Sunday, February 4, 2018

Rider Profile Gil Russel




Hi I am Gil and I like to share my cycling story.
This is the long winded version starting from US.... If u like to know my SG ver... u can scroll down lower :)
I started biking seriously in 1982. I had a top of the line low end bike. It was a 10 speed Murray. I bought it at Toys R Us. I think i spent like $100 for it back then. At that time I only starting to bike and was not riding much, maybe 10 miles a week if I was lucky.
My life changed drastically in 1983 when i ended up divorced. I moved to Hollywood Florida and had no car. My work was 12 miles from my home to my work, which was 24 miles each day, rain or shine. There were some very cold mornings in the winter to ride. I did this for 18 months. After that I still road but not nearly as much. In 1986 I developed some sort of Lung disease and went from riding regularly to not being able to walk across the hanger (less than 50 meters) without running out of breath.
In 1987 I moved from Florida to Oregon, changer of jobs. I still had my team Murray but was not riding much. In 1992 I signed up for the MS150 bike ride. I needed to get support and pledges for the $200 entry and that I did. I started training I was riding most evenings after work. I was building up my strength and endurance.

The event was the Best Dam Bike Ride. Started in Troutdale, Oregon and went up the old scenic highway in the Columbia Gorge. The dam part of it was when we crossed over the Columbia River at Bonneville Dam. This continued up the gorge to Hood River. We then turned south and headed up the back side of Mt Hood (elevation 3,429 m) we stopped at Odell (220 m) for the night. I must clarify that this was a fully supported ride and transport of camping equipment and all meals and water stops provided. The next morning started after a carbo loaded breakfast and it was back in the saddle. Up and up and up some more, I remember telling myself one more peddle one more step, I was hoping for a lower gear but I was at the bottom already. I finally crested with a much needed lunch stop. After the quick lunch it was all downhill from Government Camp (1,346 m), ending up in Gresham (99 m). That was the fun part. Well I had accomplished my goal to complete the MS 150. Not in record time but I finished. 

Two years later i did another MS150 but it was not nearly as challenging or as much fun as the first. The route was from Portland, Oregon to the Coast. Don’t get me wrong it was a fun ride. During this time I completed another ride. I convinced a work college to ride to the beach. The event was called Reach the Beach. After this I just occasionally rode and did not do anymore supported rides. In 2007 I accepted a position in Sydney Australia. I did not ship my team Murray so after living in Newington for about a year and having so many trails to ride in the Olympic Park I purchased my first MTB. Again nothing flash just a solid Fluid MTB, I think it was $299. I was riding randomly, but nothing real serious.

Here is the Singapore leg and what lies ahead...
2014 my company moved me to Singapore, I moved into a condo in Marine Parade and love that I was so close to East Coast Park. I dusted off the old Fluid and started riding a little. I then found the LCSG face book page and soon joined in a few rides. Seeing they would do rides in the |West i bought a foldie. Not knowing much about them i just bought one online and again $299 was my price. I have managed to put a lot of miles on is Apollo 5 bike. I preferred my Fluid over the foldie but it allowed me to take the MRT to the west to join in more rides. I continued riding more just on the weekends but was getting out more often.
Left and after cycling actively
Beginning in 2017 my wife and I both decided to start doing life differently in order to lose weight. I started biking every morning, starting at 10 km a day, and started using Lose It to track some weight the amount of food I was eating. I had topped out at 120kg and decided to get serious about losing. By May, I was feeling and looking healthier, in large part due to the daily exercise, (now increased to 20 km per day) which was helping me lose inches, even if the weight loss was slow.
The photos above show me at a few lbs above my goal weight on 10/11/17. I have lost a total of 76 lbs. I continues to bike, tracking a total of 4800 km in 2017. I continue to track me food with Lose It daily since February I am confident that I can maintain my current weight following the simple Code Red lifestyle of clean eating (cutting sugar out), drinking water, and sleeping.



