Sunday, December 7, 2014

Preparing yourself for Loveyclingsg Round island night ride

Next week 13th Dec 2014 is Loveyclingsg Round island night ride. It's a much awaited event and big fun crowd. 
Here are some tips to make it enjoyable and safe. 
Team 1, Sleepy gonzales group
Rider aspects 
-By now you should have completed minimum a 50 km ride. This will allow you to be physically conditioned( buttock not so pain)
- It's a night ride, so do have a early afternoon nap if you can't keep awake after 11pm. The expected time to complete is around 6-7am 
- Prepare some gels, snack and keep in your  bike pouch. We will be riding for a long time and you will need to snack a little to replace the effort.  Snacks like nuts, museli bars, bananna are great. Just make sure you try it out earlier the week and not try something new which you have not done before. 
- Top up water bottle, if your bike have 2 bottle mounting, its a good idea to have 2 bottle. There are some stretches (lim chu kang  area) that has not 7-11. 
-Some form of isotonic drinks are also good to hydrate fast but no necessary 
- Bring some cash($50) in case you "punchek" mentally and want to take a cab home 
Bike stuff 
Give your bike a check over. See if all the parts are in good condition. Specifically please check
- Tire for small cuts, nails or funny bulges. If  you do see its no right/no good, change it before the ride. Don't tempt fate.  It's not fun to have a flat on long rides and have people to wait for you. Esp when you could have avoided this. This is the single most common issue we see on rides. 
- Pump up the correct pressure. 
- Spare tube, patch kit, tool kit and pump are in good condition and packed onto the bike
- Brake pads. Check if they ok and not too worn. Make sure to also tug it a little to see if they are secured and tighten. They can  sometimes be loose and not aligned properly
-Go over all the moving parts. Some places to check are Crank bolts(I see before whole crank arm fall off), Stems, Seat post binder bolts. 
- Oil your chain 
-  Test ride your bike. It should not have strange squeals or funny sounds or difficulty in engaging your desired gear. If there is issue, GET IT FIXED BEFORE THE Round Island Ride
If  you maintain your bike regularly and observe the mechanical sounds,  you will know very quickly something is not right and get it fixed. 

Specific to night riding safety
-When was the last time you replace bicycle light's battery? Put in some fresh battery for you front and rear lights
- Point your lights (Front and rear 3 degrees down to avoid blinding people) 

- Wear bright, light colored clothing so that you are more visible to drivers
- Wear safety vest if you have. They work. 
-Stay in your allocated  group. Help out the designated group leads and sweeper
The uniqueness of LCSG ride is the team integrity. We ride as a group. Encourage folks who are struggling and help them achieve a milestone. We all have gone through that before and this is why cycling as a group is so much fun. 

Hope this entry will help you have a great round island ride. Drop me a note if I miss out anything critical. See you!   

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Super awesome route maker to get around - BBBike@Singapore

Cycling is fast becoming an alternative community means. It's not there yet, partly due to infrastructure and safety concerns. So I am always on the look out to find things that can help improve the safety and experience of cycling in Singapore.  Such as this BBBike@Singapore..... 
Here's their website BBBike@Singapore that helps route the commuting route to your preference. I tested it and the routing is quite interesting. Not my usual route. Quite cool!  Try it and tell me if it works for u. 

Key in address to start and destination
Your route preference
It gives u route in words....

There is  elevation and route map(green line). Can print and also export the route too. 

Frederic shares his experience on Cycling VS Car in Singapore

This is Frederic Gillant. 47 year young:) He is the Head of Asia-Pacific for a Silicon-Valley company, ShoreTel.
Previously worked at Orange business services. He has been in Information Communication Technology(ICT) industry for a long time.. 

He shares abit about himself .... “I like triathlon, running, cycling, biking and FOOD! I initially started be more active so that I can eat everything I want, especially in Singapore. Fond of laksa, oyster omelette, chicken rice of course and Taiwanese chou tofu (and all Taiwan street food).
Photo Credit Frederic 

