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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Borak-borak ride

Last night was a great night out ride. The ride was supposed to start at 8.30pm, and having more and more riders coming, new and old faces, just made last night's ride even merrier, though we all started to cycle at 9pm.

Unfortunately I did not bring along my digital camera or else I could share with you the +/- 15 riders gathering at the petrol station, chit chatting prior to the ride. It was just like a 'party'.

The fast and furious as usual cycled at the front, chasing each other. One Ironman-to-be and I cycled in the middle and the MTB-ers (betul ke ni?) were at the back. My Cateye speedometer battery was almost dead, I can't really see the speed I was doing. Thus, I just hooked up with this Ironman-to-be who agreed to cycle 5 loops of the 6km road track.

I would say, this was the ride where I spent talking all the way through. We did not do bullet-train-speed, just keeping 30-35km/hr on the flat, and 23-25km/hr while climbing. Enough to force the sweat to exit the skin without pushing the legs too much.

We talked about triathlon experience a lot, and about his preparation for the coming Ironman in Langkawi, a bit about endurance sports in general, small piece about local politics, and erm.. that's about it I guess.

Lately I've been pretty cought up with work at the office. On Monday and Tuesday, I only went home after 9.30pm, to which I consider slightly early comparing to the times where I used to go home nearly 12 midnight.

So, last night's ride was kind of a refresher for me. Forget everything about work, and enjoying my self with the group of people who share the same hobby, or passion, or whatever you want to call it.

Oh yeah, this Sunday morning I will be volunteering myself for the Trikidz 3rd race of the year at the UM (Univ. Malaya) sports center. Not really sure yet what i can do to help but physically I will be there, insyaAllah. More info can be found here. Feel free to join if you are timely available.

Dulu, diorang (kawan-kawan triathlon) jugak yang tolong kita belajar macamana untuk join sukan triahlon ni, so sekarang turn kita la pulak untuk tolong diorang, betul tak?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pusing-pusing Kulai

If on Saturday I went cycling pusing-pusing to Senai area, yesterday (Sunday) I went cycling again, and this time pusing-pusing Kulai area.

Started with another 3 guys from the place they called "garden" (opposite the old waterfront building, nearby Istana JB), off we went at 7.40am. The route took us passed the famous Danga Bay, then through the long stretch of Jalan Skudai going up north, then passing the Skudai area, then Senai town, until we came to our u-turn point which was at the flyover bridge nearby IOI mall in Kulai.

All together go and back, we clocked 60km and we've cycled that distance non-stop just inside 2 hours time. Basically speaking, average speed might be around 28 - 29'ish km/hr, I would guess.

Fortunately, the weather was not as bad as the day before. But, it did feel a bit hot when we had to stop at the traffic lights. Well, that's the normal thing we get and I'm not complaining, only telling the story.. hehe.

Well, for me it was a great ride. There were not so many tough climbs like those we had to face whenever doing the Kota Tinggi route. That explains why we can cycle at considerably high speed. Most importantly, my legs were fully cooperative and pretty energized throughout the whole ride.

If doing the Kg. Melayu - Kota Tinggi route, though the distance is roughly the same as the JB - Kulai route, a guy like me (weak that is) won't be able to paddle through all the killer climbs without cursing or at least feeling a glitch of regret attempting it at the first place.

Enough with the cycling things.

In the evenings of Saturday and Sunday also, I went to the pool. Dah lama tak berenang lama-lama. Well, the Saturday trip to the pool was not that fun as I suffered a bit when my shoulders started to feel the strain as I did the 50m laps for few times.

Yesterday was a bit different. Shoulders felt better, and I could swim slightly longer distance. A friend even told me not to swim so fast as it will lead me to being out of breath and unable to do more laps. He suggested me to swim a bit slower but doing more laps, in order to build better endurance. It worked!

To top up the fun, I did the diving from papan anjal (err, what is it in english?). When I went to the gym while being in the States, I always feel jealous with the little boys doing the diving from the papan anjal. Some of them could even do sommersault dive. But, I'm still very far from being berani-mati-katak to do sommersault dive. Instead, I just did the "terjun-masuk-kepala-dalam-air-dulu" for few times.

