Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cramps...#$%$#$&!!!! Got cramp spray?


Most joyride cyclist who had participate in an event such as MTB Jamboree or race must have experience it, worry not because almost all endurance sports enthusiasm face the same wrath of this bitch biting down our muscle. In fact, even pro athletes encounter cramps every once in a while...

So what do we know about this painful things that seem to visit us when we are usually down, or about to go down. First, the pain... Ahh! Yes... The pain is damn excruciating and very tormenting. In some cases it may comes and goes after the first wave, sort of like an earthquake. Once is never enough. Second, the pain usually take 3 - 7 days for a full recovery. This usually increases as our age increases as well. The older we get, the longer it will take to recover.

Most of my cycling buddies thought they got cramps because of dehydration or there was an imbalance in their electrolytes. Of course the solution would be to drink a lot of water and fuel up on Isotonic drinks. The solution may have work, but some of them are still experiencing cramps. So why is that? In order to understand this, I did my own digging on the net and had several interviews with my fellow cycling buddies.

The culprit are....
Glycogen... Glycogen is our fuel or energy that we rely on to carry out our workout. This fuel is stored in our muscle in a rather small amount. Untrained cyclist like me, hold up around 400 grams - 500 grams of glycogen. Which equal to 1800 Kcal - 2000 Kcal ( roughly...I think). If we happen to work our way hard enough ( for me at 90% - 100% of BpM) it will cause our muscle to run out of fuel within hour of our workout. Once our muscle is out of it juice, we are about to make a date with the lovely Miss Cramps, although the date is not confirm yet, but we are in the colliding path.What kick in after that is... Gluconeogenesis, the name is so sexy you may end up not saying it at all...In this stage our body will be breaking fat and protein to change it into glycogen for our body. This process is slow, and sometimes our muscle may encounter depletion first. What happen to a car when it ran out of fuel? It stall....We? We meet Miss Cramps.

How to overcome?
Train properly
Glycogen storage capabilities had its own limit, untrained people ranging to 400 - 500 ( Depend on fitness level, couch potatoes maybe lower...So suck it! you lazy ass) Trained and very fit people have double that amount. With that said, we need to train properly and increase our storage capacity which will lead to longer fuel burn.

Fuel up or pit stop...
Since our fuel can ran out quickly, it is important to fuel up along the way in our ride. Liquid energy source such as gels and power drinks is good source of fuel. Take it before we feel tired, our goal is to prolong the fuel burn by keep topping it up. I usually add up after the first 20 minutes, however I would change the time period depends on the intensity of the workout.

Try slowing down...
A few of my friends who rarely experience cramps said he would use 70% - 80% BpM, this would slow down glycogen burned out and give time for Gluconeogenesis to take place. Even after burning all the glycogen, our body will have enough time to change fat and protein to energy that our muscle requires. When the workout intensity is low the energy we required is also low. Slow energy output ( Gluconeogenesis process ) meet low energy demands. Everyone are happy, no cramps. So slow down a bit will ya...

I hope this help, or gave you an ideas of how it all began and to avoid it. It works on me...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I don’t know why but i found it very hard to start writing something lately. I have been looking forward to write about the 29er experiences for weeks by now, somehow I just end up whacked!! It is after the Cameron Highland trail ride that made my writing mode boils down again.

Cameron Highland trail were full of climb and downhill not to mention lots of single track and various of obstacle that a MTB enthusiasts would love to dare on. I for once enjoy the trail and would really love to repeat it again sometime in the future. However it is not the trail that is at stake here...It is the Trek Mamba – 29er bike, my bike.

Let not dawdle on what is a 29er, you all gonna have to check on the Wikipedia on that part. I won’t be discussing on how my bike is set up either as the real question is how did the 29er benefits? How does it feel and handle? I believe those are the question that my friends want to confirm with me at this moment.

I have to admit that have always been intrigued in the 29er since they first hit the market so I went on digging all the info I could find on the net about the 29er. Therefore I will be lining up all the claims on 29er and my own confirmation.

Benefits and Pros claim.