Photo Credit Frederic 
I have been living in 5 years in Singapore, French national, PR for 4 years. Married to a Taiwanese native, living in Asia since 1991 (Taiwan, KL, Beijing, Singapore)
He shared his Bike VS Car experience in Singapore context at Lovecyclingsg face book on 2nd Dec and it received an awesome number of likes(251!!!).  
“As I was preparing my bike yesterday evening, my wife asked me "Are you again riding to the office tomorrow? I really wonder why you bought this car..." I confess that I did buy 6 months ago a new, (too) large and (too) expensive German car. I have come to realize how ridiculous this was and only motivated by vanity. Consider these simple stats over the past 2 months:
- 500 km with the car. Average speed: 26.4 km/h. Time to come back from the office (Suntec) to home (bukit Timah) on Friday evening: 38 minutes. Average trip length: 9 km. Cost of these 500 km: around 600 SGD of petrol, parking and ERP, excluding car amortization (price, COE, road tax and insurance, yes, thousands and more)
- 500 km with the bike. Average speed: 26.7 km/h. Yes, faster. Time to come back from the office (Suntec) to home (bukit Timah) on Friday evening: 17 minutes. Average trip length: 32 km (week-end rides to Changi and Kranji).
Cost of these 500 km: 160 SGD for 2 months of fitness subscription, as Suntec offices do not have showers, excluding bike amortization (a couple of thousands less than the car).

So yes, I still need the car to carry people, dog and things once in a while. But what is the use of an outrageously priced, 5-meter long sedan? Not to mention supercars capable of 300 km/h, of which Singapore has the highest concentration in the world? Singapore will become a true bike-friendly city only when people will understand that one's honorability is not defined by their car, its size and price.
As for myself, I will use my nice German tank no more than 2 years and will downgrade to something definitely smaller. And to the guy with the yellow McLaren in the Tower 3 parking: I'll always be faster than you (on my bike)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Commuting to work using a MTB

Doesn't matter if its a foldie, if its a road bike or MTB. Any bike can commute.
This is Adrian Choo today when I met him at the office lobby with his narly looking MTB. Looking good man! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Prime Minister Lee explore Ubin on a bicycle

Bloody AWESOME! It's our Prime Minister Lee Facebook profile!!!! ON A BIKE! 
Times are a changing, and lets hope more good things to come for cycling in SG!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Kudos to Shimano Cycling World. Steady lah!!!

This made me smile yesterday. Its great to see companies having a community spirit and paying it forward.
What I am referring to is this. Shimano Cycling World announced that they will be doing 2 sessions of Basic Bike Maintenance  and  it was booked out in a day!!!  Fantastic!! 
This is exactly the kind of  stuff we need to help make Singapore a cycling friendly environment and encourage more to take up cycling! 

For Lovecyclingsg, we have over the years done several Bike maintenance workshop and its no easy task. That's why I am so delighted that Shimano is taking lead on this.
Now what about bike safety and handling workshop the next round?  If you need additional help, perhaps we can collaborate and have LCSG Angels come in to assist. :)
Rock on Shimano!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Taiwan and her bicycle push

Found this nice brochure on promoting Taiwan using the humble bicycle. I been to Taiwan many times and its really changed a lot. I can see that cycling has took off and many like me go to Taiwan to explore her beauty by cycling. Its really nice!
Bikeshare near Taipei 101 - Photo credit

Safety Video tips by Transport of London which SG can learn from

If you just want to see this TFL video, scroll down all the way. 
In the social medial space daily we see many arguments on safety and how drivers action makes cycling dangerous and how cyclists ignore rules and cycle on red light. 
Sadly our agencies are still not too clear about communicating on safety issues on the roads, especially on the cyclists perspective. 
It seems like no one agency is owning the Cycling piece. 
Try goggling these keywords. "Cycling safety in Singapore and rules".  This wordy link by Singapore Police force pops up first on the search engine and also this video link at the end. I think it's looking really sad. 
I embedded it here so many can see the video.    
  Ok, perhaps I am too critical. It's a start but it really felt like a SHELL CSR advertisement.
Here's another absure video link in the document I found as well. 
Better presented.  

Its all too easy to complain and say how things are not good. It's a national Singapore trait I suppose haha.... jokes aside. 
I reflected on myself and asked..... Could it be made better and communicate clearly to all how to be safe on the roads. I want to share a video tips by Transport of London - SG equivalent of LTA.
It is really a good information(without fluff) for both cyclists, motorists and Drivers. It will help reduce the friction and misunderstanding.  The format and presentation is clear and easy to understand. There is no ambiguity and clearly states out how we can all do our part to make the roads safe.  Watch it and tell me what you think.

