Why do you want to cycle to work?

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Monday, 24 May 2010

Cycling Jerseys that make a statement!

Just came upon a website called Cycling Jerseys That Make a Statement. If you really want to make somebody notice what you stand for (or wouldn't stand for), just put it up on your riding jerseys. Just make sure that they are legal!

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

LDP Route - cycling to avoid traffic jam

I started driving to work at 0836 hrs and found the cars jammed just as I came into the next junction. Cars were busy trying to overtake each other, crossing the double line and adding another lane to the road going out of SS25, Petaling Jaya. There were also 3 other entry points into the same road further up. I took a detour and went back home to exchange gears for cycling. Within 10 minutes I was back out on the same road taking the sides of the road (not the pavement as you might just fall off the bridge in case a motorbike takes the pavement with you) swerving pass all the traffic onto the LDP. I passed by the St Ignatious Church (see Google Map) after avoiding the cars trying to jump queue exiting toward Sunway Mas / Tropicana. Then came a slight hill all the way to the Exit 1108 (Tmn Megah (left) / Tmn Bahagia (right) exits). I took the right turn towards Tmn Bahagia at the traffic light, went straight at the next traffic light and then took a U-turn back towards my office. It took me another minute to swerve through all the traffic and arrived safely. THe whole non-scenic ride took me less than 10 minutes!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Scenic Route from home to work

I decided to take the route away from the snarling traffic in LDP this morning. It took slightly longer due to the slight climb after the traffic light at the Exit 1109 underpass going to Taman Bahagia (just in front of Kelana Jaya Medical Centre). During such times I was glad that the old Petaling Jaya township had looked into keeping well-groomed trees along the whole route. It was only until I reached the next Intersection that I was met with some heavy traffic. Another reason to take the bike because it only took me 15 minutes of slow ride to reach my office (in comparison with 25 minutes).

I must admit, it will take me several weeks to strengthen myself as I was pushing a heart rate (HR) of 155-164 during the ride. If I overdid it, it would have been detrimental to my health. The Borgs Perceived Exertional Scale would be a good 12-16 during the whole ride.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Flat tyre - 2nd day of Chinese New Year

I thought of getting out to ride a short distance to loosed out some of the stiff muscles and burn some of the extra calories I've accumulated over the holiday season. It's didn't quite work out as I had a flat rear tyre and the front tyre looks like it required some additional air.

But that exercise certainly felt good as I managed to get out of bed early, put on my Polar Heart Rate chest strap, fill up my water bottle, wear my favourite shirt and almost put on my helmet.

Looks like I have got to get the tyre pump for emergencies as I don't fancy having to go to the bike shop just for a 'top-up'. But it certainly felt good enough to do all that on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year. My parents would say that it is a crazy idea!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Getting back to cycling

I have taken a 4 week break to sort out my work, move into another house and work out what I would do in future. It would take me just as much time to get back fit again (shucks!). Now that I live in a different neighbourhood, I would need another place to do my regular rides in Petaling Jaya. Look at the bright side, at least I would be closer to a bicycle shop in case I need some supplies. I should be getting back into the ride routine within a week or two.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Cycling in the mornings

After just riding for a month, I have lost 2 inches off my waistline from 38" to 36". I have decided to cycle for an hour every weekday and try to loose another 2 inches. Despite taking breaks of 1 - 2 weeks off training, I have found that it would take me at least 1 week to get back to the cycling rhythm after taking that break. The longest break I should take without affecting my ride would be 3 -4 days.

Since I would like to cycle without loosing to much fluid and feeling muscle soreness, I have decided to ride in the morning instead of the evening. The cool morning temperature of 23-26 degrees C would be beneficial to ensure that I can train longer.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Keirin Race in Kuala Lumpur

An exciting keirin race (track cycling) will take place at 10.00pm tonight at Kuala Lumpur Cycling Track, Cheras organised by cycling coach and ex-national track cyclist, Fairoz. He has informed me that the event will be featuring the male and female national, state and club track and road cyclists. It would be one of the most exciting track events to watch and it is here in Kuala Lumpur and open to the public!

