Monthly Archives: July 2015

RTI is on its Summer Holiday

beachWell folks it is that time of year again.  The extensive RTI staff is on a break as we’re good like that.

Before we go though we have the report of the Mersing trip from last week which was full of adventure (for me unfortunately as again I took one for the team)

We’ll be slacking for a couple of weeks but send us your holiday cycling snaps and stories so we can entertain the readers on our return

Until then take it easy and

Let’s be careful out there!

Mersing and back

[Or as I like to think of it To Di or not to Di that is the question”]

By Jonathan Hooper

Over the weekend a group of 19 ANZA riders embarked on a two day return trip from Singapore to Mersing along with 4 ANZA Audax members who were completing the return trip all in one go

Image 1We all met at Changi Point ferry terminal at 6:30am on Saturday morning and made the short boat ride across to Pengerang, Malaysia. We met our support vehicle at the carpark, loaded our day packs inside and prepared ourselves for the 180km journey to Mersing.

The ride started of pretty steady with the group deciding to stay together for the first 50km to Desaru. It was not long till the first technical was called and it was no other than Andrew Cherriman with a faulty Di2 rear derailleur. With the front derailleur still working Churdy soldiered on with only the option of two gears. A very tough effort to complete the ride on those grounds. Well done.

At the point of the technical we split into two groups and continued onto Desaru. The pace was set pretty high at the start by The Flying Moa aka (Kahu) and it was going to be tough to manage for the remaining 130km. We managed to keep the pace pretty high and understandably the audax guys decided to ease up a bit as they had another 260km ahead of them. Though there was rumour that a taxi was involved at Kotta Tinggi during the night.

The heat and the rollers were getting to everyone but we all reached Mersing with no major hiccups, just aching bodies and a quenching thirst for some cold beers.

If you ever attend and ANZA trip please be sure you keep an eye on your phone at all times. The most dangerous person could be a fellow member posting on your FB profile. Just as well she didn’t fire up tinder and take a few swipes. But unfortunately the damage had already been done.

Image 4


There is absolutely nothing to do in mersing and there is definitely nothing to do in mersing during ramadan. We managed to find a local chinese restaurant to load up on some beers and some exquisite chinese cuisine. After dinner we strolled back to the hotel to get a good nights rest before the mornings return journey.

At breakfast in the morning it was discussed that Trent had his Tinder range set at 15km and was getting absolutely no hits. Highlighting the fact that we needed to get back to Singapore quickly.

Image 5Image 6The return journey started of smoothly with everyone riding together. Just before the 15k mark Andrew Cherriman unfortunately struck a rock while exchanging bottles and went off road ending rubber side up. His rear derailleur snapped off and he acquired some nasty looking grazes. While being fixed up a few of the boys on the side of the road were clearly not amused my Cherrimans performance so we quickly bundled him up in John’s towel and he enjoyed a calm relaxing ride in the support vehicle.


At the concern of some team members, Cherriman was spotted later in the day at one of the rest stops wandering around in the bushes taking photos of trees and leaves. It was later established that he is a very keen dendrologist [Have no idea what you’re talking about, was taking photos of the second group as they rode in. Ed.].

After Cherrimans off road excursion we split into similar groups as the day before and headed back to Singapore via Johor Bahru. It was just as hot as the day before and the road presented a large number of rollers that seemed to go on forever. On a few occasions the call of ‘horses’ was made from within the group and having not seen a horse at all over the last two days and with no horses in sight it made for some puzzled faces across the group. It was soon realised that actually ‘horses’ was Victor trying to say ‘holes’ and there were definitely plenty of them.

With a slight head wind and some tired bodies it was a frustrating return journey and I’m sure everyone was glad to make speedy trip through immigration and home.

A big thank you to Andrew and Neridah for organising the trip. As smooth as always and I’m sure we are all looking forward to the next one.

Time to Accessorise

image5You’ll have seen the Facebook post but here we get to elaborate a bit.

after spending thousands on your bike do you top it off before heading out for the day with accessories that look like this?







Or this?








Or do you take pride in your bike like this?







or this?







Either way the time has come for you to get your matching ANZA bottles.

If you want to find out more of the trials and tribulations that went into getting the humble bottle to your bike, read the post further on in this weeks RTI.

A quick reminder of the upcoming ANZA club TT championship.  See this post for details & how you can enter for free [ANZA Allied World Club Championship]

In addition, we’ve got a couple of reports from last week’s Trifactor race that took place on a great new course on Nicol Highway.

