an(e)vil

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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"eddy" bead by Copperhead

...1972 Mexico City. The Hour Record

Why, it's another kickass piece from my favorite bead guy, of course.

Pretty special one too..this was cast in honor of the cycling great, Eddy Merckx, aka "The Cannibal" What can be better! A cycling nut bead maker and an appreciating cycling nut customer..

The love of things metal started with bikes, which expanded to knives from an early age and of late a growing fascination for beads. A bike theme bead that's gonna be hanging off one of my favorite blade. Full circle!

"But.. what about skulls ?"

Ah yes-- another of my fascination. .. The young idealistic Forensic Anthropology student researching and writing his thesis on trepanation that consumed the entire summer of 95'

Trepanation or trephination: The art and cultures of surviving the drilling of holes in the cranium.

Yes, as always I'm lurking among things macabre and morbid :)


Ok time for me to shut up.. ... let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy.

"Eddy" on the Cambrium



Podium!

As cyclists what we hope to see of course is the gracious sharing of roads and for all to be safe.
It ain't a one sided thing.. motorize or pedal powered we just need to do our part to keep everyone safe and get home for dinner with loved ones.  Ride Hard Ride Safe.
Imagine :- by John Lennon
"Imagine all the people...Sharing all the world.....oooh"

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Friday, June 5, 2015

E.flection


Every writing is a reflection but since almost everything is done on the puter and online these days.. guess I'll just call today's writeup e.flection.

Contrary to my lack of writing on bike stuff in the last few months, I have actually been doing more riding. At the end of the day, like the internal jokes amongst my usual suspects, we may just be striving to not to be that 20-cents rider with a ten thousand dollar bike even though most of us are far from that category despite mediocre skills. At least the bike ain't worth that much ;) But that might also have subconsciously put me off a lot of the reviewing done in the past on this blog with new bike toys and components.

So I've gone back to more riding and revisiting some biking related bucket-list items and one of them is learning the one trick everyone would love to pull off.

Yes, even if you are a roadie-- Admit it, secretly somewhere inside you want to be like that kid on a bmx riding round and round on one wheel.

The Wheelie.

Ok I'm slow... it's about  Day 7 Lesson, "The Float Zone" that sparked off this article.. but in real time this is already Day 12 or 13 for me.

For the technically savvy impatient ones.. I dedicated my post practice scribblings as one of the tab  pages to remind myself as I go on...
Click the  "Float.Zone" tab above or click here for mobile users...

Dreamy readers who are acquainted with my long soliloquy please read on

But first here is the link to this whole wheelie challenge I am going on and on below...
Hop over to http://www.ryanleech.com/wheelies/


The wheelie for me is bordering on an obsession by now.. It's a thing I "try" every now and then but never able to pull off. I take consolation in able to knock a 2 foot high bunny hop from flat even on long travel bikes but somehow that nagging feeling of being unable to pop a one wheeler for a respectable distance just irks me to no end.

Trying for 30 years with no success.. I was truly skeptical at first about how a wheelie can be learned in 30 days delivered in bite size bits.. While far from getting it all down at this point I'm truly beginning to harbor positive thoughts that it's actually doable.

It's hard to describe.. but let's say now someone put down $10K in front of me or tell me I can do a 10Km wheelie--I'll choose the latter even if I'm only on a 20-cents bike. Hence any positive feeling that it can be learned for good certainly is exciting to my present state of mind.

Though its a comprehensive tutorial for the wheelie, yet I can see and combine with other riding knowledge in my repertoire, to apply many of the little steps in here on other tricks and riding situations. It's really more than just about one move as learning the bits and pieces in each lesson progresses.

The most crucial part of the whole process is maybe what I have been encountering up till now...

Practicing the Float Zone has enabled me to combine with what comes before it to make a smooth transition and I coin it the "All-In-One Second" zone... and then on to the "Float". A smooth balanced lift-off that quickly transition into the float zone... Experience so far tells me it all has to happen within the first second. Sounds simple eh! Trust me I can write a tome just on this one second... Coordination is literally from head to toe and every extremity in between.. My mind is on overdrive right now as I am still reflecting on all the possible combos of things happening right and wrong in that crucial one second...

But done right...

