Thursday, November 22, 2007

Steve McClaren - YOU ARE AN IDIOT

England lose 3 - 2 at home to Croatia and fail to qualify for Euro 2008.

It really annoys me when people blame managers of football teams for the teams failure. Occasionally however, it is clear who is responsible and the inept performance of the England football team over the past few months can be fairly and squarely laid at the feet of Steve McClaren.

Now he is refusing to resign which personally I think is a good thing, this imbecile deserves nothing more than the humiliation of been sacked shortly followed by a public flogging.

Enough said, I'm disgusted.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

RIDE ALERT - Saturday Ride 24th November 2007

Sam is going sailing but the rest of us are going for a ride.

The plan is to do the Hulu Langat loop at a reasonably low intensity (28kph or slower) as some of us are tapering for Ironman Western Australia next weekend.

The distance is about 80k (or 97k) depending on whether we do a bit extra out and back to Broga when we get to Seminyih - we'll decide that by popular vote at the waterfall coffee-shop.

I'll be starting from Country Heights, Kajang at 6:45. Next meeting spot is the traffic lights in Hulu Langat (around the corner from the police station) and then final meeting point will be at the mosque at Batu 14 at 7:35.

Hope to see lots of people there - breakfast is on me. Let me know if you're coming.



Wanted Second Hand Woman's Bike - 49 or 50cm

Two of my running friends are just about to launch their long awaited Duathlon and Triathlon careers - they are both currently using borrowed bikes so they are looking to buy themselves their own mounts.

They're looking for anything that is competitive ride-wise and a good price of course. So anyone looking to off-load a 49cm or 50cm road or tri bike please leave your contact details under comments at the bottom and I will pass them on.

Time is very short as they are going to throw some money at a bike shop in the next week or two so please get in touch this week if you can.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bangkok Marathon - 18th November 2007

Ooch, Ouch, Aagh!

Ironman training is now officially over - I'm tapering! I finished it off with a 123k ride on Saturday (was supposed to be 200k but commonsense prevailed) followed by a quick flight to Bangkok and a 2:00am start for the Bangkok Marathon.

In fact my start was 3:30am but my buddy Ian was celebrating his fiftieth year by doing his first marathon. His start was at 2:00am and as I was doing the race to support him I felt it the right thing to do to go and see him off rather than catching an extra hour and a half in bed - I'm a hero right!!!???

Ian's been training real hard for this race doing many long runs and some more than race distance. He set off in front of the Bangkok Royal Palace and I wondered off to find a chair and reflect on the pain that was inevitably to come to visit in the coming hours.

I started at a gentle pace covering the first 10k in an hour. The first 6k were a bit of a struggle especially as I thought the race was going to be pancake flat. The look on my face must have been a picture when I turned a corner at 2k and saw a mountain ahead of me. In fact it was a very very steep bridge. It wasn't too long and thankfully after that it was all flat.

I had a lovely run doing each of the next two 10k's a minute quicker than the previous. I have to say though I thought I was running much faster than the times showed I was. Thirty K of the course was an out and back along an elevated highway - there was a cool breeze blowing - Ian described it as "very tranquil" which was spot on.

Things started going bit pear-shaped at about 36k. The pain was intense and the k's seem to stretch out for ever. It was a real struggle and quite unpleasant, especially when thousands of 5 and 10k runners zoomed past as the courses converged. Anyway, eventually I came across the finish line which was a huge relief - I almost burst into tears with the euphoria of finishing combined with the pain throughout my body. I finished in 4:09:57 and was satisfied with that as a training run for Ironman in two weeks time.

I managed to hobble around for a while and found Ian with a big beaming smile on his face. He'd finished in 5:10:06 which he was justifiable delighted with. Ian had trained using the well practised run/walk technique but on race day he ran all the way - an awesome accomplishment and he's now eager for the next challenge - London Marathon 2008 maybe?

406th Simon Cross M 40-44 GBR 4:09:57
1166th Ian Stuart Hay M 50-54 GBR 5:10:06
(1931 started the race)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Critical Mass Rides

Check this phenomenon out - mass rides through cities on the last Friday of every month - usually bringing traffic to a standstill in a mass demonstration of pedal power - sounds wicked! What about something like this in Kuala Lumpur?

