LOL.

The location of my first ever jump!

My helmet, goggles, knee and elbow guard protected me real well! And my hydration bag saved me from major injuries when the bike landed on me... phew! I just bruised and scrapped my right thigh and right arm.

Then I started doing the downhill jumps. The first run was flawless and it was the first time I have ever attempted something as foolhardy as this! There were many natural ramps for small jumps and two man-made ramps for major jumps! It was excellent!

During that first run I almost ran into Azril the Ranger at the first man-made ramp! At that time I did not even know it was him. I remembered seeing Edwin aka Tau Foo Fa standing at the side of the ramp and everything else was just a blur as I was going really fast! Flawless! What a rush!

Thanks to Naga, I have a video to view how close I came to running over Azril. Creepy!

It was then that I decided to go up and do only the ramps again... LOL. And that's when I crashed twice at the second man-made ramp! Both times, it was because of bad landing. I further bruised and scrapped my right thigh just above the knee, bottom right arm and pedal-whack the back of my left leg (the imprint of the pedal is still very clearly marked out in the bruise... LOL).

Naga shooting video of one of my jumps... and crash!

Now that I am back home and watching the video Naga shot of Ranger's crashes and my jumps, I feel really creep out. Man... Ranger really needed to put on some major protections. He was wearing a helmet and that was it! And he was jumping the ramps!

Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

This is my lesson learned:

  • There is never too much protection!
  • When you are ready, dun think, do it!
  • Know the downhill route.
Now, I gotta get my bike fixed! 44 and still jumping! Mad!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Guess why I am doing this?

A lot of my friends and colleagues are asking, why is Jack so into cycling now? It is supposed to be a simple health and fitness thing. Why this need to go overboard... LOL. What is this BikeTrials?

Well, it started off as a health and fitness thing...

Since June this year, I have discovered a whole new world of cycling which I had never thought possible. Don't get me wrong, I mean I am well aware of the cycling scene. I know about the Tour de France and in fact, I was involved in the organisation of Le Tour de Langkawi since it's inception in 1996 until 1999; but I was never "aware" or have envisioned mountain biking to be what it is today.

Just like how I used to play foosball. It started out as a casual table-soccer game. One thing lead to another, it became necessary to learn and master techniques and shots to improve the game. Before I know it, I started to participate in foosball tournments as a measure of self improvement. I guess it is a natural progression for me.

So, it is in this respect, that I am taking mountain biking a tad more seriously. I guess there is a need for me to see some sort of progression and improvement in my techniques and skills as a biker; I guess fulfilling a form of personal satisfaction. And BikeTrial is the ultimate cycling sport where one is required to master and demonstrate one's control of the bike.

Just like learning the "push-kick" shot or any "shots" in foosball, I am now learning the very basic biking skill of "track-stand". Hopefully, I will be able to progress to the more advance skill of hopping, pivot, pedal-kicks, etc.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Guess what I did on Wednesday?

I trashed my bike! Injured my knee! Bang up my nose and lips, and bruised my chest! LOL...

George, Joe and I decided to follow KC to Melaka yesterday. While he conducted a presentation in Renaissances Hotel, George, Joe and I went mountain biking somewhere behind Puteri resort in Ayer Keroh, Melaka.

We parked at the Puteri Resort car park. It was the perfect place to get the gears and bike ready. Of course, something good had to happen. George's rear wheel tire had a flat. After getting the puncture fixed, we headed into what turned out to be a rubber estate.

This was the first time we went on this trail. The muddy double track was easy enough to follow and we basically went on blind in no particular direction. Then Joe noticed the red and white tape tied to some of the branches and trees. They were remnants of a previous hash held there. So basically, we just followed these markers and went on a hell of a ride.

Joe the Oracle recorded our tracks and trails. This would be very useful when we return to this place with the rest of the Wild Geeks!

After the rubber estate, the trail took us into a banana and papaya plantation. It was while cycling down a dirt road in the banana plantation, when I almost completely crashed into the bushes! The downhill was so much fun that I did not want to use the brakes at all! I only braked at the last minute... LOL. George was quite worried as I almost nail him as well.

When we reached the papaya part, I noticed a nice uphill, which meant a nice downhill, when you are the top of the hill... LOL.

And so, I told George and Joe that I wanted to do this downhill. Basically, I walked up the hill watching out for any potentially dangerous holes or rocks along the way.

The first downhill went fantastically well! So I had to do it again! George managed to captured a nice video of it.... :-) And then we got George and Joe doing it as well... LOL. It was fun!

