Friday, December 22, 2006


Dear Readers of the Blog (whoever you may be),

The Maximuzz and Merciless Production Team and their band of merry action figures wish each of you a Christmas filled with adventure, ACTION and food! But remember to watch that FIGURE!

Remember to click on the gallerycard below and sing along with it! :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Dr Fiona Lim, the Ironwoman from Sabah

Someone who was also born a fellow Saggitarian is my schoolmate from Marymount Convent, Fiona Lim! We were in the school netball team which won the trophy in our division for the netball national games.

I wonder how I was ever the GA (Goal Attack) [being of less than ideal height for a shooter] and she, the WD (Wing Defender). We only realised that our birthdays were days (if not a day) apart when I was due to leave school for the land of the rising sun! [as if that was such a significant discovery! haha! Kids!]

We wrote each other back in the old school days, but then we kinda lost touch. It wasn't til recently that our paths crossed again at a Quick Release Duathlon event (I was helping out and she was racing).

It was then that I realised that not only is she is 1 of the few school mates of mine who'd gone into extreme sports, but she is THE IRONWOMAN OF MALAYSIA!

Ohhh [put both hands in bow down many times].......we're not worthy!

Did some homework and dug out some old interviews.....below, one of her featured in a 26 July 2004 MTB Asia article titled "A Dentist with a Passion for Th(drills)". Haha! By the way, she's a dentist if you haven't gotten that figured out!

In another interview, she was mentioned as having qualified 4 times for Hawaii (and I take it to be THE Ironman Triathlon)....and it looks like she'd qualified for 2006 as well!

As if Iron-ing was not enough, she's also an adventure junkie and has managed the Malaysia Eco-Challenge team, as well as taking part in the extreme of all races...oh...and the Xterra too and....the list just goes on...and on!

Ok backup chorus, you're on again...."we're not worthy.....we're not worthy"......

I'd just like to wish her a happy belated birthday....and here's to many more adventures in the year 2007, Fiona!!! :)

The Saggi-Doggie-Pitt Effect

Brad and I have something in common. We were born on the same day....a couple years removed though.

A whimsical question : What are the chances of meeting someone else who shares the same birthday as you? And I wonder if 2 people who were born on the same date will share the same fate...and future? Well, so far, I guess Maximuzz kinda reminds me of Angelina....or rather, the Max I know of in his younger days is probably closer to the Jolie in Laura Croft! hee hee!

These were thoughts that DIDN'T come to mind, especially if mind is occupied with work, work, and more work!!! Yessssssssss, burrrrrrrn that midnight oil coz Europe is awake and I should be too, despite the stars telling me by their twinkling that it's day over there and night over here...but oh I forget, it's been raining so I wouldn't know if they were sending me a message...

I was beginning to wonder it this was one of my worst birthdays, being stuck in the office til the wee early hours of the morning, with work eating into my mountain biking and other play time.....

Til the kind office folk threw me a quickie party, which lasted all of 5 mniutes...coz immediately after the singing of the birthday song and the Awfully-Chocolate cake feasting, it was back to punching the keyboards again...sigh...

Then it was off to home at 9pm, wolfing down that wonderful surprise gourmet birthday dinner that Maximuzz made *yums*....but before long, back to the keyboards again!!! Yikes!

I thought I'd never see the end of this tunnel vision til early next morning, I received a surprise sms from Karen, my ex-colleague. She'd given birth to her son on my birthday! She also reminded me that the newborn and I share the same Chinese and ang mo zodiac sign! I smsed her "You poor thing! Good luck to you! :)"....

Yesterday, Wang Cheng, another ex-colleague of mine, also popped...and guess what, her baby was born on......exactly the same day!

And both of them were my fellow work mates from different phases of my life, and were introduced by me to each other at our wedding last year. I even placed them on the same table!!! Unbelievable!

