Friday, June 10, 2016

Rider Profile Eugene Wang and TNers

Cycling was put behind me for almost 4 years after my accident along Mandai road, lost and forgotten until I moved into a place in the North called The Nautical (TN).
It never occurred to me that our place is surrounded by PCN and many places of interest. On 28th Feb 2016, a lazy Sunday morning, one of my neighbors suggested that we go for a short morning breakfast ride, just the 3 of us.
I am the one with the cool pink Singlet! 
After the ride, this idea struck us to “jio” (invite) some ‘谈得来’ (nice) neighbors for a short ride, thus the journey of TNers (Residents of TN) began. Our first group ride fell on 6th Mar, a short ride (less than 15km) from our place to Sembawang Park, we visited the amazing Black and White house and the old mosque. Notice the equipment we had then and now are worlds apart.

More rides followed, to name a few,
  • Night rides (Seletar Loop)
  • Punggol Waterway
  • ECP F2 carpark to Changi Village
  • Bishan Park
  • Zoo and Sembawang Hot Spring
  • Woodland Park
  • MBS, F1, Merlion
Later, kids got involved, we planned all rides on PCN for safety reasons. They are thrilled and always looking forward to weekend rides, waking up at 5am waiting for the event to start.

We also did seen and be seen ride as a group and it was really nice. 

The group grew, more and more TNers joined our (almost) weekly rides. Some creative neighbors who came out with unique designs for our first edition t-shirt for guys, ladies, kids and even a baby version, orange, turquoise, navy blue and yellow respectively
One of our biggest turn outs came close to 50 riders (The attractions we came across included Big Splash, Marina Barrage, MBS, Merlion, F1, Kallang River). I think we occupied nearly 25% of the sitting space of Old Town Restaurant during lunch.
As we grew, things started to fall in place, there were route planners, medics, logistics and transport planners, ‘makan’ organizers too. We even have an admin section to help announce our next trip, compiling the attendance list, places we are visiting, also some important key points, they are really professional. Some of our domestic helpers also join in the rides helping to look out for the kids and also get to have some exercise and enjoy the day with the TNers family. Our community spirits grew by leaps and bounced in such a short span of time.

Cycling builds towards a healthy lifestyle, also tags along with some special moments:
One of our youngest riders, a little 8 year old named Shai-ann, completed several 25km and more PCN routes with slopes, finished Mandai PCN on a 14’ single gear. That’s an achievement even many adults can’t compete with!

Another 9 year old, Kerryn, was unwell for the past 3 days but rode the entire 25km with a bike weighing a ton (in my opinion), I personally thought she would drop out but she was determined to make it to the finishing line……Steady!

Mr Alan, who just celebrated his 60th birthday, had a near death motorbike accident 8 years ago. He couldn’t ride for 10 mins without stopping when we first started. He was among the first few finishers who completed Mandai Slope to the Zoo just recently. This is very respectable!!

Our first biker’s casualty, he was injured skidding along Seletar Loop. A strong guy, with an iron leg, big lungs and a bigger heart. He is recovering well and will join us soon.

I get this a lot from my kaki about spreading ‘poison’, sometimes I’m just wondering how much ‘damage’ I caused, I meant for it as a constructive suggestion…..haha. True enough, the ‘poison’ started from borrowed bikes, rusty frames, broken spokes and non-functional gears giving way to lighter bikes, more efficient gears, some even started reading about parts and paying more attention to accessories. The ladies were discussing about their attires, matching with different colored shoes and helmet. Old bikes and those often regarded below par were slowly struck off and replaced by shining sub 10kg speed machines. It’s really getting into their heads.
Most of us are on foldies and small wheel bikes, flipping Carousell and Togoparts to upgrade parts and buy accessories became part of our favorite pastimes. For many without a single bike, till today, at least 3-4 bikes per family, some up to 6 in less than 2 months, the way I look at it, it’s contributing to the economy.

We started off as a bunch of jelly legs and ‘cannot make it” (CMI) riders, I remember our first ride to Mandai PCN, quite a handful turned pale when going up those steep slopes. In a short span of 3 months, most of us easily conquered the same route again, even the kids are racing ahead of us. A few daddies are carrying a load of more than 30kg of bikes and kids.

Cycling comes with many incentives, not only do we get to lose a few unwanted pounds, it also strengthens the bonds between neighbors. We have regular events such as BBQs, Birthday celebrations, Tea appreciation sessions, tasting each other’s tantalizing culinary works of art, daily chat groups which, if left unattended, could easily accumulate hundreds of messages in hours. Everyone would come together when someone “chut” (bought) new bike or some new accessories. It has now become a regular sight for kids riding in the compound in the evening abandoning the television and mobile games and to the extent of setting up their own ‘cycling gangs’ and chat groups.

