06 December 2009

Kuala Lumpur Mountain Bike Carnival 2009

The 2009 edition of Kuala Lumpur Mountain Bike Carnival was held on 21 and 22 Nov 2009 ago.

It was held at Bukit Kiara trails, where the first half of the loop was climbing... lots of them, including technical climbs, several switchback climbs and triple deckers climbs.

I was getting ready for the race for the last 2 months before the event. I was doing simulated indoor riding based on the Carnival trail elevation, riding intervals and a bit of strength training. Two and half week before the event, I lost 2 kilograms. Things were looking good.

Nope!! I had a stupid crash two weeks prior to the race. I felt down a 12 feet ravine when the rock where I stepped on slip. Apart from lots of cuts and bruises, my left knee had an internal bleeding.. ouch! After seeing the doctor, thank God nothing broken or tear. However, she serious advised me not to do hard riding within 3 weeks. Well.. there goes my chance to be competitive in this year race.

However, I watched the 2-day race and captured lots of photos; 215 in total and here are some for your eyes.

All the photos are not touched up, except for resizing and rotating. This time I'm lazy to label my photos, but they are still mine... hahahehehh..! However, if you are interested on having them, please contact me.

I also have more photos in higher resolution on my harddrives, so again if you're interested, please contact me.

[KLMBC's sponsors printed on t-shirt]

[Start of 18-30 years men's category - Seeding]

[Toward the end - Triple terrace downhill]

[The continuation after the triple terrace drop...]

[Start of Elite Women's category]

[18-30 men's category - Final]

[My friend, Megat, pumping on the technical climb]

[... and he made it, bravo!]

[...but many just pushed up]

[One of my favourite photos - SY climbing up the switchback]

[Another one of my favourite photos - Rider coming down after triple terrace downhill]

03 December 2009

2010 MTB World Cup Calendar

UCI just released the mountain bike (cross-country [XC], downhill [DH] and four-cross [4X]) World Cup, World Championships calendar as listed below. It also includes the European Championship and Marathon XC World Championship.

24 - 25 Apr 2010: Dalby Forest, Great Britain (XC).

1 - 2 May 2010: Houffalize, Belgium (XC, 4X).

15 - 16 May 2010: Maribor, Slovenia (DH, 4X).

22 - 23 May 2010: Offenburg, Germany (XC).

5 - 6 Jun 2010: Fort William, Great Britain (DH, 4X).

19 - 20 Jun 2010: Schladming, Austria (DH, 4X).

7 - 10 Jul 2010: XC European Championships, Haifa, Israel.

24 - 25 Jul 2010: Champery, Switzerland (XC, DH).

31 July - 1 Aug 2010: Val di Sole, Italy (XC, DH, 4X).

8 Aug 2010: Marathon XC World Championships, St. Wendel, Germany.

28 - 29 Aug 2010: Windham, USA (XC, DH, 4X).

31 Aug - 5 Sep 2010: Mont-Ste-Anne, Canada (World Championship - XC, DH, 4X)

Hhmmm.. why don't they have it in Asia at least? All the venues are more than 4000 kilometers away from Malaysia.

Anyway, I truthly hope the local 2010 Kuala Lumpur Mountain Bike Carnival in Bukit Kiara will not be held in monsoon season i.e in October - December period; how about in September?

29 November 2009

It has been a pleasure...

I have been riding KHS XC904R since early 2006. It served me well, weekends after weekends.

Have a look at my XC904R here, here and here. I changed the components over the years due to wear and tear, or even personal preferences.

It is a very good bike. I quoted from Mountain Bike Action (MBA) magazine, October 2004, to show how good is the bike... " The KHS XC904R has that light and fast NORBA look. And in this case looks are not deceiving. Keeping the XC904R from earning perfect 10 is that USD3500 price tag, we expect a lighter wheelset. But the past two years have been good to the XC904R. She's all grown up and ready to be bell of the cross-country ball. How can we resist? We can't."

Last Wednesday, I stripped the XC904R naked, to make way for a new steed.

Salute to XC904R.. it has been a pleasure.

26 November 2009

What is your IQ?

IQ is the acronym for intelligent quotient, and refers to a score given for several standardized intelligence tests. The first of these tests was developed by French psychologist Alfred Binet in 1905. Today, the IQ test is commonly based on some model of the Stanford Binet Intelligence scale.

So, what is your IQ?

My last IQ test was about 14 years ago and scored 127. I don't care what it means, do you?

In cycling, Specialized Bicycle Company (Specialized) has developed an intelligent suspension shock that has God's know what's it IQ test score. The suspension shock is called BRAIN. Have a look at these videos to find out more...

1. BRAIN - The explanation.

2. BRAIN - The theoretical settings.

3. BRAIN - The pratical sag settings.

4. BRAIN - The pratical rebound settings.

14 November 2009

Race Across The Sky

One of the most exciting endurance mountain bike races is the 100 miles race in Leadville, USA. Hence, the name Leadville 100.

It was won 6 times by Dave Wiens before, until Lance Armstrong won it this year (2009).

This time the race was film, and it was suitably titled as "Race Across The Sky".

07 November 2009

Sometimes I feel down, and need a bit of motivation

There are times in life that you might feel down, I sometimes do have that, and of course I need a bit of motivation.

Apart from praying to God asking for strength, I like to share some motivation videos that I find touching and inspiring.

1. MTB - Road to Athens Olympics.

Sometimes due to link problem, you might not be able to see the tube, so click here to go directly to the source.

