Category Archives: Under The Helmet

Under The Helmet | Nico Las

DSCN1656You see them on the bike but who are the people behind the helmet. Nicolas Chaste, and saying goodbye at the same time.

Who are you?

Nico Las it’s derived from my actual first name.

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

I’m from Paris, a city in France mostly known as the finish line of Le Tour. I spent a bit more than 2 years in Singapore. Sad to leave in one month, but happy to move to a city in France mostly known as the finish line of Le Tour.

How long you been riding?

I’ve been riding commuter bikes in Paris since I was a student. Cheap, super-fast and beer-proof. In 2011 while living in Perth the colleagues I was riding with told me I’d be faster with a proper road bike. ANZA is the first cycling club that I joined and I owe it a lot: I learned the etiquette with Adrian Muir, the language with Alan Benson, and the chivalry with Mike “Toro” Sewell.

Whats in your bike cabinet?

Focus Izalco Pro 1.0 my first and only road bike.

Cinelli Hoy Hoy Rats

Cardboard-collecting-uncle tricycle (which is only used for secret Franza underground training sessions).

Greatest cycling achievement?

Tour of Friendship 2015 (Thailand). 35th out of 36 finishers in my age cat. Sketchy sometimes but I had a great time amongst  passionate cyclists.

Worst crash?

I only crashed once after a long Saturday ride at a pace above my level (note: know your limits). I hope I won’t crash again to decide which was worst.

Most embarrassing moment in life?

Right now when I think about all the embarrassing moments in my life.

Most embarrassing moment on a bike?

When I realised in the middle of a ride that my most loved Franza bib was past its age limit.

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

Lost In Translation. Apply that to a few countries where I have worked.

Motto in life?

Seize the day

Motto on the bike?

NFGU

Words of wisdom for the club members?

This is not a race, but the first at the top wins.

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

Standing on the verge of getting it on (George CIinton)

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

Mark Losi, she’s such a great actress. And my twin brother Colin Alexander for the stunts.

Favourite SG ride and why?

Dave Powell’s social reverse Kranji recovery ride. Double it and it becomes the Double Franza. Because it makes me recover twice faster.

Where can you be found when not on the bike?

1. Having a skinny soy latte in some hipster coffee shop. I keep espressos for when I am with fellow club members.

2. Playing with my Japanese-run-New-Orleans-inspired-Singapore-based brass band.

Best ride in the region that you have done?

1. Cycosport’s Tour de Kepri

2. Losi’s Fraser

3. Kari’s Eddies

4. Double Franza

Cycling ambition still to be tackled?

I have a huge bucket list of cycling trips. Taiwan, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland. But since I have never ridden in the country mostly known as Le Tour, and I’m moving back there, I’ll put Mont Ventoux at the top of the list.

Oh and I would really like to make a podium in TOF one day because the porcelain trophies are absolute must-haves.

3 words which best describe you?

Attack

Cramp

Bonk

(in any order)

Nico – you’re leaving the country soon. Where are you heading off to & when?

To Paris, a city in France mostly known as the finish line of Le Tour. Moving at the end of June.

What’s this Franza thing all about & what’s going to happen without it’s leader (you)

Franza was the codename for the promotion of French language at the front of the ANZA peloton. It is now a training program for champions, based on double recovery rides and underground tricycle exercises. This not-secret organisation will survive me in Singapore as long as there will be Raoul Bertillon and other fast French speaking cyclists around. Craig Cameron qualifies as French speaking because he knows how to say “Allez Allez Allez”. Franza did well in Batam 6 Bridges. Franza has international ambitions in the country mostly known as Le Tour, but that will be announced later.

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Under The Helmet | Arran Pearson

You see them on the bike but who are the people behind the helmet. Inroducing our new Mountain Bike Director – Arran Pearson.

