Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Northern Star Sembawang ride

Northern Star is a cycling group spun out of Lovecyclingsg. They are folks who stay mainly in the Northern part of Singapore.We are talking about places like Woodlands, Sembawang and Yishun. Led ably by Thomas Tan and with his friends, the group consist of all age and sizes just like lovecyclingsg.  Last Sunday, Northern Star brought over 65 riders around Simpang Kiri PCN, visiting a very old Mosque and also the woodlands water front.
The route was mainly PCN and had lots of stop junctions which was  not a problem as they have split the folks into more manageable packs.
As we rode and felt the crisp morning air along Simpang Kiri, Urner (a first timer) and riding beside me exclaimed .... "so heng har!  I came.. otherwise I couldn't have know such beautiful place exist!"  Exactly the point we were trying to make. When you get out of your usual routine, visit another route you never took and take the time to slowly appreciate the environment.
It really made me very happy to see another cycling group offshoot, with the same ethos of Lovecyclingsg. Their motto is "Discover SG on wheels" . I like it and I like it alot!
So if you are staying around the north of Singapore and want to meet a group of fun loving folks. Pls do join Northern Star cycling group and you will surely have a good time!
More photos here for ur download! 
Team Northern Star!
Thomas Tan, Leader of Northern Star
Daniel Foo, Designer of the Northern Star logo, webguy and all. 

Before ride, Route and safety briefing
Eager beavers ready to lead and sweep. Their passion is infectious! 
LCSG and Northern Start for a group shot at Woodlands waterfront
nice and quiet at Simpang Kiri PCN
Shelby, Cayla and Desmond riding as a family
Esther angry as someone took her fishball... 
How can a sunday ride be without food.. here's mine! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Rider Couple profiles - Alan Teo and Chelsea story

Super sunshine couple Alan and Chelsea 
Rolling along with their Stridas
Alan on a BF Tikit
With their Bianchis
Rider Profile- Q&A

