Monday, November 23, 2015

Testing of the Life paint

This friday we will trial the life paint with 30 riders and I thought its better to do a "guinea pig" on myself or my stuff for that matter. I was assisted by my little girl Momo.  We tested a black fabric bag, Long board, shoes and helmet.
To make it more interesting, I did a heart shaped template(for obvious LCSG reason) to see how it would turn out. Just look at the instructions, shake the can for 1 min and spray it on. Thats it.
For light source, I used a small torch light to shine and the effect was not too good. But I am sure if a car headlight shines on it the surface, it would be really bright and reflective.

Take away after the test , Life paint works better on fabric, porous surfaces. It does not do well on smooth glossy surface like helmet or bike frames. Very easily the coating will come off. This are the photos of the test in action.  Want to try it out yourself, come on by here   Do bring a bag, tee to try it out. See u friday evening!
testing with Momo
in the night shadow with out the life paint 

Simple heart template 
Spray it!
Effect using a small torch light
Using flash photography 
Trying it on my long board 
Adrian Oh, this is for u! 
I spray my old helmet and its flaky. I don't think it work well. Perhaps its because of the water based formulation 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Engage to make SG a better, safer place to cycle

As cycling becomes more pervasive in Singapore, there will be invariably tensions arising from the common use of path and pavements.  This issues have been raised several times for many years and we see a slow progress. Its moving beyond a class room focus group setting to an experiential one. That is to role play the proposals. Its a good approach! 
Now I have been asked why I am so supportive and positive about all the focus group by LTA. Well, it because I see a change. I really do. Slowly (abit too slow for me) but surely.
There is a Active Mobility dept set up in LTA  with dedicated resource to make things better. This is a big big improvement compared to being cyclist's interest being sidelined in the view of other matters previously. Here's the dept contact which can be found on 

 Sometimes in my conversation with folks on this topic, I sense an air of skepticism. It's definitely taking a long time and understandably frustrating. And many doubts on how it's all not going to work.
I just have this to say.  
Let's be positive. The time for cyclists is to engage fully with the agencies. It might seem like it's taking forever but every step forward is another step closer to a better cycling condition.  
Please don't give up. I know its not easy and lets keep trying. If not for us, for our next generation. 
Please also note its not going to be solely consideration only  for cyclists  but for the  whole community at large. That means pedestrians, elderly and the children.  
We can chose to be  part of the solution and keep moving the needle. Or continue to simply whine about whats not good and be a couch potato critic. Your call. 
I have signed up for the 30th Nov slot, hope to see you there. And to those who are already signed up. Thank you for all the efforts, time to help make things happen.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lifepaint by Volvo comes to Singapore

This is one cool initiative by Volvo sometime back and I must say I was quite impressed by it (when I saw it in the internet). 
Essentially it is a reflective paint that can be sprayed on safely on clothing, skin, bicycle. It is transparent in the daylight and when in a dark setting, with a light source shined on, the surface will reflect back the light. Its one pretty nifty passive safety measure.  
Like many of us, I was impressed but there were no other information how or where to get it. And I kind of left it at that. 
This is a good video on how the life paint is supposed to work and why Volvo did this initiative as part of their CSR effort. 

A few months past and one fine day I received a very friendly tip off from Tony who wanted to connect me with Volvo. It was about life paint! I was gobsmacked and very touched by his gesture. 
It also validated the trust and the good work of Lovecyclingsg. 
We have been working as a community to improve the safety of cyclists by many means. 
From organising regular rides so that there are safety in numbers and the newer riders can learn from the experienced riders. We also did a collaborative mapping of road dangers and even documented the accidents in a bid to help bring awareness to the more dangerous spots for cyclist. 
In addition, LCSG have also regularly supported of Nparks team in numerous ride events. There are simply too many initiatives started by the community and it's simply awesome! Dear LCSG folks, I am really amazed and proud of you! 
So...I have a batch of life paint we will try this out the following week with LCSG  Event details here. 

Disclosure: Volvo Singapore provided the life paint FOC to Lovecyclingsg and there are no other form of compensation in exchange for the editorial coverage. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

We ride as one

This photo taken by uncle KC at LCSG trip to Coney island made me smile. It showed exactly what we are trying to promote. 
Its never about the bikes. Small wheels, big wheels, fat bike, road bike, MTB, foldies of all brands are welcome in Lovecyclingsg. Keeping it real! Well done people!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Changes are coming, slowly, but surely. Thank you Shimano and Nparks!

Good things are happening in Singapore! This is a series of bike repair station sponsored by Shimano at our Nparks PCN areas. This is really awesome, especially so for the casual cyclists who might need some assistance for their bikes. It features allen keys, screw drivers, wrenches the sort of stuff that can help you out when u have some loose parts on your bicycles.  Esp cool is also the addition of a foot pump. Very nice!
A very happy surprise at Track 15 (mandai area) for the MTB lovers! 