Lastly, I do hope with the newly formed National Cycling Plan Committe (which the general public have no knowledge what's happening/ who's involved); can take a leadership role in making cycling safer for all. Cycling is not just on the PCN but also on the roads and may I say...gasp.... pavements too.
I strongly believe every cyclists wants to follow the traffic rules but it seems the current road situation leaves much to be desired. Perhaps with a video similar to the above TFL version, the situation can be slowly reversed. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Carrying a child with your Brompton

Saw this interesting product at My Brompton Malaysia Facebook. It's a kiddo passenger frame that mounts to the main Brompton frame. I think this is going  to be popular in Singapore if the product is not going to cost an arm and a leg. No news on who produces it and if its coming to Singapore.
What do you think? Would you want to get one?

Monday, November 24, 2014

A platoon of Bromptons and Vincita bags

After posting the new Vincita Sightseer bags on Facebook... I got a msg reply by my friend Tiger wan who went cycling with their Bromptons. 
It was an awesome display of Bromptons and Vincita B132 bags!!!  His comments was this " The best bag for travels. Sleek, Strong and Simple. Oh...and it protects too."
Check out his platoon of bikes and bags! Oh wow! 
Vincita B132 bags sitting outside Tao Yuan Airport 

Vindicate bags being loaded up the lorry 

B platoon ready for inspection, sir! 

Vincita Sightseer Brompton Bag first review

Vincita motto. 
First thing first and to get it out of the way. 
The bags were provided by Vincita for my review and I did not buy them. They have asked that I do a review and share my thoughts on their bags. 
They also very kindly sponsored a set of B132B and B206 garment bag to readers of Smallwheelsbigsmile.  
I will select one lucky reader who will share on their ideal travel adventure on a Brompton using this bags. Leave your comments on the blog entry.  It will be limited to Singapore readers. So send me your ideal travel adventure K? 
Just riding along, the sun, the sky and the sea! 
Cycling in a foreign land is one of the coolest and nicest thing to do to see a country. It feels daunting at the first time, then you would wonder why you never considered bringing your foldie for ur next holiday. 
It happened to me too. After some encouragement from my friend Francis, I finally did my first trip with a Brompton back in 2010. 
It was awesome experience where you really saw more off the beaten track.... even in a city like Tokyo.  Like this gem of a place tucked away in one of the numerous side street. 
Vincita B132 with my brompton.  The silver tab is just duct tape with my particulars and contact number
My first attempt on bike travel using card board box strapped to a portable trolley. Boy that was fun....   
I started off my bike travelling adventure using a cardboard box and then got a Lojel hardcase which was offered good protection but on the heavy side. To make it easier for air travel, I got a Vincita B132 Softcase bag(thanks Woo sister!). It was very roomy and I could dump my clothes (in a plastic bag)and helmet and all with no stress. For added protection I put cardboard on the side. 
Notice the cardboard support at side... not sure if it works but it makes me feel better :) 
B132 fits a Bike Friday pocket rocket too.
Other than the Brompton, I realised that the B132 bag could also fit a Bike friday Pocket rocket nicely with quite a lot of room for clothing and stuff. Something which you can consider if you are looking to get a bike bag for travel. 
Earlier Oct this year, Vincita released a updated model of the B132. It's called the  B132B Soft Transport Brompton Bag- Sightseer. 
It is slightly smaller compared to the B132. The idea is to make it easier for short trips and be able to deploy directly from the Airport/ train station. In addition, they also created a internal bag (for your clothes and stuff) which would fit nicely into the B132B. Frankly I was quite skeptical their idea would work. So I was glad to have the bag and I did a trial test to see if it would all work out.  
The construction of the bag is quite good (similar to the B132 I had previously) and as what you would expect from a bag manufacturer who have done bike related products for a while. 
Below is a size comparison of the old and newer model. 
Left is the older B132 and the right it the B132B Sightseer
Closer to you is the newer B132B and you can see that its smaller. And fits the Brompton just as well
The B132B fits the Brompton much tighter. Same padded and durable fabric construction. The pack on the right is the "internal sleeve"  aka B206 Garment bag  