I think the government here would know how to deal with it - you wouldn't see any of us for two years as we'd be whisked away under the ISA (Internal Security Act) and that would be that. One can dream though. The web site is

This is what Wikipedia has to say about it: -

"Critical Mass is an event typically held on the last Friday of every month in cities around the world where bicyclists and, less frequently, unicyclists, skateboarders, inline skaters, roller skaters and other self-propelled commuters take to the streets en masse. While the ride was originally founded with the idea of drawing attention to how unfriendly the city was to bicyclists, the leaderless structure of Critical Mass makes it impossible to assign it any one specific goal. In fact, the purpose of Critical Mass is not formalized beyond the direct action of meeting at a set location and time and traveling as a group through city streets.

Critical Mass rides are self-organized, non-commercial and non-competitive, and they operate with diffused and informal decision-making, independent of leaders. They are often also unofficial, foregoing permits and official sanction from municipal authorities. Typically, only the meeting place, date, and time are fixed. In some cities, the route, finishing point, or attractions along the way may be planned ahead. Participants have differing purposes for the event, such as celebrating their choice of the bicycle for transportation, and enjoying car-free social time on city streets.

Critical Mass rides have been perceived as protest activities. A 2006 New Yorker magazine article described Critical Mass' activity in New York City as "monthly political-protest rides", and characterized Critical Mass as a part of a social movement; and the UK e-zine Urban75, which advertises as well as publishes photographs of the Critical Mass event in London, describes this as "the monthly protest by cyclists reclaiming the streets of London". However, Critical Mass participants have insisted that these events should be viewed as "celebrations" and spontaneous gatherings, and not as protests or organized demonstrations. This stance allows Critical Mass to argue a legal position that its events can occur without advance notification of local police.

Critical Mass rides vary greatly in many respects, including frequency and number of participants. For example, many small cities have monthly Critical Mass rides with fewer than twenty riders, while on the opposite extreme, in what have been the largest events using the name Critical Mass, cyclists in Budapest, Hungary hold only two rides each year on 22 September (International Car Free Day) and 22 April (Earth Day). They attract tens of thousands of riders. The April 22, 2007 Budapest ride participation was generally estimated at 50,000 riders.

San Francisco Critical Mass, April 29, 2005.The first ride took place on Friday, September 25, 1992 at 6 P.M. in San Francisco. At that time, the event was known as Commute Clot and was composed of a couple of dozen cyclists who had received flyers on Market Street.

Shortly after this, some participants in that ride went to a local bicycle shop for a screening of Ted White's documentary Return of the Scorcher, about bike culture overseas. In that film, American human powered vehicle and pedicab designer George Bliss noted that, in China, both motorists and bicyclists had an understood method of negotiating intersections without signals. Traffic would "bunch up" at these intersections until the back log reached a "critical mass" at which point that mass would move through the intersection. The term caught on and replaced Commute Clot as a name at the time of the second event.

By the time of the fourth ride, the number of cyclists had increased to around 100 and participation continued to grow dramatically, reaching about 1,000 riders, on average.

The name was soon adopted as a generic label by participants in similar but independent mass rides that were either initiated in various locations around the world at around the same time, or had already existed before 1992 under other names. It is estimated that there are Critical Mass-type rides in more than 325 cities to date. The term "Masser" is sometimes applied to frequent participants.

Critical Mass differs from many other social movements in its rhizomal (rather than hierarchical) structure. Critical Mass is sometimes called an "organized coincidence", with no leadership or membership. The routes of some rides are decided spontaneously by whoever is currently at the front of the ride, others are decided prior to the ride by a popular vote of suggested routes often drawn up on photocopied flyers. The term xerocracy was coined to describe a process by which the route for a Critical Mass can be decided: anyone who has an opinion makes their own map and distributes it to the cyclists participating in the Mass. Still other rides decide the route by consensus. The "disorganized" nature of the event allows it to largely escape clampdown by authorities who may view the rides as forms of parades or organized protest. Additionally, the movement is free from the structural costs associated with a centralized, hierarchical organization. In order for the event to function, the only requirement is a sufficient turn-out to create a "critical mass" of riders dense enough to occupy a piece of road to the exclusion of motorized road users. Authorities in New York, California and Oregon have expressed concern with the difficulty of coordinating with the riders, due to the lack of leadership.

See more at Wikipedia - CRITICAL MASS - very interesting

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Powerman 2007 - Tey's Photos

Tey just sent me some full size photos of me struggling around Lumut. Here's a couple more just for the hell of it.

