Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mum Knows!

(Coutesy of @rhondagessner via Twitter)

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you Can't Fool Mum.

Happy Bird Day to You

(Courtesy of Nick "Birthday Boy" Flynn)

I couldn't decide whether this was brilliant or awful. I got to the end with a silly grin on my face - somehow it's strangely addictive! I'm going for Brilliant! (Fun at least, anyway).

The Snatch Thief vs. The Triathlete

Simon says: - I got a message this morning from Kristoff in Vietnam - Check this out - it's funny but scary at the same time. Snatch thieves are cowards of the lowest form, they tend to prey on women, have no regard for their victims as in many cases they are thrown to the ground and suffer terrible injuries and often death. Snatch thieves deserve every bad thing that happens to them and it is the one crime that I think capital punishment is a good option!!! (Perhaps I'm going a bit overboard as I'm 100% against capital punishment but I do passionately detest snatch thieves). Great job Kristof, take care and watch your back.

Kristoff writes: -

"I think you'll like this one.

Last Thursday night around 10 pm, I was just outside the door of my apartment about to take my girlfriend home. I sat down on my motorbike and suddenly my GF screamed. A guy had just tried to steal her bag.

I immediately got off the motorbike and started chasing the guy. A friend of his was waiting in the adjacent alley on a motorbike. Like Usain Bolt, I gave chase to the motorbike and managed to get hold of the guy sitting on the back.

I tore his t-shirt and continued pulling him off the bike. Finally at the end of the alley, they lost control of the bike and crashed into a big plant pot. I managed to get hold of the back guy, hit him another time in the face, and then let him go, because I wanted to survey the situation and know where the other guy was going.

I saw him running away, now being followed by his friend. Their motorbike was still lying on the ground. The people in the surrounding houses all came out and quickly started realizing what had just happened.

The funny thing about the whole situation is that they weren't able to steal anything from us and they lost their motorbike in the act. I had to take care of some administration with the police, but everybody thought it was pretty cool. It was only afterwards that I started realizing, shit, these guys might want to take revenge for their lost motorbike. Wait and see, I guess.

Another adventure in Nam. And it also shows: DON'T MESS with a triathlete :-D

Perez Hilton does Halloween Early

(Courtesy of Perez Hilton via Twitter)

Self proclaimed blog star Perez Hilton and his new boyfriend seem to have been looking for shocking new Halloween costumes - this one takes the biscuit!

Although it has to be said that it's more attractive than Perez and certainly has a more pleasant aura.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Young Endurance Athlete Triathlon

The Young Endurance Athlete Triathlon will be held on the 17th and 18th October, 2009.

Venue, Precint 6 Public Pool, Putrajaya.

The event includes a triathlon clinic on the 17th and race on the 18th.

Registration will be open until 7th October.

Kids from age 7-15 years old are welcome to register.

Registration fee for participants is RM50 and will be collected on registration day (17/10).

We're happy to announce that we're also recruiting volunteers to help out on both dates.

For more info , please contact us :

Major Kalam at 0192712569 (Facebook : Kalam Pie)

Amir Hashimi at 0122195552 (Facebook: Amir Hashmi)

Juliana Ali at (Facebook : Juliana Ali)

Click on the forms below to view full size and print

Monday, September 28, 2009

At last, Cadel Evans attacks and he WINS!

(Courtesy of the BBC)

Cadel Evans became Australia's first ever world road race champion thanks to a stunning late assault in Switzerland.

He rode away from Russia's Alexandr Kolobnev and Spain's Joaquin Rodriguez on the last climb to win by 27 seconds.

World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara produced an aggressive ride on home soil at Mendrisio but had to settle for fifth place.

The British Team were a wash out [Simon's comment] But it was a different story for Evans, as he threw off his reputation as a nearly man on the world championship stage in spectacular fashion.

"[This] is an answer to those criticisms that I've had, saying I never attack," Evans said. He never did attack and just look at what happens on the one occassion he did [Simon's comment].

Evans lives only three miles away from Mendrisio and always believed the course provided him with a better chance of becoming world champion than the 2010 course in Geelong, Australia, where he lives for three months of the year. "This course suits me better than the one in Geelong and I think I proved that today," he added.

The 262km (163-mile) race was around 19 laps of a course in the south of Switzerland, just a few miles from the Italian border.

Entering the penultimate lap, a leading group of about 25 riders was one minute 20 seconds clear of the peloton.

However, as the leaders descended the Acquafresca climb Cancellara came flying past, having jumped across the gap from the peloton.

The Swiss powerhouse settled into the group and countered every attack, including a solo bid from Alexandre Vinokourov, before splintering the group coming down the Acquafresca descent for the final time.

However, the leaders came together once more and the decisive move came from Evans on the final Novazzano climb.