But the star of the week probably has to go to last weekend’s PM Blast ride with Tony Abbott.

No road closures that we know of this week, so as always

Let’s be careful out there


New Ride – The PM Blast

PM1Last Sunday, we discovered what is possibly the best ride in Singapore but unfortunately it may be a little hard to recreate.

Some weeks ago Megan was approached by the Australian High Commission to say that PM Tony Abbott would be in Singapore and would like to go for a bike ride, could ANZA Cycling help.

I’m sure Megan thought “Sure, how hard could it be?”  Well pretty hard actually I think.

I won’t go into the details and steal Megan’s coffee shop thunder since she can, as they say, dine off this one for years, but what with accommodating the objectives of the Australian and Singaporean sides, trying to guess how fast the PM could ride, trying to work out if we were or were not going to be stopping at the traffic lights, trying to determine if he was coming with us to Dimbulah, trying to make sure we didn’t drop the PM on any hills (actually no chance of that in hindsight) I think Megan may have bitten off slightly more than she expected.

But we are enormously grateful that she did as on Sunday a group of 18 of us dressed immaculately in this years ANZA kit, 17 on road bikes and Max representing the dark side on his MTB met up outside the St. Regis to greet the PM and his cycling companions.

At this point it was confirmed that the Singapore traffic police would be creating a rolling block for us so there would be no stopping at red lights and with that the PM blast started.

To say that it was fun rolling through at 37km/h without a care for what colour the lights were after all these years of stopping every 50 meters down Orchard Road would be an understatement.  We continued round, and with only one minor hiccup when we went the wrong way and lost the police escort, we proceeded to Keppel, Sentosa and back to Cantonament before heading back to the St. Regis.  30km in total, average 35km/h and it was possibly the most fun I’ve had on a bike in Singapore.

Topped off with a quick coffee with the PM and his team, and it has to be said, St. Regis makes great coffee, Dimbulah may have to up their game or club breakfast could be moved again 🙂


Bottles Bottles everywhere | and not a drop to drink

image31I’ve often been out on a ride and heard the question “What do I get for my membership fee?”  Well at the AGM, I think Steven comprehensively answered that by showing that for every $1 we receive in membership fees, we spend over $3 in providing benefits for the members, whether that is club breakfast, OneLifeiD’s Training programmes, or (now) the new ANZA water bottles.  On top of that, whether due to interest in taking on a role or other reasons, we sometimes get asked “what does the committee do?”, well the honest answer is we sit around a few times a year asking each other questions like:

  • What do we think the members would like to do on their bikes
  • Can we organise more social events
  • How do we get less experienced or confident members into the club
  • How can we make the rides safer
  • What should the kit look like this year
  • How can we look better and more like a club

Well after a little more trouble than I would have liked one of those has come to fruition this week so I thought I’d share what goes into being on the committee.

Now as VP, I don’t really have a defined role, so it often falls to me to try to take an idea and see what it will take to make it happen.  Club Water Bottles was an idea we had which had proved difficult in the past so always up for a challenge I thought I’d give it a shot.

Bottle Design-right sizeI found Specialized did a customised water bottle line, but they never even bothered to respond to my enquiries, perhaps the thought of shipping to Singapore was putting them off or perhaps they had too much business to want to bother but you’d have thought that a 300 bottle order was at least worth an email.  So a bit more searching and I found that Polar Bottle in the USA would do custom designs and I have used Polar bottles for years so some enquiries and they were delighted to help.

The first step is agreeing the design, I took the ANZA kit design colours and put together something that the rest of the committee were happy with.  Then we negotiated pricing and shipping.  This is where it got interesting / difficult and my lack of knowledge of shipping showed.  I had 3 options. 1. Ship to dock ($370) 2. Ship to final address ($700) both 30-45 days and airfreight ($750).  Now I had researched the cost of buying Polar image21Bottles here and found the absolute best you could do was just under $20 so our manufacture cost was coming in significantly under that so I decided we could afford having the airfreight to get them a month earlier, what they didn’t tell me was that it was the air equivalent of the ship to dock option.

Not a problem you might think, go and collect at the airport.  Well that’s what I thought but that’s not what it means at all, it means that none of the customs clearance or import documentation is done.  I asked the shipping company of they could do that for me and they came back telling me that customs had put a stop on the bottles as I didn’t have an import license.