1. Tolerate bumps better – True, after riding the 29er around the trail with bumps, obstacles, roots, and holes. I found that the bike receives it at a tolerable rate, at some point it is almost feels like I am riding on my Pyre, Banshee a fullsus bike. This makes handling the 29er much easier than a normal hardtail.

2. Increase Stability – I find it easier to handle the bike in a single track condition, maintaining course that sometime changes rapidly feels smoother and more manageable. Thus it is harder for me to loss control.

3. Traction King – When riding in Cameron Highland there are a few part where traction was a vital key point. I had to ride on a concrete trail that was covered with moss; it was very slippery that even my rubber shoes outsole won’t stick properly. However the 29er hold on to it like gecko on stick. Of course there is some part where it does gives up, but it still triumph over all my buddies on 26er who keep skidding over the trail. 29er tires rarely spin so it helps out with my climbs.

4. No endo and flipping – For some reason that I cannot explain or describe it well enough I found that 29er bike are very hard to lift backward during a climbs. No matter how steep the climbs are I do not need to bend over my back to lower my centre of gravity to prevent lifting. I also notice that when I accidentally ride my front wheel into a water passage I dint endo my bike. Not that I am hoping to...Huhuhu. But the wheels kind of went out and over it instead of a normal 26er would do. This means safer ride and better climbing at steep climbs.

5. Easier to maintain speed – Since the wheels are bigger than 26er the 29er holds momentum better in trail. This allows you to maintain your speed better at flat offroad and enable you to go faster.

6. Cornering confident – It is kind of scary sometime to negotiate a hard turn and corner, every single force and weight will be shifted on to your tire. That is why downhiller bike have such a wide wheels, this enable them to handle corner with more traction and grip. 29er does have the same benefit as the downhiller bike with lesser width. I can feel the difference when I took the first dive on a sharp corner. 29er holds the ground better and tolerate the bumps as I pass along it. So, yeah! It does negotiate corner better.

7. Better attack angle – Having a bigger wheels make it easier to go over stuff in the trail. Pebbles, rocks, holes, roots, and other things are simply easier to ride on. Even at the part where there is some overgrown bush in the trail, I can simply bash through comfortably. Kind of make me felt I was on a friggin tractor or tank. Just ran everything over with my big wheels.

I think have pretty much cover all the things in Pros section. Now let me go on the gloomy side or cons side.

1. Slow start – Since the wheels are bigger it takes a bit more time to get it rolling. More force is required to spin the wheels too. Imagine a smart car being fitted with 18 inch rims and wheels, the engine will require more force to roll start it. So yes it is slow at drag race. But once the wheels spin it is a whole different story.

2. More power needed – During my ride, I have also found out that 29er require more power on a climb. There I was thinking I would benefits in power efficiency on climbs because of the wheels but it actually sent me the other way around. I had to rely on granny gear to climb but steep hill where my rival doesn’t. Still it was not hard to stay ahead of other riders in my group that day, even though I rely on granny gear. The 29er wheels coverage was slightly advanced than 26er. 1 pedal stroke of 29er gets you ahead more than a 26er.

3. Braking power needed – I have read about this somewhere in the net, however I did not have any problem with my braking power. Yes I understand that bigger wheels should use a bigger rotor in order to stop the mass momentum. But seriously my non series Shimano and 6 inch rotor was good enough for me.

4. Limited supply – Yes, sadly it is true. Unless you guys live in KL where there numerous of bike shops are available. You might be facing difficulties in getting supply of tubes and tires. To overcome this problem I bought extra tubes and I always repair my punctured tubes. Actually I have always repaired my punctured tube even on my 26er. As for other upgrade such as fork and wheel set there you might have to go to KL for more choice.

5. Not really weight friendly – It is very hard to find a 29er under 12KG. My bike weight at 14KG at first, now I have decreased it 12.8KG. So for someone who is really concern about weight, maybe 29er is not the best choice for you.

6. Sizing problem – 29er size are a bit limited than its cousin the 26er.Short people may encounter difficulties finding a bike that suite them. Actually 29er are more suited for tall people. The taller the better I guess.

