Monday, June 24, 2013

Visit to Rebound Centre

Visit to Rebound Centre 15th June 15, 2013 , Saturday  (more photos here)
This is really a cool place! 
Always heard about this mysterious place. Where old bicycles get reborn and they work better than they were new.  Such a place is Rebound Centre, located at Geylang East industrial estate.
Rebound Centre address :
Block 1013 Geylang East Industrial Park, Singapore 389725. Tel:67439474
in the heart of an old industrial estate
dusty and utility
This was my lucky day as Gary offered to help introduce me to the men who were known that magical touch. Sulaiman and John Chan.  Actually I reached early and wandered along the industrial estate.  It gave away nothing about this gem of a shop.  Pressed the elevator and it rumbled slowly to the 5th floor… stomach with butterflies as it was very exciting to meet a legend.
At the entrance, I could see action unfolding. I was really lucky as a gentleman came and collected a spanking “new” Raleigh chopper. Hovering like a proud father was Sulaiman relating to him how each bit was restored and how bad the rust was. It was a beautiful sight and the bike simply sparkled. 
Taufik with his yellow Raleigh Chopper 
oh wow.. oh wow... oh wow
When he wipes the greasy finger prints.. he also wipe it so gently with love. 
Handing over the bike to the owner!
We engaged in friendly banter about bikes and he started to share more about himself and Rebound Centre. "It started around 1994 where he went to the states to do a course on bike fabrication.  And later on, came back and started shop to repair bikes. There were so many bicycles waiting to be worked on…  everyone with a particular issue or problem. There were no "direct-plugin solution" a part and get the problem solved..." Related Sulaiman.
“People come to me when they want to restore their bikes. For some it may cost more than the bicycle. They tell me it is for memories and they want to remember the good times they had, with friends and the bike.”  To reiterate the point he went into a room and grabbed one, explaining me the finer details of the wear and tear.  I see the deep intensity and passion of a person who clearly believes in what he does. It’s a good feeling.
Things progressively got more interesting. He showed us the “engine room” where the magic happens.  My jaw dropped. There was a Milling machine, 2 lathes and all adjustable brazing fixtures and lots of old bikes lying around.  
Lathe and many old bikes waiting to be worked on
Miill and a well used one. 
Projects he and his partner are working on
He explained this is a room, which he shared with an engineering company, and the person also happens to love working on bicycles.  The conversation rambled on and he also shared that he can conduct bicycle building classes. Ok, when he meant that, he means BUILDING/DESIGNING the bike from scratch. Not our google for a frame, parts and “building in up”. That’s a whole totally cool thing! 
Doing it the old skool way. One at a time. 
Lug for steel tubes
For the brave and someone who wants to learn and have your very own bike. It will take 80 man hour(min) and $2500(materials all in) to get ur bike frame done. Sulaiman will personally go through the design process (drawing a 1:1 layout), geometry and tube selection, milling, mitering and brazing.  Oh wow… I am very very tempted. Haha.
Its also a museum... George and Gary ooohhing and ahhing
Another very under-looked area is the bike painting room, many out sourced it out but over at Rebound Centre, the painting is done in house.  I saw lots of bicycles in the stages of paint removal, primer and some just gleaming after the paint job, drying it out before the final stage of polishing. 
Check out the paint work. Even the decals are made by them!
Messy but this is custom paint work
It looks messy but I could see the passion for the craft and the pride that is obvious in the paint work. Sulaiman attention to detail went even to retracing the old decal and making new  ones . It was amazing to see this actually happening in Singapore. 
Mr Sulaiman
John Chan
In Summary, if u have an old bike which you love and want to give it a “over haul”,I think it would be worth a visit to come to ReboundCentre.  It will not be quick but I think it will be worth your time. They certainly have the skill and machinery to do the modification and repairs. Most importantly, they have an listening ear(even if u are just an amateur) to hear what you are looking for, the passion to do things right, do things well. Ok, It's not in a fancy air-con place but it sure is a place where bikes get reborn and rebound! 
Thank you Mr Sulaiman and John Chan for explaining,guiding and showing me around the really cool shop.
I really love what you do
. Please continue the awesome work! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hazy day in Singapore and cycling to work

Looking out of Dell DSG(International Business park)  - PSI 371 
On our way to Fusionpolis.. .this is the CBD area in smoky air
Wifey had urgent meeting to attend in the office.. and it was damm hazy. The official record is 111 but I think the metering might be faulty. Felt like 300 or more. It smelt of burnt charr wood once I open my doors. So to reduce exposure for her, I drove her to office and went to Dell office which is nearer then going back to my home at Punggol. Work from office until I get "recall notification" from her. ...
Anway, this is how it looks from my usual parking spot to office.
Pandan Loop PCN 
I am not a doctor so what I say don't count medically. But it is all common sense!
Avoid exposure to haze. If you really need to be out, please wear a N95 mask to protect yourself.
It will be hard to breath, naturally. But think about it, at least the particles are on the filter matter and not your lungs. And for those arguing what mask to wear, get them, just wear them, as much as you can. Even indoors. My friend who had laser particle measurement equipment was sharing with me at home, sealed windows and aircon running, the air particle count is roughly 15% better the the outside air.  There are quite alot of the minute particles which are still floating around....
From the MET folks, it seems the haze will be here to stay till Sept/Oct. For those who can't tahan(stand) not cycling. Wear a mask, and take it really slow, control breathing.
in haze condition... Pedal slowly...
Totobobo mask
@ Dell office
Filter material graying after half hour exposure to the haze

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wei Kai learns to ride with first rider!