You see water bottles hold drinks and therefore you need a “food appliances” license from the AVA.  The license is free but you can’t get one as an individual, you have to be a company [getting frustrated now!].  Again, I asked the shipping company if they could apply on my behalf and they came back a day later saying that “management” had said no.  Stalemate.  Bottles stuck in a customs warehouse.

seatronicsThis is where mates come to the rescue and with thanks to Derek and Craig they offered to get their freight forwarding agents involved. and a couple of days later I was delighted (my wife was not) to find this lot in my livingroom.


So now you know, this is the sort of thing that the committee spend their time trying to sort out.

Now what do you do with 300 water bottles, well obviously, you get your kids to write ANZA with them right.


TriFactor Ladies – Bike Racing By a Non-Racer

Nicole Rondy

Bike Racing by a non-racer (and non-report writer!)

Our esteemed RTI editors asked me to write a race report after taking part in the Tri-Factor Bike race on Sunday, the second instalment of this year’s Tri-Factor series.

This is all well and good. Except:

  • I have no idea how to write a race report… (goes and looks at the recent RTI editions….)
  • I realised I generally skim-read the race reports….(ahem, whoops?)
  • I cant normally remember what I had for dinner last night, let alone what happened at some god-forsaken hour on Sunday morning…

But hey, let’s give it a whirl!

The skim-read version (ahem):
1. What?
Straight up, crit-style, all-out bike race. I did the 35km distance race, so 5 laps of 7kms each (there were also options of 56km or 21km – when signing up I decided to ‘man up’ a bit, but as this was a first attempt, I thought I’d leave the 56km ‘race report’ for the big boys)
2. Where?
The course was set out around Republic Avenue and Nicoll Highway (a much more interesting route than up and down Changi airport road in my opinion – for spectators and competitors alike!), though the crazy configuration did mean there were 4 U-turns per lap. More on that later….
3. Who?
(Well as this is my race report and it’s all about me….) I finished second in 1:01:36 (whoop!).
4. How?
With a ‘peloton’ of only three laydeeeeez we had a rolling speed of between 35-40kph (girl power!), but with those four tight U-turns, that turned into an average of about 34kph over the race (we won’t be breaking any records, but dammit its hard work when there’s just three of you!)
5. Why?
Well, this bike race malarkey turned out to be damn good fun, the winner’s loot was pretty good (a podium jersey, a tri bag, a water bottle and a medal – awesome, I can stop stealing G’s kit bags now!) and, as we were flagged off at 6:35am, even after waiting for the podium I was home by 9am for breakfast and a nap! WIN WIN WIN!

So for those of you that haven’t already skipped to the next story….

The longer version:
Pre-race jitters: I’d never competed in a bike race like this before, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I had, however, watched the Tri-Factor bike race last year and seen the number of accidents (!) so was a little wary (but perhaps not as wary as G, who wasn’t keen on me doing it in the first place…perhaps that’s the real reason I had decided to do it then!?). I only looked up last year’s results the night before the race and when I saw that the first four ladies averaged over 36kph for the whole thing, I started to feel a lbit ill, wondered what the hell I’d signed myself up for and couldn’t eat my dinner (or breakfast either for that matter). I mean I can do 36kph, but not for an hour?! Well apparently I can… but not at U-Turns…

Race morning: my TEAM RONDY cheerleader and I dragged ourselves, still yawning, to the race area for about 5:45am, just in time to watch the last lap or so and finish of the 56km invitational and open races (ummm…shit. That was fast. I was suddenly extremely thankful I couldn’t manage any breakfast and you can all be thankful too, so I haven’t had to write a Don-esque account involving frequent trips to the toilet…). In the meantime, I started to notice there weren’t many women around – I spied a couple that I thought may be fun. It looks like my competition-radar is getting more highly attuned, as those two ladies and myself ended up being the only three really in the race. The women’s start line looked rather forlorn, there were only about 20 of us, which was a bit sad to see, given the number of female cyclists in Singapore (Perhaps it was because the original date was postponed? Perhaps it was because they knew they would wipe the floor with us? Or perhaps they were otherwise occupied on a VIP ride with visiting dignitaries…!). Nonetheless, luckily there wasn’t too much waiting around, so not much time to think about it!


Bike- tick! Race number- tick! Helmet – tick! ANZA kit – tick! Other riders……umm…is anyone turning up today?!

