Saturday, March 15, 2008

Desaru with Michelle

Having found a longer seatpost for Michelle (my 1991 Bridgestone MB-3), I was stoked to take this workhorse for a spin to let her stretch her legs:

She has long legs  :-P

Blue tracks = Day 1; red tracks = Day 2. Yellow boxes reflect highway numbers. Mileage are in kilometers as Michelle has not been equipped with a speedometer yet. 1.6 km = 1 mile.

No pictures of the first day as my camera decided to take a holiday as well.

On the 30-km ride to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, a mini van and a car speeding in the opposite direction on East Coast Park Service Road, crossed the double white lines over to our lane to avoid the speed regulating strips, and forced us off the road. This was despite our blinking lights and us hollering.

Headlights coming straight at you — better than coffee.

It rapidly got warmer after we left Sebana Cove. Breakfast at Rail Mall at 5:20 AM clearly being less than sufficient, we were ravenous by the time we clocked 53.7 km and reached the Petronas station. Bread, biscuits, and 100 Plus never tasted so good. After that, it was an easy 6.7 km to Desaru.

Michelle, ma belle...
Sont les mots qui vont très bien ensemble,
tres bien ensemble.

Drive-side pannier:  2.47 kg
Non-drive side pannier:  2.82 kg
Bike weight:  12.87 kg
Water bottles:  3
  - Nalgene (covered spout ) 700 ml (0.7 kg)
  - Tarcx (exposed spout) 850 ml (0.85 kg)
   - Mineral water 1.5 liters (1.5 kg)

TOTAL:  21.21 kg (46.66 lbs)

Desaru Damai Beach Resort
Bandar Penawar, 81900 Kota Tinggi,
Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia
Tel: 607-822 4600
       607-822 5600

Tip:  Ask for a room on the second floor, not the first. That way, you can roll your bike to your room.

We left Desaru at 12:30 PM. Temperature was 87°F (30.6°C). This is Highway 90, a coastal road that's considerably quieter than Highway 92.


2 km later. For some reason, this area is often warmer than the surrounding areas. Current temperature 91°F (32.8°C).

After the hills, Batu Layar.
Temperature 89°F (31.7°C).

A wider view.

A detour we discovered.

Just lallang rustling (wind caressing).


       Lallang does not sleep to man's command
       burnt, uprooted, undestroyed it flourishes well;
       proud, disillusioned man walk on,
       lallang lines your road to hell,
       do not try to understand the lallang's moods
       it sways calypso-like because it must:
       do not think it's love you've found
       the lallang's cutting edge is lust
       let the wind cut its fingers on lallang
       in the fields near the Bo tree:
       there is no lallang to cut oneself on
       in a field of dead memories.

       (Chandran Nair)

HON SHIN:  You carry on with your, "The hills are alive with the sound of music" routine, dude. I've got a ferry to catch. Bye!

Another reason why you should always keep your brakes in good condition (unless... maybe, you own this).

So that's the reason for the bridge we passed... Oh, 15 minutes ago!

In the preceding picture, we were standing at the foot of the lone, tall coconut tree in the center. Hon Shin's GPS track makes it all clear.

We had lunch at Sungai Rengit at 3:30 PM. Then, it was a leisurely 7.4 km to the entrance to Sebana Cove. The sign that states, "250 m to Sebana Cove Marina," lies; it is actually 5 km.

As we reached Sebana Cove Marina with more than 90 minutes to spare, we went exploring. 12 km of paved plantation roads later, we discovered the backdoor connector of Sebana Cove Marina from the sleepy village of Pengerang.

This is the view if you are heading westbound along J152 from Sungai Rengit. It is about 2 kilometers to Tanjung Pengelih Jetty. If you are heading eastbound from the jetty, the unnamed and unmarked junction lies 100 meters after the police station.

Here, Hon Shin tries his hand at hitchhiking. Folks, if you see this cyclist, he has a folding bike, so you can pick him up with a minimum of hassle. Give him a ride  :-D

Hon Shin's account has a lot more pictures and data. Check it out.

