Friday, November 30, 2012

I was a roadie once!

Back here in Singapore, I was looking at some old pics with my father and I came across an album put together during my uni days in Eugene, Oregon way way back in the 1980s. As the campus is rather large, riding a bike is the best way to get to lectures etc.

Like all uni students on a tight budget, I got myself a cheap charlie roadie by Huffy for about US$100 brand new. It served me well but it was more functional than anything else. At that time, I could not be fussy as it was a long walk or a short bike ride to classes.

I think it lasted me till nearly the end of my studies when it got stolen. I couldn't believe it when it went missing as one pedal has dropped off and only one brake was working. Guess it was my fault as I didn't bother to lock it. It was hard to believe that anyone would want this bike but...

Though I lost a bike, I gained many great friends and up to today, they still remain my closest buddies even though we may be living in different parts of the world.

Proverbs 17:17 - Friends love through all kinds of weather,
and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turning 5!

What is the life span of a bicycle blog? Ecovelo, the famous bicycle blog which I'm a great fan took a hiatus after 3.5 years, so I guess going on 5 for Lovethefold is not bad for me, stationed in this quiet part of the world. However in that short time, Alan and Michael have put in 3320 posts, which means 1 posting every 3 days and that requires serious commitment. No wonder they needed a break.

I started LTF on 26 Nov 2007 as an expression of my passion in foldies and to keep a personal account of my adventures on and off the saddle. My postings are about once a week, sometimes more depending on my mood. On this 5th anniversary, I guess its always good to reflect on what this blog has achieved.

I am humbled that viewership has grown from 6000 last year to about 8000 now with Singapore and USA making 70% of the audience. It is always exciting to make new friends through our common love and Lovethefold has provided the platform for that. I hope the postings so far has been mildly inspirational for you to just go out there and enjoy the wonderful world our Creator has given us to explore and savor. One of the blessings that has come forth is the meeting of truly wonderful like-minded people, some who have become my firm friends.

I have done quite a few exciting rides this year and each was special in their own regard. They are:

Jan - Northern Thailand Winter Ride with Chris, Roland, Mike, Uncle Teo, Mary, Kimy, Hong, Matt, Andrea, Steven & KC.

March - Taiwan with the LCSG group of 21 folks total.

Apr - Remember Paul Lim 1st Anniversary ride in Singapore with 100 riders.

June - Kundur/Karimun Indonesia with KC.

July - Ipoh to Penang, Malaysia with Papa, Ying Chang, Joshua, KC, Christoph & Mike Khor (finally got to meet this legend!)

Sep - Batam Barelang Bridge ride, Indonesia with Ying Chang and KC.

Oct - 50th bday ride, Albany to Walpole, Australia with Rod, Ken and Kenneth

However, the one that left an indelible print on my heart must be the 3275m climb to Wulin in Taiwan. I never saw such beauty before me, its like New Zealand and Switzerland scenery combined, great Chinese food and Japanese hospitality all combined in one.

Throw in the bicycle friendly culture and infrastructure (all 7-11s, Police Stations have free water & bike tools), this is bike mecca. The best ride without the right people would be meaningless but we were blessed to have old and new friends who were gracious, fun and super helpful. It was also special to finish the climb with my wife, Celia (a Physio), who encouraged me to press on despite the pain in my right knee. She said, "Go ahead and complete it, I will fix it later." Though it took a long 3 months for the recovery of the knee, it was so so worth it.

Looking ahead as far as trips are concern, I have these 2 confirmed in sight.

Dec - Batam, Bintan & Barelang with the Dream Team

Jan 2013 - Cambodia to Vietnam ride

True to my promise to only buy one bike a year, as my stable is getting a little crowded, I got this time a 18kg Prodeco Mariner 7 e-foldie. It may be porky by normal bike standards, but this is one of the lightest e-foldies around. I have always been fascinated by technology and the application of e-power on a bicycle platform has made this a very serious form of transportation with a huge twist of fun!

Of course riding it I face daily expressions of concern from purists that I am "selling out", but I repeat to them to not consider this as a bicycle. Rather, its a replacement for the car/bus/motorbike. Four words - Green, nearly free to run, fairly fast & buckets of fun. It can give serious exercise workout too, if one uses it unassisted due to its weight. When not in use, it gets tucked away inconspicuously.

What do I look forward to next year? Well, Lovethefold HQ will be re-located from beautiful Perth, Australia to the exciting city of Singapore. Being at the epicentre of Asia, it will be a stone's throw from the best cycling destinations and I intend to take full advantage of that so hopefully, that will be translated into even more exciting postings next year.

I trust that this will take Lovethefold to a different plain but I do hope I will be able to find the time to share the fun with you. Truth be told, blogging do takes a big chunk of time, at least for me. Thank you once again for riding with me online wherever you are through these 5 years. I'm don't know how long this blog will last but I know it will be very alive and kicking come 2013.

Ride safe and whatever plans you may have for 2013, I wish you God's richest blessings especially on your own bicycle journeys in your part of the world! O ya, did I mention I turned 5-0 this year too?

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.  Proverbs 16:3

Monday, November 26, 2012

What if money didn't matter?

I think this video is telling us we need to tour more on our foldies.... There will be a day when I cannot move anymore because of old age etc and I want to look back and say, wow, I have lived a full life, did lots of bike rides with great friends, saw beautiful places/nature/culture and hopefully, made the world a little better. Life is short folks!

What are your thoughts on this?

You don't know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.  James 4:14

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The perfect way to Cafe

Ken and I tried a new cafe today at Lake St, Perth called Tarts - Gourmet foods. We took the opportunity to go there after running an errand in the city. On our Prodeco e-foldies, we arrived in the city fresh and took only 30 mins. We enjoyed just letting the motor do all the work as I was feeling a bit tired after a full on weekend, and the journey to the city is always so beautiful.

At one intersection in the city, a guy on a bike pulled beside Ken and shouted "I'm sticking with you!' unsure if he was friendly or just being funny. We could see he was trying to keep up when we darted off, huffing and puffing away, and he shouted "Wait for me!" But we had a bad feeling about this and did not hang around to find out.

Tarts Cafe is one of many lovely European style cafes in the city. It will take us a long time to explore each one, but we are not on a schedule. The kind waitress told us that if we "liked" them on Facebook, we could get free tarts. So always game for free stuff, we got online only to discover that our reward is possibly the world's smallest tart!

Well, at least the service was bright and cheery and we could park our bikes right beside our table. Some folks came over to admire our e-foldies and I reckon this is the perfect way to explore any cafe.