I took up biking/ cycling in January 2009. Thats only about a year plus to date.
HOW DID I GET INTO THIS?
I was doing my 'power walking' rounds at the majestic PICC then (in all seriousness, PICC do resembles the alien that Fox Mulder and Dana Scully frequently encountered in the X Files tv series), when a group of people whizzed pass me riding their MTBs. I thought to myself, "Now, that looks like fun". I was referring to the seemingly effortless and smooth movement of the group, which to my tired eyes, looks like they were gliding on the road. (I was dead wrong of course in my assumption. Cycling, like other physical sports, requires a lot of stamina, energy and kederat). That encounter with the MTB bikers sparked my interest in cycling considering:-
i. I already know how to ride a bicycle,
ii. I was bored stiff with my everyday power walking routine (I cant run yet at that time, and was still a fat and overweight person then),
So I went back home, searched for a bicycle shop near my house and bought one GT MTB for me and a Jamis MTB for my love one from Ah Chai's Kedai Basikal Dan Barang-barang Dapur Lain. For information, besides selling the usual MTB, road bike and other cycling accesories, Ah Chai also sold barang-barang dapur lain of course, and to name a few, periuk belanga, dapur tanah, cili kering, ikan masin, gula, milo and serbuk teh. Oh...... and the ever popular multi purpose and comfortable toto was on display too in his shop.
A good MTB price average was around RM 1,000.00 to RM 2,000.00. Its cost more for those top of the line models. I did not pay any particular attention to the brands since I sort of jumping into this on impulse and did not have any idea whatsoever what model or brand to buy. I just asked Ah Chai and put my trust on his experiences and judgement (selling barang-barang dapur) to recommend to me what he thought best. Imagine my relief when researching the Internet after I bought those MTB's, that both GT and Jamis were listed in Wikipedia with links to their their impressive websites and information. These two models even won awards.
BICYCLE DONE, WHAT ELSE DID I NEED?
1. Cycle computer- RM 30.00 - RM 50.00. Cateyes. Polar is good too according to a friend of mine.
2. Gloves - RM 15.00 above. (Yang cikai punya jer, I was broke after buying the MTB's)
3. Iron Mag helmet - about RM 40.
4. Bicycle tyre pump - Cant remember what the price was(or was it because Ah Chai gave it FOC?).
5. Spare tube - RM 8.00
6. Water bottles - RM 10.00. Bought two for 15.00 after much haggling with Ah Chai.
WHERE TO CYCLE?
With its good road system and highways, Putrajaya is definately a safe and an excellent place for newbie cyclist like me. Not too many traffic is a plus point too. And no, I did not go anywhere else since Putrajaya was just near my house and I was too lazy too find/ drive to other places.
To angkut both mine and my love one MTBs, I got myself a bicycle carrier. And yes, I bought it from Ah Chai (again). The price was about RM 125.00 discounted (and seriously, Ah Chai was making lot of money from me alone!).
Putrajaya was an interesting place to explore. With a MTB, I gained access to those parts of the administrative capital not normally visited. I discovered pathways and shortcuts, got to meet with the hordes of gardeners who kept it clean and also found out that there are actually a lot of Putrajaya Holdings security guards scattered all over Putrajaya stationed at their makeshift guard posts under the bridges or near the unused public toilets.
My last biking adventure in there was the Feb 2009 Putrajaya Critical Mass (PCM). I wrote a post of the event in the my old defunct blog Nasi Lemak And Nescafe Tarik. PCM is still going strong and just celebrated their 2 years anniversary.
At that time, I could only ride for about 20km - 30 km (tops) since I was still in the process of shedding my weight.
I got posted to Geneva in May 2001 and brought the GT MTB with me.
To be continued in Part II