Friday, 29 August 2008

Cycling to work worked using smaller roads

Cycling to work:

I woke up early this morning and decided to ride to work. After preparing my 2 bottles of plain water (1250ml altogether), wearing my reflector vest, cycling visor and helmet, I took off from SS2 into LDP at 0620hrs. I stopped at the underpassage rather than go up the flyover (as it is against the law although tractors and motorbikes tend not to abide by it). I took sips of water at every 5 km (approximately every 3 traffic light junction). At Western Digital traffic lights, I turned right into the industrial park to take the flyover onto the Federal Highway. After approximately 2 km, I took a right turn into Subang Jaya (Persiaran Kewajipan) passing SJMC (on my right) and going to the Summit. The Metropolitan College roundabout was challenging but you just have to stay on the lane (not too far to the left) and watch the car on your right. After the Summit there was another 2 traffic lights and finally I turned right again into USJ9/10 and another left to USJ9 where my clinic is situated. Total time taken was 50 minutes.

I took a took a shower at my clinic, changed and went for my breakfast at the Mamak behind my clinic for fresh 'Idli' and my favourite 'teh tarik'.

Return Journey:

I refilled my water bottles, changed into my shorts and left my bag of dirty clothes in the clinic and exited from USJ 9 onto Persiaran Kewajipan. I was happily overtaking the traffic at the Giant and the Summit Junction. At the Metropolitan College roundabout and I turned right towards Sunway Pyramid. At Sunway Mentari, I took the shortcut to the underpassage of the Motorola Flyover and turned right onto the Federal Highway motorbike lane. I took a left turn to Seri Setia (Sungaiway) and then headed towards Jalan 222 and took a left turn at Kah Motors into Jalan 223. At the end of Jalan 223, I took a left turn and headed to Rothmans roundabout and took a 12 o'clock towards SS2. At the first traffic light, I took a right turn towards LDP and kept right and at the first junction to the right I headed towards the housing area and found my way to my condominium. Total time taken was 50 minutes.

*I should have informed my wife I was going to do this but she wouldn't let me cycle to work. I actually cycled not too hard and took a break at Yong's bicycle shop to look at some handlebars. Maybe, I should take her along for one of my rides sometime?!
*I forgot my sunscreen lotion which would serve a purpose to protect my skin. Nevertheless, it was a worthwhile effort as I feel good at the end of the ride!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Exclusive Interview with Josiah Ng

Dear Josiah,

Thank you for agreeing to do an exclusive interview for my blog, Cycling Professionals. We recreational cyclists would require some encouragement to cycle safely and train well.

Let me start with the following questions:-

CyclingDoc: How old are you? Where are you from? How many years have you been cycling (in total and competitively)?

Josiah: I am 28 years young from Kuching, Sarawak. I have been cycling competitively since I was 14 years old. I first learned how to ride a bike when I was 5.

: How has cycling changed your life?

Josiah: Cycling has had an amazing impact on my life. I live to ride and ride to live. It is my dream job come true. I have been able to see the world and meet the most amazing people, thanks to cycling.

CyclingDoc: How often do you train each week and what is the duration? Track / Road / Gym / Others

Josiah: I train a total of 11 sessions a week, twice per day on weekdays and once on the weekend. My weekly schedule includes 3 gym sessions, 4 track sessions, and 4 road sessions.

CyclingDoc: What would you advise recreational cyclists who are trying to improve their cycling skills and train better?

: I would say the best thing would be to ride with other cyclists. You can learn a lot from each other. If there is a local club available, join it!

CyclingDoc: How important is safety in cycling?

Josiah: I put safety first. Having a good knowledge and sense of safety is very important. I always wear a helmet when I am training. Follow road rules to the best of your ability is also a smart thing to do. I almost always obey traffic signs and signals. Of course there are certain exceptions where following rules made for automobiles would be more dangerous than not. Use common sense.

CyclingDoc: What kind of bicycle would you advise new recreational cyclists to get when they start?

Josiah: Buy whatever your budget permits you. Fancy equipment is not always better. Start modestly, and work your way up.

CyclingDoc: What would you like to see happen in the cycling sport in Malaysia?

Josiah: I would like to see more people more aware of the sport. Cycling is a wonderful sport and can have many benefits including green transportation, maintaining one’s health and also the social aspect. There are not many negative things about the sport.

: What are your aspirations in cycling?

: My goal is to always ride my bike for as long as I live. I hope to enjoy the sport and pass it down to my children and grand children.

: Thank you for taking your time to answer the questions. We treasure your input and we believe that you have placed Malaysian Cycling on the map!

Josiah: Thank you once again for this opportunity to share my thoughts. Best Regards, Josiah Ng.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Unwell: Off riding for a week

There are some things that I do not compromise although I am crazy about cycling. I was down with a bad bout of sinusitis and tonsillitis after working (and training) very hard. Since, the sinusitis also caused me to have a splitting headache and dizziness (not to mention) the purulent cough, I decided to take a break from cycling. I am better now and am planning to catch up on my training programme. I can't wait to loose more flab!