·       Tell me about yourself, How did you started cycling
Chelsea: I work in an animation company. I can't remember when I started cycling but then the cycling experience was very different from now. My 1st bike was a vintage roady which I hid from my parents under my friend's void deck. After its' wheels got stolen, I stopped riding for awhile.
Alan: I am a regular with the SAF. I started cycling when I was like 5-6 years old. I remembered that I had a red BMX bicycle and learnt cycling along the corridor outside my house. During my secondary school days, I had a mountain bike but I don't remember cycling much. Then in my early 20s, I bought an electric bicycle to commute to my office in Pasir Ris.
·       Why do you like cycling
Chelsea: Cycling is like having sea salt and caramel ice-cream to me! Special and sweet kind of passion. Especially true when you have a group of passionate and fun loving cycling friends!
Alan: When cycling, you really do feel the freedom and joy with the wind blowing at you. It's the same as why some people ride a motorcycle.
·       When u met LCSG - how was it like and how u meet usWe attended the Geylang Serai CC's cycling official launch ride on 11th Dec 2011, together with Christine Gan. I remember we had just attended an overnight cycling event organised by People's Association (Ride to Sunrise). Even though we were tired, we decided that we cannot give the Geylang Serai event a miss as Christine was telling us so much about LCSG. (She joined slightly earlier than us) :) There we met many friendly people. I've to admit that as it was our first event, I'm not sure who we met there but I do remember chit-chatting with Steven Lim.
·      Your steel horses- names and more details.
We bought our 1st bikes together from Monotine Bikes. It was with us for 4 years before we decided to sell it off to buy the Stridas.
Chelsea bought her cream-coloured Strida somewhere in mid 2011 while I got my silver Strida in Oct after being convinced by her that it's easy to cycle. People who got to know us in LCSG after that started calling us the “Strida couple” as we were one of the few riding Strida bicycles then.
In Jan 2012, Chelsea decided that she wants to get a road bike to fulfil her dream of owning one again. After doing research on the Internet, she decided on getting a vintage steel Bianchi. So on 1st Jan, we visited the seller (Leonardo) to test out the bike. He happened to have an identical Bianchi and even though it's not exactly my size, we bought the bikes. We now have two sets of identical bikes. Chelsea's Bianchi has since conquered both Ipoh and Terengganu Century Rides and the Annual Charity Bike & Blade. 
Soon, we realised that Strida, being single speed, is no longer fast enough for us. We had a few long distance rides with our kakis and they had to wait for us many a time. So in Apr, we went to Lifecycle and got ourselves a Bike Friday each. Chelsea got a ‘Just-a-Tikit’ while I bought the ‘Express Tikit’, which we are currently riding. We recently brought the Bike Fridays to Penang for a round island ride.
·      Your favorite cycling kakis
We have many cycling kakis.. It started off with Christine Gan, who was Chelsea's schoolmate back in Junior College days. Then the group just got larger and larger as we started to be very active in LCSG, joining almost every Sunday ride. Majority of our kakis are from the Eastie Bunnies group (as we are called for staying in the east). Now, we also have many kakis from the Westie Warriors as well. Nowadays we don't just meet up for cycling. We meet up for makan sessions at Old Airport Road Hawker Centre, to gossip, drinks etc. The guys have our own guys’ nights out and the ladies have their own gathering sometimes too.
·      Your favorite cycling route and LCSG ride
Chelsea: Coastal road and Mandai are my playgrounds. I enjoy most of the LCSG rides!
Alan: I don't have a favourite cycling route but for us, the Eastie Bunnies, we do the Coastal route quite often. There's a time when we'll meet up once a week at ECP carpark F2, clear Coastal Road, do a loop at Selarang Area and back to ECP. We’ll finish up with supper at Lagoon Hawker centre. Some of the Westie Warriors join us as well.
Favourite LCSG ride? For me, every ride organised by LCSG is fun and different. The day 128km round island ride left a deep impression with me though.
·      Your role at LCSG
Chelsea: No official role. So just help one another look out for traffic.
Alan: I do not have a role in LCSG. However I do try once in a while to help    out the Pandas by marking out the turning or spilt points. I guess that's the least I can help. 
·       Tips to share with fellow riders
Alan: After a year of serious riding, I think it's really important to have spare tubes and pump when we are out riding. One of our first rides on our Bianchi road bikes ended up taking the cab when Chelsea's bike punctured near Loyang. Then luckily we have Vince and Boo who came to our rescue. Sweepers play a very important role as well.
Chelsea: To have a fun ride, ride SAFE!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rider Profile - Darren Siow

Darren @ KODH 2011 , Kent ridge slope!
Darren with his friends doing a round island - 1989
2012... LCSG round island with friends!

Rider Profile- Q& A
* Tell me about yourself
I’m Darren Siow and my day job as a User Experience Consultant keeps me pretty busy. My job requires me to design things that will be easily used by our customers; it involves some user interface design as well as physical ergonomics considerations. Ok, enough of the boring stuff…let’s get down to business. I, of course, enjoy cycling, and apart from that I spend my time either running, fooling around with my camera and mashing up photos and videos. My current goal is to complete The North Face 15km offroad run within the 2.5-hour cutoff time. Let’s see if I can do it.

* How you started cycling
My first memory of riding a bicycle was between kindergarten to lower primary school. My family visited my great-grandfather’s kampong house on Sundays and we’d spend a lot of time riding around the compound. It wasn’t until Primary 3 that I learnt cycling on two wheels. I remember my dad running behind and holding my bike along East Coast Park while he was teaching me to ride. Much later on in life, while teaching my niece to ride, I learnt how difficult and exhausting it is to run behind a learner cyclist! Thanks, Pa. J Eventually, during the E.T. and BMX craze, I got my first BMX bike in Primary 5. We couldn’t fit the bike into my father’s car, so he decided to let me cycle home from the bike shop! The distance between Clementi and Dover Crescent is fairly short but till this day, I’m surprised that my father let me, an 11-year-old, cycle on the main road! Alone. He drove behind me whilst I pedaled my heart out. Upon reaching home, his first sentence was “How was it? Fun? Ok, something to remember next time…when you change lanes, you have to turn around and check if got car behind you ok? Just now you just changed lane, never see hor? Lucky no car. Remember ah? Now we practice how to ride straight and turn your head to look behind you. Let’s go.” I’ve remembered to check back ever since.