aaron2

  • Where are you from and how long have you been in Singapore?
    From Sydney, we’ve been in Singapore about 6 months now
  • How long you been riding?
    Well, I grew up an expat brat in PNG and we pretty much spent every spare second on bikes… then I grew up and decided that drinking beer was a much better use of my time. I got back into MTB in about 2002 and started training ‘seriously’ in 2009
  • What’s in your bike cabinet?
    · Ummm is my wife (Lisa) on the ANZA cycling distribution list? Ok, here goes:
    – Cannondale Slice RS (Black) TT
    – Salsa Warbird Gravel Grinder (hate that term – call it an all road tourer)
    – Cervelo S5 VWD
    – Salsa Beargrease Carbon Fatbike
    – Moots Routt 45 (another all road tourer)
    – BlackSheep Custom Tour Divide Cruiser Singlespeed…In my defence I’m selling the TT rig and the Salsa (I need a ‘go-fast’ MTB and we are running out of balcony space)
  • Greatest cycling achievement?
    Ummm, completing the Tour Divide MTB Race Singlespeed 2nd place by about an hour (over 21 days of non-stop racing)
  • How many bones have you broken on the bike? Worst crash?
    Oh a lot… worst crash was mistiming a jump (actually – that in itself is nothing special… whoever the wheels leave the ground its a miracle I land in one piece) and landing hard on my back / head. Broke shoulder blade and collar bone. Since then the total list is something like Right and left shoulder blade (the left one twice), several ribs (in separate incidents) and been concussed on a few occasions.
  • Most embarrassing moment in life?
    So many to choose from… maybe the time my long suffering wife and I were on a motorcycle ride to the South Coast and I decided (against better advice) that we had plenty of fuel to make our destination. Turns out I miscalculated by about 2 km. Pushing 240kg of motorcycle for a couple of kms in the dark made a great start to that holiday.
  • Most embarrassing moment on a bike?
    Ummm… on my first bike packing ride, I got dressed in the dark and headed out… didn’t realise that I had my knicks on inside out until I reached the next town. It took me a while to work out what the sniggering was… although to be honest I was so cold that I did’t care – thank god they brought me coffee!
  • If your life was a film, what would it be?
    Secret Life of Walter Mitty
    aaron3
  • Motto in life?
    Life’s too short to put up with <insert current source of annoyance and frustration>
  • Motto on the bike?
    Eat Sleep Ride
  • Words of wisdom for the club members?
    If you’re not having fun then you’re doing it wrong.
  • What’s the last song you’d play before a race to motivate yourself?
    I’m actually not a music guy really – friggin things turn into earworms and then you can’t get it out of your head. Do you know how frustrating it is to find yourself humming ‘Let it Go’ as you’re out on a solo RTI?!?
  • If your life were a film, who would you want to play you?
    Gee I’d cast some rugged suave action type but suspect the producers would go for Seth Rogan 😦
  • Favourite SG ride and why?
    Road? Kranji – by a long way. Its basically a perfect self contained blast – enough bumps to add variety, some sections when you can go fassssssst and on a top day (or in a decent group) its over and done with in a couple of hours. For MTB then it has to be the Bukit Timah Loop – tough, technical but rideable (on a good day) and lots of soft leaves to catch you when you fall!
  • Where can you be found when not on the bike?
    By the pool at my condo with the kids.
  • Best ride in the region that you have done?
    I rate the ANZA Fraser’s weekend that I did a few short weeks after arriving as one of the best – tough but do-able and of course I was out with a great crew! But really, I’ve done a heap of riding in Malaysia now with the Audax guys (and solo) and I really get a kick out of riding into a whole ‘other county. There’s something about doing that which reaffirms everything I love about bikes.
  • Cycling ambition still to be tackled?
    Oh so many! I’m doing the Trans-continental race later this year (Flanders – Istanbul non-stop) but really want to tackle Transamerica (road based backpack across the US). I’d also like to go back to the Tour Divide and get the SS win outright and shoot for the record (currently 19 days – I think its ‘soft’). But I also like being married and there’s a balance!
  • 3 words which best describe you?
    Obsessive, Compulsive, Focussed
    aaron1
  • Why would you like to cycle from Canada to Mexico solo unsupported on a single speed?
    Ha – there is a long answer to this – check out http://www.marathonmtb.com/2013/08/07/racing-the-tour-divide/ (and do a search for my name for the other three parts!) but essentially, we now live very ordered, sheltered lives and there aren’t that many chances you get to go and put yourself well and truly outside your comfort zone to the extant that if you get things wrong then the consequences could be dire. TDR (and others of its ilk) transcend simply riding and are the sort of life experiences you’ll tell your grand kids about – I mean, who else has a tale of facing down a Cougar wearing nothing but sweaty lycra in the middle of a Montana forest?

Under The Helmet | Stale Grindflek

stale3

Who are you?

I am 37 year old Norwegian guy. I am married to an Australian and we have two kids. I currently work as a personal/group trainer for a small local firm.

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

I come from a small village in inland Norway called Tynset. It’s known to be one of the country’s coldest places with yearly average temperature of around zero degrees Celsius. It’s has excellent terrain for cross country running and skiing as well as mountain biking. I have been in Singapore for three years.

How long you been riding?

3 years. I bought a road bike the week I got here.

Whats in your bike cabinet?

I have just a box with tools, some spare parts, tubes, etc.

Greatest cycling achievement?

It must be the Bintan Lagoon Classic race this year where I came second.

Worst crash?

I have only had one crash. It was on the 180 degree turn on the TT (stage 1) on TdB last year, but it was a gentle one 🙂

Most embarrassing moment in life?

There are a lot to choose from, but none worth mentioning.

Most embarrassing moment on a bike?

Nothing serious, but I fell on the top tube as I slid of the pedals and almost falling of the bike as traffic light turned green, entertaining/irritating a dozen or so spectators waiting to drive.

Motto in life?

None special, they change all the time

Motto on the bike?

Better late than never.

Words of wisdom for the club members?

Come up with and follow your own words of wisdom.

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

I am not actually listening to any songs, but AC/DC’s Thunderstruck boosts my energy levels.

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

The younger Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Favourite SG ride and why?

A standard Kranji, because i find it quite varied and I know it well.

Where can you be found when not on the bike?

At home, travelling around Singapore training other people, playing with my two lovely children.