Truth to be said, I am totally sold off on the 29er, I like it a lot that I was actually thinking of letting my Pyre Banshee go...There is no point of keeping two bike when 1 of it feels like the other one as well. Not to mention maintaining both bike would be a hassle to me in term of space and confusion of which one to ride.

I have always kept an open mind about new things, I believe when we do so. We will experience something new. When we experience we will learn. Through learning we will ascend into another level of improvement. So I have found myself a new experience and knowledge, what about you???

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pyre dan RP23.

Gambar dari bikeradar.com

Pyre aku telah cedera...Cedera kat bahagian ekor lembut dia. Suspensi bocor...Nak kata aku lasak, memang laa aku lasak, kekeke. Dah nama pun mountain bike, memang laa nak belasah sampai lebu. Tapi aku maintain bike aku, sentiasa cuci, suspensi pun aku pasang Lizzard skin, nak jaga takut habuk masuk, dah ler benda tue aku beli kat Singapore, punyalah susah nak dapat kat Malaysia nie. Tapi bila aku pandang2 member aku yang seangkatan dengan aku yang mennggunakkan RP23 dan beli frame mereka range masa aku beli. Memang ramai yang ada masalah ni.

Untuk menguatkan lagi teori aku nie, aku cuba browse internet. Cari maklumat pasal RP23, nak tahu komen user lain. Setelah habis penelahan aku, tepatlah ramalan ku. RP23 nie memang manja dan senang kaput. Dalam 10 user 3-4 akan bermasalah, suspensi bocor. Bocor laks bukan pada stanchion tapi pada lever dia. Masalah tidak berenti disitu saja, kerana suspensi nie kena dibuka semula dari A - Z. Setiap bahagiannya akan dibuka untuk selesaikan masalah ni dan cuma mekanik FOX saja yang boleh buat.

Masalah lagi pada aku kerana di Malaysia tidak ada mekanik FOX, yang ada cuma pengedar FOX. Jadi RP23 aku terpaksa dihantar ke Singapore...Masa service?? 1-2 bulan tengok pada list beratur dia. Menurut kata dia 5 Negara beratur untuk 1 mekanik...Sampai sekarang aku masih menanti, dan Pyre aku tersadai bagaikan tukun beruk panjat kelapa.

Aku rasa kalo RP23 aku bocor lagi skali aku akan beralih ker Rockshox pulak, lantak laaa orang nak kata FOX itu best, FOX itu bagus, FOX itu musang! Aku dapat tahu Rockshox janji 7 day sudah boleh angkat. 1 year free servicing policy dan kalo nak hantar baiki kat KL jer pun. Xder laa jauh sangat pun...

Jadi pada sahabat-sahabat yang pakai RP23 berhati-hatilah dan sayangi RP23 anda. Jangan usik bnyk2 sngt dan jangan henjut kuat sangat...kui kui kui. Kayuh slow2 sket yeaaa...

untuk maklumat lanjut...boleh intai dalam www.mtbr.com.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pyre vs Terengganu...

I have been here for more than 6 month, so far I have only managed to rode 2-4 trails only. It is not that I am very busy or something, it is just that there are not much of a place for me to ride...
When I built my Pyre it was meant for torturing and hammering the trail, unfortunately judging from the current trails. The only one who taking the beating of torture and hammering is ME.

Sure we cover lots of KM in every ride we done. Weekend ride usually range from 35KM to 5oKM. Trail were mostly flat, loose gravel and with small hilly parts. If I need to put it in percentage I would say. 35% tarmac, 35% gravel flat, 20% hill and about 10% more are just too lame to be mentioned. Pyre might be too much for this trail.

It it technical?
Straight to the point...I should not even used "technical" in the same sentence. The trail was dead boring. To much of straight line and open route, basically some good rider can probably ride with their eyes close for 5 to 10 second. No hustle and no problem. Now me as a mountain biker I want my trail to force me to focus 110% to ride it. I want it to curve and swirls. Pyre is holding it's back here.

