Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thailand to Singapore, via East Coast of Malaysia, Ride

Here's a raw GPS plot of my journey (via MacGPS Pro). It will take some time to get it rendered on a map as my venerable 1st generation Apple PowerBook G4 Titanium does not possess enough VRAM (8 MB) to run Google Earth.

Almost all the stamps are on the same page  :-D

As this is a multi-day ride, the ride report is lengthy; hence, so it will be broken up into daily reports. Pictures with comments will be interspersed with the end-of-the-day journal entries; occasional disjunctions / discontinuities are unavoidable.

As I post each day's ride report (it may take a fortnight or so, to complete all of them; there are approximately 1352 pictures and 44 videos to sort, edit, and notate), this page — with links to each day — will remain as the index to the 2-week trip.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14

                                         The Winners

                             ("The Story of the Gadsbys")

         What the moral? Who rides may read.
         When the night is thick and the tracks are blind
         A friend at a pinch is a friend, indeed,
         But a fool to wait for the laggard behind.
         Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne,
         He travels the fastest who travels alone.

         White hands cling to the tightened rein,
         Slipping the spur from the booted heel,
         Tenderest voices cry " Turn again!"
         Red lips tarnish the scabbarded steel,
         High hopes faint on a warm hearth-stone —
         He travels the fastest who travels alone.

         One may fall but he falls by himself —
         Falls by himself with himself to blame.
         One may attain and to him is pelf —
         Loot of the city in Gold or Fame.
         Plunder of earth shall be all his own
         Who travels the fastest and travels alone.

         Wherefore the more ye be helpen-.en and stayed,
         Stayed by a friend in the hour of toil,
         Sing the heretical song I have made —
         His be the labour and yours be the spoil.
         Win by his aid and the aid disown —
         He travels the fastest who travels alone!

         (Joseph Rudyard Kipling)


~ vik ~ said...

So...this is your big project! Got a friend who's keen to ride from sin to china, looking for company to ride...u keen?

Anonymous said...

Find Peter Lim Thiam Hock!!! JChan

-ben said...

Hahaha! Herroo Viki, Viki!

I make a poor traveling companion. I tend to sabo people. Check this out. It happened after we left your shop (and at the foot of NicIz2HardKore's block too!).

zeenie said...

Dude, this rocks so hard, golems would be afraid of you! Amazing photos and good descriptions. =)

How did you take so many photos on the move? Stop, take photo and ride on? Sounds tiring.

-ben said...

zeenie! Long time no see / chat! How are you?

Thank you, the trip was a blast. 'Wish I didn't have to do it during Ramadan though. That was a bit of unnecessary suffering.

How did you take so many photos on the move? Stop, take photo and ride on? Sounds tiring.

Yep. I sacrificed a lot of downhills. Sometimes, I can be going at a good clip, and then have to brake to a stop -- just for a picture. After that, I have to crank up to speed again. It does get tiring.

Colin said...

Hey -ben,

I read in one of your posts tat you're a gout sufferer. How do you deal with it? I'm a sports-loving person, even though I'm fat.

I hate it when I get an attack, because then I can't partake in sports, and it continues to affect me several days, even weeks after the attack. Sometimes, I don't walk normally for up to a month after the attck subsides.

So I hope you could give me some tips.

I love your exploits! They make me feel the wanderlust for the open road and track. Hopefully I be able to do stuff like that in future. Thanks in advance!


mb said...

Great inspiring read. Thanks for sharing! I thought others may enjoy reading about your adventures so I linked to it.

-ben said...

Hi Colin,

Thank you for your comment :-)

Yes, I do suffer from gout. Mine's not genetic though. I started getting gout attacks after surviving for 2 weeks on a large pizza (and lots of tap water) when I ran out of funds during freshmen year — in winter. After that, my body became very sensitive to protein loads and purine loads.

How do you deal with it?

I rigidly control my protein and purine intake. For example, I do not pig out on protein-rich foods unless I have exercised intensively that day (e.g. round island ride, 2 hours of laps in the pool, or 2 hours lifting weights). I also stay away from purine-rich foods. Offal is a no-no. Tripe is very bad. Basically, stay away from organs. Salmon is also rich in purines. So go easy on the sushi / sashimi. Beans are bad, especially soya bean. A cup of soya bean milk or bean curd, but not both. Mushrooms, as I discovered on the ride, can be high in purines too. Beer, dark ales, and stout are high in purines. Alcohol intake of any sort increases the chances of gout attacks.

Certain food additives or synthesized food products may also trigger gout attacks. For some, it's aspartame; for others, it's transfat or some manipulated form of flour.

The way to discover triggers unique to you is to keep a food log. It may seem tedious but it just takes a minute at most, and keeps down the guesswork at the end of the day when you get hit.

You did not state your age. If you are relatively young, gout could signal an underlying condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or some other variant of auto immune disease. It's best to consult a physician.

I take Colchicine. It works for me but it is a nasty drug. The difference between a therapeutic dose and a toxic dose is very small, and is influenced by a host of factors, so doctors are generally reluctant to prescribe it. I regularly battle with the doctors at the polyclinic for refills.

I am definitely not a medical doctor, and this does not constitute medical advice, but personally, I found Volteren Emulgel to be very effective in controlling gout attacks. It is a cream that you put on, and it is absorbed through the skin. The medicine in it reduces swelling, inflammation, and pain. Used together with oral painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin, it speeds up recovery.

When you do get an attack, try not to move the affected limb. Gout is basically sharp uric acid crystals coming out of solution in your joints. Moving them just tears up your flesh from the inside.

Also, your liver can only get rid of so much uric acid at one time, so when you get a gout attack, if you can take it, go on a "protein fast." E.g. take porridge, rice, etc. Basically eat an extremely low protein diet until your gout clears up. You do not want to be introducing more uric acid in your blood when you already have an overload.

Each attack may permanently damage the joint a little each time, so you do need to control or better yet, prevent it if you wish to preserve your physical mobility.

'Glad you enjoy the write up.

Take care!


-ben said...

Mr Brown!

Thank you for dropping by!

I greatly enjoyed your posts of your road trip :-)

Colin said...

Hmm, don't move the affected region? Gosh, I tend to stretch it!

Yeah, thanks for sharing your knowledge, but unfortunately, I cannot resist eating whatever I feel like, and it most usually is meat of some sort.

I shall definitely consider keeping a food log, better for my general health anyway, not just for preventing gout attacks.

To asnwer your question, I am 23 turning 24, and I got my first occurence when I was 18. This was 3 years after my dad and I tried the Atkins' Diet. Bad choice on that one...

Hope to read more of your great stories, and thanks again!

llogam Creations said...

Followed the link from Mr Brown over.

Am still reading your account (just finished Day 8) and wanted to say that I'm enjoying it tremendously.

-ben said...

Thanks for dropping by!


spearies said...

Wow... I was so attracted to your blog entry for your bike travelling from Thailand to Singapore even I was busy mugging for my upcoming exams! So inspiring by your achievements!

-ben said...


Ah, the Atkins diet. Personally, I think diets don't work by their very definition of being a temporary regime (that most do not enjoy). A lifestyle change is what's needed. Another way is to correlate food intake with exercise. :-D


Good luck for your exams!