* Why do you like cycling
Honestly I’ve never thought about why I like cycling. As far back as I remember, I’ve always had a bicycle. I guess it’s just become a part of my life. When I was in the polytechnic, I rode quite frequently, and that was when I did many ‘firsts’; first night round island cycling, first round island walking, first mountain climb, first trek up waterfalls, first Singapore river raft race, first swim around Pulau Ubin…I guess I was/am someone who likes the active life and cycling fits right in it.

Now as I am older, cycling is a good form of exercise (until/unless you get killed on the road; sad but true fact of life). And now with the plethora of brands, models and wonderful technologies, there are so many types of bicycles in the market, one for every occasion; it’s really very interesting to find out more about each type of bicycle. Now, I enjoy cycling as one of my methods for transportation to and from the office; there’s no traffic jam to handle, and it is faster than taking the LRT+MRT+walk mode of transport. When I’m not commuting, I enjoy the company of the people whom I ride with. With a knee severely injured during my National Service days, I am glad I can still cycle as a form of exercise.

* When u met LCSG - how was it like and how u meet us
I first heard of LCSG, or rather, I first heard of Tai Woon through an ex-colleague. That was probably in 2010. It wasn’t until I joined the same company as Tai Woon that I took part in an LCSG ride. Then I hadn’t been cycling much so I took a cab down to Fort Road to join a ride organized by Francis. We rode to Changi Village and the ride ended with makan at the hawker center there. It was a very relaxed ride and I enjoyed the friendliness of all the riders.

* Your steel horses- names and more details.
1982 BMX which, like many of our bikes, got stolen.
1985, cheap steel road bike which I rode 2 night round islands with (as some of you might have seen the photo) Subsequently being tired of the black, I manually sprayed green and yellow. After some years, unfortunately, I trashed it when I rear-ended a taxi. I walked home with the bike rolling on the rear wheel; the front fork was bent in and my front wheel was touching the chain ring. Hahaha!
1998 Hybrid bike when I was studying in Perth West Australia. I would strap my school bag to the rear rack and ride to Uni. I didn’t cycle as much I would have liked; it was either too searing hot or too wet and cold. Sold off when I returned to Singapore
2004 Scott Comp Mountain Bike. Rode in Bt Timah trails a few times before resigning myself to the fate that my fearlessness, balance and stamina sucked. Converted it to slick tyres and started commuting to work between Bishan and Alexandra. Sold it off lock, stock and barrel a friend of a friend. Incidentally, it was with my MTB that I started riding with clipless pedals. I’m still of the mind that it is safer to ride WITH clipless pedals than without. However, it might not be the most convenient or versatile due to the need for special shoes.
2005 Cervelo Soloist Team. A brief stint in triathlons led me to this beauty of a bike. I don’t ride it much anymore because my back isn’t strong/flexible enough, but I will be doing something about it!
2011 Flamingo London. Nice and functional little bike with which I did 2 round island rides. The grip shifter is a better shift mechanism than the Brompton’s. Sold off to an LCSGean after I found a good deal on a Brompton.
2011 Brompton S6R Raw Lac. Nice and handsome little bike to take onboard the MRT and to do simple rides around. My engine isn’t strong enough to use this for vroom-vroom rides.
2011 Ventura Speed Touring. Love the 3x9 gears! Takes everything in its stride, from the slow Sunday rides to the fast To-Tuas-And-Back vroom-vroom rides.

* Your favorite cycling kakis
On weekday nights, I enjoy rides with the Westie Warriors. We usually ride either on Wednesday or Thursday nights. We mix and match our rides, sometimes hard and fast, some makan rides, some slope training…but whatever ride we do, we will always end with makan! All are Ka Chia Siao, so there are lots to learn from everyone in the group.
On Sundays, there’s a bunch of us who will hang around after the LCSG Sunday ride. Usually we will go visit the bike shops that are open on Sundays or just sit somewhere to chit chat. Lots of poisoning, taunting and teasing occur during those few hours, and I really enjoy the company of that bunch too.

