Tag Archives: Singapore

Stuff that happens here

Missing your racing fix after Nongsa? – other options available

The hellish haze resulted in Saturday’s Cycosports Nongsa race  getting cancelled yesterday. Sad news for the local racing community but definitely the right decision from a health perspective.

For those brave souls that have an itching in their thigh muscles and a desperate need to smash the competition/get dropped on the 1st hill, there’s a few options on the horizon.

OCBC Sprint Series: 16th October
This one is a bit of a mystery with a Facebook page appearing earlier this week in very low key fashion. It’s a unique format involving 1km sprints around the highly technical go-carting track at Turf City. It’s a night event with qualifying rounds and then a knock out format. Could be interesting and something that becomes a regular event if well supported.
https://www.facebook.com/OCBC-Super-Sprint-2015-1492470854402085/timeline/

Johor Megaride : 10th October
Again, a bit of an unknown quantity. This one starts down by the Pasir Gudang motor bike track in Johor – a site that we’re all intimate with from the Cycosports race series. However the event then takes us all the way up to Senai for a 100km race before ending back at Pasir Gudang. Entry is only $50 so it’s worth a gamble!
https://www.facebook.com/events/845075345586312/

Cycosports Centaurs jungle cross: 11th October
A new Cyclo-Cross, MTB , Fat Bike race event from the good people at Cycosports. This one is at the new Centaurs Jungle Trail located at Turf City. Great racing for all levels including a kids race. The location is superb, decent food, coffee and the video of the course looks fun. Well worth a trip down for a fun morning of racing.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1663655040536260/

Masters Tour of Chiang Mai: October 23-26
A classic event now in its 5th year. The MTCM is one of the best multi day events in the region with 4 days in the mountains round the beautiful city of Chiang Mai. A great course, strong field and some excellent bikes shops and food this one is well recommended. There’s always a decent sized contingent from Singapore going along.
http://masterstourofchiangmai.com/

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SwiftCarbon Bikes

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that Swift Carbon are one of the new sponsors of the club this year. We thought this a great opporunity to introduce this new brand that you may not be familar with….

SwiftCarbon  is a clean-sheet company, structured around what they believe is the most effective way to produce high performance carbon fibre bicycles. The brand is the brainchild of South African ex-professional cyclist Mark Blewett & the range covers road, mountain and TT disciplines.

swift1

The range leading Ultravox Ti  is currently ridden by Team DRAPAC in Australia and Japan’s Team Lemonade Bellmare.  Drapac used the Ultravox Ti to great effect in 2014 recording 15 wins (including the OCBC Cycle Singapore Criterium) and many more podiums in races around the world. In 2015, Drapac rider Wouter Wippert steered the Ultravox to its first ever UCI WorldTour victory when he triumphed in Stage 6 of the Tour Down Under in January as well as some podiums in the recent Tour Of California.

The unique ride feel of a SwiftCarbon frame should instil complete confidence in the rider. It’s a sensation that comes from being totally relaxed and comfortable on the bike. When a bike is predictable yet agile, stiff under power yet damps out road buzz, with spot-on fit for its intended purpose, that rider feels utterly at home on it. A relaxed rider is an efficient rider, and an efficient rider is a faster rider. Our bikes have a signature look, standing out in the bunch while remaining understated. A SwiftCarbon bike looks like a SwiftCarbon bike, whether it’s a road racer, TT bike or MTB. But the key element is, and always will be, the ride.

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ANZA Cycling members receive 15% off SwiftCarbon retail products upon presentation of a valid membership card. Contact kaz@swiftcarbon.com for more info.

Don’t be another face in the crowd with yet another Pinarello/Specialised/Trek …..with its good looks, race ready performance and reasonable price tag, the SwiftCarbon is definitely worth a look.

More info at : https://www.facebook.com/SwiftCarbonSingapore
www.swiftcarbon.com

swift3

The Gentleman Cyclist – Punctures

Gentleman Cyclist 2My dearest club mates, you may not have noticed me, but I have been amongst you recently dressed incognito in my tweeds to blend in.  I have been observing the manners and behaviour of the modern cyclist so that I am up to date on culture and etiquette of the lycra clad generation.

