Sunday, April 25, 2010


Some people said that when we reach a certain age, its best to lay back and take it easy and watch the world goes by since by this time we had achieved most of our dreams. We are to be satisfied of what we have, they said.

To pursue other life changing decisions that involves a huge and complete makeover of our life at this middle age juncture for example, like changing careers, will be avoided. Passion and drives that once guided us during our younger years were lost or simmered away over time. Some said responsibilities and priorities takes precedence over everything else. And that somehow took away our zeal and passion of doing what we used to love.

Life's paces getting slower. And it will slowly become dull, regimented and boring, down the road.

The sad thing about all this is, it is a true fact.

The other thing about all this, is that we always have a choice. We can choose to lay back, relax and enjoy our life as what it is or we can get up and pursue whatever other things that we desire.

I am not saying that we have to throw away our comfortable life. Far from it. Rather, the comfortable life that we are enjoying is the advantage for us to indulge in whatever things that we want and choose to do. If we don't have enough funds before, perhaps now, at this age, we have the financial means to again explore our hidden desires, buried years ago at the back of our mind.

If we don't have the luxury of time when our children were still toddlers and babies, now that they have grown up into fine young person and can take care of themselves, we could at last claim back that precious `me' time again.

Perhaps now, at this age, we should give a serious thought about that lingering, buried desires.

We could also seek alternative, additional something to do , to make our regimented and boring life more interesting. For sure, there must be something more to this life than the one we live right now. Things that we are capable of doing. Things that we can look forward to every single time. Things that excites us.

A friend of mine took out diving. He is now a licensed diving instructor beside his professional career. He is 41 years old.

Another friend of mine, in his 42 years of age, completed his first full marathon in a respectable time. He is running marathons all the time.

And yet another friend of mine is active in mountain biking and adventure sports. He is 41 years old.

We can be active, even at this age.

Apart from keeping healthy, I took up exercising so that I can do stuff with my daughters. I wanted to be the father who teach his daughters how to ride bicycles, not the father who simply bought the bicycles and left it on their own. One of the proudest moment for me was when all my daughters managed to ride their bicycles on their own, without training wheels or any help from me or my love one. The youngest did it about a month ago at the age of 5 years old.

Things like that. It dont even have to be sports. Whatever our interest are.

Getting old doesn't mean that we have to stop doing everything we enjoyed in the past. Burning passion can be rekindled.

Take up guitar lessons, if that what was once we aspired. Or go scuba diving, if we cant afford to do it back them.

We have all the time in the world to do it if we want to.

The only thing that stopping us is our never ending pathetic and lame excuses.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


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Last Saturday, my love one and I did a 50 plus km route. We rodeto Divonne (France) from our home, then headed out to Nyon and rode back to Geneva via the lakeside road.


We left home at 9.15 am. Weather was at its worse as usual around 6-7 degrees Celcius. The strong wind made it feels much colder. We rode at a leisure pace since we dont want to burn out all our energy taking into account there were many more km's to cover.

It was a smooth ride until we turned into a gravel road in a forest. My love one asked me, "Ni betul ke jalan ni, macam trail je?", I answered " Betul la ni. Ikut GPS ni ada jalan." My confidence in the modern technology was tested more than once as we rode deeper into the forest, not meeting any kind of traffic, except for a few campers and because of the fact that we were traveling on an unsurfaced road. The mystery was finally solved when we saw a road sign that depicted a horse. Damned! I thought to myself "Jalan kuda!". Checking my GPS, I told my love one that this will finally merged into a normal road. My love one remarked. "Mountain bike ok la jalan ni, roadbike boleh pecah tayar". Fortunately, nothing untowards happened.

After 5 km, we finally emerged from the forest and continued our way to Divonne, France.

We reached the Swiss and France border, took out our camera and captured the obligatory pose. Arrived in Divonne in high spirits and took our first break.


Ride was smooth, with the occasional traffic. I have to say that probably the best thing about biking in Switzerland is that cyclist are given priority on the road by other vehicles. We dont have to constantly looked behind our backs since the others, will give a wide space when overtaking. And if they cant, there is no honking for us to get out of their way. They rather wait patiently behind my love one and me and will only overtake once the other side of the road was clear.

The route to Nyon was flat and straight all the way to and this is where we picked up some speed. We met a lot other cyclist, but compared to us, I think they are almost pros, unlike me and my love one, a newbie. They were really cool and flashed their smiles and nodded their head while some of the friendliest one shouted `Bonjour' greeting us.

We took a rest in Nyon and ate a banana and power bar each to boost our declining energy.