I did a little research about people born on the same day :-

Website :
Q : Does two people born on the same date will have the same future?
Many people are born on the same date but at a different hour. Many are born on the same date and in the same hour, but not in the same place. An individual's horoscope is calculated using all three of these variables. Every four-minute interval produces a slightly different chart, and even twins are rarely born within such a narrow space of time. The horoscope is indeed a unique chart; no two individuals have the same one.
Merciless says : Yeah, now I have to go find out what time Brad was born...since they didn't add in the variable of the same year? By the way, those typos should really be changed...

Website :
In probability theory, the birthday paradox states that given a group of 23 (or more) randomly chosen people, the probability is more than 50% that at least two of them will have the same birthday. For 60 or more people, the probability is greater than 99%, although it cannot actually be 100% unless there are at least 366 people.[1] This is not a paradox in the sense of leading to a logical contradiction; it is described as a paradox because mathematical truth contradicts naive intuition: most people estimate that the chance is much lower than 50%. Calculating this probability (and related ones) is the birthday problem. The mathematics behind it has been used to devise a well-known cryptographic attack named the birthday attack.
Merciless says : Gong xi mi? This Birthday Paradox is too convolutedly worded for Wikipedia...or at least to someone who shys away from numbers! Yikes! Let's try another one...u know, something more laywoman, like how stuff works...

Website :
Someone told me that if there are 20 people in a room, there's a 50/50 chance that two of them will have the same birthday. How can that be?
Merciless says : Aha, finally, a website that speaks the same lingo! Amazing theory, isn't it! But that's all that is, right? A statistical formula? I've been in the same room as 20 of my friends and family members dozens of times, and none of us ever shared the same birthday.

Website :
In the Gregorian Calendar, December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years), at which point there will be 13 days remaining to the end of the year.
Merciless says : Amazing! I type in the relevant date, and Wikipedia even has the birth and death statistics of the rich and famous! See, Brad is right there! And so is Christina Aguilera, not that that really matters....who the heck is Cowboy Troy?

I could go on and on, but work beckons! Sigh.....and I have lots of updates to complete before the year is over!

I'd just like to say though that at the end of the day, it really did turn out to be quite a special day...for the 4 of us (Brad included). And the good news is that both mummy and the 2 newborn 18 December doggy babies are doing fine!

Congrats to the mummies and daddies! If you ever need any help psycho-analysing your kids when they grow up, you know who to call! :)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Somewhere over the Long White Cloud

A New Zealand prophet speaking about a door connecting New Zealand to Egypt?

Singaporeans visited by aliens and UFOs in the 70s...and even now?

Delusional characters and real life encounters and interviews!

Which is fact, and which, fiction? Decide for yourself!

If you are having trouble viewing the above video, click here. It's over 20 mins so it will take some time to view.

Above was the first film that I ever made (on land, at least), drawing on the multi-talents of my friends, family and pets. It was screened at the Goethe Institute as part of one of the previous year's film festivals....and also distributed in a CD to our wedding guests! Heh heh!

Wana know more? Go to the related blogs :
Aliens and UFOs - Frontpage news of the Straits Times?
Neville, the New Zealand Prophet!
Orang Kenit, the 70s allien?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

MTB Himachal 2006 - The Himachal Bull-etin

Yextra, yextra, read all about it...

One of the 2006 participants in India sent me the above bull article (words in white)...and prefers to remain case you're too lazy to click on the pages above, I've reproduced the article (without the captions) below :-

"MTB Himachal finished in Manali, HP two days ago. The 700km and nine day race involved most evenings finishing with riding rough back roads in the dark due to occasional shambolic organisation by MTB Himachal race staff. On two separate nights dinner was supplied before 10pm.

The prize giving in Manali was presided over by the Governor of Himachal Pradesh. During the race the three Hungarian competitors lost in the jungle in the night were found by a lost race marshall after only two hours. Five riders were attacked and nearly gored by an angry bull. Three leopards andone bear were seen but none was fast enough to injure competitors. One competitor was bitten by a dog and completed a series of rabies vaccines. The truck that capsized due to overloading only injured one man who is still recovering in Kullu.

