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Monday, June 06, 2011

Mahaguru58 goes mountain biking ~ Staying fit in my 50s.

Just about to leave home on a biking trip
Living in the city and driving a motorcar for all these years surely takes a toll on an aging body. Turning 52 going on 53 also brings on a whole lot of aches and strains on a body that once was tough as nails. 

I have by now developed a paunch and started noticing a gradual reduction in body mass especially in the lower body muscles especially my thighs. I wanted to go join a gym nearby but don't seem to have the time to do that.

So, I decided enough is enough and bought myself a mountain bike. Bought it from a RODALINK outlet at Desa Sri Hartamas. Transported the bike with the front wheel off in our Proton Wira and reassembled it when I reached home.

Have started to buy all those cycling apparels and stuff including a bike helmet when I went to Kuantan recently. The prices for cycling gear is quite steep in KL and noticeably much more affordable in other areas. It also depends on what type and brand one is looking for?

I shy away from wearing those usual cycling shorts for it will expose my aurat and opted to wear my track pants which are more around of the same stretchable material. I just bought a couple of Cheetah exercise pants which suits my needs.

I can't afford to go for high end gears and slowly but surely am getting myself all what I need? 

Being safety conscious, I had two motorcycle rear view mirrors modified and installed on my bike handle. 

Now I get to see what's coming from behind and not have to turn my head and look behind every time I need to take a turn or change lanes.

One thing I notice after having started cycling is that I get to sweat more profusely nowadays and noticed a gradual strengthening of my entire body muscles. Alhamdulillah! 

Decades old accumulated body fats starting to get burnt off! I should have started bicycling earlier...:) Its quite a healthy sport and I am starting to love it. 

Equipping oneself with the right gears and outfits is quite expensive I must say but it is worth it. 

The cycling jerseys are not cheap. They cost RM259 each but I got to buy them half price through my Rodalink membership. One of those who works there at Rodalink Hartamas is a 3 time world triathlon champion @ Mohd Hafiz Wong Abdullah.

The proper cycling jersey worn by a cyclist gives absolute comfort and protection from the environment when we are riding along the roads and outdoors. Quite cooling and easy to dry.

Now I have to start deciding whether I really need to buy myself a pair of cycling shoes? As I have found out, they are only sold at the specialist cycling shops and not elsewhere.

There are lots of useful info online about cycling and one of those sites is this one. Another good site is here.

Shown here is a video showing tips on mountain biking for beginners like myself :

Here is a photo of myself about to enjoy a bowl of cendol prepared the traditional way at Bt.9 Hulu Langat. This was before I got to buy my cycling helmet at Kuantan. 
Cendol Bt 9 Hulu Langat
Mudguards fixed at Bt 14 Cycle Shop
Old Mahaguru58 gets a rush of adrenaline riding downhill and really have to huff and puff my way up a steep hill or road gradient. I cycled from my home in Bandar Tun Razak all the way up to Hulu Langat. I reached Bt.14 old town and fitted my bike with a pair of mudguards.

I don't bother about the aesthetic appeal or what of my bike? I don't wish to be splattered with water or mud from whatever trail or route I ride through. I have also installed front and rear lights and also a bell. Slowly but surely my bike is starting to morph into something that fits my needs and I just love it.

Cycling is quite an enjoyable form of exercising whilst sight seeing. The only thing I hate whilst doing it is the deafening noise pollution one has to suffer on the roads and the dust and dirt pollution caused by endless smoke belching motorcycles, lorries and all other kinds of heavy vehicles when I cycle to my destinations out of KL and back.

Driving comfortably all these years in our Proton Wira, cocooned from all such noise and grime made me forget that out of the car, it is a whole different world full of city pollution that many non automobile users have to suffer on the roads when travelling to wherever they wish to go to?

Malaysian authorities are amongst the most lackadaisical when it comes to enforcing the road traffic laws and they only do a halfhearted job when it comes to stopping polluters and lawbreakers.

