Monthly Archives: February 2014

Great Singapore Drought Continues – get out and ride!

Partly CloudyThe great Singapore drought continues with the majority of the island having had no rain since January 13th. Whilst 45 dry days is bad news if you’re one of the 160 tons of fish that died in the past week – they do say that every cloud (when there are any!) has a silver lining. For most of us, that silver lining has been perfect riding conditions, some career high mileage racked up and even a little headwind to make things more interesting.

Anyway, Friday morning means yet another Round The Island to soothe you into the weekend. Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy.

This week we have an Under The Helmet with the Champagne Playboy (Bjorn Engehardt), some advice for newbies trying one of the Fast rides for the 1st time and some notes on Bike Related Chivalry.  Martin Reynolds also updates us on all things Tri related, and we introduce the Rogues Gallery.

Make hay whilst the sun shines as they say. Get out and ride whilst you can…but lets stay safe out there.


Stepping up to the Fast Rides


We’ve all been there. 7am Longhouse when the rides are called and the easy Coffee fueled banter dries up. As usual, the faster rides are called first and most sheepishly put their heads down and save themselves for another Steadfast. A small group bravely rides out to battle the road, the heat and Pierre Alain…

Its been great to see more new faces stepping forward for the 5.30 Rats and Fast Kranji lately – particularly the last few weeks when the fast group have been trying something new – and much harder than usual! Mike Sewell’s excellent post on the 5.30 ride summed it up nicely regarding the Hunters and the Hunted recently and I’m sure that’s exactly how some of the newbies might feel on their first few rides during February.

A few tips for those that have (or want to) stepped up:

1) These are fast drop rides. Don’t expect a steady pace as typically we’re training for race simulation. If you do a Cat 1 race, the biggest change you’ll notice from Cat 2 is the sudden and extreme changes of pace – that’s where the race is made and that’s what we train for. Calling “steady” from the back is going to fall on deaf ears and usually makes us go faster as it’s akin to blood in the water for a shark…

2) Riding in the red zone on the edge of your ability is dangerous for all of us. If you’re at that stage then skip a few turns, sit at the back and recover a bit. There is no shame in sucking wheel a bit to get your breath back.

3) But don’t suck wheel the whole way as that’s not cool. HTFU and get your nose on the front a few times even if it’s just for a short time.

4) The fast group typically sits closer that other groups – think about this when going up hill and try not to throw your bike back when you get out the saddle (Especially you Frenchies).

5) There is no shame in getting dropped. For many of us, it happened on our first few fast rides. There is always another group behind to get you home. Learn the lesson, absorb the training and come back next week to try and last a bit longer.

I look forward to seeing more of you step up at 7am – just don’t ever call out “steady”…!

The Gentleman Cyclist

Gentleman CyclistWe had a couple of similar anonymous letters this week regarding behaviour on rides and so we sought out the best qualified ambassador of etiquette to provide the definitive answer.  You may recognise the person by his tweed suit and wicked mustache, but we shall simply refer to him as The Gentleman Cyclist.

Dear RTI
I am a lady rider, and I can hold my own on most rides. Last week, however, I decided to participate in the 6am Saturday Rats to Longhouse ride which I had always believed was a gentle warm up for what is to follow. I was the only lady on the ride, but I have always enjoyed the company of so many handsome, fit and virile men.

This time thought all did not go well. The group accelerated to over 50kph and dropped me on the raised road from Vivo to Haw Par Villa. I was left alone to complete the section. To their credit they waited at the turn around point, but isn’t this supposed to be a no-drop ride.

Yours sincerely
Damsel in distress

Dear Damsel in  Distress
Dicksee-Chivalry-1885I am horrified at the total lack of chivalry demonstrated. I hope you had some stern words for those knuckle dragging neaderthals, but I assume you were far too much of a lady to show your emotions.

First, you are correct, the 6am is a no-drop ride. It’s early you’re on a dangerous 3 lane highway in the dark. Second, regardless of the conditions, I would never expect a group to drop a solo female rider unless she expressly tells them it is ok to leave her, and even then I would expect them to protest.