Friday, September 25, 2009

10 Elements of a Perfect Freestyle Stroke

(Courtesy of Alex Kostich and

Simon says: - I have found this article to be extremely useful in improving my swimming of late (yes I've also upped my time in the water considerably too which helps of course) but certainly these tips (possibly with the exception of 6 and 10) are extremely relevant for triathletes - coupled with the advice to only focus on one a week they work wonders.

Although not even the world's best coach would be capable of providing a written list that could guarantee success, the following 10 points are core things to remember when attempting a perfect freestyle stroke (also known as the crawl).

With luck and perhaps a little poolside advice from another swimmer or instructor, these 10 items should ensure that you have the basic freestyle stroke mechanics down pat. You may already have several of them mastered, or you may just be starting to learn how to swim. Either way, there's no better time to make technical improvements than now.

Take one tip per week and only concentrate on that specific aspect of your stroke. The next week, choose to work on another tip, but remember the one you practiced the week prior. In 10 weeks time, not only should your stroke be markedly improved, but the improvements will feel natural and require less concentration because you added them together slowly over the course of a few months.

Rather than information-overloading yourself with too many things all at once (a common problem at weekend-long swim clinics), you will have taken several months to carefully master all the different, basic elements.

1. Head Position
Body position in the water is the most important component to swimming efficiently, and the position of your head dictates the position of the rest of your body. Look forward, with your hairline cresting the surface of the water in front of you (if your hairline is receding, then make sure that your forehead is just below the surface!).

Your neck and upper-back muscles should be relaxed, and assuming that your body is parallel to the bottom of the pool (as it should be), your head should be cocked forward about 45 degrees. If you "bury" your head into your chest, it will serve as a 25-pound form of resistance. It also will alter your body position by forcing your upper body to dive down and your hips to breach.

Conversely, if you look forward too far, your face will serve as resistance and your neck and upper-back muscles will tense up, causing fatigue and discomfort.

2. Reach Forward
With each stroke, make sure you are extending your arm to its maximum length. Many swimmers place their hand in the water in front of their head and begin their underwater pull. Instead, concentrate on placing your hand in the water about 15 inches in front of you, and then reach forward an additional 6 inches by extending your arm from your shoulder.
That little movement involving your shoulder (imagine you are standing and trying to reach for a ceiling just beyond your reach) can lengthen and smooth out your stroke for maximum efficiency.

3. Body Rotation
Body rotation is somewhat related to reaching forward, in that by pivoting your body with each stroke, you facilitate your shoulders extending forward at the end of each stroke. When your right arm is fully extended in front of you (and your left is about to exit the water behind you for its recovery), your body should be pivoted right.

This means the entire right side of your body should be submerged and facing the bottom of the pool, while the entire left side of your body should be breaching toward the ceiling/sky. With the next stroke, your body pivots to the left, altering your position about 120 degrees. Picture a rotisserie chicken being pivoted on the axis of the spit, and that is how your body should rotate with each stroke.

4. "Hourglass" Pull
When you are pulling your body through the water with your arms, you want to maximize the amount of water pulled. Since the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, the last thing you want to do when swimming is pull your arm through the water in a straight line. Instead, practice an S shape (a longer way of completing each stroke), so that if you were to pull both arms together simultaneously, the resulting path would resemble an hourglass silhouette (this simultaneous silhouette should also diagram your butterfly underwater pull).

At the beginning of the stroke, the hand extends out, away from your body. Keep your elbows high. As you catch the water, curve your hand back inward toward your belly button, then out again by your hip as your hand exits the water.

5. Finish the Stroke
Even some of the world's best swimmers end up shortening their strokes when they get tired, pulling their hands out of the water prematurely at their waist area rather than by their upper thigh. As your arms complete their underwater hourglass pull, they should fully extend behind you, by your sides, so that your thumbs graze the side of your thighs below your suit-line.

Many swimmers begin bending their elbows toward the end of their stroke and pull their arms out of the water before allowing them to finish their path. By shortening their stroke, these swimmers lose efficiency while actually expending more energy because they are taking more strokes per lap (essentially spinning their wheels).

6. Sprint Flutter Kick
Kicking takes up a lot of energy, which is why it's often relegated to the last lap of an event (especially a distance event). Sprinters rely more heavily on kicking, but regardless of your specialty, it is important to master a kick that works for you. Too often, swimmers end up creating added resistance with an incorrect kick that actually serves to slow them down!

A sprint flutter kick should be a fast, underwater up-and-down motion, alternating both feet. Create as little white-water as possible and keep your feet submerged. As your body rotates (see tip No. 3), your feet should rotate with it. Be careful not to splay your feet out horizontally for balance ("scissoring") as you rotate your body from side to side.