Allen keys and wrenches! 
foot activated Pump

Terrence is a happy man!   

This is at NSRCC beside the water cooler.  A very regular stop point for cyclist. Spot on Nparks and shimano!!
I would be the first to admit readily that more can, should be done for cyclists.  But then again, I am of the thinking that we should also be part of the solution, giving ideas and helping out where ever we can. I am especially happy when I see companies stepping up to contribute back to the environments. Such is the effort which Shimano have embarked on. They did it so quietly and humbly. I am impressed. Thank you Shimano for the heart for cyclists and helping make it a pleasant ride journey for riders! 
Lastly to all riders, these are kind gestures from Nparks and Shimano. Please treasure and take good care of them.
**Photo credit Terence Yap and Clay (LCSG community) 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Family trip to Penang...with a brompton in a bag

For the SG jubilee week, we took a relaxed trip to Penang. Naturally I had to bring my foldie along.  Not for the campaign for a lane event but basically as a effective way to get around to see the sights. This was how I did it using the bag by Vincita. Deflate abit of air from the tyres.. put the brompton in. Zip up and go. 
packing my Brompton in the Vincita Bag 
hand pump, cage and multitool kit
Cayla and Momo posing with SG favorite food - Chicken rice @ Changi airport 
It took us 1 hr flight time from Singapore to Penang. Flying via budget air was uneventful but pleasant. Landed in Penang and we went searching for a late lunch. 
Desmond and Cayla leading the way
Penang street has lots of art that shares with u the information of the street in a art/fun way
This was our 2nd visit to Penang. What I like about it was the street food and also the electic art murals that are spread around the old historical area. Old and grity but it somehow draws me closer to it. Anyway, here's some photos of the street food.
a typical roadside stall @ Penang
Food tastes best with company dont u think?
Char kway tiao - sorry for the blur photo ... I was shaking with excitment
so lovely kway tiao soup. 
Needless to say, we stuffed ourselves silly with CKT, wanton noodle and many many goodies. Reflecting on the food, I felt the one that was most memorable was actually the simple Kway tiao soup at Bangkok Lane.
It's really hard to have a simple dish that can stand out among so many good food. I felt it did because it was simple, honest cooking. We asked the lady what was the "magic". She told us, they had to put the pig bones, and whole duck to make the soup base. It will take several hours and later on, shred the duck meat. The fish ball was also manually made. Not bought off the super market."Alot of work but ok lah.... " The lady said. 
Look out for this stall at Bangkok lane
shy owners when we gave them a thumbs up for the super noodle soup. They were smiling ear to ear!
There is really a lot of pride in what they do. And this is sadly not the case in Singapore local street food. I think our reputation for having best street food paradise in Asia have been overtaken by cities like Penang. Really.
Coming back to cycling bit in Penang. 
When you go on family trip, one of the way you can get some cycling is to wake up early. Do an hour or so and by the time you come back, it's just nice for breakfast. Easy and relaxing. 
The early morning light also gives the town a nice tone
Stay lighted on the rear
beautiful art that complements the gritty rundown environment. 

trishaw for carry goods. Eco and cheap.
Best of all if you want to earn more brownie points for your next bicycle or bike adventure, offer to pick up all the stuff your missus wants and carry it back via the bicycle. Its really effective!
uncle painting over the old coffee tins
Local kopi brand
carrying coffee orders for the missus - photo credit Desmond
Looking at the town, I also noted that there were more and more hipster cafe sprouting up like wild mushrooms.... like this one. 
cafes like this can be found all over Penang....
Frankly, I am not sure if this is a good thing. I feel that alot of the original Penang lifestyle is being hollowed up, making way for yet another hotel or cafe. As I admired the creativity of the art mural
pieces and nice fancy cafes, I could see many elderly sitting in a corner, looking dazed and empty. They must be wondering...."what the hell is happening to my community"  
The irony of me writing this is that I am also guilty of intruding to their space and lifestyle. :(
old uncle trying to get by collecting cardboard and drink cans. 
What would be a good balance of keeping the old and introducing the new? I hope the people of Penang would be wise enough not to milk the golden goose too much. And this is something we should also reflect on for our sunny island. Are we also going to fast too soon? What are your thoughts? I love to hear from you.
My photos link of the nice experience here 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Personal mobility for all

Sharing a few photos I took a few years ago while I was in Taiwan, riding my bicycle. This is an image of my friend Nick "racing" with an ah Ma. At that moment, I simply thought it was just an cool and hilarious moment. 
Recently, in Singapore we are seeing some encouraging progress on active mobility. This was in the news yesterday.  Once again another survey. This was a Singapore National strategy being discussed for cycling way back in 2012. 
in the news