...it's something that's probably not noticed by a casual observer looking on as you pop the front .Yet, as the one is in the seat esecuting.. that feeling integrating all of this, be it even just 2 or 3 pedal strokes, you either get it or you don't.. If you do you will know what others mean when the say "that wheelie bliss".


A number of things are not "orthordox". That is, things I came up with by adjusting or modifying on what's in those tutorials. I believe this is a part of the learning curve. To discover. To adapt. To make it one's own. The bike is a machine, we are not. Everyone of us is a little different so we probably will have to go about in our own little eccentric ways so long as the end results are achieved. In a way this is similar to how I build up my bikes and dial them to my liking.. what works for me may not work for  someone else but drilling in fundamentals till they become second nature and modify along to optimize to oneself is the key so far for me.

Sounds fun? To be honest.. the night before last.. things actually got so frustrating.. I just raise the seatpost and did a ful power road ride on my trail bike... just to burn away at the frustrations. Making it a point to write everything down to help remember wasn't that bad.. At least this part I kinda enjoy it...


Just sharing some of my own notes on that page and by being public it helps in my case to put down

Fear: Fear of people looking on (laughing?) and in general non spefici unfounded fears.. Humans are weird creatures I reckon.. sometimes we heap upon ourselves unnecessary thoughts that burden our life for no good reasons..

Commitment: "Die Die Must succeed" or that's how my local lingo here would put it.. and post up a "graduation" video later on, now that I have written heaps of myself trying to do this. Couldn't back out now can I?

Reminder: Even if I miss, lag or generally feel down about this whole learning at any point.. each time my blog opens up-- it is here to remind myself..


Everyone needs a tag and one of my most liked motivation poster has this pair of hands cupping a sapling with some soil...it reads:
 ATTITUDE
 "The World May End tomorrow but I'm Still Gonna Plant My little Apple Tree"

I don't exactly have a mental picture... but my line will probably be
"The World May End Tomorrow but I'm Still Gonna Pop my 10KM Wheelie"


I'm back... and will be back for more.. Stay Tuned

nil volentibus arduum


Monday, April 20, 2015

Meat Ride


Lest it be said there really isn't much of a ride these days but a blog that only shows knives and food... :)

Salmo-Bacon Wrap. Courtesy of Mr 0.1 ton
and I told the vendor... "1kg roast pork... Don't cut. Whole piece"....







Hmm.. ok, think I got the S90v to a pretty keen edge...


Drippy Bacon and Crispy Roast Pork...there are all kinds of reasons why people ride


Monday, March 16, 2015

One last ride at BF.... 14/3/2015



Like any usual ride here... but today there was an overwhelming number of cars parked on the road beside the trail-head...  I guess no words are needed.

Whenever I see any of these corrugated metal barricades... there's always a foreboding feeling....

Or so they say... but

Thursday, February 19, 2015

CNY 2015 - Ride of the Pineapple Tarts Digestion


1st day of the Year of the Goat

Old folks always tell the young... "Don't throw anything out on the first day, don't sweep the floor and don't bring out any sharp things...Knives and scissors must be kept in the drawers."

Oh well... the oldest folk in the house now is me :) Nothing better than combining interests in my opinion. Knives, bikes, photography and being outdoor...


Nice quick spin with the usual suspects minus one.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Back in the elements

 Yes the biking part in me is still well and alive...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

1-1-2015

Nothing special.. start of the year with the usual. Ride. Catching up with friends I have missed riding with for awhile.


End up with some damn good coconut.... The woody-sweet kind.




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ride & Raw

Maybe things are just winding down or I have come to a new appreciation of things in life. Bikes and writings about bikes.. just aren't so much on about how epic things have recently been or what new super duper toys I-have-you-don't-have-that-money-can't-buy (but yea, having said, one is coming up as soon as I can get off my tardy bottom and talk tech again).

Weekend double rides had been a constant for a few weeks now. Zero point One Ton (Z.POT) has made tons of improvement on the trail.. bit by bit the adjustments are all getting there to optimize his ride and climbs.

Since we were grocery shopping before the ride, might as well throw in an extra 500gm of sake (salmon). Courtesy of Mr Z.POT
After today,  we might just start planning for a full course esp when Accident Prone Man, Nick is around for another ride...


Stupid me... whip out the spanking new Trangia impulse buybut the Wiseman in my head quickly reminded me... "He who packs a stove...must bring fuel". Guess it's Sashimi no sencha today!