After George's and Joe's turn, we headed up the same hill with the intention of continuing on with our cross-country ride. Joe consulted his GPS and said that we were headed the wrong way and should be heading back down to the other side. So we doubled back and of course, I was looking forward to hitting the downhill the third time!!!

It was this third time that I crashed and burned! Lifted off nicely on a jump, but bad landing on the front wheel caused me to be flung forward into the bushes and landed on my face. Of all things, I decided to choose a different line and basically did not handle it well at all... hahaha.

Anyway, I got up and after George gave me the once over, I went back and did the downhill a fourth time! Damn, from the photos and videos, the downhill looked like flat ground.... Btw... I clocked 41.1km/h on this downhill... HAhaha...

Anyway, my plan next is to make sure I am wearing elbow and knee guards for my next foolhardy downhill! And if I can afford it, a full face helmet!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Guess what I bought today?

Great news!

I have finally bought myself a 3 liters bladder for RM55 to put in my backpack to replace the defective one from High Sierra! I told my vendor about the problem with the bladder joint in my back pack without mentioning the brand name. Guess what? To my surprise, he said that it must be the High Sierra hydration pack, as they have problems with the bladder joints!

Hahaha! I dunno why, but I felt better when he mentioned that... sort of like a feeling of being vindicated... LOL.

I filled the new no-brand bladder up, testing for leakage. Worked great!

To top it off, one of my colleagues is going to Bangkok on Wednesday, he is nice enough to help me bring the defective High Sierra bladder back to the shop in Bangkok to see if they will exchange it. I am certainly keeping my finger crossed, but I do not have high hopes... LOL

The other thing I bought was a pair of goggles! Its a made in Taiwan product, so you guess right, its cheap! I got it for RM30.

My son, Jordan, looking very stiff wearing the helmet with the goggle attached.

More relax... not worried that the helmet was going to slide off... LOL.

My daughter, testing the goggle out...

Knee and elbow guard! The next items on my shopping list... LOL

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Guess what I have gotten myself into?

It all started with me declaring myself to be overweight in June this year. Then my purchase of a mountain bike in the hope of using it as one of my means to loose weight.

I spent RM400 on an Exitway - Mr Sub mountain bike, a really heavy "hardtail" (see... now I am talking biking jargons... LOL... must be progress), that I personally referred to as the "Lorry" bike! LOL.

Since buying the bike and riding to so many places these past months, I have discovered some must-buy gears for anyone wanting to go mountain biking on a budget!

One of the things I needed was a bicycle lock to lock my bike when I carry it behind my pick-up. So it was a must have item for me. The lock has seen better days since! The RM25 lock still works, but has lost it's casing after a week! Made in Taiwan! Quality?

I also bought a Cateye tail light for night riding for RM34. Excellent quality!

Aside from the bike, the next single most important thing I bought was the SixSixOne Helmet!

I spent RM120 for this notorious US brand but made in China helmet that after the first day of use, the protective foam just came loose! I think I have a big head... Hahahaha... Check it out below! Quality? Sucks, I guess, but still usable as a protective helmet as long as I fasten the strap properly. I will not recommend anyone to buy this though.

After a few cross-country rides, I realized that a set of gloves would be an important piece of safety equipment to have, especially on downhills!

So I dished out a reasonable RM80 to get this nice pair of SixSixOne gloves, which has since save me from a lot of potentially nasty cuts and bruises on my hands! Quality stuff, yeah! A must buy for all bikers!

Liters of water are a must for cross-country biking. A friend of mine managed to get a 2 liters High Sierra branded hydration back-pack for me from Bangkok, Thailand, for RM110.

On the day I was going to use it, while filling in water, the bloody water bag was leaking profusely at the joint between the bag and the "straw"! Quality sucks big time! Major disappointment!

So now I am just using the back-pack to carry a spare bottle of water! Sad? Pathetic? Hell yeah! Still bloody sore about it! High Sierra sucks man!

About a week ago, I bought myself a nice pair of padded cycling pants! Since I started cycling, I have torn more than 5 pairs of shorts.

For RM110, I have basically reinforced my ass and save myself from a whole bunch of nagging from my wife regarding torn or split shorts... LOL.

A couple of months back, a friend gave me some MTB videos to watch! Man... my first thoughts were, "What? How the heck did that guy do that?" I was referring to Ryan Leech! Man... that guy is inhuman! Ryan Leech is the king of trial riding! Check out this video on YouTube!

Since then, I have been trying to learn track-standing, hopping and jumping on my bike! One of the painful lessons I learnt was that you gotta watch out for your shin hitting the pedals!

Which is why I bought this RM18 shin guard 2 days ago!