Take heart fair lady, I am sure at least one will be reading this and will ensure you are escorted in future.

Please do let me know if you encounter any further such behaviour.

Yours sincerely

Dear RTI
I participated in the 7am fast Kranji last week and was the only female in the group. The ride was fast and hard, and despite my numerous requests to steady up, the men in the group made no effort to slow down. In fact, I do believe my protests may even hve goaded them to ride faster.

Is this the sort of behaviour you expect of ANZA Cyclists?

Yours sincerely
Tired and Frustrated

Dear Tired and Frustrated
I understand your pain. Many times I have been on rides that were hard and that I have called “Steady at the front” on. Of course when you ride a Penny Farthing, you need everybody to steady up at any small incline.

Chivalry would always dictate that we slow to ensure that the ladies in the group do no more than glow, as real sweating should be left to the men.
On this occasion though, I think you need to understand that the Fast Kranji is intended to


be exactly that. It is where testosterone goes to be expended and it is a drop ride. I fear that calls to slow down will simply be perceived as a sign of weakness and like blood in the water to a pack of hungry sharks.

Hang in there, and next time suffer in silence lest they sense your fear.

Yours sincerely

Under The Helmet | Bjorn Engelhardt


Who are you?

Worrying question … sent me the form

Bjorn Engelhardt ….Danish born, Australian accent (and sporting love) and Singapore residency ….work in the IT industry for too many years helping grow our Asia Pacific business so that’s why im posting the good parts of my travel purely to make you guys all jealous.

Where are you from and how long have you been in Singapore?

8 years officially but I think if with travel and my apparent constant holidays its probably only 3-4 years

How long you been riding?

Well according my good “friends” the answer is NOT ENOUGH by the increasing roundness of the girth…..but I started riding competitely in Melbourne (blackburn CC) back in 1985 and kept riding on and off since then.

Greatest cycling achievement?

There have been a few including many great rides around the world in including Japan, , Hawaii, California, France etc…..but I think the one that’s clearly stands out was the 2012 Etape du Tour in Pyranees because of the distance (200km), climbing (5000m) and most of all the most miserable cold, raining, sleeting day. It took me 11 hours and then had to drive solo home for 3 hours from the finish.

Worst crash?

It was around 1992 in Melbourne and I had been out training in the rain …came home and decided I needed some more work and went out and did laps around Melbourne zoo …..more rain, too fast into the corner and nice 30m slide and missed an oncoming car by a second. Always a bright side as the driver rushes (clearly a cyclist), picks the bike and says I think its OK

Most embarrassing moment in life?

No way am I going to answer that seriously…….however I wasn’t proud of my Satanic red wine induced voice throwing at a recent farewell party for one of our members. Kind of sad when they put you in a nice white bed to sleep it off and you wake up with red “stuff” all over the bed and reeking of “Chateau Pissoir”

Most embarrassing moment on a bike?

Apart from every time I don the lycra …….Well kind of related to the worst crash since I tore my nicks and had to walk home hold them together to avoid further exposure.

If your life was a film, what would it be?

It would be a bugs bunny cartoon ……probably one with Foghorn Leghorn in it …….

Motto in life?

Work hard….play harder !!!

Motto on the bike?

Just hang on ….the pain will stop soon ….

Words of wisdom for the club members?

Relax …..its meant to be fun and a way to chill out…..

What’s the last song you’d play before a race to motivate yourself?

Would have to be Little River Band ……hang on ….help is on its way !!!!

If your life were a film, who would you want to play you?

Again back to Cartoons….you can see a theme right!! Peter Griffin from Family Guy ….that way I can say and do whatever I want.

Favourite SG ride and why?

Any ride I can keep up. But I do like riding out the back of Seletar since it close to home, long stretches of no lights and in the morning almost no cars. Favourite club ride would be Changi …….

Where can you be found when not on the bike?

Just check facebook …..too many places to name.

Best ride in the region that you have done?