Have enough pics of my bike taken... but here's how a 26" front looks on a hardtail. I'm sure thoughts are going on in someone's mind "Nah that rear has gotta go... maybe a new frame is needed. Oh wait the Piglet fits!"



"ITADAKIMASU"

and since this was a theme ride of sort...highlight of the day. LIMPEH!
























Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pulau Ubin


Last month when we took this pic at Ubin... I had this sudden feeling that we will soon see a swath of destruction and loss of another sanctuary in an ever reducing landscape of rideable trails for us bikers. There was a sudden chill looking at this pic as the feeling was much like when our bikes were hung up on a tree in Tampines Bike Park on it's very last day.

I'm not going to wax lyrical all over in this post.. just Google up on this island and its significance to Singapore... its all out there, but....

...Pulau Ubin is now at the forefront of discussion for a while. Ideas are filling in on how to shove it  with all the possible things to spruce it up. Nice to many urban city living folks who cannot live without their modern conveniences.

People who have forgotten or most of whom who never actually lived in places like this.
People who oooh and aahhh at the "amazing" Metal Trees built, NOT grown in the city

People who's nightly ritual is switching on the air con and even believe that chicken and eggs actually comes from refrigerators where old wooden hand painted signboards on the tranquil island probably looks like an abomination to them. Their latest GPS enabled smart phone would be better served to pinpoint their exact location on the island, lest they are lost. Alas mobile reception is poor or since we are so near to neighboring Malaysia.. the lines get switched to M'sian telco and thus makes them incur high charges while technically still in SG.

Oh what a bloody inconvenience Pulau Ubin is. Damn. Modernize the whole island.. Put in a cell tower every 200m. Paved up all the roads.. like how they have paved up the mainland. Yes yes yes-- pave concrete all the way into those natural green area so we can walk around and pick up any nice cute colorful seeds. .. and ask MOE to come here more often to spray and try to kill all the mosquitoes too...

It has always been the same...

First seed a dialogue/ feedback gathering session... paint in a picturesque image by one subtle means or another. 
Careful juxtaposing of the +ve and -ve in articles/ media such that it is skewed towards being  +ve for developing the place eventually.

Eg. Right at the start it say "AT LEAST half of 500 people surveyed say they want"
Note that the first 2 words are in caps. and "half" immediately sticks a huge margin...not said now but chances are "more than half" would appear in later articles as more feedback and "public education" of what this whole rig up is all about on the development of the island.

In the first place who are all the people or what percentage is made up of random person on the street who hasn't an inkling of what the place even is. How many of these people have actually have set foot on the island A  visitor, respecting the place as opposed to "Oh the last time I been to Ubin was when I was 10 and I am 45 now..." 

Further down, people are asking for more footpaths and wider roads. What were they thinking or comparing to when such were uttered. Have they even seen the roads and paths on that island before even making such statements?

Draw comparison to other places that has been "developed" now or in follow up articles as more "experts" have weighed in.

Or better yet, seed in a couple of lines that speaks of the lack of modernity in the place like electricity which one of the resident is hoping for. In the first place where does this lack comes from. Is there totally no electricity on this island. If there is, it is simply a matter of basic infrastructure not being built thoroughly enough or simply because it was not economically feasible. A few electricity-less souls is better than spending an inordinate amount of money to pipe electrons to them? What does that really say of the larger picture on the governing of Singapore when we can splurge a gazillion watts during F1?


Rave. Oh better yet, get a few "interviewees" to rave and followed by so called expert or people that supposedly is representative to put in their responses..

Objective: Convince the mediocre masses. 

Next: Start digging and building... and charging... -- and more destroying. Justification of the "development" leads to more justification of posh waterfront residential living justified by the land scarcity on an overdeveloped mainland needing to free up more space as time goes by. 


Of course for now there is a bit of tango-ing going on. Given how people can take to the various media to voice out their displeasure these days, there are certainly opposing voices that are featured.. but still it is just a matter of time. But see how people who opposed are being painted... "Purists such as heritage blogger and naval architect Jerome Lim..."

Tell me.. in reading the article and following the context leading to that line.. what connotation does the word "Purists" have in people's mind?  They are trying to paint people as being negative, narrow, only have their own little agendas in mind however "for the greater good" it may be in their argument. No?