Little did we realize, our actions discreetly promoted a scene not commonly found in today’s context ……. Kampong Spirits……… an intangible item that money can’t buy. Cycling becomes an avenue, an opening line or merely a reason to start a conversation. I had parents claiming that their TV is becoming a piece of furniture, no one is watching and it’s collecting dust. Telephone bills and data plan bills used to be high, but now do not exceed their subscription package. Kids would be running and cycling every evening, ladies are busy cooking up some “smell already also cannot tahan (resist) recipes and guys will be sitting around discussing on upgrading parts or a new bike project.

Eugene Wang

Thursday, March 17, 2016

More cyclists hurt in traffic accidents in 2015

Its 17 cyclists deaths in 2015 and I sincerely hope more can, will be done for making the environment safe for all.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rider Profile Stanley Lim

Me and my crew!
1)  Tell me about your day job and age Hi! I am Stanley! I am 38 years old this year. I am current a Communication cluster chief on board a frigate in Republic of Singapore Navy.
Cycling makes me happy and relaxed
2) What you feel about cycling? Cycling is one activity which makes me feel happy and relaxed after a day of hectic schedule and work. Personally, I will classified cycling into 2 category. First is leisure and social. I always look forward to Sunday LCSG where I can meet new friends and explore Singapore in a whole new manner. 2nd is fitness. I am a person who dislike physical activities. From the day I picked up this hobby, it has improved my health and fitness level. Not only did I managed to clear all my FFI and IPPT in a single attempt, I felt happier. (Maybe it is because of the adrenaline released)
3)  What was the first memory of u cycling? I was first exposed to cycling at the age of 6. On my birthday, my dad bought me a BMX (red). I was left in the basketball court to pick up the skill of cycling on my own. Within a day I managed to cycle around my neighbourhood. Knowing it's effective, I applied the same technique on my kids while I relaxed in a corner and surfed the net. True enough, the kids picked up cycling within 2 hours.
During my primary school days, my friend Weiqi and I will save our pocket money to rent a bike at Bishan park. Cost about $4 for 3 hours at that point of time. We will cycle as far as the bicycle can take us.
On 17 Apr 2012, I saw a newspaper article on a promotion for AEON foldable bike at $390. Managed to convinced my wife to take up this sport together and we went to "My Bike Shop" in the west to check it out. I got her a last piece of green AEON but didn't manage to get one for my own. As most of the economic bike were all out of stock, I got myself a Dahon D7. (In my personal opinion bike exceeding $200 are on the high end side compare to those in giant and Carrefour). The bike was upgraded (for efficiency) over time and is current passed on to my boy.
4)When you met LCSG – How was it like and how you meet us? - After I gotten my bike, I actively searched on Facebook for a group to join. I first came across PNR (just about 2months old) on Facebook. I decided to give it a try as its near my place. It was a joke that day. Saw one rider(Hardy) with a foldie at the traffic light and went forward to ask him. "Are you going for a group ride?" He answered" yes I am. You are a new rider? Come join me." I followed him to Popeye and gosh! There were so many groups gathering at Popeye. Without asking much as I am unsure, we rode with a group all the way to Jalan Kayu. I had a hard time playing catch up as they were travelling at at a speed of 20kmph. After sitting down chatting, I realised I joined the wrong group. Chelsea and Alan welcome me to their ride and join the group LCSG. At the moment of time i was like.... what the hell am I doing? They recommended me to LCSG page and that’s how I was exposed to this group. The first event I went with my friend Pyron was LCSG 2nd year Round island. All groups were formed however i went ahead to try, not knowing what i am up for and this word gate crash. Despite gate crashing, Taiwoon welcomed both of us with open arms. He advised us to join group 4 at speed 20kmph. That's one of the worst nightmare and toughest activity of my life. Despite the distance and heat, we managed to complete the round island (105km) with encouragement from the team mates. Andy did the most job. Poor Andy. That was the time, I started to join weekly LCSG ride and made lots of friends there. 
Doing the Epic ride
As time goes by, my passion for cycling grew. On 10 Oct 2013, I got myself a road bike (Lynskey R340) after multiple poison arrows from my kakis Pei Sze and gang. I started to do longer distance ride and events. The 2 major event I took part since then are EPIC 2014 and 2016. In this event we are required to ride 1000km (4 days) to raise funds for the kidney dialysis patient. Although it's tough, but for charity, why not. With this trusty titanium bike, we also start to ride further overseas and conquer mountains organised by our group (EGBC- Encik George bike club) led by Encik George Lim
With my friends cycling up Wulin!
After 2 years to road bike, I realised cycling is not about speed and distance. I decided to fall back to the root on where I first began. As I have passed on my Dahon to my son, I went to MIGHTY VELO to get myself a Brompton. The passion of cycling flows in again. Whenever I am sick and tired of the profile of a roadie, I will fall back on my Brompton taking life slow.
After 2 years of road biking, I decided to contribute back to LCSG. (This group made me love cycling). I requested from Taiwoon to host LCSG Friday weekly Round island for those interested to ride long distance. The focus will be for those who just took up road biking. It's a tiring task and I hope I can hold on and help as far as I can go till someone step up.
5. Your steel horses – names and more details The bikes I still have with me till date
BLUE STREAK- Dahon D7 born in 17 Apr 2012. Bike have been passed on to son.
FALCON1 – Lynskey R340 Titanium road bike born in 10 Oct 2013
DORAEMON– Brompton 6 speed born in 01 Apr 2014. - I always call my bike by name as I feel more closely knitted with them. Before I buy the bike the project name come first. The bike I choose have to be close to the project name I chose.
6. My favourite cycling kakis - Simply cycling friends, Mike, Peggy, Edwin are my usual kakis and of cos many of the LCSG regulars whom I had a chance to ride, chit chat and la kopi with.
My kakis  Clay, Edwin, Peggy and Mike
7. What I’ve learnt since Day 1 joining LCSG - LCSG is like a family to me. I gain lots of knowledge on bike skills, maintenance and history of Singapore better. I also learn to take care, lead and coach new cyclist to love cycling.
8) Where is your favorite stretch to ride? My favourite stretch to ride are Punngol park, MBS, Boat Quay and Orchard area regardless day or night.
9) Do u cycle-commute to work? If so can you share the route I only tried cycling to work twice. The route which I took is as follows: Punggol - Pasir Ris farmway- pasir Ris drive 3- loyang Ave - changi coastal road- tanah merah coast road - changi naval Base.
10) Would you want to cycle to work? Yes i would. The reason I hesitated to bike to work is because there are too many heavy vehicle on the one lane traffic at Tanah Merah coast road. Maybe will try again in the near future as I see that Npark have pathed a stretch of PCN all the way to Changi yatch club.
11) Do you cycle with your family and loved ones. Where do you ride? Yes. My kids always look out for new and fun rides in LCSG. When my boy and girl reach the age of 6, I brought them to a mini round island (80km). During the days where they have no tuition, I will bring them to ride with LCSG. The most recent ride with LCSG is riding to Vivo City from Punggol and then to Sentosa. They love it. Too bad my spouse do not like riding.
12) Any advice for folks just starting out?For those who just take up cycling, try to find a group of friends who share the same interest. This group of friends can jio you for makan or leisure rides. They are also motivators in your cycling journey. It's easier to hold this passion of yours with a group of friends sharing the same interest. Poison and cycling tips will flow in thereafter.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure and Cycling - Jon Wong