I joined the TOGO Half challenge last fall and killed it. I ended up first finisher and as a prize i now have a Dura foldie bike. I am pleased with the performance of this bike and tend to split my time between it and the longevity Trek bike I received from the company. To date my longest single day ride is 102km with a monthly goal of 550km.
I don’t ride for speed I don’t like riding on the street, give me the PCN anytime.






What are some of my plans for the future? I will be returning to the USA the end of 2019, with the plan to retire fully shortly after that. That being said, my biking in the future has Cycle Oregon (https://www.facebook.com/CycleOregon/) on the horizon. Another sponsored ride that crosses Oregon in 5 days. Another is the STP (Seattle to Portland https://www.cascade.org/rides-major-rides/kaiser-permanente-stp-presented-alaska-airlines). Another bigger dream ride for me is BRAN (Bike Ride Across Nebraska http://bran-inc.org/wp/). Why Nebraska you ask, my birth state. Haha.  Thats my story and if u like to ride me, pls contact me at my FB https://www.facebook.com/gr29488. Happy cycling! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The making of Bamboo Kar


Sharing a very memorable time where a group of us, came after work to make this happen.
Planning took afew days but the most amazing thing was the cooperation during the fabrication.... winging it as we went along. If u like to see the final rolling Bamboo kar, u can!
See u at Carfreesundaysg on the 28th Jan 2018 at the padang! 


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Find the correct Boom distance for Lightning P-38 Recumbent

Its been raining non stop for the past 4 days and its not a ideal condition to ride. So I setup my trainer at my living room. To adjust the boom of the Lightning P-38 Recumbent. The first longish ride, I felt the distance was abit too short ( I move the boom all the way in). And this time I adjusted it 1 cm longer and tried out. It felt better but I am not too sure. Can recumbents and bike experts give me some advice? Thanks. 
Here's some of the video of the adjusted boom length.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lightning P-38 Recumbent

P-38 at Punggol end 
Recumbent bicycles are not readily available in Singapore and while I do have a few friends who own them, its not so easy to try riding one.  I was looking for a comfy version, something like what uncle KC had
Uncle KC and his KingsCycle Bent 

With google and Face book, it was easy and fascinating to read up on the design, development of the recumbents aka "Bents". So cool to see many people tinkered and made their own bents. I wish I got the time and garage space to do it. 
Here's the local SG bent community if u are looking for folks to cycle together.   Just for sharing, here are some link I read up on. 
Reading up, I noted one of the brand that had a long illustrated history is Lightning Dynamics cycle which you can read more in the company link.  
They reminded me of Alex Moulton, Bike Friday or the earlier days of Brompton company. I felt it was a company that was wholeheartedly into the recumbent product. Not too good at marketing. Just look at the retro website...  BUT if u look beyond, THEY have been around for a long time.  They seem to be folks who are out to make a good product and they KNOW recumbents. 
I really like the position of "sofa couch, nothing too dramatic or low slung(ferrari like). Just something comfortable to ride around and for long distances.  Anyway, I had too much bikes and it was just in the back of my mind.  I didn't really do much nor look around. Maybe a few emails to secure a 2nd hand overseas and that didn't worked out... mainly due to the shipping aspect.  It helped when it wasn't available or that u can visit a Bent shop in Singapore... haha... so I thought.   
Until we went for our year end holiday to Tokyo and Osaka. Frankly, 2017 was a really busy year with Momo at P4 and I changed job to Design in toilet/ bath space. So did not have much time to ride with LCSG this year sadly. We kind of booked the tickets , accommodation and just wing it using Trip advisor + Siri.  
At Kyoto, after visiting the deers and temples, we got some extra time and went to visit Loro Kyoto which wasn't too far away from we were. 