Guys, we on for this Thursday night when I get back from Lumut!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Night Ride at Ara Damansara

Thanks to Alan Ang we have a cycling route from Kelana Jaya Medical Centre through Ara Damansara and back (13km). Have a look at the photo and let us know if you are keen on joining us for a ride during the week day. We will confirm the date as soon as we can get 5 riders.

Update (7th August 2008):
We had 6 riders and cycled approximately 17-18 km taking approximately 1 hours duration cycling in cool weather without much interaction with traffic flow. I shall have to upload my data onto my laptop to obtain the exact information. Looks like we will make this a regular Thursday night ride (if it doesn't rain).

We're happy to have a Captain Alan to take the lead and Yong to make sure everyone is alright. We had 2 mechanics on standby and had several tubes and a pump in case of tyre punctures. I didn't feel that good because I had to work until 9.00pm and was a bit tired but nevertheless we were refreshed at the end of the ride and adjourned to the Mamak joint. We may split into a starter group for new riders and a regular rider group for those who are fit. The next time we will have our Marshalls having the yellow or red reflector vest to direct traffic if the group gets bigger than 10 riders.

Minors need to have your parent's permission to join. Those who are above 35 yrs are advised to get clearance from your doctor and use a heart rate monitor for the ride. Guys and girls who want to join in the next ride can contact me at 019-2103787 or draston@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Polar CS600 for Cyclists

My latest ride yesterday recorded a distance of 21km, average speed of 18.2km/h, average HR of 144bpm, 87.1% within target zone, burnt 971 kcal and a duration of 1:09:16. It was fairly warm weather at 33 degrees Centigrade. I shall need to plan my rides and my rest more closely as I will be quite busy during the weekend. The Polar CS600 comes in handy to help reorganise my training.

Here are some photos of the cycling computer system which would give you Heart Rate (HR), % Heart Rate Max (HRM), Cadence, Speed, Distance, Exercise Zones, Calories, Heart Rate Variability and Fitness Testing. Just takes some time to read the manual and utilise each item. I am getting some help from the Polar distributor to commission the device. The graphs are really impressive. I like the fact that it warns me if I'm overdoing it with a beeping sound and tells me speed in min/km and km/h.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Progress in Cadence and Endurance

I am still riding 20km five times a week except that it seems slightly heavier on both knees with the Mountain bike tyres instead of road tyres. I will probably improve on my spin at 90-100 rpm with various gear ratios to build on my endurance while picking up speed steadily. The CS600 Polar Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) has been a useful tool providing me vital Heart Rate (HR), Cadence, Speed, Distance and Time information. I have just got the device working after my bike technician Yong fixed the cadence and speed sensors. I just followed the instructions on the product manual and it worked fine.

I realised that I am probably dehydrated during the ride resulting in a higher HR and decreasing preformance after riding for 15km during each session. I shall download the data from the CS600 to have a look at the data before progressing to harder work-loads.

There is talk of doing a double session to mimic travel to work (20km one way). I think that would have to wait as I may need to improve my fitness to ensure that I am fit enough for extra training.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Port Dickson International Triathlon 19-20th July 2008

I had the opportunity of joining in the celebration of strength, determination and perseverance during the Port Dickson International Triathlon on the 20th July 2008. Although I didn't join as a participant, I had a good look at the exciting and gruelling event. 1.5km swim, 40 km cycling and 10km run doesn't sound like everybody's cup of tea but there were hundreds of participants from teenagers to 70 year olds. Men and women participated in the same event and starting in stages to ensure that everyone gets to swim without too much difficulty despite the struggle to maintain their paths.

I was told that the more experienced triathletes pushed the bikes and jumped on to cleat their shoes. Most of the participants only wear the shoes once they are well onto the road race. Both road and mountain bikes with different types of handlebars were seen, ranging from affordable bikes to specially designed bikes.

Some of the triathletes skidded off sand and pools of water on the roads while a minority had cramps from unaccustomed hard riding. Those who came with months of training did not suffer too much except for mild sunburn and dehydration.

You can view more photos from my other blog here.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

GPS Device for you: GARMIN Edge 605

I've just seen this GPS receiver suitable for planning your cycling routes while you cycle to work. The GARMIN Edge 605 is available at the outlets of Premier GPS and retailing at RM1900. It is the size of a cellular phone and has a micro SD card which is suitable for uploading maps. You can read more about the specifications and reviews. For those of you who can loves technology and have the extra cash to spare, it may be something you may want to try.