Check it out! I have yet to try them on. Probably gonna do it next opportunity I get.

Since I started MTB, I have amassed a whole bunch of stuff, some defective and disappointing and some really lifting and useful.

All in all I have not spent a whole lot of money. Including a child seat, a cyclometer, fixing a crooked crank and a broken headset, and 3 set of punctured tubes, I have spent only a total of RM 1277! (Btw, learning jumping and hopping are expensive if your bike's parts are only good for normal biking. I could have save RM200 if I hadn't tried jumping and hopping like an overgrown clown... LOL)

So what have I achieved since the time I bought the bike? Did I loose weight? Unfortunately, I did not loose weight! So what did I gain? I became a Superhero... that's what! LOL...

Just fooling around after a ride on the KL-Putrajaya highway in Sri Petaling... :-)

Basically, I now have more stamina. I do not feel lethargic from lack of exercise. I feel healthier. But most importantly... now at 44 years old, I can track stand reasonably well, hop like a bunny and jump over speed bumps... LOL.... HAHahhaa..

It's just gonna get better from here on... LOL!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wild Geeks Hashing

Since the day I bought my mountain bike on June 12 2007, I have been very busy cycling. (Everyday I made it a point to cycle at least 11km or more to build up my stamina.) After watching Wild Hogs, it inspired me and George to start a "Wild Something".

By June 26 2007, the Wild Geeks Adventure club was formed.

With the formation of the Wild Geeks Adventure Club I have been very busy hashing with the guys. The first trip was to the Rubber Research Institute and there were only three of us - George, Daniel and me.

By the second trip, which was to Batu Dam, there were 7 of us - George, Daniel, John, Azril, Izaini, Ken Wei and me. We hope to get more people to start cycling and hashing with us.

I have gone on three MTB hashing trips and they were all fun and exciting. The joy was to be in an unknown place not knowing what is down the road or the trail, or around the next corner.

Thanks to Daniel and Azril, I have some photos of myself on our last hashing trip to Batu Dam (view GPS photos on Google Earth here).

Photos by Daniel:

Photos by Azril:

I had just completed a trip to the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) with Joe and Azril yesterday - July 21 2007 (view GPS photos on Google Earth here). And now, we are already planning another hashing trip for next Saturday (28th July).

George proposed and planned this next hashing to the Lata Kijang Waterfall, Negri Sembilan. The Lata Kijang Waterfall destination is not exactly a MTB route. It's famous more for 4WD and there are a lot of 4WD 3D2N tour packages to the falls, with tour activities such as spending an evening in the orang asli village.

Hopefully Micol and Ken Wei will have bought their bikes by then to be able to make it for the trip; and also Henry and Jason, fellow MTB adventurers whom I met in FRIM, will be able to make it as well.

Here are some information about Lata Kijang Waterfall:

For more full reports of the Wild Geeks hashing trips go here:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bangkok Luang Road

Went to Bangkok on July 1st and stayed till 4th. As usual, the food was great. But the highlight of the trip was bicycle accessory shopping.

We had an appointment with our partner's client around Luang Road in the Thai Chamber of Commerce. For those uninitiated, Luang Road is the Mecca of all the car and pickup accessories in Bangkok. So needless to say we were looking forward to the end of the meeting.

Being polite, we had to go lunch with our partners. But as soon as it was over, we practically flew to Luang Road and went into accessory hunting mode. One of my colleague was looking for Mitsubishi FTO accessories. Another and I were looking for mountain bike accessories.

We were pretty successful in finding the bike accessories but with no success for the FTO. I managed to get my headlights and a "cyclocomputer" as the manufacturer puts it. The "cyclocomputer" is actually a speedometer that has other functions that keep track of total distance traveled and trip distance, etc. It is called the Cat Eye - Velo 5 model... the lowest end model... LOL. But I am very happy with it... :-)

Luang Road and it's vicinity are just great. It is a bazaar made for men!!! All the accessories, machineries and tools being pedaled in the streets and shops were unbelievable.

My big regret is that I did not take any photographs!!! Can't blame me as I was too excited... LOL. Well, now I have an excuse to go back there again... :-P

But I did take some photos of the other places of Bangkok in the spirit of "Where 2.0"... LOL. Have a look if you like:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Wild Geeks Adventure Club

Wow!!! In just two weeks, I have come a long way since I bought the mountain bike.

Last week, Joe and Daniel bought their bikes. Right after that together with George and John, we formed a club called The Wild Geeks Adventure Club. "Adventure" because, cycling will not be the only activity for the club. Last Saturday was the first cycling adventure of the Wild Geeks. Together with Daniel and George, we went and had it out in the Rubber Research Institute (RRI).