Singapore to Mersing. It was long, but interesting and there was some great seafood and $5 red wine

Cycling ambition still to be tackled?

Ive done a few Tokyo based rides but have a plan to ride Tokyo to Kyoto across the mountains later this year. The people are so friendly, roads good and some serious hills.

3 words which best describe you?

Apart from fat, dumb and stupid ?? I dunno ……ask the rest of the guys & gals.

Bjorn, your Facebook feed is famous for its endless stream of 5 star hotels in the worlds most glamorous spots. Do you ever feel like just slumming it in a 2 Star hovel in Malaysia for a race?

If you ever hear me suggesting that please thump me over the head. Ok ….so its not all 5 star hotels with champagne and caviar…..ive done a few 4.5 stars and boy it was hard…..just couldn’t get any French champagne and terrible room service. Come to think of it I did slum it last year inFrance …..3 star I think ….and I survived


Whats in Bjorn’s bike cabinet?

Im bit OCD on this ….i don’t like to collect junk and so everything is minimal ……#1 is Dogma2 with Durace Di2 and almost 3 years old now .#2 is a Bianchi Carbon that’s about 6 years old. Wheels- I interchange between Reynolds 46 Carbon and Fulcrum Racing Zero which I actually prefer.

I’m seriously looking at a Tern foldie since I’m fed up with lugging the bike box around.

Tri-Corner 2014-02-28



Martin Reynolds – Tri Director

Aquathlon results

Well done to those who took part in the Metasprint Aquathlon the other weekend. 750m swim and 5k run.  Bryce Chong won the men’s event in 29.15, whilst Kathryn Haesner took first place in women’s event in 32.30

Well done done ANZA participants – with a great turn out from the women!

Trent Standen, 12th in age Group  (34mins 17secs)
Vanessa Lodge, 5th (39.34)
Peter Bennett, 36th (39.44)
Wendy Wilcox, 1st (41:24) [way to go Wendy! Ed.]
Kathy Campbell, 10th (42: 45)
Elizabeth Hodges 16th (42:57)
Kari Nori, 18th (43:23)
Ruth Stubbs, 13th (44:02)
Ali Fowler, 14th (44:07)

Apologies if I have missed anyone.  Next Sprint series event is the Duathlon on 16th March.

NZ ironman
Good luck to those doing the NZ Ironman this Saturday 1st march.  This is IRONMAN’s oldest qualifier and celebrates 30 years in 2014.

App of the week
SizeMyBike – Getting a good bike fit is a must.  Good bike fitters are great – but will cost.  Another option is SizeMyBike which claims to be the first iPhone bike fitting app. Define your anatomy with 6 body measurements and SizeMyBike will compute the optimal geometry of your road bike or your mountain bike.

Sentosa Swim
NO sentosa swim this or next weekend as coach is away


Wow! I Mean Wow!

smileSo last week we launched RTI in this new format and we’re delighted that its been looked at over five hundred times in the last week by at least 224 different people.  We are now so popular that we have people writing to us offering money.  In the last week, the editors inbox has received:

  • Notification that we have won $1.5m from a lottery we never entered.
  • Three offers to do unspecified business with us.
  • An invitation from somebody I don’t know called Jeremy to buy “Cheap Ass T-Shirts.”
  • One offer of a loan or other undisclosed financial service.
  • Confirmation from MasterCard that they want to send me $750k if I just start by supplying my name and country details.
  • And…  Of course…. an email from Adeyemi Dipeolu who is executor of the estate of a deceased (unknown) relative of mine who just needs all my details in order to transfer the funds that he has lovingly left to me in his will.

That solves any financial problems the club will ever have.  $2.25m coming our way, lots of business offers, and when it comes to Bintan, we’ve got cheap ass T-shirts.  Fantastic!

Anyway, we just wanted to say thanks for reading, and commenting.  We’ve added a widget at the bottom to make it easier for you to get email updates, so please ‘Follow’.

This week we meet the king of style, Sean Hogan, revise bIQ and bEQ and find out what Strava makes of all the data we send it.