  Indo Falcon Shipping
  Tel: 6275-7393
  Fax: 6276-1753
  Malaysia: 607-826 6688

Deciding not squeeze in the stuffy air-conditioned cabin with the rest of the passengers, we hightailed to the top deck before the dockside crew spotted us. It didn't offer the best in comfort — no chairs, no seats, no lights, no shelter from the wind — but we had a bird's eye view of the lights, and the open, night sky — graced with warm, flat 100 Plus, tasting of plastic; and crushed, broken, stale biscuits. It doesn't take much to be happy  :-)

Total distance:  Hon Shin's cyclo-computer 107.6 miles (172.2 km)
Temperature range:  75°F to 93°F (23.9°C to 33.9°C)

Michelle grows taller

When Michelle, my 1991 Bridgestone MB-3, entered my life, I was 1.82 m. In 1995, I hit 1.84 m and her seatpost was max-ed out. Needless to say, when I grew* to 1.87 m, the saddle became too low for anything but short jaunts.

Below the insertion mark on SR seatposts (and Sakae posts) is a stamped mark, such as F-84. The number is the year of manufacture and the letter appears to be the month of manufacture. In the example, the "F" indicates the sixth month, or June.
         (Vintage Trek)

In this case, "C-90" indicates that my SR seatpost was manufactured in March, 1990. SR Sakae is now known as SR Suntour.

We have discovered that there are two types of measurements used in measuring a seatpost length, the manufacturers, and reality.

Left:  OEM silver Sakae Ringyo setback seatpost, 27.0 mm diameter, 310 mm length.

Right:  Kalloy black setback 26.8 mm diameter, 400 mm length.

Many soft drink cans measure 0.2 mm in wall thickness. A shim made from one would make up for the 0.2 mm difference in diameter between the 2 seatposts. Personally, I prefer the longer cans.

This is the hardest part of the operation; pay attention:

       Open can.

       Pour into a cold glass.


Use a pair of straight (yellow) aviation shears to trim the can to fit. Sheet metal can be sharp, don a pair of leather gloves. Measure twice — make it thrice — cut once. With several (or more) trim and fit cycles, you will eventually arrive at the right sized shim for the seatpost.

Tip:  for added insurance, drink a second can so that you'll have a backup in case you mess up. After you empty the second can, you may reckon while you're at it, it may not be such a bad idea to trim your nostril hair with the metal shears. Don't do it.

Seatpost installed with shim.

A closer look. The fit is snug. The seatbinder quick release doesn't need to be tightened much. Distance from Bottom Bracket (BB) center to top of saddle:  79.5 cm.

* = Something that me and my 6' 4.5" (1.94 m) ex-housemate noticed:  obnoxious pricks who dish out the phrase "grow up" are always physically shorter than us. Some twisted kind of unconscious longing on their part, coupled with (recurring) episodes of psychotic projection, perhaps?

         Hey, look! A gnome!

Friday, March 14, 2008

For the Racer Ya Yas

A reality check from Guy Andrews and Simon Doughty:

       And, despite what your long-term riding aspirations may be, don't be tempted to try to set yourself up as a pro rider. Pro bike riders are professional because they are extremely talented athletes. You have probably realized by now[. . .] that to make it into the pro peloton you have to be able to ride a bike extremely fast and for a very long time. And that isn't easy[. . ..]

       Flexibility and the physical ability to ride 20,000 - 25,000 miles (35,000 - 40,000 km) a year means that the bike setup a pro rider rides is never going to be suitable for the rider who rides a fraction of that distance, and can barely touch his toes. So be realistic about the bike you ride — in reality, it might be slowing you down.

                                         [ . . . ]

       A pound of weight saved from your body is worth far more than any weight you can save off your bike. There is a reason that skinny, slight Spanish climbers go faster in the hills than big Belgian rouleurs. So before you rush off and spend a small fortune on the latest carbon wheels or titanium frame, think about it. Do you really need that ice cream?

(Andrews, Guy and Simon Doughty.  The Cyclist's Training Manual: Fitness and Skills for Every Rider.  Connecticut:  Falcon,  2007.  10, 49.)