Best ride in the region that you have done?

I have not done many. I just went up to KL to do Fraser’s Hill last weekend. That was very good for hill training.

Cycling ambition still to be tackled?

I am thinking about a race in Norway that goes from Trondheim to Oslo called Styrkeprøven(‘The strength/toughness test’). It’s 540km (in one go if you wondered).

3 words which best describe you?

(I would like to think) organised, kind and reliable.

You’re known to most for your great effort in the recent Bintan race. How did you feel after crossing the line?

Exhausted after battling with cramps the last 8-10 km. I didn’t know winner Richard Paine and I were the two first to cross the line in Cat 2. I thought there were a group in front of us all the time since we broke away from the peloton with about 50 km to go. I was looking ahead around every bend to see if we were gaining on them, but the group I was chasing existed just in my head. I must pay better attention next time.

Whats it like having a wife that also rides? Does it make it easier or harder to buy new bike stuff now?

It’s great, now I can buy new things for both of us

stale1

Under The (Aero) Helmet | Martin Reynolds

Martin1Who are you?
Martin Reynolds. Married to Liz.  2 children, Emma aged 11 and Jake aged 8

Where are you from and how long have you been in Singapore?
Manchester, England.  9 years in Singapore 

How long you been riding?
8 years 

Greatest cycling achievement?
Climbing Mont Ventoux. Though returning in one piece following a 330km Audax ride into Malaysia taking 17hours (!) is also up there

Worst crash?
In my condo car park after 5 hours in the saddle.  Slipped at the grand speed of 5kph and landed on hip.  Hospital and crutches followed. 

Most embarrassing moment in life?
Too many to mention.  Though getting locked out of my hotel room in Germany wearing only swimmers was a bit of a ‘Mr Bean’ moment

Most embarrassing moment on a bike?
Getting lost on a Kranji

 

If your life was a film, what would it be?
Not a clue.

Motto in life?
Do your best 

martin2Motto on the bike?
If you’re not first, then you’re last

Words of wisdom for the club members?
None – I am still learning myself!

Self-rating for bIQ and bEQ (1 is low & 10 Expert)?
bIQ – 6, bEQ – 0 (think I need to be in the peleton to score a 1) 

If your life were a film, who would you want to play you?
I would say Daniel Craig – though I think my kids would say Rowan Atkinson

Favourite SG ride and why?
You can’t beat the Eddies to wake you up on a Wednesday morning.  Also, PulauUbin is a great place to go with the kids.  Quiet roads and a chilled out ride

 

Where can you be found when not on the bike?

Swimming in the pool or running the Green Corridor

 

Best ride in the region that you have done?

Any Phuket ride

 

Cycling ambition still to be tackled?

The bike course at Kona

 

3 words which best describe you?

Organised, Focused, Energetic

 


 

Under The Helmet | Bjorn Engelhardt

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Who are you?

Worrying question …..you 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

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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.

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?

Obey

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 😉

Ciao

Under The Helmet – Alex Robertson

UTH-logoYou recognise them from the bike, or the helmet and the shades, but who are the people under the helmet?

 

Bulmers Shetland3

Who are you?
Alex Robertson

Where are you from and how long have you been in Singapore?
Reading, UK. 18 months.
 
How long you been riding?
Since my dad got me a bright red BMX. It was the best.

Greatest cycling achievement?
In my mind I can always do better. That’s one of the reasons why I still try and ride competitively. My most enjoyable cycling experience was riding from Greenwich in London to the Colosseum in Rome. I won the final sprint down the cobbled Appian highway to the sound of Italian scooters beeping their horns.

Worst crash?
Being t-boned by a car along Whitechapel Road during rush hour in London. That was number 4 for my right collarbone and a sad day for a frame I liked.

Most embarrassing moment in life?
*&%$ing myself.
 
Most embarrassing moment on a bike?
There’s been many, but one of the most blushing moments came when riding no hands back from school (a long time ago). I was trying to be cool in front of some girls, but instead just hit the curb and went over the handlebars and head planted a letter box. Not cool.
 
If your life was a film, what would it be?
Labyrinth – my sense of direction is terrible.
 
Motto in life?
Life isn’t meant to be fair – one from my dad.
 
Motto on the bike?
Just keep swimming.
 
Words of wisdom for the club members?
Don’t take the motto above too literally.

Self-rating for bIQ and bEQ (1 is low & 10 Expert)?
bIQ – x, bEQ – x
I don’t know what this is.

If your life were a film, who would you want to play you?
Brian Blessed – he’s nothing like me, but I just think his a bit of a legend.
 
Favourite SG ride and why?
Wednesday mornings. I enjoy the funny looks at work when I can’t walk down the stairs without sounding like an old man in his 80s.
 
Where can you be found when not on the bike?
At some overpriced, overrated restaurant.

Best ride in the region that you have done?
The double header in Malaysia was a nice ride (coming again soon I think?).
 
Cycling ambition still to be tackled?
Solo RAAM. I’ve got allot of training to do!
 
3 words which best describe you?
Quiet, determined / addictive, gangly.