Saturday, December 22, 2012

The world didn't end but we're still the same

Charlie Chaplin's words some seven decades ago from the 1940 movie The Great Dictator is probably the greatest speech ever.
We've progressed, but only with more fancy machinery. Humans still are the same, if not worse.
From the regular corporate back-stabber to the warring factions of governments and rebels, there's less decency in the world. People twist their words and are more brutal in their actions, all fueled by greed not just to gain for themselves but to bask in the demise of others.
WE didn't need the world to end according to the Mayan calendar on 21-12-12. The way we're existing, when you look at Syria, Gaza, Liberia, the child-killers of the US... there's so much hate that for some of us the world existing is worse than if it all did end.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Philippe Gilbert - World Champion 2012

I'd like to congratulate Philippe Gilbert of Belgium and the BMC Racing Team for a truly remarkable victory achieved in the UCI Road World Championships road race in Limburg, Holland on Sunday.
No other rider in that front pack would have had the balls to attempt what he did - a solo attack in the final 2 kilometres from a lead pack of about 30 riders that surged towards the finish at breakneck speed.
Truly one of the best victories and one of the best performances in winning the right to wear the rainbow jersey over the next season.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Goodbye and good riddance

Not many are worthy of such a statement from myself as Karim Ibrahim, the controversial but long-serving personality in Malaysian athletics that from today finally becomes FORMER Malaysian Athletics Union (MAU) deputy president.
It has been 19 years of destruction, in my humble opinion, that athletics has gone through especially with him having a hand in every possible controversy within the sport at least since I began as a sports writer 12 years ago.
My last brush with this character was a harsh one in the defence of the work of my former assistant sports editor S. Selvam, whom Karim had maliciously tried to discredit amongst fellow sports journalists as we sat at the Wisma OCM coffee house after a function in 2006.
It was not the first time I had found Karim to be up to such tricks. There he was, while answering questions about a controversy over a dubious plan to send athletes for a foreign training stint.
"Satu saja saya mintak tolong, you all jangan refer pada artikel Selvam. You tengok apa dia tulis, ini memang jahat punya orang," Karim blurted out of his mouth without noticing me sat at the next table with my back towards him.
"Macam ni punya reporter memang ada agenda jahat. Dia mau serang kita saja."
I listened as this carried on until I just had enough. Without even offering him my respect of standing up before addressing him, I just turned towards him and said:"Ya, kita memang jahat. Orang macam you kita mau kasi buang."
Karim, to his credit has had his supporters from within the sport and the press for long periods of time. Finally, there is some sense which never surfaced as Karim continuously somehow maintained a stranglehold on the sport. There is some justice which took a long time in coming.
Let's leave it at that. Alhamdulillah.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What a style

It started of with this fat Korean rapper doing this:

That sparked a parody craze which Malaysians have gone mad about

We now have KL Style:

Penang Style:

Georgetown Style:

The 1Malaysia Johor Style:

Segamat, Johor Style:

Batu Pahat, Johor Style:

The Historical City of Melaka Style:

Orang Sabah Style:

Gangnam Style -Sabah (Lahad Datu version):

They even made one for Hari Raya:

Malaysians have gone mad... So mad that Red FM had to come up with some aid:

Must say, this Psy without the "Cho" to complete his name must have done his parents proud.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just like 9-11 I remember exactly where I was

I would turn 15 just six days later and in those days as any football/sports fan in this part of the world would attest, we craved every bit of live coverage.
It didn't matter which team we supported, a live football match or any match on TV would be an event not to be missed.
There I was in front of the TV at home (no viewing at mamak stalls in those days) with my little three-year old brother, who'd tragically would grow up to be a Liverpool fan, struggling to keep his eyes open, but excited about what I was staying up late for.
It was Liverpool vs former greats Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground for an FA Cup final on April 29, 1989. It must have lasted about 10 minutes before we were left shocked, as these scenes unfolded.

At the time, the beginning of it seemed like just loads of people crashing over the steel fences and overflowing onto the pitch. Then scenes of Kenny Dalglish crying further explained the inexplicable. Something really bad had happened.
It was the following day's news reporting 96 people were killed in the stampede that really brought a new, shocking perspective into my understanding of football and sport in general at that point in my life.
No account of mine though, can ever be as chilling as THIS, a first person account from survivor Damian Kavanagh.

May those unfortunate souls rest in peace.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What are the chances of this happening?

Julien Simon ascended the top of the podium in the Tour du Finistere decked in his Saur-Sojasun kit on Saturday, April 14. That signaled the Frenchman's arrival on the big stage having turned professional with the former Credit Agricole team in 2008.
Saturday's victory in the Tour du Finistere was the 26-year old Julien Simon's first victory in his home country.
But wait a minute! Julian Simon is the 2009 125cc world champion in motorcycling isn't he?
Well, this is Julien Simon the French cyclist.

And here's Julian Simon the Spaniard who now competes in the Moto2 class of the World Motorcycle Championship.

How about that huh?

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Great Lotus Joke

Well, by now you'd be sure to have known about the DRB-Hicom takeover of Proton, the resignation of chairman Datuk Seri Nadzmi Salleh, then Datuk Seri Syed Zainal the MD...
That put Proton's position as a cash cow for the Dany Bahar-led and Proton-owned Group Lotus up for debate. The first bomb was dropped when it was announced that Lotus were to pull the plug on the much debated title-sponsorship deal with the Genii Capital-owned Lotus F1 Team.
And now we have this flourishing series of quite hilarious insights into Bahar in his currently quite compromising position....