For the very first attempt, I was a bit scared because I never did that before. But after the success of the first attempt, boy I tell you, it was awesome!

Can you feel that I'm still smiling now? Hehe.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pusing-pusing Senai

Due to not being able to cycle last Wednesday night and since I'm not going back to KL this weekend, my kaki felt gatal-gatal since I woke up and therefore I went out on the bike to do some "pusing-pusing kampung" ride this morning.

The pusing-pusing route this morning was from my hommie nearby Taman U area (Skudai), u-turn at Senai airport and back to my hommie. A solo ride.

It was not very far. A total distance of only 34km. It took a slow guy like me around 1.25hrs to finish this seciput distance, with the hot morning sun accompanying me faithfully all the way through.

And though it was not that far in distance wise, I felt my two legs were very heavy, macam takde power langsung. Even after cycling for a mere 10km I've started to feel the slight fatigue in the legs. Tak kiralah aku pakai crank kecik ke crank besar ke, rasa macam takde power untuk kayuh. Moral dropped down really badly and I feel like not wanting to join the group to cycle from JB to Desaru (total 150km) tomorrow morning.

Kalau kayuh 34km pun dah terjelir lidah, camne la aku nak habiskan 150km? Dah la diorang tu kayuh laju bangat. I thought the last time when I did the 140km pun rasa macam amazing gile. Not sure whether I can do it again with the additional 10km.

I think, even if I join them for the long ride, maybe I'll take an early u-turn to complete roughly 60km and let them move on to achieve their target. I feel bad everytime when they have to stop and wait for me the slow guy because they are not cycling for fun, they are training for Ironman. I don't want to interfere their training regime.

Dengan kata lain, "aku tak larat la nak kayuh jauh-jauh!!!"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One of the unusuals

Usually we would be doing the main kejar-kejar berbasikal on Wednesday nights here in JB. But, yesterday was unusual for me. Here goes the story.

Early morning yesterday, I already packed my road bike and the stuffs into the car when I went to the office so that after work I can directly go to the Taman Impian Emas for cycling, as usual lah. The weather looked fine and clear, not rainy like the week before. So, that was good. Everything sounds like a good plan and I should be able to enjoy a good ride at night.

That nice hope I had all went to longkang when at 3pm, my boss sent an email saying that we need to have a tele-conference at 9pm with the engineers in the States.

What the...??? Argghhh...!!!!!

I had two choices:
1) Forget the unreasonable-timing tele-conference and enjoy myself on the bike with the guys.
2) Join the tele-conference and pray hard that it will end in 30 seconds so that I can still rush for cycling.

Well, though a tele-conference meeting will never end in 30 seconds, I opted for the second choice for the good sake of my career journey.

At the end, it ended at 9.20pm. I was already too late to join the cycling, so I just drove to the cycling place and train myself to become a support car driver. Haha.

To tell you the truth, I see a different perspective when I'm inside the car, looking at the spirit and commitment of these triathletes training hard for the big event, Ironman Langkawi. Very determined. They do train hard to beat themselves. Respectable.

I then hang out with the group after they've finished their training. Keeping up new and old news, Malakoff Powerman stories, weekend's long ride plan, weekend's swimming group, etc. Last but not least, the makan-makan session sebagai penutup tirai di malam Rabu.

Balik rumah, simpan balik basikal ke dalam rumah dengan penuh rasa sedih sebab semalam tak boleh kayuh.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Which is true?

We've heard cases or read from emails saying something about some people lost their laptops which they put inside their cars, whether inside the trunk or at the back seat.

I can remember one email even mentioned something about 'laptop detector' was used by the culprit to detect which cars got laptops inside them. And they can quickly open up the car to grab the laptops.

So, does this laptop detector really exists?

Even if they do exist, how does it work? How can a detector detects a laptop which I believe 99% of the times are in the switched off mode? How could this possible?