Of course in my day, there was never any need as discuss these things as a gentleman was brought up to know how to act in public, whether on the shooting range, escorting a lady to her favourite hat shop, in the boardroom or when on the recreational bicycle.

I noticed on my foray into modern two wheeled culture that the scouts motto “Be Prepared” seems to have slipped out of common usage, and certainly is not being followed in spirit or kind.

What am I talking about?

Punctures!

Gentleman Cyclist 8Yes, the bane of the modern cyclist.  Back when I was leading the peloton, this was not a problem.  Solid wheels did not puncture.  Of course they were a little uncomfortable especially when you hit those cobbles in Roubaix but we got by without the need for pneumatic cushions.  Sadly today, comfort has taken over from practicality and you modern softies feel the need to glide along on a layer of captured air which leads to a problem when that air escapes.

Now for most it is a few minutes, but there are definitely some in the peloton who could do with some puncture practice.  I’m not talking about old school puncture repair with glue patches, sand paper, chalk dust and all that palava, what I am talking about is the relatively simple task of changing an inner tube.

Now I know some of you have delicate hands, and the fairer sex are always welcome to stand beside their steeds looking helplessly at the gentlemen in the group who would be, well, less than gentlemen if they did not come to the rescue, but for most of you no excuses, this is a basic skill of life.

 pedrosI understand that it can be daunting and indeed if you do a googly search on the world wide interweb, one of the first pictures is a little intimidating.  Surely you don’t need to have all this to change a simple inner tube?  And of course no you don’t.  Pedro’s are just trying to sell tools, and presumably help a saddle bag company out at the same time.

So club mates I researched a little and found this:

An average joe fixing a puncture in around 49 seconds -> Average Joe changing a tube

And a look a little deeper found examples from a couple of past tour winners.

Fellow Gentleman Cyclist Greg Lemond gives us the low down here -> Greg changing a tube

And that scoundrel Lance helps us out here -> Lance changing a tube and I want you all to particularly take note of what lance says at 1 minute 7 seconds 😉

So next time you are out on a ride, you know what you need to do, and you all know you should be carrying a spare tube, levers, pump right.

innppz41Just before I leave you to go and practice your tube changing technique, one final word.  I know you all believe that cycling is all about legs and so don’t like to exercise your arms so if you have decided that pumping is just too much work for your wasting upper bodies and have invested in carbon dioxide (that’s CO2 to you) cartridges, then for goodness sake learn how to use them.  There is nothing marks you out as an amateur more than a large puff of icy gas as you waste $4 of CO2 and ask your mates if you can borrow a pump.

To help you there, there is this -> How to use CO2

 Good luck out there, and happy pumping gentlemen.

TGC

Racing Calendar | April

This weekend heralds the arrival of the first major stage race of the year – with Tour of Friendship kicking off in Bangkok. ANZA / Direct Asia teams are well represented with 12 riders roasting in the 40 degree heat of the Thai summer.

The calendar for the rest of the year continues to develop with Cycosports just announcing their Nongsa Classic event in September.

Support the local scene and get yourself signed up for these events.

Race calendar april15

The Gentleman Cyclist – Numpties

Gentleman Cyclist

It has been a while since we heard from The Gentleman Cyclist.  He has been beavering away in his workshop, having heard that cyclists today seem to like changing gear from the handle bars rather than reaching down to the lever on their down tube.  TGC has been trying to find a cable long enough to allow him to try this out, and succeeded by stripping a cable from the Austin Healey in his garage..  The result was quite a revelation and he feels the trend may catch on.  Enough of this, we need to interrupt his invention tests as we received an important question in a letter early last week and TGC has been itching to offer his opinion.

Dear TGC
I recently joined a cycling club and one of the day idea sounds attractive as it will be fast like me but it has been billed as a “no-numpties” ride.

