Monday, October 31, 2011

The Rise And Fall Of The Urban Fixies

Once upon a time, in this part of town, there lived a small group of young riders fondly (or secretly) known to the locals as ‘the urban fixies’.

As said, they were riders, free-spirited and young ( late teens  to early twenties)with their DIY fixies spray-painted to perfection. They did not ride but rather flew through town, with their dreadlocks,afro cuts, loose shirts and bowler hats. Their tanned faces sometimes glistening with sweat under the warm sun and their calves  rippled to every crank. They came from nowhere or anywhere. You'll see them when you see them. But when you do see them, either riding in the sun or gliding through the night, you will be awed.

Awed by their simplicity. Awed by the way they carry themselves. Calm. Collected. Focused. Too cool to care. You seldom see them talk. They say , the urban fixies communicate by gestures, by grunts, by eye twitches.  They will stop long enough, not to hang around, but to regroup. Once they are one, they will flock elsewhere.

You could tell, sometimes from afar, that they were happy. And they were peace-loving beings. Non- believers of nuisance and nonsense. They were law abiding citizens, only an eyesore to old folks who fail to understand their self expression.

 But one day, like black clouds creeping in on a beautiful sky, a small new group of riders infiltrated the town. First in small groups of 5s, then 10s, then 20s until it seemed that they were everywhere. It was understood that they were  initially  imitators. As mimics of the urban fixies. They came into town from miles away, riding their neon coloured generic fixies readily available from Kedai Basikal Ah Ba. These bikes were pitifully tasteless but deemed awesome by the new riders now known to the townspeople as 'kampung fixies'; no disrespect to the kampung people.
But as uber cooless could not be replicated or imitated, the kampug fixies failed to carry themselves wisely. They were simply wannabes. Not trend setters. Everything was overdone.

They spun into town making a racket. Flocking the streets as nuisance.They were ruthless, rowdy at times. Loitering and tastelessly hogging parking lots and conquering the roads. An eyesore, an ear sore and a stick in the behind.

What happened to the urban fixies in the mean time? They stood watching as their town was taken over. But as peace-loving beings, they did not reciprocated. Instead, to avoid territorial conflict,they dispersed. They disappeared, one by one into the masses.

Until one day, they were gone. All of them, dreadlocks and all.( **cue dust and debris scattering and rolling bushes for dramatic effect)

And to this day the kampung fixies still roamed the town. Terrorizing people with their hazardous wheelies and lameness. Most are only young ‘uns, not even through middle high,clueless ,trying so hard but alas, are greatly annoying.
God help us.

I believe one day, when the craze has ended and the madness has ceased, the urban fixies will be back. Emerging one by one from the crowd. Slightly older, slightly worn, but they will come back. With their dreadlocks, afro cuts, loose shirts and bowler hats. With their beautiful DIY-fixies, spray-painted to perfection.

They will be back, flying into town, coolness oozing from their ears.

Sekian sessi bercerita saya pada hari ini untuk melepaskan geram kepada kampung fixies yang sangat menyakitkan hati di pekan saya yang terchenta

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Mysterious Watcher

Short post
No time.
On call.

Quick question.
Would somebody please tell me who runs Penonton.blogspot.?

I know Bro Haris runs Run. Mix. Burn and I think I have a vague idea who's running Chap Ayam website but who the heck is in charge of Penonton?
Puas aku cari kat blog dia, talak jumpa ma.

Takde la, bukan nak saman ke apa.
Just want to say that you're doing a very good job.
What will we runners   ( or cyclists or triathletes) do without Penonton.
Gigih cari pelbagai race untuk di upload almost everyday.

Syabas, sir/madam.
You, my friend, are truly appreciated.

JJ & WW (ok, he offers his handshake)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bonkety Bonk

You read it right. I bonked.For the second time this year. Heh heh. It's SCKLM Half revisited minus the hot sun.
But difference was, this time I had fun.
It's kinda weird how you could feel so bad and have fun at the same time. I guess last week was a good week. Maybe that explains it all.

Pre-race I guess I was kinda asking for it. We had a late breakfast and then decided before dropping off our kids at my sister's, we'd have our lunch late at Bangi. Manala nak tau semua orang Bangi nak makan Domino''s jugak at 3 :30 pm. As a result pizza sampai lewat, so we ate at around 4 ish. Pastu we polished half a can of my brother's "slimming mixed nuts". I don't get the concept of eating nuts to make you slim but hey, who can resist eating really expensive roasted almonds and pistachios especially when it's not yours.

Anyway, we got to Putrajaya at about 7. By that time, perut rasa kenyang lagi from all the pizza and nuts so I just ate a quarter of my prerace snack, a cream bun. Pastu, because during my last half, I didn't take any gels and only ran with a bottle of Gatorade, I figured I'd do the same in this race and managed to talk my husband in doing the same. Ya, satu lagi bad choice.

At about 8 berlegar-legar at race site and we bumped into our old schoolmate . Sembang-sembang, kutuk-kutuk, gelak-gelak , last-last terlepas nak cheer on the Full marathoners. Aisey.

Then at 8.10 pm , we went to line ourselves at the gantry. Baru la nampak the famous KakJune with her fans. Gile semua beratur nak tangkap gambar ngan dia. Tinggal diorang nak mintak sign autograph je lagi, Kak June oii..hehe. Had a quick chat and then we were off lining ourselves behind the starting line cam cattle.

Mak ai panasnya. Tak padan ngan malam cuaca lepas hujan. Tak start race lagi pun kiri kanan bau ashem.
Aku konon nak try pace 10:15/per mile. Up sikit la dari last HM.
Huh, hareeemmmm.

