Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ramadhan rides continue….

We (as in me & Shaq) finished all 4 Friday night ride this Ramadhan successfully. First Friday, Jazlany joined us despite the drizzle a few minutes before the ride. The following Friday, swelled to 30 cyclists. Namely those from Taman Keramat, Taman Melawati and Ampang after an invitation posted by Shaq at jomkayuh.com (not really).

The third Friday, dropped to 20 cyclists. Probably due “unbearable” series of climbing route designed by Shaq. New faces turned up among roadies. The route gets tougher with climbing section from Mahameru to Bukit Tunku. As for myself, Shogun was running 2 speed i.e. 44/15 & 32/15 wasn’t survived that section too. The final stopover was at Middle East restaurant somewhere in Bukit Bintang introduced by Dr Mariam.

Cyclists of the night

Rekindle my memories during my short work trip in Riyadh with Foul and Humus dishes

More photos here!

I decided to take my Scott for a ride on forth Friday. I suffered tremendously for trying to keep the gear ratio as if I am riding my Spesh (Scott on knobbie while Spesh on semi-slick and 3 kg lighter). The crowd on that night were mostly roadies with bling-bling road bike. New faces emerged, old faces faded away. My shallow mind making conclusion.. “when the going gets tough, only the tough gets going”. Report from Shaq on the next day, those roadies ask for a rerun of the route that very night. I guess a stopover at Doraisamy was the biggest attraction.

Small matter for Shaq

When men turn their heads in 1 direction....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ramadhan al-mubarak rides

As usual, ride must go on.. with some minor adjustment during this fasting month. Been 2 weeks fasting and 2 city centre rides on Friday in a row. Last nite, me, Shark, Zali, Pak Abas and 2 other roadie went downtown for mild ride. Mild due to my request since I took Shogun for a test ride. Shogun was running on 44T chainring and 15T cog, quite a huge ratio. Lucky enough, uncut handlebar helps to leverage "rock the bike" cranking up short steep hills.
Tunnel under Jalan Ampang/Jalan Tun Razak intersection

First Friday of Ramadhan, we (Shark and Jazlany) went for a ride. Started of from Sri Gombak flowing to Sentul then to Hentian Duta. Turning of to Masjid Wilayah and climbing up Hartamas heading to Pusat Sains and take a turn of to Damansara Height. Slowly climbing up Damansara Height and fast descent to Pusat Bandar Damansara and proceed to Parlimen via Jalan Duta. From there, Tasik Perdana and exit at Dayabumi and pay a visit to memorable Pasar Seni (me and wife's RV before we get married, back then cellphone wasn't born yet). Added to that sweat, we loop to Bukit Bintang before taking a break at Dataran Merdeka. We met a bunch of cyclist from AU3, Keramat who invited us for a drink at Selangor Mansion. Over Teh Tarik, we discussed on combining for a larger group for the following Friday nite ride.
A view by the riverbank near Central Market

Jazlany admiring graffiti near Central Market

Sahur break with Kelolo

The following weekdays, me and Shark started discussing on how to entice others to join us for Friday nite ride. An invitation in one of local cycling forum didn't catch any response from forum's member. It doesn't really matter bcoz to me, rides must go on, no matter what number of cyclist we have. To our surprise, our proposed RV swamped by nearly 30 cyclists around the vicinity, Shark was saying "this is like Critical Mass". I can say that all of them cycled from home.

Great! Now we have a large number, how do we handle this?

Typically, any number below 10 is easy enuff to handle. 30 cyclists can be a different ball game. Though everyone is aware that they have to take care themselves out there, being sort of "organizer", we have a responsibility to ensure the route is safe enuff, doable, and spread out some sweepers within the crowd to avoid ppl loosing direction.

RV at Tasik Titiwangsa

So the game plan was, Shark taking the lead, me sweeping in between to ensure ppl taking the right route, and Pak Abas as final sweeper. Alhamdulillah, everything went smooth and safe. The route was the same we did the previous week minus Bukit Bintang due to high traffic area.

In front of Masjid Wilayah

Mejar Anuar at Dataran Merdeka

Golden boys group

Youngsters group

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shogun the SS

For better look, I swapped for uncut raised handlebar.

Further damages: -
Handlebar - RM15 (changed to rised bar)
Handle grip - RM5 (changed to polka dot)

Next, looking for ring washer for chainring spacer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Commuter bicycle

First Scott, then Specialized. Then come the third "S" in my cycling life.. SHOGUN!

While the first 2 I don't dare to leave it out there while running errands, this bike I built with ease of mind concept. Meaning I can confidently leave it out there and that it won't attract much attention. Worst case if it's stolen, it doesn't burn big hole on my pocket. Having said that, I still keep the bicycle lock out there.

Here's the objective in importance order: -
1. Dirt cheap
2. Simple setup
3. Can ride town elevation

As a result, this was the plan..
1. Single front v-brake
2. Single speed
3. Upright riding posture

I had my hands on the frame, fork & headset for sub RM100. Others: -
Saddle - RM15
Stem - RM30
Handlebar - RM15
Handle grip - RM8
Front wheelset - RM20
QR seatpost clamp - RM10
V-brake - RM15
Crankset, pedal, cassette, chain, rear wheel, tyres, brake lever - parts surplus

That's meeting all the objective and plan except riding town elevation on which I can't determine at this current moment. Why?

Running single speed is a delicate matter of striking a balance of speed and strength. Secondly, chainline.

Striking a balance
The gear ratio is the key element on determining what fit you best for most of terrain you ride. Running it high, you can speed up on flat, suffer on climb. Running it low, you may take any climb, but can't go fast on flat.

Previous setup, 32T:14T (2.28 ratio)

I'm trying on 44T:14T (3.14) ( meaning 1 revolution pedal drives 3.14 turn of rear wheel). On flat and short climb seems not that difficult. I am yet to take it to work where elevation varies.

The chainring is ideally to be aligned to rear sprocket, as nearly straight line adjustment as possible. Sheldon Brown has a lengthy explanation on this subject.

Adjusting the chain line was pain in the ass

If running on cassette type hub, this means stacking a number of spacer to achieve this and probably fitting large chainring in the middle chainring position.

Stacking spacers, scavenge from old cassette

Final pose on 6th September

Foot note: Initially I was using "commuting bicycle" on which refer to a "bicycle as mode of transport that we use to commute". It's similar to "jogging shoe" and "running shoe" if we look from the same context. However, commuter in some part of the world means "a piece of transportation equipment used for the transportation of such persons" thus our "KTM Komuter".