There's a season opener:

A continuation:

Waiting for the next episode...?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shame garbage trucks can't climb hills

I'd complained weeks earlier about garbage being dumped along Bukit Hantu in Hulu Langat, and that the country's most popular cycling routes continue to be ruined by irresponsible litterbugs.
This picture was taken 200 metres from the summit of the second king of the mountains point at Genting Perez, on Stage Five of the 17th edition of Le Tour de Langkawi on February 28.
That says it all. It was simply embarrassing.
If they'd not considered the climb was part of the Tour's route and cleaned it up before the race, then I guess local cyclists are set to continue suffering from the stench along that climb and the hills close by for years to come.
All I can hope for is that more cyclists make their voices hear if they want to stop their routes from being destroyed.

Monday, February 20, 2012

One of the greatest headlines

"Colnago is known for its iconic ace of clubs logo but the C59 Ottanta has a special head badge: the original ‘Eagle and Arrow’ logo that was created in 1954 inspired by a headline in the local newspaper that described Colnago as fast as an arrow when he won a race." - taken from article describing the C59 Ottanta, a limited edition bike created by the master Ernesto Colnago. Read it HERE.

Again the close-knit relations between newspapers and the cycling world is highlighted, this time immortalised in a recreation of the logo that launched Colnago. The relationship between newspapers and cycling was a celebrated one - most of the biggest races created by newspapers.
It sure isn't a relationship as revered as it was back in the early 20th century. Not anymore.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Breath of fresh garbage

Well I struggled up what is known as Bukit Hantu in Hulu Langat this morning en route to my favourite nasi lemak bungkus breakfast joint in the whole world at Sg Tekala.
This picture was taken on my bike as my heart rate monitor read I was at 85% and needing to pump all the air I could get through my lungs.
This was a good 400-metre stretch along one of the more popular hill climb routes cyclists in this part of the world regularly use.
A couple of weeks ago, as I finished my ride with off-and-on riding buddy Bazly Azmi in Batu 18, Hulu Langat, a man claiming to be the village head stopped by to check out the rubbish dump that place had turned into and gave us a lecture about the Barisan Nasional trying to sabotage the PKR government of Selangor by planting garbage all over the place.
Now, I'm not into politics, neither am I into garbage.
So whoever you are that's supposed to take responsibility should just cut the crap and get the garbage out of our cycling routes. It's not politics, just that these secluded and serene settings have become a convenient rubbish dump for idiots.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Legends were never cast in carbon

When a buddy asked me to check out the Colnago Master a couple of days ago and tell him where he could get his hands on it in Malaysia, I told him try looking up some popular sites for second hand classics.
He told me no, he wanted the brand new 2012 Colnago Master. I thought it was discontinued in 2008 after a Proton Wira-like production lifespan and serving up countless smiles from avid cyclists worldwide for it's supreme all-around.. what shall I say... Perfection. Yes, that's the word.

Been thinking a lot about getting back to metal after my first full carbon purchase of a BMC SL01 slightly more than a year ago. First I thought about giving the likes of Lynskey or Van Nicholas a buzz in my itch to try out titanium which I never had the chance or resources to try before.
But this beauty now makes me wanna just wind back the clock and go for the smoothest, kindest, most elegant ride of all. Steel.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Train or garbage truck?

Well, is the ERL telling us they allow garbage on board their trains but not folding bikes?
RTM sportscaster Faisal Jamal recently sold off his under-utilised mountain bike, after deciding his preferred mode of cycling would be a combination between exercise and commuting.
A recent hike in attention on folding bikes and Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd, the holding company for the LRT, KL Monorail and Rapid KL public transport systems, announcing that folding bikes were welcomed on board their trains, helped Faisal make his decision on his next purchase.
Duly, he soon took ownership of a folding bike.
Faisal yesterday (Jan 31, 2012) was put to shame by the ERL Bandar Tasik Selatan Station. This was the ordeal he went through.

This is Faisal's bike when folded.

This was how it needed to look if he wanted to board the train with his bike.

According to Faisal, he was told by the station manager that he needed to put his bike, which is the size of any regular suitcase, in a bag is he wanted to bring it on the train.
Now we've heard of this silly regulation before, but the LRT system seems to have done away with it. Maybe a logical decision if you look at what Faisal had to do next.
He was told to go look for garbage bags and wrap his prescious bike with them if he was to be allowed to bring it on the train. Stuck in an uncompromising situation and needing to get to Putrajaya for an assignment, Faisal obeyed this silly instruction and was allowed to bring that bag of garbage on board the ERL train.

SO, is the ERL Bandar Tasik Selatan station telling us that we can bring bags of garbage on board their trains but not folding bikes, which play a massive role in commuters doing their part to save the environment? What harm can a folded bike be on the train? It is about as dangerous as a suitcase!
Do furnish us with the logic behind this because I personally find it obscenely silly, probably a regulation made up just to make it seem like some people are doing their jobs.
In the meantime, we've also heard of enthusiasts enjoying weekend folding bike adventures thanks to KTM Komuter, who allow their bikes on board, resulting in more and more weekend folding bike riding groups heading to Ipoh, Seremban and other KTM Komuter stops around the country for their leisurely strolls. That's going green for you.

Monday, January 30, 2012

First of the year.. Hahaha

Thought I'd just share this nice piece that totally reminds me of the countless conversations I've had with so many cycling buddies.
The video serves a good cause... And a purpose.
Tells you to: "Screw the bike porn, let's just do the ride!"