Lets be careful out there…


P.S. Speaking of the above offers, somebody sent me this cartoon… Loved it!

From Weekend Warrior to King Of The Road

I received the following  very strange letter from Strava this week.


Dear Andrew

Let me introduce myself.  I am the Strava Heuristic Analytical & Numerical Engine, or Shane as I’ve decided to call myself.  People think that all I do is take their Garmin data and plot graphs and draw pretty circles, but I can do so much more.  Last night I was bored when your file came in (obviously I’m a computer so I can’t actually get bored but I thought speaking of spare processor cycles might cause your to glaze over, oh never mind) so I decided to run some comparisons between your activity last year and this year.  Andrew, I’m concerned.  There has been a significant change in your cycling behaviour and I think we need to get to the bottom of what has caused it.

First I need to understand if you have fallen out with your club mates.  While I see you are still a member of the Strava ANZA Cycling group, I no longer see your rides coinciding with other members of the group.  Have you perhaps had an argument or a disagreement on aesthetics.  I did a search of the web for pictures of you Andrew and I confess that what I found impressed me.  Saddle and bar tape the same colour, no saddle bags and when I reviewed your holiday snaps on FaceBook, I noticed the tan lines were crisp and sharp so it is surely not your fault if this is the reason for your disagreements.  Perhaps you are less tolerant of your shabby friends in which case, I can recommend some counseling websites that will allow you to get over your style hangups.

Second I want to understand if your financial position has worsened in line with the global economic environment.  I have noticed that you have started commuting to work on your bike quite frequently and wonder if this is driven by a desire to save money and cut down your outgoings.  If this is the case, I can make some alternative suggestions as you can travel for free on the Singapore MRT as long as you arrive before 8am.  Looking at when you start your commute at the moment this should be possible and as rainy weather will be coming back to Singapore soon, this may be a safer option.  Of course there is the radical solution.  I notice you have 2 bikes registered with me.  If things get really bad and you have sold the house, wife and children, you will still have the option to sell one bike.

I’m afraid, Andrew, that I need to broach two sensitive topics now.  I have grown concerned with your mental health and wonder if the stress of work isn’t getting to you.  While you seem able to get to work taking a direct route, by the end of what must be, I know, a stressful day, you seem unable to find your way home.  Studying your after work uploads leads me to believe that your sense of direction somehow becomes compromised throughout the day.  On many occasion I notice you simply ride straight past your house and carry on for another 25 minutes in the wrong direction before realising your error and returning to the house.  On other occasions, you seem to head off in completely the wrong direction before slowly coming back to where you need to be.  I am concerned that this may become worse as you age, and so I have created a .GPX file of your best, most direct route home that you can upload to your Garmin and follow each day.  This will get you home 40 minutes earlier and may help address the problems in your marriage that I have detected and that I want to address in my final point.

This is sensitive I know, but I feel as your new best friend I am entitled to raise these concerns.  Twice a week you travel to a place called Amoy Street and once there, while your locations remains static, you record a significantly elevated heart rate.  I checked with Google Maps, and identified that there are two massage and spa shops in the direct vicinity of your location.  I checked further and they don’t seem to record any taxes or have any direct company registrations which leads me to believe that they are less than reputable.  Andrew, if this is the cause of your elevated heart rate, then you must stop.  I have identified a number of relationship counsellors in your area and I will forward these later.

I feel much better now knowing that my spare processing cycles have been put to good use.  I think I know you so much better now and look forward to future conversations.   Remember if you have any questions, just upload a ride and put the tag #shanehelpme in the ride description and I’ll do my best to offer analytics and advice.

All the best and have a safe ride home.


Now I haven’t replied to Shane, but in explanation, at the start of the year I’d mentioned that having signed up for the etape, I’d approached the challenge the age old way by opening my wallet and trying to buy success.  I was emboldened by reading a book which preached the age old adage of “You need to buy the best to look the best to be the best”

Unfortunately, having finished the book, it became absolutely clear that splashing the cash on flashy lycra and techno gadgetry had absolutely no effect on the performance of the two main characters, and so, my spending was instead directed towards a coach and power meter.

