Tuesday, May 5, 2009


If you're a person looking for a new hobby, whatever it may be, it pays to listen to those that are already in the hobby for advice.

How many of us have done something on an 'introductory' level yonks ago and then decide to take it up for real and think you can wing it base on your past experience?

How many of us in this group then think that things could not have been so different from the past experience and that you would know what to do and don't see what the fuss is all about?

I know a couple of people and have been one myself.

I'm also the sister of one such person.

For months now dad has been cycling on his own. I bought him an old steel bike and it seem to work well for him. Nothing fast, nothing far.. just leisure morning rides on his own, at his own pace.

Dad has also been proud of his progress. Conquering from 5k to 15k now 20k ride with a 5k run after.

And like any proud man, my dad has been cornering everybody in the family and telling them of his daily conquest. Always ending with the same line "not bad, huh?"

With me, the line goes "i'm not racing like you.. i go steady.. not bad, huh?"

My second brother, Lok, is one of my dad's favourite victim. And like a fish to bait, lok always falls for dad's "not bad, huh?" trick.

What's the trick?

Well, i believe dad says that line for a purpose. Like a bait to talk more about his conquest.

In the past i had teased him and he would continue like a broken record what he did and always end the same.

"not bad, huh?" was dad's way of saying "ask me, tease me, mock me, i wanna tell you more about my conquest!". some conversations can have him saying that for 3 times!

being his only actively cycling daughter, i was most exposed to this trick but learned pretty quick that if you wanted the subject changed, just say "yup" and smile.

there will be silence.. it will be uncomfortable.. but hold your stand. just say nothing.

if you are disciplined enough, this is what dad will do (in sequence):
1. he will swing and clap his hand (like trying to loosen his shoulders)
2. mumble to himself "yeah.. not bad"
3. one hand on waist, the other touching his imaginary stubbles
4. stay quiet for a few seconds.. then say "yeah, ok.."
5. leave you in peace.

Lok on the other hand, never learned this trick.

Every "not bad, huh?" thrown at him has been lapped up like a hungry puppy.

Lok would tease, laugh, ridicule, and give a sacri remark much to my dad's pleasure. And they would go on throughout dinner.

Two weeks back lok said he wanted to do some excercise. Dad pounced on the idea and suggested cycling (followed by daily conquest and bait question)

Lokker didn't have a chance.

Lok's view of cycling was this:
1. "it's an easy hobby, i did it all the time as a kid"
2. "what's the fuss about the tight shorts?"
3. "dad rides a BIG seat!"

so 'heated' was the discussion of cycling to exercise because lokker didn't believe it was much of a challenge or a hobby to fuss about.

finally, a 20k challenge was set up between dad and lok with me as the referee. the date was set at that week's coming saturday itself.

The father vs son 20km challenge was simple, it was not about speed and there was no prize-winner. It was more of a pride thing and the first person to koyak/get off the bike loses.

The day started early, 6.30am at my house in putrajaya.

My dad was very steady throughout, cruising at his own speed, about 20-25km/h.

Lok was a different story.

Here's the conversation snippets I had with him that will give you an idea of what i mean:
6:45am, 0km
Senn: Lok, i think you need to wear cycling shorts. here's mine, i never wore it .. too big.
Lok: er.. ok. looks gay
Senn: grey? ya it's grey.
Lok: no, gay.. gay..
Senn: just wear it.

7:00am 0km
Lok: senn, how do you walk in these tights? like wearing a sanitary pad!
Senn: you'll get use to it.. btw, howchu know what a sanitary pad feels like?
Lok: i've seen you walk
Senn: sharrup! you wearing underwear?
Lok: ya-a.. it's disgusting without
Senn: you'll get chaffing
Lok: can we remove this jelly seat cover?
Senn: i think it'll help your cushioning
Lok: i'll risk it.

7.15am - race starts

7.30am 5km
Lok: my butt hurts... i think i need a thicker padding
Senn: did you pull it up snug? got to make sure you are seating on the padding.
Lok: sigh.. i'll just stretch...
7.35am still 5km
Lok: are we there yet?
Senn: nope. we need to ride to the end of this road.
Lok: my butt hurts

7.40am about 7km
Lok: you know, if my chain didn't drop earlier, i would be cycling in front with dad
Senn: u-huh.. guess that's why he's getting smaller and smaller now!
Lok: ya! sheesh.. are we there yet?
Senn: we've just cycled 7km.. almost there. drink water.
Lok: can't.
Senn: why?
Lok: might fall. dont they have those people in cycling that feeds you and stuff in a race?
Senn: yes, they are called domestiques.
Lok: ya senn.. feed me!
Senn: just stop and drink
(Lok tries to coast and drink)Lok: ta-daah! i did it.
Senn: good job, you're far better than most newbie girls i've ridden with!

7.50am 10km turnaround.
Met up with some saturday lumba haram-ers at the dead end

8.00am push back home

8.10am about 13km
Lok: my butt hurts
Senn: ya.. just now arrogant, right?
Lok: ya man.. "don't like cycling shorts, take out jelly seat"
Senn: now suffer, right?
Lok: ya..
Senn: now whine like girl, right?
Lok: ya...
Senn: now wished you had that jelly seat, right?
Lok: ya..
Senn: last week dad said you can have his strawberry seat, whatchu say? "don't want, too big, ugly" now you wish you had it, right?
Lok: no.. now need bigger.. a sofa!

8.45am Alamanda Hill
Senn: Lok, big kahua hill. be steady and just go at your pace
Lok: ya, ok got it.
Senn: don't push ya? after leg cramp
Lok: My butt hurts.. legs ok
Senn: ok.. then you should be ok.

Senn at peak, slightly after the crest, waiting in the shade
Dad cycles towards Senn
Senn: Lok?
Dad: Think he's suffering

8:50am Alamanda Hill
Dad walks to peak
Senn: Is he walking?
Dad: dunno, cannot see him

8:55am Alamanda Hill
Dad: think the poor fellow's walking

9:00am Alamanda Hill
Dad walks to peak again
Senn: walking?
Dad: haha.. yea.. poor fellow. walking

9.05am Alamanda Hill
Dad: ok, can see his helmet
Senn: good job, Lok!
Lok: Wheeze wheeze
Dad: don't worry. i walked up the first time i did Alamanda too. It's tradition
Senn: i didn't..
Lok: you're weird.

9.20am race finish..

Senn: So Lok, wanna buy your own bike?
Lok: howabout i take your cow bike
Senn: Can, but you must use the pink saddle and pink bartapes
Lok: how girly! maybe i respray it yellow with black spots... like leopard
Senn: lucky you didn't say cheetah.
Lok: why?
Senn: at you're speed, it's either your cheetah is pregnant or you'll just embarass your bike.

THANK YOU:Nurina - for your perfect bike.
Mac & Arif - taking turns marshalling and sweeping

The race was two weekends ago.

Today, I will be going to check out a second hand bike for Lok.

He has decided that it would be best to let an experienced rider help him out with his new hobby :)