Momo brought the first bike trainer for his nephew WeiKai who is 3 year old to ride. I was very proud of her when she gently shared/demo Kai the tricks. The little boy was thrilled and I am sure he will have lots of fun learn to ride.
The first rider is learning bike without pedals. Yes, its a luxury but it really helps due to the light weight and adjustability of the seat... can be lowered really low. Have a look at how momo learned here 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Adrian rides to work

Bike parked at the side the cubicle
For the record, I work in Dell Centre Singapore but this is not sponsored by Dell :) As many would know, I park my van about 2km away in a private estate and ride my brompton to office. Saves me money and gives me a nice break before a busy day at work.  Changes are happening to my environment, pro cycling measures like a shower and a friendly attitude by the office on bicycles have encouraged more to ride. Like him...
This is Adrian who works in marketing and sales.  He commutes using his Cervelo daily from Newton to Jurong IBP. He shares that it is nice work out and feels good contributing to less carbon emissions.
I also agree! Ride on Adrian and will feature him more about his views on cycling and commuting by bike in Singapore.
@ Strategy entrance
No fuss and drama @ Dell office 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

LCSG visit Sembawang Hot Spring 16June 2013

Huge turn out. 62 folks came to see if there was really a hotspring and if we could boil and egg. The route we took is here in case u want to retrace it . The location is at the 12km marker
More infor on hotspring here too

@Sembawang HotSpring
@Khatib MRT station, briefing on the route - Photo Credit Uncle KC
Popeye and Olive
Doing a musical called Blomtpon
this was THE Bike to be seen with. when we were school kid. 
But before that, I had to bring them to Simpang Siri and "holland" abit at the Sembawang black and white houses. 
Sembawang Black and white houses 
As the stomaches were grumbling, we had a makan break before going to the hotspring. I was very happy to see folks trying out the hot water in amazement and chatting away like kids. 
Mr Loh really prepared with his barang

All getting excited to see the hotspring

Just nice! yummy egg!  Photo Credits Jasper Ong
Shiokkk ah
Derek brought Quail eggs! 
Bottoms up!  Photo Credit Uncle KC 
yikess!!! It's hot!

Hope Mr Teo will see and be happy
Mr Teo was not there but we met another uncle Lee who also frequent the place... and he stays at Yishun Blk 212. Come here every day to collect some spring water for his family. Thats 40 litres!! 
Mr Lee from Yishun Blk 212, another regular of the hotspring
What a smile!
Quite an experience. Even nicer, the LCSG team had a check on his bike and lubed the chain for him. That's was really a nice gesture!  
And I was lucky to have a ride on his bike! yes! 

Yes, there are gems if we look hard enough. Like this iconic place, the sembawang hotsprings. If u haven't been here... please do pop and see it. Bring ur kids to experience this very special place. Its near Gambas ave and Sembawang road. These are uniquely Singapore treasures that should be celebrated and remembered. Thanks for LCSG and Northern Star Angels for helping manage the huge crowd. Thank you for the efforts!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cycling paths for towns. Tampines leads the way!

I saw this posting on MP Irene Ng Facebook wall. Yes, it felt a bit "self promotional" but taking another view, it sure does help improve the overall cyclebility in Tampines. 
It makes me happy that cycling is being embraced as an alternative way to get around. Sure there will be issues but everything new will have their problems. I sincerely hope beyond Tampines,more towns will adopt the best practices from Tampines. That's what MP Irene Ng posted. Have a look and really like to hear your views.
MP Irene Ng cycling with the residents 
L-R  LTA Mr Chew, MP Irene Ng, Dr Faisal 

"Promoting cycling also benefits those who do not cycle. How? When residents ride the bicycle instead of driving a car, they reduce the number of cars on the road. This means less traffic, less parking problems, cleaner air and a greener environment for all.
When residents cycle instead of taking the feeder buses, they reduce the congestion on buses. This means a more pleasant journey on buses and with shorter waiting times for commuters. Other benefits are: A healthier population and a more sustainable town.
Since Tampines was officially declared Singapore’s first cycling town in 2010, after a two-year trial, we have made much progress.
We improved our cycling infrastructure, stepped up on our enforcement of errant cyclists, and promoted safe cycling through our volunteer cycling wardens and Tampines Cycling Club. Cycling has indeed become a convenient way of getting about within the neighbourhood.

Every day I look around Tampines and I see more and more residents cycling to the market, to the coffeeshops, to the MRT station, to schools and parks. Many use bicycles for short daily errands. They include housewives, the elderly and students.
An increasing number is also taking to cycling for sport and recreation, cycling to Pasir Ris Park or the parks in other towns using the park connector network.
A big thank you to residents in Tampines for supporting this bold vision of becoming a model cycling town in Singapore."
MP Irene Ng