Friday, March 26, 2010

Tattooed by a kid

It seems that getting a tattoo is the in thing these days especially among the young and the young at heart. Some tattoo because its fashionable, or to declare their faithful love to their special someone, and for some, their life's motto.

Problem is that its permanent and when whatever reason it represents ceases to be relevant, its stuck with you. Therefore, the idea of a temporary tattoo (the sticker type) is a brilliant one.

I was very touched when my 7 year old friend Aaron, gave me this tattoo. He was feeling a bit crooked and I went to visit him to see how the young lad was doing. Aaron was a bit bored being stucked at home and decided to scrummage his tattoo sticker collection. To have some fun, he insisted on "tattooing" me with this most appropriate design with two words that say it all.

What an honour for my old arm to be tattooed by my young friend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We survived the Hail Storm

A massive storm hit Perth 2 evenings ago (22 March) at just after 4pm. 2 months worth of rain came down in just 2 hours bringing with it hail stones, some as big as golf balls. Causing 100 million dollars of damage, Perth was declared a natural disaster zone.

I was working on my computer when it started to rain which was then followed by 1 cm hailstones. It was exciting to hear the roof getting stung by hi-speed pellets from the sky and I was glad my car was in the garage. Seconds later, the wind really increased and was at 120kmh at some parts of the city. Then massive rain and we bolted all the doors and windows. Soon, my backyard became an unwelcome swimming pool.

As we were just holing up in the house, suddenly there was a waterfall from the ceiling. The gutters had apparently overflowed and my living room was getting very wet. I took all the 11 bath towels we had to try mop up the water and disconnected all the electricals for the water was rising and approaching the power sockets. Fortunately, the rain eased a little and the waterfall ceased.

Although Jem and I had lots of clean up after that, we were fortunate that nothing was lost or broken. Many people in Perth suffered damage to property, cars etc. Traffic lights were down, power was cut, mobile phone lines down and fallen trees on the roads causing massive jams.

The poor cyclist at 1:37...

O yes, my foldies were dry and snug as they were kept indoors although my Bridgestone XO5 in the backyard got the washing of the century. I reckon my next task is to give it a good lubrication this weekend.
A quick drive this morning saw many of the bike paths littered with the storm's debris which I hope will be cleared soon. Apart from that, everything seems normal again and we are grateful that all is well. No need to water the gardens for the next few weeks I reckon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Come Saturday Morning...

This beautiful song by the Sandpipers was a hit when I was 7 years old and it speaks about going out with a good friend on a Saturday morning for a great time. In many ways, it captures my little outing today with my dear friend Ye Ole Brompton around the Canning River. She is my first foldie and what better way to spend a Saturday morning than going for a ride together. It was fun to see people just enjoying the great Aussie outdoors. Ski boats, canoes, bicycles, recumbents, runners with dogs, kids, picnickers - all out in full force.

My Brompton was delivered at Avon Cycles in Bath U.K., in 2003 and the decal is still proudly there. I got her in 2006 from a previous owner and she is in mint condition. The 6 speed Sturmey Archer gear system still shifts crisply and I have upgraded her tires to Schwalbe Marathons.

My Korean friend Shin who is new to cycling took her for a spin recently and he remarked, "High quality bicycle!". Though there is a certain 16" folder which rides better, the Brompton has that traditional gait and English charm about her. In a recent 40km race in Spore, the top Brompton completed the race in a very respectable 1 hr 16 secs or a 31km/h average.

Anyway, part of the lyrics of this melodic song reads:

We will travel for miles in our Saturday smiles,
And then we will move on
But we will remember long after the Saturday is gone...

And that somehow strikes a special cord in my heart. Life is about making wonderful memories not just for ourselves, but for others as well and because we may not have another chance, lets do that while we can.

I hope you will enjoy this 40 year old classic song and I like to wish you many happy Saturday mornings to come.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spotting Fascinating Green Toys

It was really great to be back on a saddle with my Wed ride buddies Rod and Ken. With the weather a notch cooler at 22c, it was refreshing to be slicing through the 7am morning air. Our destination today was to Point Walter, about 17km from my house along the Canning River, near Fremantle.

People always comment that it would be boring riding the same route but we beg to differ. What surprises are the different hues of the morning, the people that we meet and the new things we see.

Today, I spotted a muscular Dad on his fully loaded touring bike with trailer on tow. He was coming fast in the opposite direction with his toddler snugly inside looking so pleased with this zippy human powered transportation.

At our usual morning tea site by the river, we were greeted with colourful sails in the clear blue sky. The Australian Kiteboarding Club were taking advantage of the strong 35kmh winds and it was exhilarating seeing people skim on the water at unbelievable speeds. Sometimes when the wind was too strong, the surfer would just glide up gracefully into the air and land just like a kung fu movie.

On the return ride back, I had had to stop for a chat with a lady who drove a Smart car. This is a 2 seater car partly owned by Mercedes and its their answer to urban city green transporation. It gets more than 20km/l and makes a lot of sense especially for this retired lady. She claimed her golf bag fitted easily into the tiny boot and I'm quite sure a foldy can go in as well. Because it is so short, 2 Smart cars can fit into one regular parking lot!

2 very green & smart vehicles

As green gadget buffets go, we got to meet a most intriguing Tandem Recumbent crusing steadily towards us. This couple was from Ireland, proudly flying their flag, and they looked happy as a lark. Who wouldn't? It must be quite a challenge to store this long road train contraption on 3 wheels.

Road Train!

All in all, a most fascinating morning wouldn't you say?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fall has arrived!

Most unexpected, fall weather has suddenly arrived in Perth. We were out this eveing by the river enjoying a birthday picnic and it was cool and so windy. The sun also set earlier than usual and its down to 14c tonight. Days are beautiful high 20s.

Happy days are here again for the cyclist. Yippie!