Tactics: what tactics? I didn’t have any!
Right before the start, PA, having just finished the 56km, told me to “Bee carfuull for zee numpties, zey arrr dangerous when you arr doing feefty keelomeetars aan ower” (sorry, I really couldn’t resist!) and G told me to ‘go hard at the beginning, see who follows and stick with them’….
Soooooooo, not needing to sorry too much about PA’s advice (no chance of me doing ‘feefty’, even behind a truck) but not having any better ideas, I did as told by G (what a good wife!) and put the hammer down from the start line – the other two ladies that I spotted before the start caught me pretty soon and it went from there.

The Race: well, as there seemed to be only 3 who wanted to join in our little breakaway (and we finished nearly 5 minutes ahead of the next lady), there’s not a great deal to report: we worked together, took pretty much an equal amount of time on the front – which means we each must have pulled for over 11km each (yes, probably more work than I do on the average Saturday Kranji, I must admit!!), and yelled encouragement to each other through the race (ahhh isn’t that nice!).
I think it took me about half a lap to realise I wasn’t doing a triathlon, that I didn’t have a ‘passing zone’ and therefore I could draft (this was all new to me!). But by lap 5 when the legs were screaming each time I was on the front, that was very welcome indeed! We didn’t have any luck at sticking on the back of any guys – the only ones left by the time we went out were stragglers, though we had plenty of guys hanging on to us (what did I say about Girl Power?!).

The laydeez out at the front..Yup, there we are again…

The course lay-out was fun and kept it interesting for the five laps: up and over the bridge on Nicoll Highway twice, and up and down Crawford Road, meant there were three ‘climbs’ (well, not really) per lap. There were also…

U-TURNS: did I mention there were FOUR U-turns per lap?! Evidently, I am useless at U-turns. And five laps of four U-turns means…. I got dropped TWENTY times in one race (have I set a new record?!). Yup, I was the proverbial elastic band…

The (not so) Big Finish: The finish line was about 500m from the last U-Turn, after a climb, which meant the inevitable was due to happen on the last lap… the other two dropped me at the final turn, flew up the hill and took off to the finish line while I was barely getting started again. Despite giving it all I had up the hill and then to the finish, I couldn’t catch the winner (Lynnette Ngo- Cycledelic)… but I did manage to just catch the second place by a single second (phew and owwwwwwwwwww!). At that point, I was very thankful for those early morning, mid-week sprints sessions with the ‘Superchix’ and the LCK section on a Saturday!

The Crowd: were pretty non-existent (though to their credit, it was pretty damn early). G was awesome in his cheerleading, as always- yelling encouragement to our little peloton (but yelling in French when he wanted me to overtake/go harder!) and as the course came through the same section so often, he managed to see us four times per lap, which kept the spirits up! Though his immediate, post-finish line analysis of “We need to work on your U-turns!” and “Couldn’t you have attacked earlier if you knew she was going to have you at the U-turn?!” were perhaps slightly less wonderful that the rest of his support throughout the race…


(The G-man, showing his support for TEAM RONDY! And also taking selfies…we were obviously too slow to keep him sufficiently occupied…)

What have I learnt?

  • There really wasn’t so much to be scared of, the course was pretty safe, well managed and those bloody U-turns strung out the course so there was never really any dangerous bottlenecks or “numpties” in the way.
  • My legs were stronger and lasted longer than I thought they would (though on lap 2 I did wonder how I was going to manage 3 more….) and thanks again to those ‘bloody U-turns’ it brought the average speed down to something less scary!
    I need to work on my cornering so I don’t need to work twice as hard to catch up every time (see G, I’m listening!).
  • You don’t need to be a ‘racer’ to take part in a bike race: in fact it was a real shame there were not more women there – hell, if I can do it, anyone can. I would really encourage any women and/or other ‘non-racers’ from the club to give the next race a go (insert appropriate club champs plug here?!)!
  • Mainly, it was actually really damn good fun. I was expecting to hate most, if not every minute of the race (I don’t really like pain). But, I didn’t, at all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, the first thing the third-placed lady (Jess McMorris) said to me when we finished was “oh my god, how much fun was that?!”… I couldn’t agree more!
  • Oh, and I realised I really do like riding my bike more than triathlon… (whoops, did I say that?!)


Action shot from the Cheerleader – if I’m sticking my tongue out I must’ve been enjoying myself!

Whoop whoop! Whoever said there’s no prizes for second place?!