Rather, keep your feet in alignment with the rest of yourself and avoid breaking out of the narrow path your head and shoulders cut through the water (imagine swimming through the hole in a tire, keeping your feet close together as you slide through so as not to hit the edges).

7. Distance Crossover Kick
Distance kicking differs from sprint kicking in that it's not meant to propel you forward as much as it's meant to keep your rhythm while helping you stay afloat. Indeed, in longer races, attempting a sprint flutter kick will put you into oxygen depletion within laps, and you will crash and burn.

In races lasting a half-mile or more, it's best to maintain a crossover kick, which is when you cross your ankles with each (or every other) kick. Crossover kicking comes naturally to some swimmers while seeming extremely unnatural to others. Not surprisingly, sprinters tend to gravitate toward a sprint flutter kick while distance swimmers find themselves crossing over.

Concentrate on what comes naturally to you, then try the different technique and see how it feels. Remember that the crossover kick is meant to be less physically exerting for longer events, and is thus not as effective as a means of propulsion. However, it is extremely useful in keeping one's lower body afloat while conserving valuable energy during endurance events.

8. Breathing Head Position
When turning your head to breathe, make sure to turn it 90 degrees to the side. Many swimmers make the mistake of turning their head about 100 degrees so that their entire face (and both eyes) are above the water's surface. You want to try to keep your head parallel to the surface with one eye above and one eye submerged. Turning your head any more is unnecessary; it requires more effort and can result in increased resistance as your body corkscrews out of control.

Also, take care not to lift your head forward to breathe; some novice swimmers lift their heads up and over rather than just to the side. The only time you should lift your head up is when you are sighting during open water swims. Otherwise, lifting your head is like using your face to put on the brakes; you create resistance in the water while putting more strain on your neck muscles.

9. Breathing Pattern
It is best to breathe on both the left and right sides (bilateral breathing). This serves to even out your stroke and keep your body balanced in the water. Swimmers who only breathe on one side tend to have an uneven stroke turnover, and they miss out on what their competition is doing on their blind side. They can also end up swimming in an arc rather than a straight line in open water.

In extreme cases, swimmers who favor one side end up with a slight curvature of the spine over time (scoliosis). Take the time to teach yourself to be a bilateral breather. There are no disadvantages.

10. Starts and Finishes
When pool swimming, most people disregard the importance of their takeoff and their finish. Even when pushing off the wall for a set of repeats, take the time to streamline with your arms clasped behind your head in a v, with your hands together. Finish each repeat with a strong stroke into the wall, rather than slowing down and coasting in with your head raised.

Being a perfectionist conditions you to race better and make every moment count. Remember that you learn through repetition, and if you practice sloppy starts or finishes you may end up just as careless during a race. Besides, keep in mind that the more you streamline off of each wall, the less you have to swim on that given lap!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Strange Sightings

(Courtesy of Shilpa)

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Castle Expands - A climbing Wall is Born

When we were in France we came across climbing wall hand holds and decided to build a climbing wall on the back of the boy's "Castle". Here it is as it used to be.

The climbing grips in question, very coll that we managed to get these in France.

I ordered two sheets of 18mm plywood. After a bit (a lot actually) of measuring, cutting, drilling, sanding and varnishing they were ready to be mounted on the Castle.

I got some ropes from the hardware store too and expanded the concept a little further.

The final product. Cool or what?

While I was at it I replaced the galvanised swing chains (they were beginning to rust) with zinc plated ones, covered them with piping (to protect the little ones dainty hands) and replaced the shackles with "joining" chain links to make for a smoother swing.

Here's what it all looks like (you can see glimpses of the climbing wall at the back).

Because cats deserve it!

(Courtesy of Ian and Sam)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Single vs. Engaged vs. MARRIED!

(courtesy of Nick Flynn)

Sipping her drink, the single girl leered towards her friends and said, "Last Friday, at the end of the work day, I went to my boyfriend's office wearing a leather coat. When all the other people had left, I slipped out of it and all I had on was a leather bodice, black stockings and stiletto heels. He was so aroused that we made passionate love on his desk right then and there!"

The engaged woman giggled and said, "That's pretty much my story! When my fiancé got home last Friday, he found me waiting for him in a black mask, leather bodice, black hose and stiletto pumps. He was so turned on that we not only had sex all night , he wants to move up our wedding date!"