* Your favorite cycling route and LCSG ride
No favourite cycling route. However, I enjoy the ‘special rides’ like the Round Island and the King Of Da Hill (KODH). Personally, the KODH ride has a special place in my heart because Tai Woon and I sat down one day and mapped out the entire route in less than an hour, and the ride was on! For all those who complain that KODH is siong, just be glad we didn’t carry out the original plan of “THTPTM” or “The Hills, The Plains and The Mountains”. We could tell you what that route is, but then you’ll have to complete it. ;-)

* Your role at LCSG
Ha, this is a good question. I don’t know what role I play in LCSG. I just enjoy the company, and then I contribute whenever I can.

* Your feelings after and during organising LCSG rides
I always enjoy LCSG rides, from the simple PCN ones to the elaborate Round Island or KODH rides. The curious thing about LCSG is how smoothly and how enjoyable the rides are despite no formal (read: salaried) organizing committee; it’s all voluntary. The last time I experienced such a close-knit community was when I was in the polytechnic adventure club. Same secret formula: passion, selflessness, community-mindedness, willingness to learn and teach, care and concern for self and others, and last but not least, a spirit of adventure!

* Tips to share with fellow riders

Ride. Ride wherever whenever. Ride just because. It doesn’t matter what bike you ride. It doesn’t matter where you ride or how fast or slow you ride. Ride because you can.

* Other things to share.. Life motto etcWah, so philosophical ah? Life motto? No life motto lah, but I will share a few borrowed quotations that I like.
Your mind is like a parachute. It only works if it is open.
When you pick up one end of the stick, you pick up the other as well.
There are always two sides to a story. Always.
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rider profile Brian Ong

Brian Ong and his elder son

Eco friendly "bikecar"
My cycling adventures started during my childhood days. I have some early memories of me riding a tricycle with a rear basket when I was under the age of 5. I was in living in Indonesia then and cycling was confined to the close proximity of the house.

I also fondly remembered riding my hand-me-down chromed bmx bike (which I always kept shiny by polishing it with Autosol) with 2 of my primary school friends around my neighborhood back home in Singapore. It was great fun and I always looked forward to riding my bike. One of my friends had a brand spanking new blue color GT performer and boy, was I envious of him. That was like the crème de la crème of boyhood dreams. J Riding my bmx gave me the freedom to explore the neighborhood.

When I went to secondary school, I dropped cycling altogether only to get reacquainted with the 2 wheel contraptions during my polytechnic days when I met my best pal Shiva who was a bmx nut. I was always ogling at the Bmx Plus! magazine then and dreaming about the radical tricks that the pro riders could achieve.

After Polytechnic, I started working that that was the end of cycling again. I did try riding the mountain bike but gave up halfway through as I did not have any cycling kakis to go riding with. Fast forward 10 years down the road when I was working in Indonesia and boredom made me take a look at riding bicycles again. Well, having a bicycle shop near to my office didn’t help. I started owning too many bicycles over a few short years and had to have a room just to store them. I have not looked back after that day.

My family and I are now back home in Singapore. I have less(er) bikes now as HDB living doesn’t really allow for having too many. But I’m now a complete cycling nut and not a day passes by without me thinking of riding a bicycle. 

Cycling is a way for me to relax my mind. The constant repetitive action of pedaling, the wind blowing at my face and the exploring of far away places that you don’t normally visit in a car is my escape from the stresses of everyday life. I love cycling for the fact that I can find freedom, meet nice people along the way and get my workout at the same time.

I too do love riding my folding bike to run my errands or to meet friends. I would just ride to the MRT station, fold it up and take the train to where I would like to ride. I have found myself on several occasions riding to my favorite watering hole at Brewerkz for a nice ale on a hot afternoon. On one particular occasion, I had even cycled to meet the MP during his weekly meet the people session to tell him how filthy my estate has become over the past few years.    

