Thursday, January 29, 2009

Batu Pahat, Johor...A bike town?

During the Chinese New Year holidays, I cycled around my hometown Batu Pahat, Johor...hmm it seems that the cycling activity is still very much alive:-) You can still see people cycling around.

My bike

We have a lot of Japanese reconditioned bikes here. It's very popular among the folks here as well as the foreign workers. Very much like the Velorbis bikes.

While wondering around the Dataran Penggaram, I saw this very own Malaysian style single speed cargo bike...but the owner was not there.

I saw this bike at the traffic light of Jalan Tan Swee Hoe. The box attached to the rear carrier really attracted me. It's a DIY box decorated with CDs around the box. Owned by a 62 year old uncle staying in Parit Besar. He told me that the box is very convenient for him to put his packed food when he goes to work. (sorry image not that clear)

I met this foreign worker on my way back home. Look at his wheelset. A DIY as well:-) Whaa...not bad..very creative.

This boy happily willing to pose with his Japanese bike.

Who knows maybe one day Batu Pahat can become like Copenhagen. Why not? Maybe we should launch a campaign there. The traffic jams is quite bad nowadays.

For more info about Batu Pahat visit

Thursday, January 22, 2009

On the move-no sweat

If you are confined to being in the office, then what you carry with you when you cycle to work can be very minimum. The most important things would be the spare tube/s, pump, headlight, blinker and maybe your office attire and toiletries. You could also send your week's clothing to your office during weekend and bring it back daily. Provided you have the space! but office shoes
and toiletries shouldn't be a problem.

The challenge would be when you are on the move. Sunny days shouldn't be any problem but how about rainy days? So far I am lucky as whenever it rains, I am always under shelter or at client's place or the rain has just stopped when I am just about to embark on my journey. I will blog later when I am dealing with the situation.

Being on the move requires me to ensure that all the things that I carry are always safe from rain and it's not too heavy to carry over the shoulder. Below are the items that I always carry:

1. Spare Tubes (I always carry 2)
2. Pump
3. Headlight and blinkers
4. Rim tape
5. Tire lever
6. Screw driver
7. Spare batteries
8. Perfume (small bottle body shop)
9. Hair cream
10. Good Morning towel
11. Business Shirt
12. Tie
13. Working documents and stationery
14. PDA
15. Shoe polisher-Cloth type
16. Rain Jacket and pants (Still considering as the bag is full)
17. Slippers ( For rainy days-tied to my mtb rear carrier)

I prefer to travel the bike messenger style. All of the above items are in my Timbuk2 messenger bag (waterproof). I just bought another one Chrome...hehe. Another brand that you can consider would be Crumpler which is available at KLCC. I wear Khaki pants (tights inside as it will dry faster), Dry fit T-shirt and leather shoes (Obermain/Clarks) when cycling to work.

I always reach client's place early. Have teh tarik at "mamak", cool down, clean up with Good Morning towel, put on my business shirt and tie, perfume and hair cream inside the restaurant toilet:-) . I can't perspire and smelly when seeing my clients...k...:-)

Parking is not a problem as I ride a fixie or an old beater chromoly mtb bike. I will just park at the mamak's restaurant or any place that I think that is safe and allowable. Just make sure that I secured it to a railing, pole etc. I don't leave anything behind.

So there you go...on the sweat:-)

p/s: Below are the photos on how you should fold your business shirt so that it won't crumple.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cycle Friday Teh Tarik Session 16 Jan 2009

It was an enjoyable moment for the inaugural teh tarik session. Man CIOCC and I rode together to Pelita Jalan Ampang from his office at Jalan Masjid Jamek. We don't even sweat...Haha..and as usual the traffic jam madness from Jalan Raja Chulan to KLCC. Others that came were Khairul, Sham Dewa and Kelolo. Some others couldn't make it this time round. Pelita was quite packed at that time. will be chaotic if let say 100 bike commuters turn up. Since initiating Cycle Friday about a month ago, I got to know more Malaysians that cycle to work...and more will answer the calling. Khairul shared his story about making his DIY tights..sewing sponge to his boxer..hehe...Finally he gave up and bought himself a proper tights. He could not imagine what his maid would think of him when she does the washing..."apa ini Pak...seluar ada span"...Hahaha...

One thing that I learned was about being practical and you don't have to think too much about making the decision to cycle to work...Just ride it!

Inspiring video and story by Man CIOCC on his maiden ride to work:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How much could you save?

How much could you save when you ride to office?
Let say you ride on every friday and your car petrol is RM10. How about parking charges..Let say RM10. Toll maybe RM2. So the total cost would be:
Petrol RM10 + Parking RM10 + Toll RM2=RM22 per week. Let say you cycle for 50weeks...that would be RM1,100 per annum. How about when you cycle twice a week? That would be RM2,200. That could easily get you another new bike every year! Your bicycle maintenance cost won't be that much since you are just using it for road riding.

How much would the government save on petrol subsidy? Let say 30sen per litre. So for RM10 petrol consumption per person that would be = 5.56 litre per person (RM10/1.80 per litre). So subsidy save per person would be RM1.67. Let say 10,000 people in Malaysia ride to work once a week...that would be RM16,680 (10,000 x RM1.67). So per annum the government would save based on 50week people cycle to work would be RM834,000. How about 100,000 people cycle to work just for once a week? That would be RM8.34 million!

How about the stress caused by the traffic jams? How about better health? How about the environment?

Points to ponder for the begining new year 2009. Hey think no more...Let's just do it! Start with Cycle Friday! If the expatriates can do it, why can't we..