The married woman put her glass down and said, "I did a lot of planning. I made arrangements for the kids to stay over at Grandma's. I took a long scented-oil bath and then put on my best perfume. I slipped into a tight leather bodice, a black garter belt, black stockings and six-inch stilettos. I finished it off with a black mask. When my husband got home from work, he grabbed a beer and the remote, sat down and yelled, 'Hey, Batman, what's for dinner?"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our Little Cousin Mehr

Shilpa, Sid and Seb went to Thailand just before our trip to France to hopefully see their new little cousin arrive. Unfortunately she had other plans and didn't want to come out to play. In the interim, Meenu gave birth to the beautiful and irrepressible Mehr. Ranjan (Daddy) was over the moon, he was just gagging for a baby girl. Without further ado here are some pictures of the latest addition to our family.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Onion King rules again

Many of you will know about one of the most prestigious and keenly contested events of the year the "Onion Competition". Only a limited number of contestants are invited to take part every year and their applications are very carefully vetted: - No onion, no entry; no sense of humour, no entry; no booze, difficult to get entry; don't know where Brownhills is, no entry... the list goes on but I shan't bore you.

The very exciting news is that the top prize this year went to none other than Peter Cross. [The crowds go wild]. Additionally the second most prestigious award for the heaviest weight of 5 combined onions also went to Peter Cross. Keeping the family winning streak going Anne Cross won the best pot plant prize for her Chilli Plant. Is there no end to this families talent????

Here's Peter with his winning Onion and trophy. Note the obligatory gloat!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

GB star Brownlee wins world title

(Courtesy of the BBC)

Britain's Alistair Brownlee took the 2009 triathlon World Championship Series, after winning the Grand Final on Australia's Gold Coast on Saturday.

The 21-year-old, who went into the final with a 351-point lead, sprinted the final 500m of the run to beat his main rival Javier Gomez by six seconds.

The final was worth 1,200 points and Leeds-born Brownlee needed only a top-five finish to secure the championship.

"It's absolutely amazing. I couldn't have asked for anything more," he said.

"Every athlete in every race wants to win and I really wanted to win the world title.

"I was going to give it everything and I was delighted with how the race went."

Brownlee, the former junior and under-23 world champion, finished in an official time of 1 hour, 44 minutes and 51 seconds.

Gomez was second, while Beijing Olympic gold medallist Jan Frodeno of Germany finished third.

"That run leg nearly killed me," said Brownlee, who has won four of the seven World Championship Series events this year.

"I just went on and on and at the end went for it."

The race - held in perfect temperatures of about 20C (68F) at the tourist resort - included a 1.5-kilometre swim leg in the Nerang River, a 40-kilometre cycle route and a 10-kilometre run.

Brownlee clinched the overall title with 4,400 points - 800 from each of his previous series wins and the 1,200 for the final.

Gomez was second overall with 3,959, followed by Saturday's fourth-placed finisher, Maik Petzold of Germany, with 3,442 and Frodeno in fourth overall with 3,162.

Brownlee's fellow Britons Will Clarke and Tim Don finished the race in 11th and 16th respectively.

Meanwhile, Brownlee's younger brother Jonathan, 19, finished second in the junior men's competition on Sunday while Hollie Avil won the women's under-23 title on Friday with fellow Brits Jodie Stimpson and Vicky Holland finishing second and fourth respectively.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thanks buddy!!!!

(Courtesy of my EX-friend Chris Wayman)

Chris' little caption relates to my dismal performance at the Alpe d'Huez Long Distance Triathlon. Before the final climb I was forced to take an hour off the race and as my chalet was on the race route I took a bit of a shower, washed my hair, pedicure, manicure, got changed etc... Chris clearly lives to bask in the delight of my misery...I've got to confess it did make me chuckle though.

(Picture taken from the recent TTB Social ride)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

England Qualify for the World Cup

England 5 Croatia 1 - England qualify for the World Cup. Thank goodness, it's never a given and quite a relief after the dismal attempt at qualifying for Euro 08.

Only in China - Impressive

(Courtesy of Ivie)

Now this is impressive, in fact if this fails to impress you then nothing will. Well worth 4 minutes to watch to the end where they somehow manage to get 16 girls onto one bicycle.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Lucky to be fat - WOW I never knew!

(Courtesy of Nick Flynn)

Taken from a book called "What I talk about when I talk about Running" by Haruki Murakami.

It seems that being a bit of a fatty and always fighting with my weight makes me healthier as to control it I need to exercise regularly and eat regularly. Those "lucky" people that never put on weight no matter what tend not to exercise nor care what they eat - thus I live longer and have a healthier and happier life!

Wow, I've never looked at things like this before! I'm a convert though!


Only in America

(Courtesy of the Mail)

They may resemble pandas, buffalos and camels - but these animals are actually poodles, all competing for the title of top dog at 'creative grooming' shows across the U.S.

Something of a canine fancy dress contest, it takes just two hours for owners to transform their pets, which are sheared and coloured to achieve each look.

Simon says: - Is it just me or can this sort of thing only happen in America? How much spare time do these people have? Also (again is it just me) do you find this kind of sad?

See full article click here