I researched earlier and they have a range of bends at hand around Asian. This is the place to go... I felt would be good to "check it out".  And hahah yes, after a while of test fit...  I got the P-38! 
It was too bulky to "bring back" myself and Yagi san help to arrange the shipping to Singapore. Thank you very much for your help Yagi San! 
The bike was hanging on the wall! That's Yagi san of Loro Kyoto 
After 16 days, it finally arrived to our sunny island on a friday evening. I spent about 2 hours unwrapping the meticulous packed bike and installing it. Referring to the photos, it wasn't too difficult and the next day early morning did some test ride around my neighbourhood park.  It took me about 5 min to be able to ride it wobbly around. It's a very different feeling and muscle group. I think I need more time to get used to it.  
Still, happy like a bird and looking to more rides with this bike! 
Here's how it came in and some photos of riding around the PCN. 
That's how it came to SG

Every part was neatly packed and wrapped with bubble wrap. The fork also had the anti crush support. Nice. 

The front fork 

Main body with steering column 

After 2 hours... its ready to ride! 





Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dan and Vickie from US with a tandem riding round Singapore


Left to right Vickie, Dan, Mr Tandem Lim and wife @ CarfreeSunday event

I was pleasantly surprised afew weeks ago that a couple from US Colorado took all this effort to bring their Tandem bicycle to Singapore.  They met Mr Lim at Carfreesunday who introduced them to LCSG.  This are some of the posting they shared at LCSG FB and I am so happy they are enjoying our sunny island on tandem bicycle. https://www.facebook.com/groups/lovecyclingsg/search/?query=Dan%20Reagin
If you see them cycling around, pls wave them and say hello! 
This is also a good encouragement for our hardworking folks at Nparks, LTA and URA who are doing their part to make SG a better place to live and ride. Folks.... check what he got to say...
"Several people told us it did not make any sense to bring our bicycle, let alone our TANDEM bicycle, to Singapore for our one month stay. Upon arrival we fell in love with Singapore straight away. We love the Island and the city. We love cycling here and are very happy that we decided to bring our tandem with us. I guess we just love cycling no matter where we are. Special thanks to Tandem Lim and Karin for taking us under their wing during our first ride in SG and showing us the ropes. We have found the cycling community in SG to be world class. We ❤️ Singapore "
Dan from US with his Tandem bicycle! 

I know it's not perfect and we got lots to do...  Let's keep on rolling!





Saturday, October 21, 2017

Passing it forward, momo old strawberry bike

Momo has out grown her strawberry bike and we decided to pass it on. to another kid who might need it.  So we posted the give away bike and her small red helmet at Lovecyclingsg Facebook and Mr Koh helped to collect for her friend's 4 year old daughter. 
I think it fits her perfectly! Happy cycling Shirley! 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cycling Profile - Bernard Tan

My name is Bernard Tan and I work as a business consultant for Amadeus Hospitality.
I like to share my cycling story.
My first memory of cycling is when I was a primary school kid. I vaguely remembered that I have learnt how to ride a bicycle during my primary school days, however, I have never own a bike. From then till late teen, I only ride a bicycle very occasionally and have never been on a bike when I start working in the early mid 80’s.

I started cycling again back in 2012. The people who triggered the interest are Derrick Yeow and Gracie Koh. Derrick was my ex-colleague from my work at a hotel and Gracie is his wife. I have knew both of them for a long time but wasn’t in contact. Both of them bought a Dahon foldable bike each and start “jioing” me to buy a bike and join their rides. I wasn’t really interested in cycling but after a while, I gave in to their persistent persuasion. When I was ready to buy a bicycle, I told him that my budget was maximum of $500 only. I remembered vividly we went to Lifecycle @ Gemmil lane. I saw some Dahon and Tern…. And I left with a Tern that cost $1200. 
Totally busted my budget and tightened my belt for quite a while. I remembered in the initial days after I bought my bike, I used to take the MRT to Punggol to ride with Derrick & Gracie around Punggol Waterway. But not too long, just a few months later, I was riding my Tern round island, and almost every weekend, I am doing a round island. I even packed it  for some of my overseas work trips.  The poor Tern was really used a lot and after 2 years, I decided to sell it off.  
My Tern looking at the ocean
I just used the Tern box to bring it overseas. Its not glam but it works 
I was looking for a new folding bike and the one brand name that I heard the most is Brompton and many of my friends had it. More importantly, it seems like it was really easy to fold and easy to pack for traveling.   The thing I was really concerned was the price, 2k+ for a folding bike. But after some consideration and ‘poison’ by fellow cyclists, I decided to go for it. And yes, I got myself a Brompton in June 2014 and it has since become my ‘workhorse’! 
I am not your usual Brompton rider. I don't “zng” my bike for looks. I just change out the parts which makes the ride more comfortable. Like the Ergon grips, MKS pedals, saddle etc. The rest of my bike is totally stocked. The bike is like a tank and it just keeps going, even after much ‘abused’

