Get On Your Bike! – A 5 minute Guide To A Better Life.

December 21, 2007

You know something? I love to bike. I bike all the time. At least 3 times a week. Recently, the brotherhood was asked by a buddy to join a bike ride to shepherd about 100 folks ranging from their 20’s to their 80’s – not conditioned athletes, but people from all walks of life from East Coast Park to Changi Village via the new bicycle connector – it runs about 20 km each way, the ride is very moderate with plenty of shade and in no time, the pack was progressing at roughly the speed of a motorized wheelchair.

It’s being a long time since, I have biked with ordinary folk: of late, I have notice people are starting to realize the benefits of biking over driving, especially with the crazy fuel hikes – it’s not solely a matter whether, they can or cannot afford. Most of the people, I spoke too just didn’t want to exacerbate the fuel hikes – one auntie said to me, “price so high alredi, if I can ride to the pasar, then hopefully I can say, I never contribute to this price rise.” Can’t argue with that clever aunty, I never really thought about it that way, but I believe a lot of folks are turning to biking because while they don’t mind driving, they don’t want to do it at the expense of their fellow human beings or adding on to the crazy fuel hikes.

We all know biking is supposed to be fun. Right? Or rather it should be. First thing first, if you really want to ride in confidence, safety is key: TIP – give foldable bikes a miss – even the best are pretty useless.

If I was the head of state, I would just ban them, because foldable bikes are just a con-job, like the pastor who goes around telling people that God asked him to build shopping malls – that’s why my 10% goes directly to the RSPCA to honor the descendants of that donkey Jesus rode on when he entered Jerusalem!

Why should anyone even want to ride a bike that folds up like origami paper crane is completely beyond me! You wouldn’t step into a plane that folds up into a suitcase would you? For starters, they’re darn expensive as most of them are designed in countries where fat people usually buy them as security blankets to convince themselves that’s the only reason why they’re not jumping on board the fitness bandwagon – once the novelty wears off, it usually ends up rotting in their attic – foldable bike mentality is very much like those elixir of youths moisturizers which sell for a bomb and promises anti- ageing along with anti- gravity, but falls short only because water is the only active ingredient in that jar of gunk. To put a sense of scale to it all, a recent survey showed that three things are least used in any Western household, first are ice cream makers, second the fire extinguishers and third, you guess it! – so be kind to yourself and your wallet give foldable bikes a miss.

Another reason why I don’t particularly like foldable anything is, because if you really think about it. It’s at best a compromised design, so at the end of the day, you’re just going to end up trying to accomodate it, you probably end up being a contortionist or something. Besides it just ain’t safe, through the years, I have seen a lot of falls because people just don’t realize that biking is really about matching only two things; form (body) to function (bike) – it’s just incredibly silly to try turning a wheel, the size of plate to get you from A to B. If you really need to put the bike in on a car, go and figure out how to strip out two wheels or better still get a bike rack!

That’s what smart people do – I mean if you didn’t have space in your car for your grand ma, would you fold her up like a transformer and bung her into the glove compartment?

Look am I saying ALL foldable bikes are shit? Nope, there are some really good one’s, only when they transform, they look exactly like standard bikes, not golf trollies – but they cost a bomb. Am I going to spend 6K on a bicycle? Go and die lah!

The best ratio to body/bike is what the Dutch call ‘bottom pocket wheel size.’ That’s to say, if you stand next to a bike and put your hand into your pocket that should be the top height of the wheel. Anything smaller than that just doesn’t go around, it’s no good, may look hip, dainty and cool but it’s just really dumb, because you are going to waste a whole lot of kinetic energy and probably grind up all your joints and probably lose control and bang into something hard – so give your chiropractor and international caskets a break and go get a standard bike.

Besides it’s way cheaper and if anything dies on you, you could just as well send it to the local Ah Pek to get it fixed at a fraction of the cost.

Don’t bother about chasing components either, that’s only important, if you bike competitively, like moir. The most important thing is to keep the chain clean and well lubed all the time – the rest you can more or less throw out of the window – it’s just spin, hype and adds absolutely zero to your biking enjoyment.

Now you are ready to go. There is a lot to be said about biking, the jovial camaraderie between all ages, which would not have reached such a level if we were driving all alone in your SUV talking to yourself. Everyone I know would do their mental health a dose of good, if they learnt to bike at least once a week. Mind you, I am not one of those who think, that its practical to ride to work, not without running the risk of ending up in hospital. Besides the weather just isn’t conducive to support that sort of lifestyle. However, I do believe biking is an excellent supplement for going to the gym, store or just visiting nearby friends. A funny irony to me is people driving to the gym to use a stationary bike in order to impersonate a hamster on a wheel – that’s just incredibly dumb.

I hope that more and more people will try out biking as a sustainable and fun alternative to driving a car. And hopefully cities will follow suit, implementing more bike lanes as well. Until then, ride safely, stay alert and remember only dummies skip the helmet!

Ride on!

Darkness 2007

How to Get The Right Fit For A Bike

Ergobike: Competition Bicycle Size/ Proportions Analysis

I know this part is a bit brain numbing even for me, but work it through and remember, when you buy a bike, never allow the store keeper to lead – you need to really do some research as to what really suits you and never the other way round. Trust me, he always has a vested interested.

4 Responses to “Get On Your Bike! – A 5 minute Guide To A Better Life.”

  1. Darkness said

    If you really cannot tahan and you need to get a decent foldable bike / try this out:

    http://www.montagueco.com/productpara.html

    http://www.militarybikes.com/military.html

    This is a military bike used by Swiss Paratroopers – I believe most of the Mercantile Guild in the Brotherhood use it {they number abt 20 dd} we are currently the only ppl riding this sort of heavy duty machines – I have heard, it tough as nails, cannot personally vouch for it, but if it DARPA approved, it just has to be, can even chuck it out of a plane – reasonably priced at abt USD$700 and you can even buy it online directly from the folks in Montague.

    Happy riding and sorry for the correction. I stand corrected, there’s actually a foldie as good as a standard bike! That just means, I am going to get me a montague!

    Darkness

  2. Pumpman said

    This is how easy it is, doesn’t get easier than this!

  3. Pumpman said

    Pls note the Montague is not designed for XTC.

    Don’t ever try this unless you know what you are doing – you will die, we guarantee you 100%.

  4. Pumpman said

    Brotherhood foreign legion – Sardinia / Div – notice the skull and Bones insignia on his helmet / we are all very proud of this, just see what he does with a customised Montague XTC / full sus – remember only dummies skip their helmet! Stay alert and always give way, be polite and never ever forget to remember you are an ambassador to the biking fraternity, so don’t ride on the pavements.

    Enjoy

    Get the Montague Now!

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