Diabetes and High Blood Pressure and Cycling
From Jon Wong 
In 2007 I was diagnosed to have high blood pressure at 150/90. In 2008 I was diagnosed by doctor I had symptoms of Diabetes type II. I was put on medication and controlled diet. Things did not get better due to work stress. I was sleepy at work and could not follow schedules at times. 
In 2010 I started taking up cycling seriously again, and cycled long distances and also MTB. My body weight reduced from 95kg down to 78kg linearly in a year, but still far from the 55kg donkey years ago (my target is 70kg). My BP maintained at 120/80 without medication, not bad for someone in late 40s. And my diabetes II reduced to marginal at 7.9 morning (ideally is below 7). Kidney functions remain ok.
Many Singaporeans suffer from HBP, and they are on generic 'affordable' medication. The truth is such medication, though cheap, could be a major cause of Kidney failures (these medications are poisons). That explains why Singapore has one of the highest Kidney failure rate in the world by statistics. If on HBP medication, have to go for the most expensive (lease side effects) and periodic renal function checks. 
Cycling has certainly reduced my BP to normal levels, and a big help on diabetes control. I know many of you are young and healthy, so continue to cycle to maintain your good health.

Sweep bar bars for general riding

I am just a regular bloke and enjoy just riding along.  As I ride more, I realised my bikes beginning to look very similar.  Old retro looking, muted colors and all steel.  See my bikes cockpit....