Friday, 11 July 2008

4th Training Session

I did the fourth training session only riding flat-terrain for 20 laps of 1km with very little traffic making a total of 20km. It took me 1 hour and 15 minutes since I had to stop at the Mamak joint to get a glass of 'Limau Ais' and another glass of 'Ais kosong' while I stretched off the calf muscle cramp. I didn't manage to get the bottle holder for the bicycle and survived on 2 glasses of water just before cycling (Don't ask me how I can do that! Just watch my belly!).

Somehow the neighbourhood knows that I am here to cycle daily. So most drivers have started to slow down when they see me coming. A few did try drive me off the road as they would do to a motorbike.

I seem to be catching my breath with less effort and able to push an average of 22 km/h except for the U-turns. I had to learn how to stand on the pedals to relieve the perineal pressure (sore buttocks!) and give my calf muscles a stretch. Cycling has become more interesting day by day.

Some more photos of my calf stretches and my bike.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

First Road Cycling Training session

I had my first training session on Saturday evening lasting for 40 minutes and found that it was difficult maintaining 22 km/h even on a flat terrain. I was just getting used to the 8-speed Shimano gears as it had been probably 20 yrs since I've last rode on a bike. My heart rate after the session was 110 bpm even after 5 minutes of rest and at 10 minutes, it was 90 bpm. It was a difficult ride charting a 17-18 on the Borg's Exertional Scale.

I need the Polar Heart Rate Monitor the next time I cycle. It will probably take another 4 - 6 weeks before I get fit enough for cycling to work.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Modified Mountain Bike for Commuting

I quickly got down to a neighbourhood cycling shop in Sungai Way (Fook Sang Bicycle Shop) and found myself an affordable entry level Jamis mountain bike, the 2008 Durango 1 and got it modified to be suitable for commuting approximately 20km (one way) once I have the skills and stamina. The mechanic exchanged the mountain bike tyres with road tyres and adjusted the ,saddle height to suit my size. He provided a bicycle lock, an Iron-Mag helmet, front lights, brake lights and cat-eye to make the ride safer.

It would be another 2 weeks before I would try cycling to work. Meanwhile, I will have to train my stamina in the SS2 and Taman Tun Dr Ismail / Bukit Kiara surrounding daily.I have started a Cycling Professionals Google Group to trace a suitable route to take from SS2 to USJ 9. Meanwhile, I am looking forward for more input from our specialist coaches and cyclists.

Monday, 30 June 2008

Can Cycling be safer?

Very few adults would find the courage to cycle to work for the fear of 'getting killed 'in a road traffic crash. The fear is justified if the cyclist does not take precautions and train himself to ride safely. Although I would agree with many Malaysians that our roads are not cyclist friendly, I have found that many countries in the world also have poor road traffic systems which would endanger the lives of cyclists.

Before you jump on your bike and take to the roads, kindly go through these websites:-
1. Think! Road Safety Website - Do's and Dont's for cyclists and Motorists
2. How not to get hit by cars
3. Is cycling dangerous?
4. Cycling Road Rules (Australian)

We are in the process of engaging trained professional coaches to help our fellow cyclists who want to commute to work on their bicycles. Kindly contact me at draston@gmail.com if you are interested.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Let's cycle our work anxiety away

I remember spending an hour cycling every evening (unless it rained cats and dogs) when I was a teenager. It was not because I was made to run errands but it was for leisure and fun after a long day's school.

Many of us spend at least 10 to 12 hours at work only to return home with stiffened shoulders and low back pain. Demanding job requirements have resulted in stress-related manifestations e.g. headache, palpitation, dizziness and sleeplessness.

Cycling to work may offer some relief when you are physically stronger and having time to destress while pedalling the bike. You would also have a lower heart rate and be able to sleep better once you are cycling regularly.

Take your bike out for a ride today!

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Cycling Professionals - Cycle to save the environment, keep fit and streamline your finances!

Although the inhabitants of developed and developing nations (see global chart) has been shown to continue to get fatter due to lack of physical activity and excessive food intake, not many in Malaysia would consider cycling to work.

The astronomical rise in world oil price (see OPEC Basket Price)has resulted in incessant rumours of petrol price hikes to haunt road-users after the initial increase of 40%. The working population are putting in overtime and getting 2 jobs just to pay off their mortgages, utility and food bills. Those who do so would often find that they are too tired to exercise at the end of the day.

Despite the inadequacies of the current road transport system, the working professional would need to consider certain tough measures to improve the quality of life. Now it's time to act and reduce daily expenses, strategise and cycle!


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