2. A limbless guy.

Again, sometimes due to link problem, you might not be able to see the tube, so click here to go directly to the source.

18 October 2009

Trail Maintenance 18 October 2009: Carnival

The Carnival trail (Lower Carnival) is one of most used trails in Bukit Kiara. The abuse comes both from all sorts of riders, cross country guys and downhillers, and also hikers.

Since this yearly Kuala Lumpur Mountain Bike Carnival (KLMBH) is in 6 weeks time, it is timely to do some touch up on the Carnival trail. You can also read my previous post on this matter, click here.

These were the guys who showed up this time; Adilah, Ashley, Beatrice, Derald, Hui Peng, Jason, LeeNya, Megat, Pat, Rizal, Soon, Umar, Visan, Yew Jo. As usual, Pat is the leader.

I also got a new cangkul for this trail maintenance. My old one was ageing and gave way. Read more about cangkul here.

We were divided into several small teams. Me and Megat this time are in one team. We repaired the triple terrace drop entrance by making it wider and stronger, by adding side retainer, rocks and compacted soils. We also did some rock armouring & soil compacting in between the roots that lead towards the finish line.

I also created some waterbars to divert the water away. Others had their parts and we all contributed to make the trail more rideable and more sustainable.

No photos this time. I forgot my camera... shoot me!

However, I will take some photos after this to show the results. Stay tune...

11 October 2009

My 2x9

I posted about 2x9 before, click here for the link.

Since then, I was looking for the right setup. I considered several options, including purchasing the Rotor Agilis 2x9 or SRAM XX, or using the current crankset with various chainrings options.

The Rotor Agilis and SRAM XX are too expensive for me. So I decided to use my existing Truvativ Stylo (104/64 BCD) setup.

I also decided to go for 40/27T setup. However, these rings are hard to get by here in Malaysia. I even thinking of asking my sister-in-law who lives in United Kingdom to get the rings for me (either Middleburn or TA or Raceface), but it can get complicated with all the shipping, taxes, bla, bla...

Prior to that, I also tried my friend's, Jimmy, bike who has a KCNC 42/29T setup. I found that riding in Bukit Kiara, with lots of uphills, pointing up switchback, short & steep ascending sections of trails and never used the 44T, I revised my option to go for 40/27T setup.

I found a ratio of front chainring and rear cassette from the Rotor website, and did some re-calculation & reconsideration based on the terrain in Bukit Kiara and some of the hash routes that I did before. The best setup would be 36/24T. It might be small, but for weekend rider who love to climb the hills, I think it would be suitable for me.. at least on paper.

Here are the tables for the ratios:

I was very lucky that one of the LBS carry a set of Raceface bash/36/24T chainrings. I quickly grabbed it as it was the only one available.

I only put on the 36/24T rings & left the bash guard out, and I had to buy a shorter chainring bolts to accommodate the 36T. Another thing, the 24T is made from steel, which I like, and it should last longer than its aluminium counterpart.

I didn't weigh the rings, but with the new setup the bike now weigh at 26.3 lbs compared to 27 lbs before. However, weight is not my concern here, less front derailleur shifting and less spinning are my targets.

Here are some of the photos:

[My old Truvativ Stylo with a new set of 36/24T Raceface chainrings]

[The close up - Click on it and you can see the 36T and 24T inscription on the rings]

I tested the new setup for 3 rides at Bukit Kiara, 2 rides (6 loops) at the Carnival race trail and 2 rides at the hash trails. These trails, I my opinion, represent the variety of terrains that I ride every weekends. The Bukit Kiara trails and Carnival race trail have lots of uphill climbs, technical switchbacks (descending & ascending) and nearly all singletracks. The hash trails are mostly doubletracks and firey road, representing fast riding experience.

I'm very happy with the ratio of the rings. The 24x34 is slighly tighter than my old 22x34, but the torque feel is different (better feeling and control) and I spinned a lot less when climbing (especially on rooty trails e.g. Lightning Ridge). The 36x11 is high enough to keep the fast pace when riding the firey road or even on flat tarmac. Yeap.. the front shiftings are a lot less now, and I need to get use to it.

Yes... the SRAM XX or the Rotor Agilis may advocate the 40/26T or above ratios; but for my riding, the 36/24T hits my targets spot on. Either on paper or on the trails, the ratio serves me well.

Money wise, the Raceface set cost me RM250 + RM35 (for installation and general servicing). That is RM285, which is about USD81. A set of SRAM XX here in Malaysia is about RM4000 or USD1150, and the Rotor Agilis is about RM1800 or USD515. If you're thinking about return-of-investment (ROI), the route that I went gave a considerably high ROI.

In fact, I have ordered a new set of the Raceface bash/36/24T for my other bike as well.

27 September 2009

River Runs Through It

Right smack in the middle of busy and dusty of metropolitan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, lies one of the prestine and flowy trails for mountain biking.

It runs along a small river (more of a large stream...), hence the name of the trail is River Runs Through It. Due to the nature of the landscape, the trail is totally singletrack, with half of it is reinforced with the river's rocks and stones and certain sections can be pretty technical and rooty.

There are four stream crossings, which two of them are built using the rock structure to form bridges and the other two are made from local timber.

Look at the photos below... and notice the clear water.
[Photos taken using Nokia E71]

[Singletrack at the left of the photo]

[Singletrack from the top left (next to the tree) of the photo and towards the rock-align bridge]

[Singletrack from the top right of the photo and towards the timber bridge]

I rode the trail yesterday and it was a real pleasure, though it was not a long trail. Well.. so does most of the other trails in Bukit Kiara.