One area in particular that will increase riding comfort level is the handle bar. For me, I cannot ride a straight bar and it will strain my wrist. The bars that fit my kind of riding is upright and swept back. Its very "uncle" and old skool. But it works.  Here's a list of what the swept back bars out there. Do consider the width, swept back angle and also implication to the stretch(stem length).

Rider Profile Dennis Ng

"Hi Tai Woon,
As promised, I will share my journey into regular cycling with you and hopefully it will inspire more people to take up cycling as a way of commuting as well as staying fit and healthy. I will be 65 in a few months. I have learnt to cycle since 5 years old. 
Rocking it with a cool sunshade!
My first “long” ride was from Braddell road to JB with a friend in 1965. Without my parents’ knowledge of course. During those days, there were not much cars on the road. However, did not cycle much thereafter.
Before cycling, my regular exercise was running. As age catches up, my leg muscles also got weaker and my running distance was getting shorter and slower. So I decided to give cycling a shot as it is a low impact activity. 
Through cycling, I discovered that I was seeing a lot more places that I would not have visited. My regular cycling started in 2014 when my elder brother, Steven Ng, added me to LCSG. 
Thats how I looked in 2014. With my belly abit round. :) 
My first ride with LCSG was to Sembawang Park on 19 May 2014. During those rides with LCSG, I met Jimmy Kam. After the LCSG ride from Punggol to Marina Bay East to watch our 2014 NDP fireworks, he introduced me to a group of seniors that ride regularly. He also brought me to many places and PCNs that I have never been before and that’s what made me wants to explore and discover more interesting places.
My ride kakis 
Most of the regular riders in the group are retirees in their 60s and 70s except a couple of them in their late 40s. Usually about 6 to 8 riders in each ride. Our rides are usually quite relaxed. Old engine cannot be stressed too much lah. However will “qiong” when we are at a long straight stretch like the Changi Coast Road PCN.
Always hunting for C&G (cheap and good) food. (i.e. $2.00 for mixed veg rice with 2 vegs and 1 meat). It’s like winning a trophy each time we find a cheap meal. It’s a simple joy.
This group of old folks prefer to ride on PCN and pavement. We will only ride on the road when there is not much traffic. We are mindful that our reaction and eyesight is not at its best.
Our favourite RI route is from Halus to Punggol Waterway, Yishun, Admiralty, Woodlands Road, Sungei Kadut, Pang Sua PCN, B. Batok, Ulu Pandan PCN, Alexander PCN, Promenade, MBS, ECP, CV and home sweet home. I think our favourite part is along Ulu Pandan PCN until Ghim Moh. Total distance of this RI route is about 100 km. Sometimes we do it clock wise. When we reach Admiralty West, everyone will complain about those slopes as it was at the tail end of our ride when everyone was tired. Other than our long ride occasionally, we are usually quite relaxed. Stop whenever we need to, continue chatting when the subject is interesting. I guess that’s what makes the group clicked.
Riding three times a weeks and each ride covering above 50km, we ran out of idea quickly. So re-visiting places is quite normal. We will ride the same route with a little tweak like going through HDB estate and a little detour here and there and surprisingly not many riders can remember the route. And this is also part of the fun.
We also like places like those black and white bungalows near Sembawang Park, Canada Road and also Wessex Estate. Our most visited place, I think, it’s the Bay area. We never got tired of it. Its so beautiful and Singaporean should be proud of it. In short, we go everywhere in Singapore.
My furthest venture with the group was to Paken Nanas in JB.
Cycling keeps mine mind focus and alert. Always looking out for obstacles, uneven roads, pedestrians, motor vehicles etc. As we do not plan our route, we change our route according to the calling of our stomach and time constrain and usually there is no objection from the group.
It is a joy to ride with those buddies. We joke, we laugh and make fun of each other without any hard feeling. A group of very nice uncles.
I am not a strong rider but very happy with the achievement within 2 years. Important thing is to stay mobile and healthy for as long as possible so that I don’t have to burden my children. Please feel free to ask if you need any more input." 
Dennis Ng 

Taiwoon: That's so inspiring Dennis! I love the fact you found a group of kakis whom u can meet up regularly, cycle and find the "C and G". Keep on rolling and thank you so much for sharing your story!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rider profile Matthew Koh and Max

Matthew and Max are inseparable. It's really nice to see such a wonderful friendship between them. Matthew will always bring Max out with his specially modified rack mounted on his fat bike. 
Matthew and Max 
This is Max 
Concept by Matt
Today, Mathew totally outdid himself. He designed and made using off the shelf parts this!!! Its looks great and amazing! Who said DIY culture is dead in SG should see this!
Check this out!!