I'm not a pro nor a genious in electronics or engineering or hi-tech stuffs. And please correct me if I'm wrong. But for me, a switched off laptop is just like a piece of rock for an electronic detector - if really a laptop detector exist. In addition, a swithed off laptop, put inside a bag, placed inside a car trunk - how can you detect it out of random yet very precisely?

Here's my logic. A switched off laptop does not emit any kind of wave or signal. No source for detecting anything. Plus, components of a laptop may be the mixture of metals, PCBs, plastics, and many other God-knows what. What different is the metal of the laptop compared to the metal of the car trunk if someone claims they can detect metal?

Now, tell me how do you think the thief knows there's a laptop inside that particular car trunk?

My answer - simply by looking or watching.

Imagine this normal scenario that most of us subconsciously do:

- We normally carry our laptop inside a laptop bag when we return from work.
- As we enter the car, we normally just put the laptop bag at the back seat, or at the passenger seat besides us. Easy mah, rite?
- Then, we wanted to stop for short teh tarik break at mamak with some friends, or buy some bread or kicap and sos cili from grocery stores.
- As we step out from the car, we normally carry the laptop bag and open the car trunk and put it inside the trunk. Hoping that it would provide better protection as people cannot peek and look inside the car through the windows whether there's any laptop lying on the car seats.
- We happily go for teh tarik, or buy groceries. And upon returning to the car after few minutes, we noticed the car trunk has been opened by force and no more laptop inside it.
- Then, we normally get panicked, or cried, or make phone calls.
- The next day, we write an email to everybody saying the thief used a kind of detector to steal our laptop.

Now, let's take a look from the thief's perspective:

- The thief normally lepak at the places which they know many people stop by for teh tarik break, or nearby grocery stores after working hour.
- Once they noticed one guy/girl step out from the car to put the laptop inside the trunk - they spot the easy victim.
- Once "line clear", they smoothly walk to the car and break that particular car trunk and grab the laptop. In less than 1 minute, job is done.
- Result = 100% success.

You see, we fail to realise that we are the one who initially make the mistake - by displaying to surrounding people (though unintentionally) that we have put a laptop inside our car trunk. Have you ever thought how many pairs or eyes are watching you at any particular time?

I don't mean to blame the victims, I do feel bad for those who ever get their laptops stolen in this way, especially if they are company laptops. Very trouble some I tell you. Silap haribulan, boleh kena pecat woo.

My point here is, just to share with you about the above issue so that no more laptops get stolen from any of you readers, and your friends or families who have laptops. This also applies to every valuables that we carry inside our cars. Try your best not to display your action in public of transferring valuables from or to your car trunk where people can easily see your action.

Be safe folks!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Her second one

Last year I missed her birthday because I was having my job training in the States. It was a sad moment because I was not able to be by her side on the first birthday in her life. Though for sure she doesn't have any clue yet what birthday meant, but I've lost the chance and will never get it back. True?

This year I'm happy. I'm here to celebrate her second birthday. Most importantly, I hope she's happier than me.

Last Sunday (yesterday) was my daughter's second birthday. I did not arrange for grand celebration, that's not my style. Just enough by having my close family member to gather around my small little house, to eat together, and to pray to God for my daughter's success in life, good continuous health, bright future, and happiness throughout her wonderful life.

I just bought a simple cake, to which I enjoyed looking at my daughter smiling face when she happily and exitedly cut the cake. I hope she can remember that moment till the rest of her life.

We also bought some balloons and hang some on the walls, and some we let her play with. She ran here and there throwing and kicking the balloons around the house. Laughter non stop.

Her aunt bought her a penguin doll because she knows my daughter loves Pingu so much.

I'm glad I can make it to be by her side on her birthday this year though just for the very short weekends. And I pray hard that I can quickly return back to my 'normal' life where I can be at home everyday.

I know she misses me, as much as I miss her.

Happy Birthday Nurin!
Daddy loves you so much.

Friday, November 14, 2008

6 gone, more to go...

I have been coughing since Wednesday night. Couldn't really get quality sleep throughout the two nights which leads to me feeling like I'm gonna have a fever and a massive migraine. As a quick solution for the sore throat, I took 6 Strepsils lozenges since this morning until now.