Of the 56 competitors starting the race only 33 people finished. This was in part due to hunger, exhaustion and sleeplessness related to organisation issues with event. The men's section was completely cleaned up by the Indian army while international competitors were lost in the jungle.

There were vigorous protests by international competitors as the Indian army participants could not ride any technical sections and instead lifted their 20 kg steel Hero cycles onto their shoulders and ran and jumped past technically able riders, beating them on technical downhill sections. The protests were ignored by race officials."

Friday, December 15, 2006

This really saved my day!!!

December! Did they say Christmas was around the corner?

Well, me spent last weekend in the office...and it's been late nights ever since! @$)&@)$(@)$(& Burnt ze midnight oil til 4 am this morning! Yikes! Ok, at least it's past the witching hour when one starts to see things fly....I wana go outside and join them!!!

This video was alerted to me by Mingloid this morning....

Despite the working gripe, this is my delightful respite! It is soooooooooo amazing! It's stuff like this though that keeps one indoors! But can't have your chalk and ride it too!

[if you can't view above video for some reason, click here]

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Fortnight in Cambodia

[If you can't see the video, click here]

Yikes! I thought December would be a relack month in the office....guess I thought wrong! It's become the busiest month so far, and I hardly have time to breathe!

But I have discovered this new software which manages to reduce the size of some the videos which I made in the past and upload it to the internet video hosts.

Above is one such video. It is the first of a three-staged marine conservation project I joined back in 2001 with the ultimate aim of establishing a marine park in Cambodia to promote local ecotourism.

Footage was taken mostly by yours truly (in my eager beaver video-crazed days), then a participant, and underwater shots also captured by Karen, the scientific officer and moi. Video was edited by Merciless for the Cambodian government.

Story goes that when the "official" video was edited, I gave the final cd to one of the expedition leaders so that they can deliver it to the Cambodian govt. I also gave them one with additional clips of us goofing around, doing and saying silly things which were not exactly PC (hmmm...shall I put those on the net? tempting). I specifically reminded them NOT to mix up the 2 cds!

You can guess what happened....when the presentation video was over, the "extra" footage appeared...and the government officials were probably wondering what the heck was going on! :P Heard the video was a huge success though! Phew!

For more info about this project, go to following website :

Shall be back with a vengeance on the rest of the stories about India, NZ, Kiara, Penang, our adventure races of 2006...laterz....

Monday, December 11, 2006


Official announcement : one of my biking buddies, Chiku, is taking a break from mountain biking for a while. That's him, taking a photo of his babe, Blur....during his swan song ride in Penang...

Speaking of songs, below is a farewell song with lyrics tweaked by fellow biker, be sung to the tune of "Knockin' of Heaven's Door"...

Momma, take this bike from me
I can't ride it any more
Its really hard, to hard to see,
My shiny 'ol Blur sittin' on the floor...

sit-sit-sittin' on the floor,
it ain't going out the door,
sit-sit-sittin' on the floor,
just long-long-longin' for some more.

Momma take my shorts from me,
I can't wear them any more,
I let this guy touch me on my knees,
Gave me a couple of electric shocks...

let-let-let-let letric shocks,
He was rubbin' on my hocks
let-let-let-let letric shocks,
Supposed to make me bust my jocks

Mingo and all of us wish Chi a good hiatus from all the wheelin' and dealin' and hope that the Penang weekend's walk-ride-eat-rub-laugh session was as good for him as it was for all of us!

[in case you're wondering about the electric shocks, Angela's album should tell all!]

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

MTB Himachal - Official Press-ed Releases

Oh....we learn many many lessons from our Yindia trip!

Let me abide by an old famous Indian proverb which goes like this....

"The way to overcome the angry man is with gentleness.
The evil man with goodness.
The miser with generosity.
The liar with truth."

We overcame an angry bull with....our chewy gums and an NGC van?
The evils of diahrroe, with the goodness of wholesome food!
The misery of basic living, with....hey, did it say "miser"?
And now, let's tackle the simple "truth".