The real point of this post is to say thanks to Tey who keeps supplying the sporting hordes of Malaysia with tens of thousands of photos every year at all sorts of events - so on behalf of everyone that you've snapped, THANKS TEY.

Tey's Site can be found by clicking on this link.

RIDE ALERT - Saturday Ride 17th November 2007

Sam the Man says: -


Next Saturday will be the last long ride before Busselton. The plan is to go to Banting, U turn and head back. This is a 180k ride from PJ.

Start times will be as normal, 0600 at Mega Mall exit on Federal Highway and 0640 at Cheras 2nd toll.


Simon says: - "Then unless you're soft as ice-cream, jump on a plane and do the Bangkok Marathon"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


So there you have it; you've just completed the 2007 Malaysia Powerman in Lumut, as always it was harder than you expected but fun nonetheless. The race had its highs and its lows. You beat some rivals and were beaten by others;

You've got your finishers medal, finishers shirt, you've collected and packed up your bike, had a shower, checked out of the hotel, gone to the prize giving lunch, suffered the awful band and food and now it's time to say goodbye to friends and friendly enemies and head for the long, frustrating and lonely drive back to whence you came from.

For most it means a stop-start, traffic chugging drive back to Bidor before picking up the North South Highway. It's about this time that I start reflecting on the next race, the next challenge the next public display of Lycra-clad exhibitionism the but then out of the blur ahead of me an image appeared that made me stare in wonder and incredulity - I was a few k's outside of Bidor and there appeared to be a cyclist ahead of me bombing along in aero position with a race number still intact on his bike.

SURELY NOT! Who could possibly be barmy enough to race Powerman and then cycle 200k back to KL? Well I could and I was immediately awakened by the fact that I hadn't thought of it - I was being usurped by this madman on wheels. Who could it possibly be?

An then the vision cleared and I got a big beaming smile and a wave; it was none other than my very own Padawan Learner NGAE. What an ENCORE!

The next day I asked him what had inspired him to do that? He replied that he didn't want to hang around at the lunch (he must have heard the band before) but his friends did, so he thought he'd ride to Bidor knowing that support would come up from behind.

I told him he was INSANE and he returned the compliment by calling me a LUNATIC. Clearly we are in good company. Could this be the man that as foretold brings balance to the FORCE?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Powerman 2007 - Damage Report

Mmmm! Or should I say OUUUUUCCCCHHHH!

Some races are useful to get good feedback on how race ready one is. Powerman has certainly given me some feedback - and that is I CAN'T WALK ANYMORE!

I knew I wasn't totally race fit and especially for a high intensity race but I'd run three successive marathons in training for the previous three weeks and 2 out of three of those weeks I'd preceded the run with a 200k ride the day before, so I thought I'd be OK. I WAS WRONG.

I ran the first 11k in a little over 42 minutes which I was happy with although it wasn't a controlled run.

I started on the bike with high cadence and what seemed like a decent pace - then Tanya Randall (NZ) who was doing the sprint distance rode past me - nothing wrong with being beaten by a girl but I usually am stronger on the bike.

[Note: Tanya won the women's Sprint race - well done, she was looking awesome. Thanks also for the encouragement when you went past - Having said that I'll try not to let it happen again]

Then Kristoff came past me (he was doing the sprint as he is recovering from injury), I was not too phased as he is an "Elite" racer - although after the race he asked me what was wrong with my bike - in all seriousness!!!

Despite these issues I still thought I was doing OK - Danny went past me like a tornado but not one else did and I reeled in no end of people including Cecil who seemed to be out on a gentle cruise.

Having said that before the end of the first lap Don rode past me. At that point I was starting to ask myself questions. I decided that Don would be my rabbit and I'd pace him for the rest of the ride and see what happened on the run. I sat in behind him the requisite 3 bike lengths behind to stay out of the drafting zone and stuck with his pace.

CONFESSION: On the way back in the second lap Don went up a slope leading to a bridge and slowed, the gap between us closed. A draft marshal came up from behind and although I'd already pulled over to the right he gave me a warning. At which point Don sat up and gave me a right bollocking for being too close - thanks mate! I don't blame him though, I'd be more than a little frustrated if he'd been pacing off me for the whole race.