How high?
The last time I cursed at a hill was in PCC 2009, stage 4. Now that hill really kick my ass. It kicked me good it keep kicking even when I was down . Started with single trail climb to open trail that spiral to the top of the hill. I had to stop for a few times to catch my breath , that was the last hill that makes me ask...How high is this hill?? Here in Terengganu, I will consider myself lucky if I can find a hill that can make me push my bike. Pyre is has never been push here...

Downhill, yeaha @$#%^* wat over already kaa??
Since there are no high hill here, there are no long way down. If can ride downwards for more than 2 minutes, it would be a miracle. I really cannot push my bike to it's limit. Nor attempt to break it. I think the Adrenalin in my brain are getting sticky since my last ride in KL. Pyre was a jokes here...

How fast can you go?
This is the only part where I feel I cannot keep up with my fellow rider, riding a bike with 2 piece of crank and weight around 14KG surely is not the best option. Tarmac and flat Pyre is simply at it's disadvantage. Especially when everyone is riding at 3+Km/H and I simply cannot get myself to pedal hard enough. Pyre can be a fast bike, but definitely without the extra juice from me to hauled the weight and bike setup.

I think Pyre is a good bike, but here it will be under used. Pyre were not meant for this kindness and pampering. I wish that I could find a better place to ride it properly. Terengganu would be much suited with hardtail or a fullsus with less than 2 inch suspension. Lighter and agile should be the best selection here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Terengganu the new saga...

18th December 2009
8.00 am
Bukit Kor ( Kuala Terengganu)

It has been a while since my last update, not that I do not want to write something but I just could not find the mood of a writer, I can still remember me sitting infront of my PC and try to write, still after half an hour there are still nothing on my blog. Somehow today I am feeling lucky and lite, must have been the left over adrenalin still stuck in some part of my brain.

Today was my first rides with the riders from Terengganu, I was greeted by a blessing rain from above for about 4-5 minutes of my rides. Reach the meeting point and there were already 2 riders there, Bob and Zam. Not long after we were joined by many more...The only thing that concern me, I am the only Full Suspension rider!!! wtf??

Start off pedaling not so long after, we ride the tarmac for about 4-5KM, heck it was tiring for me, plus the hill. Arghhhh!! I am so on the wrong bike. Reach the trail part, ground was covered with gravel and also some dirt still mostly gravel. In my opinion, it was a loose trail. It kind of make it a bit hard to pedal on the climbing part. Technical not that much, maybe a 1/5. Downhill only a few, uphill nothing as crazy as Helipad (FRIM) or Kemensah. Overall acceptable place to ride. Still to ride it every week with no other places to go?? This will be a very longgggggg year for me.

No wonder all the rider I met today were on Hardtail, judging from the trail they would not be needing the extra shock nor the extra travel. This time it will be a bit hard to compete... Well maybe after a few extra rides I will be okay.

Next time I will bring a camera and take a few shot at the trail. Still it was a great ride for today. The one that make me look sluggish and slow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Kemensah Solo ride

Huhhh..Another Sunday has arive at my door step, I did not make any plan this week. My car was still at the workshop, so I cannot really go anywhere far.

Some of the GG's riders are going somewhere else, there are looking for an advantures in a far away land. I guess they did found it, probably in
Neverland or Wonderland.

Time to hit the trail solo this time, its been a while... Still I am optimist that I would not be cycling all alone, I might stumble into other riders inside the trail.

I have decided to take the short Hash Trail, I am by myself so it would not be wise to venture too far into the jungle. 15 minutes of riding and I already stumbled into a group of rider. Did not stopped to chat, just waved and go. Meet another 2 riders on the way up the hill. The were much chatier, so had a few words with them.

I notice my climbs are a bit rough, having a hard time to maintain straight line and i keep weavering. Have to do something about it fast, may have to adjust the handling aspect a bit more.

Almost lost control too, hahaha probably my mistakes though. Since my neck injury it still feel a bit stiff a certain angle. Well hopefully everything will be well before PCC. If times permit would like to finish earlier than the last time I enter it. Finger cr0ss.

Have to change the front fork...Revelation 110-140mm, that should do the trick.