The truth of the matter is that it is difficult to draw the line between lies and deceit...and miscalculations and misjudgment, a very sensitive topic which led to the whole 11-men strong Singapore contingent pulling out of the MTB Himachal 2006 on the 6th day!

Let's look at the press releases for example.....

Above article boasts "over 160 international and Indian riders"....hmmm....I recalled there being only 56 competitors, with only 33 crossing the finish line! That's 200% more than the actual turn out, unless they were counting the organising team, cooks, porters, drivers ...and the band members! Hmmm....

It spoke about "travelling 600 kilometers" but our Indian sources could have sworn it all added up to a grand total of 700km - 100km off the mark! I recalled cycling over 100km off-road on each of 2 separate days, so it is probably not far from the truth!

Now, this is a good one. "Everyday will begin at 8.00 am and riders will be expected to reach the finish line by 6.00 pm." I remembered more often than not the day starting much later in the hot gruelling sun, and ending way into the darkness of the night!

I wonder where they got all this info from?

Here's another article about this year's race. "...participants from the USA, United Kingdom, Brazil, Belgium, Hungry, Hong Kong and other countries"...

I dun recall seeing no united nations bikers....except for the 11 Singaporeans, 3 Hungarians, 1 Australian and 1 New Zealander! The rest were Indians.

I guess you could count the Hungarians as "Hungrys", as that was probably how they felt when they were lost in the woods after sundown during one of the stages. A rather serious aftermath after a series of rather suspicious events! Now, that's a real story to another blog!

Oh, and here it mentions "650 km with an elevation gain of 12,000m". 650km? or 600km? It's only 50km difference? No big deal, really, especially when you're on a bike and have to push some of the ways (on the uphills AND the downhills)!

In this write-up, "the total kilometers of the course this year have increased; covering 650 km in nine days with a peak altitude of 3600 mtrs and 1200 mtrs of total elevation gain". This was largely extracted from the Himachal website.

I wonder : why they increase? Hmm....

When Winnie told us what a breeze it was to pull through each day in the 2005 event, we didn't think much about not being able to complete the daily dosage of pain!

What we didn't expect (and neither did the organisers, so we were told) was that the increase in total distance was a gross miscalculation on their part as they had expected us all to be of the standard of the Champion, Norbert! Can we all fly past each stage like Norbert? Come on - get real! Apart from the superfit Indian army folk and the speedy seasoned mountain bikers, the rest who signed up were the regular mountain biker on the dirtroad!

Until recently, I had never carried a Catsye in my life! I never knew how fast I was riding, and what distance I had covered! My aim was to go from point A to point B in my personal fastest time!

The Catseye changed my riding style...somewhat! I would eagerly await the briefing at the beginning of the day, and one of the important things that really mattered to me was how long I'd have to cycle to complete the course so that I can gauge how fast or slow I should be riding - sustainability is all there is to it! Plus the knees may give up half way!

Turns out that the ride briefings in the morning were grossly inaccurate, sometimes off the mark by over 30 km! Sometimes the description of the terrain was off too! I suspect the race director hasn't even ridden the route before!

And to make matters worse, some of the marshalls were advocating the "ai gao liao" (almost there in Penang Hokkien) attitude, it makes the Penangites seem like angels in comparison! For instance, it doesn't really help when they tell you you have 16 more km left to go when the Cats eye tells you you have reached the finish line? There you are....after almost 70km of're no longer smiling nor enjoying the ride, your knees are about to give way, you're hungry and almost out of water, AND you have to watch the road before you carefully in case you run into drunken villagers or mad dogs in the dark, or in the worse case scenario, fall off the cliff! Your body won't be found til 2 weeks later if you're lucky!

But then I ask myself : are we a product of a safe and efficient Singapore which overvalues safety, efficiency, comfort, accuracy (better or else I sue you)? Can we not close one eye and take a set of instructions with a pinch of salt? Can we not let our guard down and go with the flow...whichever directions the wind blows? Are we not built for adventure, not tough enough to overcome the perils of the wilderness?