I’m not familiar with this term but since you are knowledgable on all cycling etiquette matters I thought you might be able to shed some light on this and advise if this is a ride I should be doing.

Regards
Numpty Dumpty

Dear Numpty

Thank you for your letter.  I was intrigued when I read it as it was not a term that we hear much down here in Oxfordshire.  It is almost certainly not a term that should be used in polite company and I wondered if perhaps your friend from the cycling club is from North of the Border.  Glasgow perhaps or Aberdeen.  Is he large, bearded, ginger haired, smells perennially of whiskey and wears one of those skirts that the Scots insist on calling a kilt?

The starting place for all definitions is, of course, that momentous tome of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary.  The OED defines the word as follows:

Numpty: A stupid or ineffectual person.

If we start to break this down for cycling purposes, then stupid might refer to not knowing how to ride a bicycle properly, or perhaps more likely, not knowing how to ride safely in a group.  Equally possibly he is trying to highlight that  or being unaware of the protocols of riding in his group could, perhaps bring an element of danger to a fast and furious ride.  Ineffectual on the other hand is probably assessing an element of how much work an individual is willing to do to support the group, and namely, no wheelsuckery.  This therefore would seem to imply that if you are either brand new to riding with the club or you have the intention to sit on the back (cough! triathlon style) and let the others work for you, then this is probably not your ride.

On a lighter note, and entering into the spirit of our colonised neighbours, I think it important in my answer to give some guidance on the proper usage of the term as just throwing it into any sentence just won’t do.  For this guidance, there is no better place to look than the esteemed Urban Dictionary.  I know you are probably asking yourself what a Gentleman such as myself would be doing even with knowledge of such a base publication, but when one cycles to the remoter parts of  High Wycombe then, if one is to be able to communicate, then one, as the saying goes, needs to be “down with the kids”

Urban Dictionary defined Numpty as follows:
“Someone who (sometimes unwittingly) by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others.”

or to be blunt

“Numpty first surfaced on the terraces of west of Scotland football grounds, many many years ago. A player who couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a shovel would be a f***ing numpty.”

In terms of using the phrase, it is important to put on a broad Scottish accent when you use it to get the full effect and some examples you might use are:

“Awww Jimmy ya numpty!! You couldnae score wi’ ma’ sister!”
“they numpties couldnae organise a pissup in a brewery.”
“Nay! That wisnae wit she meant, ya greet numpty!”

To bring this home, you might consider the following at your next club ride:

“Did ya see that greet numpty fall over at the lights, he couldnae unclip from his pedals”
“Would that numpty on the front pedal when he’s going downhill the rest of the group is up ‘is arse”
“What’s that numpty doing ten meters off the front?  Couldnae he look over his shoulder and see he’s riding faster than the rest o us”
“Ya couldnae sprint for a bus ya greet numpty, just sit on me wheel and I’ll show you how its done”

These are, of course, just guidelines to get you started, and I look forward to hearing the inventiveness of the crowd in tomorrow’s ride.

In the immortal words of that peoples cyclist Mao Zedong
“Let a hundred flowers blossom ya greet numpties!”

TGC

E3 Performance Sports MTB Race #2

Donald MacDonald

E3 Performance Sports race is my first time on the MTB since their last event 15 months back in Lorong Ampang. I finally got round to giving the bike a proper clean from that race this week – probably shouldn’t have bothered given the state it ended up after today’s event!

From the profile and the event pics, this looked like a good roadies race with the whole course seemingly on gravel roads. Given my lack of use, I still hadn’t got round to putting some proper MTB cleats and pedals on but I gambled the road ones would suffice for such a course. Noting other roadies at the start line in aero helmets, I figured that I was in good company in my assessment of the course. 20 minutes later, we were knee deep in mud and regretting our respective apparel choices…

The race started well – there was a decent turnout of maybe 90 riders for the main event including 7 from Anza/Direct Asia. The course briefing sounded a bit random but I felt sure that we’d figure it out on the road.

mtb1

The group took off at a healthy clip and the peleton was quickly reduced to about 30 riders with Pierre and the Mavs mostly setting the pace. The convoluted route took its first casualty on lap 1 when some confusion led to a couple of the Mavs hitting the deck at the front. Thankfully both were ok and quickly got back on.