It was a first time for everyone at RRI. The trails were easy and hardly a challenge at all. Nevertheless, it allowed George to try out his brother's "hand me down" bike... LOL and Daniel to determine whether if spending that RM1000 was worth it or not.. :-)

More about the trip at The Wild Geeks Adventure Club's blog here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The 3rd Day

Its been two days now.... and so far I still enjoy exercising on my new mountain bike. Its fun when you can do some sight seeing and exercising at the same time.

Yesterday, I purposely cycled to a construction yard to try out the "mountain" climbing capability of the bike on the rough tracks there... I must say it was very satisfying to put the bike to good use. Having said that, I am also learning how to handle the bike on rough terrain.... Hokkien people will say I "hiau"... LOL. I am planning to go try out a real mountain track next week. Gotta check with George first... :-P

For now, I am actually looking forward to cycling this evening.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wild Something!

I am overweight. There I said it. So what am I going to do about it?

Lets start with the BMI or Body Mass Index, this is the only legitimate proof that I am overweight (although my wife has told me countless of times). Currently I weigh 187 lbs and my height is 5 ft 11 in, which works up to a BMI of 26.1. This puts me in the overweight category, which is not that far from the obesity category. See the following chart:

  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
  • Overweight = 25-29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
Heck man... I am not going to OBESE territory. The buck stops now. If you want to see which category you fall in, go here and check it out.

I have been telling myself to jog. Then I found an excuse not to do it, cause I don't have a pair of running shoes. After that I had to buy a pair during a Parkson Grand sale (wife was staring very threateningly). I hit the treadmill for 2 days (did not even last 5 minutes each time... LOL) then I found the perfect excuse not to jog... jogging is bad for the joints!!! That's when I stopped... :-)

Btw... thats was about a year ago... LOL...

And then came this brilliant idea, cycling!!! I used to own a mountain bike and was pretty active cycling to and from work. Went on a few expeditions organised by the Youth and Sports Ministry headed by a Mr Tarmizi and driven by a very charismatic ex-army dude, which all the kids affectionately refer to as Pak Yup. I was twenty-five then, nineteen years ago... wah liao eh!!! Man.. I was skinny as a stick then!!!

Coming back to what I was saying, cycling! Yes, I just felt that it was the perfect exercise for me! And so I pitch the idea to some of my colleagues, but it did not really catch on. I think everyone thought I would just quietly forget about it.

But no... I bought a mountain bike today!! And I did not feel guilty (which normally I do when I spend money on none essentials). Well... there was no inkling of guilt whatsoever and I felt great. (Btw, my old bike was stolen 17 years ago... LOL.)

After I reached home today, I rode the bike out for more than an hour and it felt great! I rode up and down a slope about 6 times... my legs are damn stiff with lactic acid. Sweat like a pig. Pant like a sow giving birth. The damn slope looked like hardly a challenge at all, and it was only about 500 meters sloping upwards. By the time I reached the top.... I could not pedal anymore... got off my bike and could hardly stand... HAhahha... it felt good and addictive!!!

For those of you who are still deciding whether if this is THE exercise to maintain good health and loose weight, check out this article and this one.

Come on guys... join up and cycle to good health!!! Better than Wild Hogs... Wild Something... :-) George, I know you are just waiting for the rest of the guys. Joe, tomorrow I go with you to buy the bike. John, you dun need it, just ride for fun... LOL... KC only wants the two seater and Peng Nam, you need it... hahaha

Here is a pix of my brand new bike... :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The First Post in

Well, this is going to be the beginning of a blog migration. Decided that this would be the best place to start this new blog. Hope I will stay and keep at it.

So many things to do, so many things to explore. Never thought that I would not have time to play my PS2 games. So many movies and TV series to watch... damn ASTRO just added so many happening channels... getting a case of INFORMATION OVERLOAD... liao!

Currently fooling around with video streaming.... been testing and finding my way around VLC and Windows Media Encoder streaming out to my PPC. Keep getting the fragging irritating error, "The parameter is incorrect" when I tried to open a stream on my PPC Media Player. FINALLY solve that fragging problem.... all you need is to add a trailing space after the slash!!! WTF!!!!

Also, while getting Windows Media Encoder to encode my video files, I keep getting some frag shit audio encoding error!!! When I encode just the video... no problemo... but the moment I added audio to the encoding... BANG... the application terminated. Still cannot solve this fragging shitty problem!!!

Stressed nya!!!! So much for the first post... LOL...

Monday, January 1, 2007

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