Often we hear of 'coffee money' changing hands and the perpetrators getting back on the roads causing harm to other law abiding road users and prolonging environmental devastation!

DBKL is notoriously inefficient as a local authority and they simply do not bother to keep the roads in shape and do not carry out road sweeping tasks as they are supposed to?

You can see debris collecting on the roadsides which I believe has been there for months if not years. Weeds and shrubs grow to quite some heights due to the lack of upkeeping by the DBKL sweepers or maintenance teams.

Such unswept debris and rubbish can also be a source of danger to cyclists and motorbikers who have to use the roadsides when travelling along the roads. The debris might have broken shards of glass and other dangerous objects which can cause tires to be punctured and in turn cause road accidents and maybe fatalities.

I sure hope that DBKL rises to the occasion and really goes out to clean up our city streets and roads that are in their jurisdiction. Our safety and lives are at stake! Don't just belch out rhetorical slogans one after another but fail to upkeep the infrastructures of our capital city and outlying suburbs.

Don't let it be said that DBKL stands for Dewan Baloq' Kuala Lumpur. Baloq' as in Bengap and Basai. Please buck the hell up!  

Cycling can be such a healthy pursuit provided we do it the right way and in the right environment
You are the capital city's main authority damnit! Please prove me wrong and show us that you can do better! Thank you!

In the meantime, I wish that there will be more oldies my age taking up cycling around Bandar Tun Razak and perhaps join me in my mountain biking trips around KL and Selangor especially to Hulu Langat where nature still seems to be not that polluted as in downtown KL and its surroundings.

Any other Bandar Tun Razak 50 plus resident cyclists out there?


Mohamed Firdaus Shajahan said...

benda baru adalah menarik untuk dicuba.
All da best in cycling,and da'awah by showing sunnah appearence...

MAHAGURU58 said...

Terimakasih diatas ucap selamat bro!

Berbasikal boleh membantu kita menjaga kesihatan.

Andreas said...

You wrote:
'' Malaysian authorities are amongst the most lackadaisical when it comes to enforcing the road traffic laws and they only do a halfhearted job when it comes to stopping polluters and lawbreakers. ''

A halfhearted job? They do nothing!

Quite the contrary, I could watch countless times when police cars (not being in action) were a very bad example. They ignore the traffic laws in the same way everybody else does.

I've seen a lot countries in this world, but only in Western Africa the traffic situation is comparable.

Ask any expat. Every last will tell you that the traffic situation in Malaysia is a disaster.
The police doesn't enforce the traffic laws and the drivers are ruthless kamikaze pilots.

My personal ranking is: 10% normal drivers; 60% kamikaze and 30% have won their driver licence while gambling in the lottery.

And I don't understand!:-(

Malaysians are very nice and polite people. They avoid trouble at almost all costs (this drives me crazy sometimes :-) ) and wheresoever they can.

Where is this ' Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' syndrome from?

The condition of the Malaysian streets is another big talking point.

Dirt and debris are a great danger for all road users.

But when the street between JB and Kota Tinggi was modernized last year I said: ''Wow! They are really fast!''

Not more than 6 weeks after finishing the street this year the first pot holes appeared. A new street!?!

''Wow!'' I said again ''Somebody is some millions richer now.''

Small Hiker said...

Satu aktiviti yang meyehatkan ni Tok Guru. Keep it up and keep blogging.

azwazis said...

Dear Sir,

I've tried cycling before but for some strange reason, it went on only for a week.

I now jog and walk 5km everyday. Like yourself, the amount of polution these days has gone beyond the acceptable level.

At times, while I was jogging or walking, I get a few strange look from the drivers or motorcyclist as if I'm not normal...

We should go out more often. At times, I felt that some of us are so comfortable in our own 'comfort' zone that we refuse to try new things...

I hope I can start cycling again...but not so soon...i'm enjoying my run and walk now..

have a good day sir