The roads were initially as expected – flat, gravely and only mildly bumpy. We then got directed off road into what can only be described as a swamp and we had to endure about 100m of mud pits with calf deep water. This was borderline rideable on lap 1 but a treacherous quagmire thereafter. I hit the deck like clockwork each time we came through this section but it was super soft and probably like jello-wrestling. It’s the only bike race I’ve ever done where those crashing were responding with laughter rather than screams of pain!

The mud did give me some serious problems with my twattish choice of pedal and cleats which I’d scavenged from my TT bike the night before. After each mud section, I was unable to click into the pedals and found that I had to drag my foot through puddles when riding and then use my fingers to gouge out the Orange muck to enable a click-in. Not the best way to win a race.

mtb6

My bike also needed some serious talking to with the front deraullier changing at random and the chain coming off 3 times during the event. Had it been a road race, I’d have been pissed but MTB seems a shed load more laid back and so I didn’t stress it.

In addition to the mud, we had to navigate 3 drainage ditches in quick succession on the circuit. These involved jumping across a 5 foot deep ditch whilst carrying the bike. A bit of a pain but a clear point where an ambitious individual could get a breakaway if they wanted.

mtb2

By lap 2, I was sitting in the chasing group and there were 7 off the front – including Pierre. The mud pits and the ditches gradually increased the gap between me and the group and I dropped off the back. A group of chasing dogs then forced me to HTFU and sprint for my life which got me back to the group pretty quick sharp.

I kept yoyoing off the back of the 2nd group and eventually ended up alone and lost for a while. Directions on the course were borderline shambolic in places and some junctions were a pure coin flip for the riders as to the correct route – I ended up getting lost on lap 3 and ended up crossing the line in 15th as a result – real result should have been a few places further back…

After 4 laps and 65 hard km’s, I eventually rolled in to the finish. 6 minutes behind the winners Bastian and Pierre but exhausted and happy.

mtb8

The bike was minging like never before and it was borderline if the taxi would even take us in this state. In a classic bit of OTT opulence, we then washed our bikes in mineral water to allow us to get home!

Overall, a great day with good atmosphere and a challenging, hard workout. I’ll be there with the appropriate shoes for the next one!

Good job E3 Sports in putting on these grass roots events.

The Gentleman Cyclist – Winning

Gentleman Cyclist

Still trying to get through his backlog of post, TGC has been beavering away. His butler takes him a couple of letters at breakfast with his liver, eggs and kippers, and if he likes what he reads he pens a quick reply. Of course if he doesn’t like what he sees, then your letter is just fuel for the drawing room fire.

Here is one that seems to have made the cut…

Dear TGC
A friend of mine shared with me your reply regarding trivia quizzes. I was particularly heartened by your assertion that winning is everything since as I like to say to my wife and friends at all possible opportunities “I am a cyclist”.  They often respond “You mean you ride your bike a bit?” To which I have to reassert myself “No! I am a cyclist”.

By this clearly I want them to understand that I cycle to demonstrate my superiority over other mere bike riders and that in doing this, every ride is a challenge, a competition, every bike rider a target to be caught and passed.

What I wanted to ask your sagely advice on is the right form of celebration when winning a club sprint, a local bike race, or clearly as this is coming up very soon, when I dominate the club Quiz Night.

Yours in anticipated glory
The Cyclist

Dear Cyclist
I admire your competative spirit! Anybody who says that it is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that matters has clearly either lost so many competitions that he has forgotten that the whole point is to try to win or they were brought up under the British Education system of the 1990’s and somehow think that coming last at British Bulldogs while being dumped on your head doesn’t in some way encourage you to try harder next time.

You are a kindred spirit, a brother in arms, you can be wingman to my Top Gun any time, but…

A gentleman never reveals the pleasure of the win.