Awareness Test

For cell (mobile) phone supporters, try doing this while chatting or texting.


If my self was my dwelling, then my body resembled an orchard that surrounded it. I could either cultivate that orchard to its capacity or leave it to the weeds to run riot in. . . . One day, it occurred to me to set about cultivating my orchard for all I was worth. For my purpose, I used sun and steel. Unceasing sunlight and implements fashioned of steel became the chief elements in my husbandry. Little by little, the orchard began to bear fruit, and thoughts of the body came to occupy a large part of my consciousness.
         (Yukio Mishima)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Duo's last sunrise on Black Mountain

Kristy Gough

Matt Peterson

Sheriff's deputy hits cyclists, killing 2

Demian Bulwa, Delfin Vigil, Tyche Hendricks, and Cecilia M. Vega
San Francisco Chronicle
March 11, 2008

Cupertino -- A rookie Santa Clara County deputy sheriff patrolling a winding Cupertino road Sunday morning veered into the opposite lane of traffic and struck three bicyclists, killing two, including a rising star in the Bay Area cycling community, authorities said.

Authorities did not release the names of the riders who were killed, but friends identified them as Kristy Gough, 30, of San Leandro and Matt Peterson, 29, of San Francisco. The third cyclist, whose name was not released, was listed in critical condition Sunday night at Stanford University Medical Center.

Gough was a professional triathlete who recently took up road racing and who friends said won every race she entered this year. She and Peterson, also an amateur road racing cyclist, both won their divisions in a March 1 road racing event in downtown Merced.

Gough, Peterson and the third cyclist were on a training ride on Stevens Canyon Road and had broken away from a group of eight others when they were struck by the on-duty deputy at about 10:25 a.m., friends of the riders said.

The unidentified deputy was driving northbound when his white cruiser accidentally crossed over the double yellow line between Montebello and Ricardo roads and hit the cyclists, said Sgt. Don Morrissey, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department.

The rest (1).


Update 6 Nov 2009:

Santa Clara County has agreed to pay $800,000 to the father of one of the two bicyclists struck and killed by a sheriff's deputy who fell asleep at the wheel of his cruiser, officials said Thursday.

Deputy James Council's car crossed the center line of Stevens Canyon Road in Cupertino on March 9, 2008, and struck three bicyclists. Matt Peterson, 29, of San Francisco, and Kristy Gough, 30, of San Leandro were killed, and the third bicyclist was badly injured.

Gough's father, Rip Gough, mother Karen Clarkson and Peterson's parents, John and Betty Peterson, sued the county in Superior Court. In October, the county agreed to pay $1.2 million to Clarkson. In July, the county settled with the Petersons for $2.3 million.

Another suit filed by the injured cyclist, Christopher Knapp, is pending.

County officials said they and Council "publicly acknowledged responsibility for this tragic accident and have made every effort to reasonably compensate all accident victims."

Council was sentenced in June to four months in jail and 800 hours of community service after pleading guilty to two counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Officials said he would probably serve the jail term in home detention or by participating in the sheriff's work-furlough program.

Council was demoted after the accident to an unsworn position as a sheriff's technician. He is barred from driving a patrol car or carrying a gun.

When the accident happened, Council was 4 1/2 hours into a 12-hour shift after working a 12 1/2-hour shift the day before.

Article continues here.

(Lee, Henry K. "$800K for father of bicyclist killed in crash." San Francisco Chronicle. Nov 5, 2009. Accessed Nov 6, 2009. )


This is sad. I used to ride along this road all the time (1), (2), (3), (4), (5) when I lived in Cupertino and Santa Clara.

Requiéscant in pāce.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Death by Chocolate

It's nice when friends understand the things you do, and cheer you on:

As an individual who grew up under the specter of corporal punishment, I've come to cherish the belief that you gotta have your punishment before you get your love...  (Muahaha!)

So, I decided to make this an extra special century ride.

144.9 miles = 231.8 km

The question that remains is, "Shall I eat one or two?"

If the answer is the latter, I may have to borrow this sticker from my old friend, Chris.

Thank you.