This is the last leg of our 50 km ride, so we were a bit excited. There were a couple of steep hills along the way and we took it all in our stride. The good thing on this lakeside stretch was that there are special lane for bicycles. We could concentrate on our riding without that constant fear to watch our backs.

We arrived in Versoix and took our last break before heading home. We finished the 50.11 km ride in 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


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I just finished a 35 km bike ride. (I am naming this route as The Gex Loop, hehe).This is the first time I manage to ride above the 30 km mark after over a year swan diving in this sport. As I mentioned before, my usual will be around 20 - 25 km.

Actually, last week, I mentioned to a friend, Mr. AAT, that I want to try this new route, but only in the next few weeks time, since I and my love one wanted to familiarize ourselves with the new road bike. We wanted some time to built a bit of stamina too.

Yesterday, discussing about our next ride, I talked about the possibility of trying the Gex Loop with my love one.

Akula : Ala, total 35 km. Semalam kita buat 23 km. Tambah 12 km je. Lagi pun cuaca sejuk, tak panas.
Akula's Love One: Ok, no problem.
Akula : Lagi pun jalan landai, takde bukit. Abang dah riki.
Akula's Love One : Ok boleh la kot.


We started off at 11.00 am. Weather was cold, around 7 degress Celcius. No sun. Not much difficulties since this route was very familiar to us. A hill hear and there, the rest was easy.


The road started to climb from Ferney Voltaire towards Gex. Halfway riding uphill my love one started to interrogate me on my info gathering.

Akula's Love One : Wei Abang sayang! Kata LANDAIIII! Ni apa yang landai?

I offered an excuse.

Akula : Eh mana tau. Naik keter tengok landai. Elok je rata jalan ni.
Akula's Love One : LANDAIIIIII sangat lah ni kan.

Akula: Ok, ok salah riki. Sorry yek.

(Lesson learned : Object in the rear view mirror may appear higher than then they are. Especially road surface).

We rode uphill 12.6 km all the way to Gex. (With a lot of huffing and puffing, I might add). Took us quite a while.


We took a little break when we arrived in Gex. (Actually, 2 breaks before we arrived in Gex. Gex was the third. Its over 12 km uphill ride ok. Non stop pedalling!).

Right after leaving Gex, on our way to Meyrin, there lies a huge and long hill to climb ahead of us. I changed the gear to the lowest setting available and seriously, it took all my effort and energy to conquer it. Mengah giler. Rasa nak tercabut nyawa. Napas terus pendek, tercungap-cungap. And my love one, although a bit behind, also managed to beat this monster hill. We high fived (tengah tercungap) on top of it. Happy giler!

Weather was damned cold! It was made worse by the fact that around this time, it rained. Sejuk giler! 2 more smaller hills along the route with the Jura Mountain Range on our right side and its all downhill all the way to Meyrin.


On the downhill part of course.


We were back in Switzerland at the Meyrin border crossing. We took it easy, since we were nearing our destination. For information CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), made famous by Dan Brown's novel, Angels and Demons is located here.

We arrived safely at our home.

Conquering a 35 km ride for me is very special and a great achievement, since not too long ago, I was this 104 kg overweight, obese guy. Never dreamt that I could do this.

And I am proud that my love one finished this difficult route too.

Well, I am 41 years old, and I just cycled 35 km.

Friday, April 2, 2010


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Went biking with my love one just now.

The route that we took was from Grand Saconnex where we live, to Versoix and back, for a total of about 23 km.

Although the sun was shining bright, its still cold, and the temperature stayed around 6 degrees Celcius through out the ride. We hardly broke a sweat because of the cold weather. Kalau kat Malaysia dah berpeluh giler dah.

There a lot of people who went biking and we exchange dthe universal acknowledgment when we passed by each other by smiling and nodding our head slightly. Seriously, its the same everywhere. Including in Malaysia. Some Swiss that passed us by in their car would also offer encouragement when they saw us struggling to ride up hills.

Since this is the first day that we really pushed ourselves biking after the long winter hiatus, its a little bit tiring. This is also the first time we rode our road bike, switching from the MTB, and we still had to adjust ourselves to get use to the different riding style.

A little update, my love one got her new Colnago Primavera 2009 roadbike 2-3 days ago. Its the same model as mine, but much cheaper. The 2010 models is on the way, so the shops here are selling all the previous year's bicycle stocks at a heavily discounted price. Which is really great since there is absolutely no way we could afford to buy a Colnago back in Malaysia. A friend of mine grabbed a GT Aggressor MTB 2009 yesterday for a fraction of the original price. Can't complain about that!

Tomorrow, we planned to ride a different route with our friends in Meyrin.

If the weather permits, that is.