The Vincita 132B also have an improved bigger roller wheel that is great for moving around the train/ airport 
Internal garment bag fit into the frame of the Brompton. This helps to reduce overall bulk. 
After ensuring the Brompton would fit into the bag, I also simulated a 2 day trip worth of clothes and stuff. It is all fits in very nicely. 
Lastly, I watched their youtube link to see how to fold/compact the bag and carry it via the Brompton rear rack.  It took a bit of fudging as you need to fold it in a certain way. However I am sure with more practice, that could be done easily.  
My biggest concern was will it be too wide to ride? I strapped it on the Brompton and rode around my neighbourhood. It's worked!  Here's how it looked when on the Brompton. 
The idea is to fly to another country. Roll up the bike bag and straight go exploring! 
If you use the side hook on the Brompton. There will be no heel strike.
The bag sticks out some what, so do cater for the clearance esp on crowded side paths 
Final conclusion
I did not have a overseas trip to really test it out in actual airport condition. When I have a chance, I will try it and update how it fared. 
The B132B bag is targeted specifically to those who want to pack their Brompton with no dismantling. Fly in to location and ride with minimum fuss. Explore and sightsee... pack and fly home.  With the explosion of cheaper budget air fares, I can see more would try to bring their bikes for their next holiday. Try it one day, you will be glad you did. 
So what would be the ultimate short trip experience u like to do with the Brompton? 
Update by Vincita on 25th Nov2014:  
"The B132B brompton bag is now available @ Urban Transporter, 985 Bukit Timah Road. #01-16, Singapore(589627) Phone: (+65)83663521

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Trek 930 upgraded and ready to roll

This bicycle happened really by fluke. I rescued one old Trek 830 which was dumped outside a house during one of the sunday ride. 
True Temper frame by Trek 
You can see more of it from this Facebook link. 
After cleaning it up and test riding the way too big frame. I was amazed by the way True temper chromoly steel rode. Straight as an arrow but super comfy. The way I like it. A bit sad it was too big but still glad I rescued a bike from the Dump. I passed the big frame to Desmond, hopefully it gets converted to a Xcycle to bring joy to her daughter and friends. And join my Surly dummy when we do family rides. Hint hint haha. There's some magic in long bikes but thats another story. 

Then I stumbled on a Trek 930 frame from Vintage Bike Swap Facebook. It was a small cherry red Trek 930 True Temper frame. My Size and super good price. What to do? It was meant to be :) 
According to the Trek bible, its a Trek SHX(front suspension) made 1994. That means I got a 20 year old bike! 
Took me some time to get the bike running as I originally wanted it to be single speed and I screwed up on the tensioner... 
I took my time to think about what kind of riding and things took another turn.... So this is what I did to make the bike suit me and using what I already had left lying around. 

Here are the parts I bought for renewing Trek 930

1) Velo Orange Grand Cru Seine Bars  
This is a simple Chromoly Sweep back handle bar that is not too wide and great for just riding along.  It's made from straight gauge chromoly and dampens road vibration well. The form and geometry is similar to Jones H Bar but simpler. If you want multiple hand holds, you can try the Velo Orange Crazy Bar 

2) Velo Orange Thumb Shifter mounts  This is not for everyone, esp so in the hi tech times of trigger shifters. This is for a person who wants a simple, quality thumb shifters. Sadly the bike industries usually sell on Carbon and newest tech.  There are only 3 options if you want to do thumb shifters. 
- New old stock/ old stock of Deore XT Thumbshifters 
- Paul Thumbshifter mounts , Very nice but a bit more expensive then Velo Orange
- Velo Orange Thumbshifter mounts which looks good and cheapest 

3) Surly LHT fork. I got this from TR bikes. Lynten was nice and kind enough to help sell me and install on the bike to get it running. The gentle curve of the forks visually fits the bike and helps give it a nice damping feel.  

4) Shimano Ultegra 8 Speed bar end shifters. The bike came in 8 speed and this would do nicely... I think. I googled on thumbies and seems like just what I need.  I can toggle between Friction and SIS mode(tick tick tick, indexed) 
5) KMC 8 speed chain - I got from Changi Village aunty shop.Yes, that famous pitstop we all have to visit when we go Changi village. It cost $13.50 and comes with a quick link too.
6) Stainless steel brake cables and housing - Also from Changi Village aunty shop
7) Ergon GP1 grip - These are not retro but my hands are eternally grateful for this superbly ergonomic design. I got this from Chain reaction cycles when I bought the Shimano bar end shifters.
Yesterday I got a few hours free time and started to install the parts. 
It was quite nice and easy to install. Very therapeutic The bar end shifters worked a treat. Especially on the friction mode where I could tweak the lever to have the gears spinning very nicely. 