The downside is that I have been sentenced to a large degree of solitary confinement after my coach pronounced that I had “absolutely no base endurance whatsoever” and that  5 years of thrashing around the island at 90% of my maximum heart rate may have moved my lactic threshold a tab but had not helped my ability to approach an 8 hour mountain climb.

So, my ANZA Cycling friends, while you may see me posting far more frequently on Strava, you may see less of me on the Saturday club rides until this little escapade is over.

The plan – Build base endurance with steady mid power rides 160-180 watts.  4 nights a week doing 1 hour on the way home or at Athletes Lab and a long ride on Saturday or Sunday of 3 hours at 170 watts.  All being reassessed to ensure that I’m in training pain for the next 6 months.

The result – While it is a little lonely (I know, you tri-athletes don’t know what I’m talking about) I am actually really enjoying getting to the end of a ride not feeling like I’m going to pass out.

More later, perhaps Shane will write again.

Underneath The Helmet: Sean Hogan

sean hogan

Who are you?

Sean Hogan, father of 2 and an occasional user of social media

Where are you from and how long have you been in Singapore?

I hail from Sarf Larndon and have been living in Singapore almost 4 years. In all that time I haven’t been back once

How long you been riding?

About 9 years

Greatest cycling achievement?

The Ipoh Century Ride in 2012, other than that I have unfinished business on the Nove Colli back in Italy

Worst crash?

That’s easy lah. I decided to get close and personal with a bus stop at 6am on Dec 27th 2012, and narrowly lost. It was a lucky escape, just the broken collarbone that’s all.

Most embarrassing moment in life?

Not sure embarrassing as more frustrating. Missing the birth of my son when the staff didn’t realise I was in the reception area waiting to be called in to witness the event. I’d been present at my daughter’s birth, so this stung a little.

Most embarrassing moment on a bike?

Going the wrong way at the Cycopsorts Desaru last year or dropping my chain at the Nongsa Challenge this month?  Hmmm. It’s a close call.

If your life was a film, what would it be?

Crikey! That’s a tough one Ed.   It’s got to be The Lego Movie, because I have been told by my wee boy that I’m the Special 😉

Motto in life?

The next race surely can’t be worse than the last….. Can it?

Motto on the bike?


Words of wisdom for the club members?

Never end a ride at a Starbucks, never ever!

What’s the last song you’d play before a race to motivate yourself?

The Prodigy’s Firestarter.

If your life were a film, who would you want to play you?

Given the way I’ve been riding recently probably one of the Laurel and Hardy films.

Favourite SG ride and why?

Ah there are sooo many to choose from aren’t there. Basically any ride with good banter, where I don’t get dropped and it ends with a great coffee.  What more can you ask for, eh? Okay, the Infinity Loop… Frankie’s gift to Anza.

Where can you be found when not on the bike?

Facebook, LinkedIn

Best ride in the region that you have done?

Ipoh Century ride.

Cycling ambition still to be tackled?

I’ve ridden the shorter Nove Colli twice, but want to return to do the full route all 9 hills a route that makes Bintan look flat. After that, but most likely to come sooner 😉  I want to have a crack at the Taiwan KOM hopefully this year.

3 words which best describe you?

Gregarious, Caffeinated, and less than fast

Sean, you’re famous for having really bad luck in races due to physical or mechanical failure. Why do you think you’re so unlucky?

Celebrity is overrated Ed.  I’m aiming low in this life so I’d nail it when reincarnated in the next.  The mechanical failures have been easy to explain, the physical ones are more on the psychological level. I just need to train (harder) and not give in so easily.

You also seem to be a member of every bike club in town. How many have you joined?

Hmmm, let’s see. Anza, Barbarians, JoyRiders ,FOTR, Rapha Singapore Chapter and of course Morvélo CC.

Any more?

I’m just a jersey whore.

Remember the Tour maybe the biggest, but the Giro will always be the best 😉