Sometime this year, I had a group of about 20 cyclist friends whom I had gotten acquainted with while I was working in Indonesia visiting Singapore. A few friends and I hosted them throughout their 3 days cycling adventure in Singapore. That was real fun. I also had the opportunity to ride with these Indonesian friends in Jakarta (of all places) and in Bandung. I am now looking forward to their next visit to Singapore. 
Brian elder son getting the hang of things 
Brian with his friends
I have 2 young sons and I recently taught my elder son who is four years old to ride a bicycle without trainer wheels. Understandably, I’m very proud of him. He is now also very much into cycling (as he is into transformers) and he looks forward to riding with me on my longbike. I have a Surly Dummy, which is essentially a mountain bike with a longer wheel base and a cargo cum seating area behind the rider. I had to think real hard before buying it as storing it would be a challenge. There were no regrets getting the bike as my elder son and I look forward to every ride together along the park connector near our home. Cycling with my son is now possible as he sits behind me on the cargo rack. He loves going fast and having the wind blowing onto his face. This is the best way to bond with your child.

I do hope my short personal story of my cycling life will inspire someone who has never ridden a bike for many years to begin riding again. It’s the simpler things in life that are really fulfilling. Family. Friends. Food. Fun. Fitness. Cycling is what gels these 5 Fs together for me. Cycling is for everyone. Do try it.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

7th Oct 2012 LCSG City ride

LCSG @ Flyer
The City ride is one of the first route we did back in 2010. Then it was just afew folks and now it is more carnival like. Still enjoyable but a little bit different.  Now it is getting really tough to remember the names.....  good problem I think.
We started off from Lavender and rolled slowly along the Kallang river to where F1 pitstop was.
Mini race LCSG style.. the memorable part....
We did a mini race with a twist. Riders had to surrender their shoes and have it spread around. The bicycles were parked at the side. When the start whistle blew, they have to retrieve their shoe and get on their bicycles and sprint 200 metres to the finish line. It generated heaps of laughter and was quite fun.
Dash for it
take out ur shoes.. 
Find the shoe first... 
Chiong ahhh
After the "fun nonsense" , we rolled merrily towards Esplanade, historical sites to Singapore river and ended at Zion Road Food market. Lots of chat and over simple food, new friends are made.... nice way to spend a sunday morning!  More Photos here 
Miss Sunshine prepping for group photo
@ the war memorial 
having a meal and know each other as friends 

Good food must wait... 

LCSG Dec Taiwan trip meetup

Momo, Cayla and Kimi 
No slope...  but got strong headwind...   

We are going to Southern Taiwan later Dec timeframe. This was a gathering of sorts to meet up the LCSG team members, their spouses and kids.  Done in a potluck style where everyone brought something to the table... we were all so full.  Here are some photos of the meeting cum pot luck. 2 more months to go.... .wooopeee!
More photos of the happy gathering here. 

Wives meetup. Iris, Cindy, Kim and Shelby
Potluck buffet
Encik George sharing the itinerary and route... very flat one... but seems like no one believe..
Bernice and Steve is so looking forward... That's Taiwan Fruit beer he is holding!
Fried chicken wing and drumstick
nice coconut pastry!
The folks even celebrate my birthday earlier.. so kam tong

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Noel's Part time commuter, part time racer

Can speed mix with commuting? Well, for Noel it sure can!  I also love the way the Tern is photographed in a very Singapore living context. The HDB Void deck! 
Photo credits Noel Tan

Monday, October 1, 2012

LCSG 2nd Anniversary Gathering 29th Sept 2012

Time flies when we are having fun! Playing tourists on our backyard every Sunday and catching up with friends. It's year 2 and on 29th Sept - Sat, 70 friends came to celebrate this wonderful moment. 
All the arrangements were again led by Andy Yap, with the help of Tiger Wan, Eddie Lim( MC,DJ) , Zack and Tomorrow(Ming Tian). It was an awesome gathering and a "hidden tiger crouching tiger moment". Turns out Eddie and Tiger were Professional Event pple... even had their own sound system.  Eddie was brilliant in his Emceeing, making the evening a night to remember. 
Luckily Darren had the foresight to video the occasion, edit some of the highlights + Photos here as well.  Check out his nice video of the LCSG event! 
Lastly, I want to say I am extremely proud to be part of Lovecyclingsg and to know all the cycling kakis! Here's wishing Lovecyclingsg a happy 2nd Birthday and to more rolling good years! 

I wannnntt...  prizes for lucky draw

Pattern more than badminton.. generating laughter all round 
meeting friends and making new ones 
Playing with candles and lanterns
nice spread!
Steven Tang, George Lim and Desmond 
Andy sorting the list in his effective and quiet way