While you must of course win, you must accept the victory with grace as though it was at all times a foregone conclusion. Not for the gentleman the pumping of the arms with a hearty “Boo Ya!”. Learn your lessons from Mark Cavendish when he thanks his team for their work in propelling him over the line with a “The team did all the work I was just the man who crossed the line first”

Yes dear Cyclist, when and if you do indeed dominate the club Quiz Night, Suppress your emotions my friend and stoically accept the prize with a gentle nod. After all nobody likes a terrible boast!

Last of all, hope that I am not on another team since clearly, TGC is going to win.

Yours in full knowledge of the glories to come

TGC

The Gentleman Cyclist – Quizzing Etiquette

Gentleman CyclistANZA club quiz: Thursday, Aug 28th. Picotin Bukit Timah

The Gentleman Cyclist has been overseas for a while searching for rare wines and somebody who makes the perfect Cognac, but having achieved these noble goals and taken the steam ship back to Singapore with his bounty (Import duty paid of course), he has started on the task of tackling the large pile of letters that were blocking the front door on his return.
Having discussed with with the masters of queuing theory, CBTL, how to deal with a large backlog, they reliably informed him that last in first out is the way to go so we grabbed the top letter and rushed it upstairs to the Library where we found TGC reading a strangely titled “Trivial Facts From Around The World”.

I thought about commenting that a Gentleman shouldn’t be concerning himself with Trivia, but thought better of questioning my master lest he give me one of those withering looks that makes me think I should start considering my position.

Dear TGC
I really hate to bother you with something so small, but I am in a real dilemma.  My cycling club is having something called a “Quiz Night” next thursday that aims to test our knowledge of facts about cycling and other unrelated matters. I have never been particularly good at these events but hate to lose at anything, so I wanted to seek your advice regarding the use of smatphone devices to look up the answers to questions.
Would this be regarded as a bad thing?

I look forward to hearing your advice

Lacking in knowledge
Singapore

Dear Lacking
You present an interesting question, and one that I fully understand as I peruse my copy of “Trivial Facts from Around The World”.  There are so many useless facts that one can be questioned on that it seems totally unfair that one cannot make use of all sources of knowledge and after all, the interweb thingy was created for the sole purpose of housing the totality of man’s knowledge that was not important enough for anybody to actually bother remembering.

I mean, who knew that the bicycle was actually created so that a gentleman could spend more time at the club with his associates, an aged glass of Cognac, and a fine Cuban cigar and yet still make it home in time for when his good wife has dinner on the table.

Or that the rear derailleur was created, not to assist those who do not have the strength and endurance of Maurice Garin, but to give gentlemen an excuse to retire to their garage knowing they could not be questioned “I’m sorry my dear, I can’t go with you to meet the vicar this afternoon, there appears to be a small problem with my rear derailleur that I need to look at in the garage before tackling the ride up to Box Hill tomorrow”

Or that electronic shifting was invented, not to make make an already smooth gear change system better, but to put a stop to that pesky practice of home mechanics resolving their own technical issues and cable changes, and to ensure that all issues had to be taken back to the local bike shop. Thus speeding up the process of wealth transfer from yours truly to the local mechanic.

I’m do apologise, I digress. As a cyclist, you are fully aware that winning is everything and the manner in which the win happens is secondary.

You will also understand, that you have only cheated if you get caught, otherwise you have simply demonstrated your brilliant knowledge of the modern world and beguiled all those around you as to how you can retain so much information without it leaking from your ears.

My advice to you therefore Ms Lacking is to use all the tools at your disposal, just don’t get caught doing it, and certainly do not attribute any of this advice to me.

Good luck in the quiz, I’m sure you will emerge victorious.

