Monday, March 30, 2009

Modem pc kaput lagi!

Alahai TM all punya modem ni asyik rosak je. So this week's blog posting tak sempat nak buat a proper one.
So here I go blogging from my office!! (hopefully the boss doesn't read this). Just a pic taken during our Sunday ride di sekitar Putrajaya - Cyberjaya. Photo taken in front of Tun Dr Mahathir's house in Cyberjaya.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Genting Sempah, here we come

So, it's decided then. Or, truth be told, it has been decided for me. Yup, I've 'been volunteered' by my riding buddies to be the one to organize our ride up the old Gombak Road to Genting Sempah.

For the uninitiated, this was the main road linking KL to Kuantan back in the old days before the Karak Highway was constructed. It's main job was to cross the Banjaran Titiwangsa from this part of the Peninsular. So yes, it serves riders (those brave enough to challenge it) a good 16 to 20 km up-hill ride all the way from the Orang Asli Museum to the top. That was why I tried to chicken out of this. But obviously, my crafty buddies had other ideas.

To prevent me from being missing in action, they've trusted me forward to take care of the event itself. Trust them to get me into hot soup!

I'll have to muster all my courage and strength to reach the top, that's for sure. To avoid an embarrassing situation where the organizer himself is left a good few kilometers behind at the back of the group, I'd better get some training done.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sorry la Man United fans (4)


Pulverized. Thrashed. Ripped apart. Take your pick, any which one will do just nicely to describe Man United’s 4 - 1 humiliation at the hands of classy Liverpool.

For all of Rooney’s bragging and hateful remarks against Liverpool in the run up to this big game, Man United’s response (or rather, lack of it) to Liverpool’s sublime performance was so, so disappointing.

Rooney was anonymous. Ronaldo’s free-kicks were ineffective. And Van der Sar? Well, what can I say? The giant goalkeeper was left stunned after letting in four goals. Just look at his pure exasperation after letting in the fourth one.

Who would have dared guess a score line that big against Man United at home ground? For the record, United haven't suffered a home defeat like this since New Year's Day of 1992 when they were soundly beaten 4-1 by QPR.

When the final score “4 – 1” was splashed on the TV screen, I thought, “Eh? Betul ke kita lawan Man United nih?” Macam lawan West Bromwhich Albion je”.

Within the space of four days Liverpool has beaten two of the biggest football clubs in the world by scoring four goals against each. First against Real Madrid, and now Man United. This calls for a double celebration.

Well done lads. More of the same please.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Rider's log No. 54: the Sawah Padi Ride

Ready to roll. 30 riders altogether, including children and a few ladies

MBA and the gang, steady does it. I'm right there at the very back la!

My brother Man with Jo at the last stop before home stretch

Jef leading the "break-away gang" on an "unofficial route". Nice view.
Note: All pics courtesy of Dr Taufik. The top one by Kolonel Azudin.
Our lives are filled with experiences which we look forward to, but perhaps, with some anxiousness. Things which we just can’t wait to happen, and yet give us a sense of trepidation as well

You know, things like getting hitched and experiencing the malam pertama as pengantin baru. Or, taking your driving test.

Since taking up riding mountain bikes there have been few milestones (at least for me) which I had waited anxiously to do. One, was riding in my own kampong, starting off from my Emak’s house crossing the railroad and taking the less-taken route close by eerie Gunung Helang (story here).

The other is going on my first full-fledged mtb ride away from the all-too-familiar and comfortable surroundings of Putrajaya.

This, I finally experienced yesterday on the Sawah Padi Ride (SPR) organized by my PERs gang.

The ride took place in the beautiful padi field areas of Sungai Sireh, Tanjung Karang, a good two hours drive away from home. All members were to group at Elmina (North) R&R on the Guthrie Corridor Expressway at 6.00 am for solat subuh before moving in a convoy to Sg Sireh. But being overly excited, I was wide awake at 4.30 am and already at Elmina at 5.40 am!

The riding distance was planned for around 30 km. So, this would be my longest ride. Could I make it under the hot sun? After all this is padi field country. No trees for shades. Its all padi. Would I succumb to cramps? Would I get dehydrated? These are thoughts that ran through my mind beginning a few days before the fated day and right up to just before the ride.

But, alhamdulillah things went smoothly. And I can safely say that the SPR is my most interesting ride so far.

Altogether we had thirty riders. A good turn out. The weather was, hmmm… a bit hot, but otherwise perfect for riding. The cool, refreshing , and sweet smell of the kampong air as we rolled off was invigorating.

And the scenery was just exhilarating too. The padi fields in this part of the country are very large in size and well-tended that they remind me of those seen in Japan. Plus that with the site of flocks of egrets (bangau) flying over the green padi field and you get some awesome views.

I reached back home at around 1.30pm with my (already dark) complexion a few shades darker and slightly tired, but otherwise happy. No doubt there would be many tales and stories to be told by all, especially Dr Azmi who "lost" his son for a while.

Thank you to the gang for organizing this ride, especially to Dr Taufik and wife who worked hard putting this event together. Thank you also to all who joined: the Gedebe reps (including two “power” ladies), the Bkt Jelutong gang and Btg Berjuntai gang.


Date: 8 March 2009 (Sunday)

No. of riders : 30

Set off/finish time: ~ 8.30am – 10.30am

Total duration: about 2 hours

Starting point: Sg Sireh Homestay, Tg Karang, Selangor

Distance covered: 30 km (almost 40km for Dr Azmi's son??)

Trail condition: Road plus gravel batas trails

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Uniquely Singapore

I had the opportunity to join a study tour of Singapore recently. It served to give me a new meaning to the tagline “Uniquely Singapore” as far as urban planning is concerned.

We all know Singapore. And everyone of us has certain perceptions and stereotype views of this small nation at the tip of the Malay Peninsular with a population of only 5 million. You know what I mean: the spats and little quarrels that we continue to have over petty issues and some not-so-petty issues. It’s a love-hate relationship, if you like.

But when it comes to urban planning and landscaping, we can’t find a better city to benchmark against so close to home.

To be sure, Singapore is city-state. Its easier to control, manage and plan a small area, you may say. But therein also lies the biggest challenge for Singapore planners – scarcity of land for development.

But hey, not to worry. This is Singapore!

Sure enough, they’ve found a way around it. Singapore has on-going land reclamation projects. As a result, Singapore’s land area grew from 581.5 km2 in the 1960s to 704 km2 today. And may grow by another 100 km² (38.6 sq mi) by 2030!

It is with these “new land” that the government has (since the 1960s) developed new residential towns in outlying areas consisting mainly of high-rise public housing. As a result, coupled with good and practical landscaping exercise, Singapore has managed to develop high quality urban environment which is not only pleasant for living, but also conducive for their economic growth needs.

Singapore has an excellent landscaping program started about 30 years ago. It is now reaping the results of those meticulous planning and proper pruning works. Its streets are well-shaded and pleasant for walking

Bus stops and footpath well-shaded

The Urban Redevelopment Authority established in 1974 is responsible for urban planning. It boasts the Singapore City Gallery, an extremely interesting urban exhibition center

Not all is prim and proper, though. You can still find this in Singapore - reminds one of home?