Mula-mula start lagi takde countdown apa pun. Sedor-sedor je 'pom' bunyik gun.
The thing I don't like about big races is, there's too much crowd (duh!)
Dia ni himpit dia ni. Dia ni pijak kasut dia ni. Dia ni pasang muka saiko nak menang. Dia ni  siku dia ni.
In small races, everyone is friendly. Almost everyone is like, " Hey, have fun". And the runners are more cheerful.
Yang ni, mula-mula race je pakat pasang game face masing-masing. Adoyai.
Tapi  not everybody la. Korang yang baca ni aku tau tak buat..heh heh.

But the thing is in big races, you'll meet all different kinds of interesting people on the road. Ramai gak yang tegur WW's barefootedness. WW pun pantang tengok rakan sekaki ayam, mesti pakat sembang and then aku pun terkial-kial nak catch up.

Anyway, frankly speaking I didn't really like the route. Sebelum ni pi Putrajaya tak penah pun perasan the rolling hills. Mak ai, route dia asyik naik turun je. Well, WW claimed dia naik turun but I felt that It was like 60% naik je. Naik elevation banyyaaaaakkkk, pastu turun ade la ciput pastu naik balik sampai kadang-kadang tu aku ingat diorang ni nak suruh lari sampai Genting kot. Define your inner strength konon.

Somewhere along the way I said hey to AzHana. Azza, I have this ability to 'cam' people from their backs. Don't ask me how. I just know. I can even cam some of the regular runners by the way they run. Anyway, man, she was doing so good. Aku ni macam separuh mati nak kayuh lagi 10K , dia steady je. Tabik!

After 10K mark which I felt took forever, my legs felt like jelly and I suddenly felt hungry. So walaupun, I was guzzling Gatorade every 2 miles or so, I downed half a pack of Powergel and washed it down with Gatorade lagi. Dapatla sugar rush dalam 5 minit pastu hancus balik. My tummy started churning pulak pastu side stich ada datang mari pulak. It was freaking hot and there was no breeze. But you know what helped?
The random conversation with strangers and fellow runners along the way. Best jugak sembang-sembang sambil lari-lari anak ni. Bila sembang-sembang buat lawak sambil bitch about the hills, sedar-sedar je your already on top of the incline and you're your way down.

What I loved most about this race is the support crew. Fuh, memang tip top. Dengan kumpulan gendangnya, dengan cheerleaders nya, dengan music Pittbull pasang full blast tengah-tengah God-knows-where, dengan metalic-mime people ( I don't know what you call them) sitting creepily atas jambatan cam hantu boncengnya, dengan volunteers yang sangat cheerful if not very helpful and committed nya.
In short, memang BEST GILE.
Aku yang separa nak tergolek atas jalan pon sangat terhibur.

Anyway, I lost count how many inclines we had to go through because I sucked at all of them. Tu la, sapa suruh tak training hills. Padan muko. Dekat nak habis pun ada bantai kasik incline lagi. Masa tu aku redha je la. I promised myself this time, tak larat camne pun taknak jalan We met Kam Kasturie along they way, who gently said, " It's okay, jalan je la". Haha, that's really easy to say coming from a guy who walks with the same pace as my running.
I hate hills shows on my face
(pic courtesy of Kam Kasturie) 
Racing towards the end was the nastiest part. It was a long straight road where you can see that you have to run towards the digital clock but it seems like it's light years away.

So lari lah daku pada tahap kura-kura with WW running backwards to support me. Dekat end of the line,  bila ada banyak orang at the sidelines cheering us on, baru la aku pasang turbo anak penyu nak masuk laut.
Maka bolehla dapat timing sub 2:30. Haha

End of the line, One nice volunteer said to me while handling my finisher's shirt,
" You're an S"
" Nope, " I said. " I think an M"
" Takde la kak, You're definately an S"
She made my day the most.
 With Azza and KakJune. Get to finally chat with you guys. Sorry as usual got to go early for the kids.
Sorry gambar blur sebab pakai C3 jo 

I finished at 2:29.
I wouldn't call this a personal worst. It's a all out effort in a condition that I can't control. I guess I just can't handle overheatedness and too many hills. That's all there is to it.
And the idea bijak bistari Gatorade made it all worse.
Because when I got back, I threw up all my Gatorade. One whole bottle of it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Song Sung Blue

I have yet to write about my other interest.
Yup, I like something other than running. Thing is, I can't commit to it fully (partially?) like I do with running.
Last month or two or probably three months ago, I purchased a Paul Smith guitar.
After my younger sister tricked me into giving her one of my guitars, I thought it was better for me to upgrade. And since WW was also thinking of buying a new amp, he contacted his musical acquaintance, Melvin.
I go, " I'm supposed to buy a guitar from somebody called Melvin?"
Because to me Melvin sounds more like a guy who would understand what E=mc2 is and actually cares about it.

But Melvin proved to be quite the opposite. Melvin the music guy/salesperson/musician extraordinaire pushed a Paul Smith guitar in my face, strummed a few notes and I was instantaneously in love. With the guitar la.

Thing is, now Paul Smith is on its stand with me staring at it and it staring at me. Sure, I'd learn some new songs on UltimateGuitar 1 or two days but after that , Paul Smith will be back on its stand, capo still on the 2nd fret and gradually going out of tune.

Bilakah saya akan commit fully?
The callous on my fingers have gone soft.
This is not supposed to happen

Sekian, drama untuk malam ini.