At the back of the package it says, "Dissolve a lozenge slowly in the mouth every 2 to 3 hours". I hope I'm not overdosing myself with Strepsils as I've taken 6 lozenges within 3 hours. I think I need more Strepsils later. My throat is feeling itchy like mad.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Powerman 2008

Honda's advertisement would say, "The Power of Dreams"

Celine Dion sang the song entitled, "The Power of Love"

The weekend of Malakoff Powerman 2008 had just finished. As usual, being follower for some of the powerful triathletes' blogs (they call people like me as 'blog-stalker' - sungguh tak patut.. hehe), I would go and read their stories on the said events.

There are the good stories, the inpiring stories, the bad stories, and lots of other types of stories told by each of them taking part in that big event. Normally, though I cannot deny I felt envy with what they could do, at the same time I feel inspired to continue with this endurance sport.

Well, hari dah malam, dah hampir waktu untuk pergi main kejar-kejar berbasikal di trek Golden Dream seperti kebiasaan Rabu malam. So, ciao for now!

I can only dream...

New update: Nobody turned up for kayuh malam ni sebab hujan... boringnya

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Good Thoughts

Don't compare yourself with any one in this world.
If you compare, you are insulting yourself.

No one will manufacture a lock without a key.
Similarly God won't give problems without solutions.

Life laughs at you when you are unhappy...
Life smiles at you when you are happy...
Life salutes you when you make others happy...

Every successful person has a painful story.
Every painful story has a successful ending.
Accept the pain and get ready for success.

Easy is to judge the mistakes of others.
Difficult is to recognize our own mistakes.

It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to cover the earth with carpet.

No one can go back and change a bad beginning,
But anyone can start now and create a successful ending.

If a problem can be solved, no need to worry about it.
If a problem cannot be solved what is the use of worrying?

If you miss an opportunity don't fill the eyes with tears.
It will hide another better opportunity in front of you.

"Changing the Face" can change nothing.
But "Facing the Change" can change everything.

Don't complain about others,
Change yourself if you want peace.

Mistakes are painful when they happen.
But year's later collection of mistakes is called experience, which leads to success.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sedili Part III

More photos from a friend...

Cameraman: "Weh Azhar, ko kayuh laju eh?"
Azhar: "Tengok kaki laaaa. Aku letak baja Powerbar kat kepala lutut aku ni."

The happy faces of strong triathletes from JB-tri group.

Masing-masing perut dah kenyang lepas makan kat Tg. Sedili, time to ride home!

Strong guys in action.. "Kayuh beb, kayuh"

Slow-macam-siput guy trying to catch up with the fast n furious. "Woi, tunggu aku wooii!!"

Cool pictures taken by a 17yrs old boy.

And as usual, every Wednesday night there will be the "Golden Dream" ride. See y'all tonite at the track!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sedili Part II

Now it's time to do the cover up story for the 140km cycling trip from Kg. Melayu to Tg. Sedili on last Sunday morning. Dah penat-penat kayuh, kena buat report la pulak. Mengalahkan reporter.

First of all, remember this. "Sayang, I hate you!".

0700hrs

As promised, we gathered at the Esso station of Kg. Melayu Majidee. Gedebuk gedebak, total of 6 guys turned up, except sorang mamat ni yang lambat bangun tido. Dia suruh kitorang jalan dulu, nanti dia kejar dari belakang. Some of them have cycled to Sedili for few times, except for me and two more guys. They were the hardcore of the JB-tri team. Diorang memang powerbar gile ah.

Masing-masing sedang bersiap.

All geared up, ready to rumble! This guy is also a first timer to Sedili, just like me. But he is more power ranger than me la.

0730hrs

Terlewat setengah jam dari plan asal. Due to the long distance need to cover, initial plan was to start the journey at 0700hrs. The first 10km was the best. Reason being, legs still fresh, weather was still cool, and most importantly no rolling hills yet. Everybody was cruising happily. By this time, the 7th guy dah berjaya kejar kitorang.