I still stand by the fact that draft cheats should be executed at the prize giving and riders such as myself with a warning should receive a swift flogging - it's got to be more entertaining that the band that was playing in Lumut!

Back to the race, I came into transition together with Don expelling his bike show into the middle of the course, this brought a wry smile to my face - that was until I dismounted my bike - the pain was excruciating, I couldn't walk. I hobbled towards the bike stands and realised I was in for a fairly unpleasant 10k.

I was first in my category coming out of T2 but having passed Iwata only in the last 10k of the bike I knew he'd be rocketing past soon - especially in my current predicament. I could barely breath and it was clear that my right Achilles was shot.

Don hobbled past me clearly having problems with his right quad but he soon settled down and cruised off into the distance. Iwata of course came by as did a few others. My chin was rubbing a hole in my chest as I ground out the last 10k. I'm not going to write much more about it because it will only bring back painful memories that I'm working hard on suppressing.

The amazing Marianna caught me up with about 3k to go but somehow I managed to stay ahead until the finish line - she's going to kick butt at the SEA games though. I caught Danny with 500 metres to go which was a consolation at least. My second 10k was a little over 52 minutes which is really woeful considering my first 11k time.

Unfortunately, I heard afterwards that Kimberley Yap, the reigning SEA games Gold medalist for triathlon had to pull out of the race. Not sure why but I'm sure she'll be back in action to defend her title.

So what else did I learn? I learnt that I am still slightly faster than Sam (sad fact is he is 57 years old) but now he owes me a case of beer to prove it.

I learnt that KK really does have more money than sense as he bet a case of beer that he's be within 17 1/2 minutes of me, it was a pleasure doing business with you.

I also learnt that if you put enough pressure on someone they will take a bet that they really don't want to make (also 17 1/2 minutes); sorry Randy but you weren't that far off catching me.

So three cases of beer and a pint from Adrian (I had to give him an hour handicap) - we will have to have a bit of a get together to drink the beer as this was clearly KK's plan from the off. Sam will only have a half a shandy anyway and I feel for Randy so the least he deserves is to get drunk on the proceeds.

I ended up 3rd in my category and RM700 richer which may have to go to a physiotherapist. Great race though, excellent organisation as usual - I'm looking forward to hearing that the Malakoff duathlon series will be reinstated next year????

Damage Summary: -
1) Right Achilles - torn/strained
2) Left Hamstring - 4 inches shorter than it should be
3) Right Hamstring - 5 inches shorter than it should be with shooting pain at the back of the knee
4) Glutes - Aaaaaggggggghhhh
5) Right lower leg - calf shot, terrible shin splints
6) Left lower leg - calf shot
7) Quads - they feel like I just ran down the side of Mount Everest with a heavy rucksack

Bangkok Marathon next Sunday - Mmmmmmmmm!!....Not a problem!

Ironman Western Australia in three weeks - As I've said since doing MDS - Ironman's are for children and I have not changed my view - (No bets though thank you very much - unless the odds are generously in my favour of course).

[Pictures courtesy of Tey's Site, Squirrel's Site and klingklangman]

Friday, November 09, 2007

Kapil - New York Marathon

Just a quick mention as Shilpa tells me he's not thrilled about it. My brother-in-law has been busy working his butt off, moving house and doing a Masters degree in the evenings and at weekends; so although he entered the New York Marathon he was hardly able to do any training for it.

He still managed 4 Hours 29 minutes!

I'm impressed even if he isn't - great job Kapil - just imagine what you'd have done if you had been able to train - next time dude!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Shilpa's Birthday - 07 November 2007

It was Shilpa's birthday yesterday. Her day started with presents and cards from her hubby and Ashley. Followed by a birthday brunch with the Twin's Group.

They left all of their twins with maids and supervisors at Kids Sports next to the restaurant and proceeded to have a jolly good brunch followed by cakes of course!

Then a delivery truck arrived with the real birthday present - it's the Indian swing not the gorgeous chap on it! Shilpa has wanted one for years (I'm still talking about the swing) and saw one just a few days ago. This thankfully took away all the stress of working out what to buy for her birthday, so I was happy - and she was very surprised and happy too.

Then daddy came home with the present that the boys had bought (don't worry boys, I'll take it out of your pocket money). They bought Mummy a Secret Recipe Raspberry Cheesecake with "Happy Birthday Mummy" on it. Good boys, Mummy was a happy chappie.