After 2-3 hours, I took the bike downstairs to try out. It felt like a nice old lorry. Every thing works and rolled nicely. It was raining quite a fair bit so I couldn't try riding for extended time... but I know it fits my kind of riding. Slowly and relaxed.

Many probably wonder why even bother to do this to a old bicycle frame. Wouldn't it be easier to get a nice new bike, get it all installed by your bikeshop. So leychey (troublesome) and cost so much....  
Well, perhaps I am just a retro grouch and one who likes to ride slowly and relaxed. The old steel frames just feels like a pair of nicely worn jeans. Old, faded and comfy. Maybe be its the chromoly tube or True temper material or perhaps the long wheel base which makes the bike very stable and relax. I like it a lot. 
Steel is real. If you have a chance to try an old steel frame, do try it and tell me what you think.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cycling can be a viable transport: MP Khaw Boon wan 23rd Oct 2014

Just cycling to market 
Taken from Straits Times, 23 rd Oct 2014

Cycling should not be just a recreational pursuit, but also a viable transport option for short trips around Singapore, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

He wrote on his blog that the Government wants Singaporeans to be able to cycle "to the supermarket, coffee shop, hawker centre or the nearest MRT station".
"To do so, we must make such trips safe and pleasant," he said. "Cities are increasingly finding it important to make themselves friendly to pedestrians and cyclists."
Mr Khaw noted that Singapore is lagging "way behind" cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen, where cycling is part of the "normal way of life".
He praised both European capitals as good examples of cities with "active mobility", where walking and cycling make up over half of all modes of transport.
In contrast, cycling makes up just 1 per cent to 2 per cent of transport modes here, he noted.
Singapore's National Cycling Plan envisions a 700km cycling network by 2030, within, as well as between, neighbourhoods.
By next year, 100km of cycling paths will be built in Yishun, Punggol and Bedok. Eventually, said Mr Khaw, all 26 Housing Board towns will have cycling paths connecting homes to neighbourhood centres and MRT stations.

Singapore is also exploring bicycle-sharing schemes and increasing safe-cycling education initiatives, such as the Safe Cycling Programme for Youth for secondary school students.
Mr Khaw said Singapore has always embraced active mobility, with its extensive Park Connector Network (PCN), pavements and sheltered walkways being examples of this.
The PCN, he said, lets people walk, jog or cycle safely close to greenery. The city itself is "quite walkable", he added.

When contacted, Mr Francis Chu, co-founder of cycling group LoveCyclingSg, said more cyclists are keen to use their bicycles for short daily commutes.
But roads in town centres can be unsafe and intimidating for inexperienced riders, he said.
As for non-cyclists such as motorists, it may be difficult to motivate them to switch to bicycles as driving often gets them to their destinations faster, he said.
"But with improvement of the cycling network, more and more people will start to consider cycling as a serious mode of transport."

- See more at:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lovecyclingsg 4th Anniversary 12th Oct 2014

Here's some photos of the nice folksy pot luck and kiddo ride we did to celebrate Lovecyclingsg 4th Anniversary.  More here for ur downloadP1060576
What started as a simple idea to meet up with friends and play tourist on our own back yard, turned into something more.
It became a community for cyclists in Singapore. For all kind of bicycle type and brands. Lovecyclingsg is unique where bicycle brands don't really matter. Why should it be? Why should we be judged by the bicycle brand we ride?

4 years of meeting to ride every Sunday to visit places. Its 52 week a years and 208 weekends for 4 years!  That's some commitment. Seriously, it could only be achieved by the tireless efforts of the LCSG Angels. Too many to name but here's some of them. Andy Yap, Berenda, Christine, George Kee, Encik George, Clarence, Nixs, Pierre, Desmond Chia, Jasper, Vince, who quietly run the sunday ride like clock work. Thank you. 
Thank you for believing in the simple idea of E.R.P. Thank you for understanding the magic of simply riding together and having a simple breakfast, coffee to connect with each other.
May Lovecyclingsg continue to thrive and blossom. To more happy rides and years ahead! 


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Herman's proposal for a BMX pump track in Singapore

I am totally blown away by this gentleman proposal for a pump track. Usually I see mainly rants and complaints but this is an awesome proposal by someone who obviously knows a thing or two on BMX and most importantly cares enough to do so much work and documentation. I take my hat off him. If you would like to render him some help. Pls contact him via his facebook link.