After the 10th to 15th km, we started to meet some rolling hills. This was where I turned from cruising to cursing. Haha. For every hills we climbed, I always got dropped behind. Diorang laju je panjat bukit, unlike me. Terkedek-kedek macam siput demam.

At roughly 50km I started to feel a little bit of fatigue on both of my thighs. As I mentioned in earlier post, I did not make enough physical preparation. And at this time, Sayang came to greet us.

"Oh Sayang, why were you so cruel to me? You really made me suffer that day. I hate you!"

By the way, above dialogue has nothing to do with my wife or my road bike.

It was the 'Kg. Sayang' hills which we had to climb from roughly the 55th to 60th km. These were the hardest of all. Damn hard. I never met this kind of hills before. Memang segala jenis skill carutan-carutan dan maki hamun keluar masa panjat bukit Kg. Sayang ni. Just imagine, I could only managed to climb the hill at 9km/hr or 11km/h max. Nothing faster than that. The other guys yang masih fit tu toksah citer la, masing-masing macam ada enjin turbo kat kepala lutut diorang. Dah jauh kat depan dah.

Coming down from Kg. Sayang (well, not really down, only flat roads), I lost my energy in the legs. I barely can cycle at 25km/hr even on flat roads. The final 10km towards the u-turn point (Tg. Sedili) felt like a never ending journey.

1000hrs

We arrived at Tg. Sedili. Time for breakfast. I downed one plate of nasi lemak and another plate of roti canai telur. The guys told me not to take nasi lemak, but it was too late. Aku lapar gile.

This is Tg. Sedili. 70km from Kg. Melayu Majidee in JB.

The makan-makan session.

1100hrs

We began the journey back. Matahari dah terpacak tegak atas kepala. I wonder how would I cycle back to JB with my fatigue legs plus the hot weather. For me, the nightmare has just begun.

With only one target in mind, which was to complete the 140km journey, I continued cycling no matter how slow I could manage. I tell you, if you are not physically fit like me, you're gonna suffer. Just like me.

My advice, get yourself a MP3 player. In case you got dropped off behind and cycling alone, at least you have some musics to listen to. Kurang sikit potential untuk jadi gila. Better than talking alone on the bike, right? Hahaha.

At 95km point, I could not bare the pain in my thighs. I had to stop for 3 minutes break. Still long way to go.

The guys stopped further in front just to wait for me. At one point, I rejoined them at this signage.

Penat-penat pun sempat lagi posing dengan gajah.

I would say I cycled alone almost all the way back from Tg. Sedili to Kg. Melayu Majidee. From Tg. Sedili it was hot, then a little bit of rain, and when almost reaching Kg. Melayu Majidee it went hot again. I never reached more than 30km/hr on the way back other then when downhill. Totally no energy in the legs. 100% kaput!

The good thing is, these guys were so supportive. They stopped for few times just to wait for me and maybe to see how long my tongue came out from my mouth. My spirit increased a bit everytime I rejoined them at their 'stop-to-wait-for-Nik' break points.

1430hrs

I safely made it back to the starting point, Esso station where we parked our cars. Penat nak mampus. It made me really wonder how could Ironman run a marathon after cycling 180km. Aku yang kayuh 140km slow and steady ni pun dah terjelir lidah tak ingat. Kalau aku buat Ironman, silap haribulan boleh jatuh berguguran lidah aku kot.

At this moment, I'm sure I won't be doing this again (I say this coz my thighs are still feeling the pain). But, who knows what will happen in the future, right?

That's it folks. End of story. The summary goes like this:

Distance covered: 140km (New PR, yeay!)
Total time: 7hrs
Cycling time: Ada la dalam 6hrs kot.
Average speed: Aku tak tau, speedometer aku takde average measurement. One thing for sure, aku slow gile!
Calory burnt: Ni pun aku tak tau, tapi aku dah melantak nasi lemak + roti canai telur.

Anyway, the experience was truely priceless!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sedili Part I

With almost zero physical preparation, achieving this was simply 'priceless'.

More stories and photos coming up soon (when I got time to update lah ye).