Mummy then thanked the boys and got changed to go out to Saffron for her birthday dinner.

Here I am, as usual not very photogenic but I had a lovely time too and I really wasn't as grumpy as I look honest!

And finally here's Shilpa looking radiantly gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Checkout Chantal's day doing the infamous HELLRUNNER event. Sounds like fun.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Fergie vs Halle Berry

OK folks it's official Adrian of klingklngman has thrown in the towel, withdrawn his Fergie vs Halle Berry poll 12 hours early after overwhelming odds in favour of Fergie.

I have to say that Adrian did enquire whether I'd been cheating, which I was a little shocked about; but even some of my own contacts (that I was legally lobbying in the contest) suggested that drumming up support was undemocratic and underhand! WELL I NEVER!

However, I have taken these comments in my stride especially as they pale into insignificance when compared to the turncoat traitors that voted for Halle Berry.

There I was, honestly and fairly lobbying most of my address list and can you believe it some of my "friends" voted against me - you know who you are - Ashley, Julie, Hayley, Emma, Sue ... the list goes on but needless to say you're all off my Christmas card list.

Anyway a big thank you to all you guys that voted for Fergie. And just in case there is any misunderstanding about this poll; it wasn't about whether Halle Berry or Fergie were the sexiest or the most beautiful, or about winning a beer, it was just about WINNING.

With that achieved I can now openly say that although Fergie is Raunchy Sexy, you wouldn't want to take her home to Mum. Halle Berry on the other hand is not only sexy but gorgeous and certainly is one of the most beautiful women in the world. Therefore Adrian, I concede the Poll beer but will put another one on the outcome of Powerman if you're up for it?

Monday, November 05, 2007


My little fallas and my little lady at a Halloween Party.

Friday, November 02, 2007

H Got Married

Here's my cousin Helen signing the marriage register at her wedding. She's looking rather gorgeous and her new husband is understandably looking tickled pink!

Bangkok Train

Now this is just plain bizzare. Watch it to the end - amazing!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Poll Result - Are you for or against drafting races in Triathlon and Duathlon?

First of all sorry about the typo - I do know how to spell triathlon really but once someone has cast a vote I cannot edit the poll.

The results were: -

For Drafting 3
Against Drafting 15
There's a place for both 3
I don't know what drafting is 3

So the overriding consensus is that drafting is taboo. In fact a 5:1 majority are against drafting. I actually voted that there is a place for both; this surprised some people as I'm always at a disadvantage when I struggle out of the swim only to see the packs of average cyclists (but good swimmers) pulling away from me in a triathlon (the bike is my strength).

My answer to anyone, like me, who is a crap swimmer is "Get better, train more and stop complaining". So there!

In a perfect world there definitely should be no drafting but it doesn't matter where you go in every non-drafting race there are packs riding around together. Policing these things is tough and very resource intensive.

When I did Hawaii Ironman (lottery entry I may add) I saw 10 and 10's of people being pulled up for drafting and every last one of them was a very harsh call - the road was full of bikes so it was always difficult to stay totally away from other riders. Having said that we all saw the marshals pulling people up and I wasn't prepared to get a penalty so I was super careful not to put myself into a position where I'd even get looked at.

I've only ever got one warning and that was in a duathlon. I generally spend half the race shouting abuse at people for drafting/cheating. As it happens there was arider of similar ability to me and we kept swapping places albeit well out of each others draft zone. At one point when he was ahead the road narrowed and some of the cones had been knocked over. He slowed and I was all of a sudden in his draft zone. A few seconds later I got a warning!!!!

Fair enough, marshaling these things is tough and although I think the warning was uncalled for it kept me miles away from the guy for the rest of the race. Where these things break down is when the marshals give a warning, and then another warning, and then a 1 minute penalty, and then a 3 minute penalty and then disqualification. This IS NOT THE ANSWER.

The answer is simple give a verbal warning and then if caught again instant disqualification. Print this all over the race literature, announce it at the briefings and 30 seconds before the start. No one can then say "Oh I didn't realise".

In the past I have also suggested executions at the prize giving but some have suggested that this is too much to expect the race organisers to do. Perhaps they could outsource it? Or maybe fellow competitors could stone the perpetrators to death with cans of Red Bull. Think of it, an added bit of fun, fair punishment and a great sponsorship opportunity with Red Bull. Perhaps this can be a future Poll.