It feels it's taking forever.. however I do understand its a rather complex issue as it involves many parties. I really wish the rules or rather the forming on code of conduct can be accelerated. My biggest fear is given the popularity of cycling currently, the odds on a cycling related accidents would likely to increase if its a "status quo". 
Personal mobility devices mentioned in the news.   Screen grab from Chanelnewasia
But taking a step back and looking at the progress, I do agree that it is going in the right direction for a more livable city.
As I reflect on the news article, my thoughts drifted to the above images. I thought of the elderly and the use personal mobility devices. They also serve to give mobility back to those who might not be able to do so. The ah Mas and ah Gongs, who we see at times just sitting at the void decks looking emptily into space. Imagine if they have the personal capacity to move around. Even if its just around the neighborhood. How much difference in their life it would make. 

Yes, I also know that there are many of  E-bike, E-scooters who are creating a nuisance on our pavements, zooming too fast in high human traffic areas. That aside, they are really nifty and useful. Esp to closing the last mile issue. I wrote my thoughts here some time back too. 
While the latest news talk about rule and code of conduct. I also hope that the infrastructure can be made more friendly and considered for the elderly and handicapped. For once, I hope our LTA mobility team perhaps try a wheel chair for a day. Or a bicycle user for a day. Try cycling to work. Not just plan/ design in office environment.  I feel that this would really help them to understand the issues the users face.  
These are not glamorous topic and the journey for improvement would be a long and ongoing one. In the meantime, let's also do our part to feedback if we see obstacles and if we have ideas to make our environment more connected and seamlessly.  Pls don't just complain or bitch. Take a photo and send it in to MSO if you don't know who to send it to. 
After all, we all will grow old too. Someday. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Oldie Trek 830 rides on!

As small as it can get. 

I will admit readily that I am an "Garang Guni" (odds and end collector) of sorts. Actually I have a sort of affinity/soft spot with steel bikes. Especially around the time of early 90s, late eighties. Thinking about it, I guess it must be not being able to afford one then. I was just a student and there wasn't quite enough money to buy a bicycle. Sometimes, I would see some really nice flashy KHS montana or the very cool Trek or Bridgestone (read here by one of my local hero who sadly passed on)  some times around my neighbourhood. They were really really out of my reach then.....  In a different league. 
The super cool KHS Montana with disc... John Tomac! - Photo Credit
This was the ride I had. It was a Shimano branded racing bicycle which I rode everywhere.  Amazing thinking about it how little stuff we need to ride. :) 
Anyway... fast forward to the present times, I happened to see an old trek 830 while hunting for parts to do my art installation in Feb.   This is what I did eventually. 
The initial plan was to make it a single speed, reduce/ remove all items unnecessary. Just a nice simple bike to ride along the PCN, eat roti prata.  Stripping down the bike to frame was the easy part. The tough part that made me sweat was the Bottom Bracket. The years spend sitting in the rain, muck and all did the job. It was stuck like the magical excalibur embedded in a big rock. I tried and failed. 
Gave up and got the magical hands of Dr Sulaiman and John Chan to help get that fixed. They also helped to install a new headset as the old one were quite bad shape.  The rest of the parts was simply salvaging stuff I had from previous bikes. Over the period of several months, I just worked on the bike slowly.  It's still missing some parts like the bolt binder for the seat post. And many parts could do with abit of autosol, fine sandpapering to make it nicer. Here's a comparison of how acbit of time, love and effort that can make the bike run a hell lot better. 
This is how it looked then
This is how it looks now. 
Today, I finally took it for a roll downstairs. It was really nice. The raised nitto stem and swept back bars made it super comfy. 
Shod with the Swalbe big apples, the ride was a plusy cushy feel. This bike is not a race MTB but rather a crusing bike specially for that PCN and roti prata run.  Check out the photos! 
Salvaged from an old bicycle shop. It was 6 speed but if u use friction mode... they can still work 
Abit... ok alot of elbow grease to make it shiny once more 
cleaned up Shimano STX rear D! Period correct :)  I think can still polish it out more
Yeap... need more fine sanding and autosol. Behind is a total new BB which Rebound centre helped install
This baby has a nice sweep that makes u smile and smell the roses 
They are not fast but extremely plush and comfy. 
Nice wooden handle bar plug from brooks that was left over from previous project

Now, why would anyone go through all this trouble? 
I guess, its just the magic of making the old even better then new.  And sure, its alot more trouble but the old bicycles have a unique patina that cannot be replicated. Like folks driving that old mini. Its a special feeling. They don't build bike like that any more. 
Now, are there some kindred spirits that like these kind of things?  Love to hear your stories and comments. 
And yes, u will see him at the LCSG sunday rides!