Best regards
TGC

SCF Sport Quad TTT

By:
Craig Cameron

When I saw the SCF team time trial on the Anza facebook page (thanks for posting Donald) I was very keen to have a crack at my first time trial as well as get a chance to ride on some closed roads right on my doorstep. I had to first find a team which, due to the summer holidays, was harder than I thought it would be. Luckily there were others in the Club also in my position without a team and were willing to join in the fun. At the time it looked unfortunate that we would have to race in the Sports Category as I am under 35 (not stone Russ sugested) instead of the Masters however this became a blessing as it turned out there were only 4 teams in total entered. We only had to beat one team to finish on the podium. MUST NOT BE LAST!!

In the run up to the event I’m sure the prep as a team could have been better as I borrowed clip on bars (thanks Guillaume) and had only rode on them 3 times before the event and we hadn’t had time to practice as a team with various work and family commitments. Added to this I decided to follow the Alan Benson rehydration program following the Saturday individual TT ride which I’m assured is tried and tested but not always the best feeling the morning of a race!

On race day we were the last Anza riders off with Pierre and Donald away early in the Duo and Torro and the other old timers [Hmmm! Ed.] in the Masters 16 mins before us. I had seen the Anza duo head off, setting a blistering pace and with 45 mins to go I went for a short spin to warm the legs and was feeling quite good, even still in flip flops 🙂 On return Michael, Trent and Peter had arrived and were getting the race numbers fitted and discussing speeds and turns etc. The Sunday recovery ride from Rats had also arrived to take in the race atmosphere and offer their support which was great too and much appreciated.

sport startBefore we knew it we were being called to the line, of course there was still time for a quick photo and then we were ushered to the starting point where we waited for the timer to drop to zero before we were off. We were going off at 2 min gaps between teams and from the back of the start line it felt like a lifetime. Finally we got going and Michael took out of the traps like a hare and left me thinking “what have i done, must not be dropped” but we soon settled in to a good rhythm. I spotted the Anza Masters coming the other way and noted we were not that far apart so would use them as a benchmark. The first stretch flew past and everyone seemed comfortable and working well. After the first turn I spotted we had been caught by the other Anza team and we picked the pace up a few km/h to try and make up some time. We also needed to look like we were flying for all the supporters on the start finish line. We came over the line and as we turned to start the second lap it felt like a wind tunnel had been turned on. We decided to keep the turns short and rotate quickly. About 1km from the turn we passed the team that set off 2 mins ahead (were they in our Cat? Does that mean we could be 3rd? Focus Craig!!) and as I rolled to the rear Trent shouted we had lost Michael with stomach cramps and were left with a team of 3.

Luckily we were right on the turn at this point and would now have the wind behind us, I was feeling good so was happy to take a long turn and advantage of the wind, which I would regret on the way back! On the 2nd run over the line we were very compact as we were aware of the wind and had to work together as much as possible. I did spot at this point we had extended a margin on the Masters group due to the wind and was hoping we could hold on to the turn with 6km to go. It was at this point Trent stepped in to super TT mode and continued the high pace previously set which neither Peter or myself were able to maintain for long on our own. After the second last turn we had a home and dry feeling and everything that was left was thrown by all three of us. At points the pace was creeping to over 48km/h as we neared the final turn which was less than 100m from the finish line. Not the best way to finish a TT but the same for everyone I suppose.

Once finished we made our way back to find out how Michael was and how we had fared against the other teams. Much to our surprise we were welcomed by words that we had taken 1st position. Ever the ‘glass half full Scot’ I had to see this for myself and sure enough we completed the course in 51:23, a full 3 mins quicker than 2nd place!

sport podiumIt took some time for the presentations due to the Open Cat completing 4 laps of the circuit and with the increasing heat and vicious, biting red ants staging an attack, we were keen to get our medals. Donald and Pierre were up first taking 3rd in the Duo then we got our moment of glory, which made it worth all the effort.

Heading in to the race i was wary of what I had got myself in to as a TT novice however I will have no reservations about signing up next time as it was well organized and had something for everyone. Watching the impressive effort by some competing hand-cyclists was great to see showing how wide the appeal is and hopefully more people will decide to take part next in the next event. I now have to convince my better half that I must have a TT bike in order to go better next time 🙂