All in the name of Progress & (more) Development. 

HUAT arh!

Finally some MP goes over and do a ribbon cutting ceremony, shaking hands with islanders. Cameras from the news will judiciously angle in on only happy smiling faces and edit in phrases of
"Yeah ... the changes very good", "Now the place much cleaner and nicer" yadda yadda.


Of course the above is only my own view. Feel free to disagree and go on to build an enclosed air conditioned travellator running the entire perimeter of the island.




Below article is taken directly from http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/wanted-more-modern-facilities-ubin

Wanted: More modern facilities for Ubin

AT LEAST half of 500 people surveyed say they want the rustic island of Pulau Ubin to take on some features of modern, mainland Singapore.
They said they would like to see more public facilities, including shelters, footpaths and toilets; attractions such as cycling trails and boardwalks; and the restoration of the island's kampung houses for overnight stays.

Their opinions were captured in an ongoing online survey, launched on Sept 8 by the Ministry of National Development (MND). This is part of efforts to gather ideas on how to preserve the rustic charm and heritage of Ubin, while enhancing public access sensitively.
The poll aside, some of Ubin's 38 residents have also told MND what they wished to see on the island. The wishlist included improved mobile network coverage; more street lights, a better waste disposal system and wider roads. Some had also asked for ATM machines, said an MND spokesman.
Mr Patrick Chan, 27, a commercial executive who did the survey, agreed with some suggestions. He said: "More signs and route markers will also be helpful to us 'mainlanders' who aren't as familiar with these 'country' roads."
But the suggestions worry heritage experts and nature enthusiasts, who said these have lost sight of the goal of retaining Ubin's laidback character.


Purists such as heritage blogger and naval architect Jerome Lim, who prefers leaving most of the island untouched, said: "Ubin should not be turned into yet another built-up and man-made place like Changi Village, packed with the modern conveniences of everyday life. We shouldn't be changing the destination into a kampung theme park to cater to hordes of people who may overrun the place."

Both Dr Chua Ai Lin, president of the Singapore Heritage Society, and Ms Ria Tan, who runs a popular wildlife site, said Ubin is already brimming with things to do.
For instance, Ms Tan said many are not aware of the "good spectrum of built trails, natural trails and untouched nature" across the island.

Meanwhile, Dr Chua said better communication is needed so that Singaporeans know what is already available there.

For instance, information on the island's heritage needs to be integrated into visitor information websites and collaterals provided by MND and NParks - the island's manager.

She pointed out that the National Heritage Board also has detailed write-ups on its website about the 10.2 sq km island, including stories about its early inhabitants and granite mining days.

An Ubin resident, Madam Kamariah Abdullah, 54, who owns a century-old Malay kampung home there, hopes that electricity can run through the island so she can keep food in her refrigerator fresh.

Islanders currently rely on solar and biodiesel energy.

But she called the rest of the suggestions "ridiculous".

Said Madam Kamariah: "Singapore has enough big roads and ATM machines. It shouldn't be about residents' convenience alone but about preserving the natural environment for the long term.

"There is no fun at all if Ubin becomes as perfect as Singapore is. Bigger, flatter paths would take away the challenge of the bumpy and wild terrain. We must experience it like our ancestors did."


What's wanted
- More public facilities such as toilets, footpaths and shelters
- Restoration of kampung houses to be used for overnight stays
- Better mobile coverage LMore street lights
- Better waste disposal
- Wider roads
- Automated teller machines

AT LEAST half of 500 people surveyed say they want the rustic island of Pulau Ubin to take on some features of modern, mainland Singapore.
They said they would like to see more public facilities, including shelters, footpaths and toilets; attractions such as cycling trails and boardwalks; and the restoration of the island's kampung houses for overnight stays.
- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/wanted-more-modern-facilities-ubin#sthash.xg4AY4hC.dpuf
AT LEAST half of 500 people surveyed say they want the rustic island of Pulau Ubin to take on some features of modern, mainland Singapore.
They said they would like to see more public facilities, including shelters, footpaths and toilets; attractions such as cycling trails and boardwalks; and the restoration of the island's kampung houses for overnight stays.
- See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/wanted-more-modern-facilities-ubin#sthash.xg4AY4hC.dpuf
Wanted: More modern facilities for Ubin
Wanted: More modern facilities for Ubin