Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bike Art

I was in Fremantle today taking some friends out for coffee/cake at the famous Cappuccino strip and came across this striking road bike. Could not resist taking a pic of it especially with a most artistic wall behind.

Nice ya?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Wednesday once more

It was great to be back into my Wed cycle routine. In preparing my Speed Pro for the ride, I was surprised at how little air the tires lost even after a 2 months hiatus and it is true that Presta valves keep air better.

Rod and Ken showed up like clockwork at 0725 at our usual meeting point. We had the privilege of having Colin join us as well. He hails from the plains of Africa many moons ago and long distance hiking is more his cup of tea. Unfortunately, Colin arrived a little early and went off first, thinking he could catch up with us. I had told him the wrong time - 0715! It was a cool 22c when we started off to Point Walter and it was glorious to be cycling the beautiful bike paths of Perth once again.

Somehow, the ride went by quickly as we enjoyed good conversations on the saddle. The smell of fresh air and deep blue sky were in sharp contrast to the smoke that engulfed us a few days ago due to bush fires in the hills where 72 houses were destroyed. It was good to see many people jogging, walking their dog and cycling along the river.

We rang our bells as we passed walkers and one elderly man exclaimed, "You should ring your bell!" and Ken replied, "But we did, mate!" Apparently, he was hard of hearing and Ken stopped his bike and had a good and friendly banter with him on how to get his ears tested by phone.

With Colin on a racer, that got me moving at a faster clip and it was fun cruising 30kmh at times. Made me appreciate the vast gearing of the 24 cog Speed Pro. All in, a great ride as usual and I can't wait for Wednesdays to come, once more.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Out of summer hibernation

My two precious foldies, Messrs Speed Pro and Brompton have been bagged and put to a deep hibernation for the last 7 weeks. They were protected from the hot Australian summer where temp sometimes exceed 40c by sleeping in a cool spot in the house. I think that is the beauty of foldies, so easy to store.

I took them out today to wake them up, ready to stretch their legs. The weather can still be hot, we had a bush fire today, but cooler days should come soon. I bet they can't wait to hit the road with me!

ps: The Giant bag was given to me by Uncle Ken and it fits the Speed Pro snugly.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are you a MAMIL?

If you don't already know, this acronym has nothing to do with overweight mammals but with Middle Age Men in Lycra. Seems in the West, this trend of men in their mid-life crisis years instead of getting that red Porsche convertible, swipe their Platinum Visas for the latest Pinarello Dogma and expensive lycra suits.

The BBC ran an article a few months back about MAMIL here.

In Singapore, we do see them early on Saturday and Sunday mornings, hitting the Thomson/Mandai route in wolf packs and its quite common here in Perth as well. My take is that so long as people, young and not so young, are discovering or rediscovering the joy of being on a saddle, this must be encouraged and affirmed. Cycling is for everyone but the focus must be fixed on the pleasure of the cycling experience rather than it becoming a one up-manship game on who has the newest and the lightest.

Speaking on behalf of the folding world, I guess we are not as hung up on maintaining that "sporty and cool image." By opting to ride a "circus" bike that sometimes make kids laugh, we already are comfortable with our rock solid self-esteem. But please marketeers, do not call us MAMOF - Middle Age Men on Foldies...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monks flying down on foldies

This is a most interesting folding downhill mountain bike. Able to pack and carry like a rug sack. Go do your regular hike up your fav hill and then the fun begins. Using the monks in the ad is brilliant marketing.

Moving house on a Brompton

Saw this pic while surfing the Spore Bulldog Cyclist site and it made me smile. Who said you can't tour on a Brompton?

Chinese New Year erranding

Not quite a rabbit but it was the closest to one I met today on my ride...

Its 2 days before Lunar New Year and Singapore, like the rest of Asia, is bustling as people prepare for the arrival of the Year of the Rabbit. This is the time where people spruce up their houses with a very thorough cleaning, spruce themselves up with new hairdo and clothes, spruce up friendships by giving all sorts of delicious cakes and cookies.

With a rare rain-free morning, I had fun today riding my Japanese Mamachari bicycle to the dentist to give my teeth a spruce up. The 5km ride was invigorating and it was to the hair saloon after that. Many retailers use this time to jack up prices and my usual hair cut of $10 became $18. Jess the owner noticed that I rode a "big" bicycle this time and explained that the huge price increase was a once a year tradition and it was "good luck" to have new hair grow. I smiled quietly and am glad that my life does not depend on the winds of luck but on the grace and goodness of a loving God.

Then it was a ride to Bee Cheng Hiang, one of the famous BBQ Sweet Meat shops to get a gift for a friend I was lunching with. Prices here too got inflated by 20-30% no thanks to the season. Once again, I was very pleased to have done my errands by bicycle today. The money I saved on parking and petrol helped with the inflated prices. Not to mention the time saved as well and managing 12km worth of exercise. No better way to begin the Rabbit Year by hopping and leaping on a bike, don't you think?