I have ridden to many places like a loop around Taiwan, parts of Japan and Europe with a super duper skater Adrian Oh.  I like riding long distances alone or with a buddy as it helps me do personal reflection and it’s quite meditative.  Sometimes, I will also join LCSG ride as it is good to catch up with kakis and chat up.  But mostly I am still a loner who likes a lot of “me time”. 
My kakis for the Ride for Ration 1K ride
Rolling with my team for a good deed
Most recently, I have done the Ride for Rations 1K ride. This is a fund raising event and the main cycling event is Malacca to Singapore in 2 days, a total of 240km. However, I have joined a group of 6 fellow cyclists to cycle a total of 1000km in 9 days, including the main event from Malacca to Singapore. It was a good experience for me as I have never cycle with a group in a constant rolling speed of 20-25kph. Besides the fun-filled 9 days of cycling, we also raised money for Sunlove Home, which Ride for Rations supported.
Bike to work
I don’t really cycle to work in my previous offices as there is no shower facility in the buildings. However, our office moved last December to a brand new building in Tanjong Pagar with shower room in each floor. This is how it looks... and yes I really feel very lucky!
My brompton tucked away in a office corner
This is my office shower. 
I have started to bike to work more frequently this year and about 3 – 4 times each week. 
I live in Woodlands and the total commute each way to my office is approximately 30km. I ride on the road for the entire commute from Woodlands – Yishun – Sembawang – Upper Thomson – Thomson – Balestier – Rangoon – North Bridge Road – South Bridge Road – Tanjong Pagar. I agreed that the some motorists can be quite intimidating on Singapore road. But I think it is the same in every country, cyclists on the road just need to exercises extra caution and be focus to be safe. I started riding when the sky is still dark, thus it is important to have both front and rear lights on while riding. I also wear high-viz T shirt while riding to work. 
I really enjoy cycling now as it is my only form of exercise and I get to cycle to every corner of Singapore and also in foreign land. As for cycling to work, I don’t have to get squeezed in the train, not have to worry about train breaking down, and best of all, I save a few bucks every day! Hope this can inspire u to cycle and perhaps cycle commute! 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cycling to Taekwondo class

If you follow my blog, you would realise that the entries have slowed down somewhat. Its because of work, family commitments  which also changes my weekend routine.  The Sunday schedule is 0900 at Jiang Lao Shi(chinese class), followed by Concept maths at 1300 and then Taekwondo(TKD) at 4pm for my girl. Yah I know what u thinking... damn kia Su right....Thats SG for u.  
The good thing for our busy weekends is we use the MRT/uber/ and I get to chat with her during travelling transitions.... 
TKD is at Punggol Safra and its about 2 km from our home.  It's just a easy ride and one that I enjoy with Momo.  I also feel very lucky as there's a short cut to Punggol Safra using the Punggol  waterway PCN. The path is also some what widened and its easier to ride for newbies, children. Frankly, it's nothing epic but its quite a nice ride which I treasure. A short but precious time with my little(maybe not too little now) one. 
Here's some photos of the journey from home to Punggol Safra.  What about you and have integrated some form of cycling into ur lives?  
Ready to ride! 

Can we go now? 

TKD finally over and on our way home

Momo roll up the right trousers so that it will not be caught in the chain ring 

Selfie when we ride....  I think next time we use the RE camera instead. 

Momo very comfortable on a bike 

Approaching the junction, the speed strips informs you to slow down. 

Good advice.  Lets look out before crossing. 

Reached home in no time 

I need a cold drink.. its so hot today!