One happy-go-lucky Indian (who obviosuly doesn't need a Catseye) says with a big smile, "my goal everyday is to start at 8 am and finish by 8 pm". Can we not adopt this attitude and just roll with it?

Another's justification statement really tickles me, "we paid only USD300 and instead of 80km each day, we get to ride 100km per day! Now, we got more than we bargained for!" Great value for money, indeed! Hee hee!

Well, at the end of the day, whatever doesn't kill ya, will make you stronger! And to tell ya the truth, save for the incidences which led to our withdrawal from the race, I truly enjoyed myself during this trip!

I say...

"The way to overcome a trip gone wrong is to see the many rights it brought to light".

MTB Himachal 2006 - Himachal Pradesh calling....

"The Hercules MTB Himachal championship was a mountain cycling adventure and an endurance race where 23 amateur and professional Indian and international riders employed all their verve, zest and skills over the mind-blowing landscape of the Himalayan backcountry of Himachal Pradesh.

Mountain biking experts Cara Coolbaugh from the US and Cass Gilbert from the UK spent over three months designing the track - and they are difficult taskmasters.

...Riders, including three women, were from the US, Belgium, Hungary, South Africa, Denmark, SINGAPORE the UK, and India. Norbert Szenthihlosi from Hungary won the championship title after beating the 22 other spirited challengers...."

The Singapore girl featured in the above article is none other than gutsy Winnie, who has been globetrotting solo for the past year or so. You can read more about her travels here

She humbly mentioned in passing that she'll be joining a mountain biking ride event in India. Turns out it was an inaugural 9-day enduro MTBing race called the "MTB Himachal 2005" covering hundreds in distance and thousands in elevation, of kilometres over the Indian trans-himalayas! Hats off to Winnie the Pooh!

We learnt that she'd spent a thrifty USD100 for the whole event! O man! That's less than the entry fees to a half-day Action Asia Challenge in Singapore! What a fantastic deal!

Winnie spilled all about how fun the ride was, how fantastic the traildesigners Cass and Cara were, how she'd met the Hungarians, friendly Indians, organisation was great etc. etc.........and how we should all go for it!

So, in October 2006, 11 Singaporeans decided to bite the bullet and head for our first multi-day enduro event! Rina and Steve, Nik and Pling, Becks and her support crew (and sister) Ruth, Smokin' Babe, Chee Han, Foo, Chiku and moi were in for THE BIG EVENT of our lives....and we got more than we bargained for...literally! :P

Akan next blog!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

MTB Himachal 2006 - A true Cock-n-Bull story!

Above : Merciless Quik-Draw cartoons

Clearing obstacles is part and parcel of mountain biking. Logs, roots, rocks, mud, drop-offs, fallen tree trunks...are common encounters that with some level of skill, a seasoned mountain biker should be able to overcome. Just ride, walk, push, carry, crawl, endo, and you'll eventually get around, over, under to the other side.

In the Himalayans, things are a little less...predictable! The perils are far from run-of-the-mill.

For instance, I could be riding alone for hours with not a single soul in sight. And all of a sudden, I'm surrounded by a herd of goats being whipped by little sub-teenage shepherds with long sticks! Along comes its larger cousins, the cows, and I feel like I'm gonna be stampeded on! Somehow though, the cows instinctively know to keep their distance.

Unlike a dead log or a hump on the road, animals are moving targets which generally pose a danger if you cross their path! Early on in the race, an Indian biker rammed into a cow on a downhill tarmac! Holy cow (and indeed particularly so in India)! A big bandage over the head and a few chapatis later, he was up and back on the saddle! These Indians are as tough as nails!

Shubhra, a rare Indian female mountain biker, ran into a dog and couldn't recall how she ended up at the finish line...totally dazed! The side effects of a mild concussion I would imagine, poor lass!

We've had our fair share of canine encounters when a dog tried to attack us while we were riding into the night with minimal lights! A fellow Singaporean biker, Adrian heroically tried to fend him off in the dark, but ended up with a damaged rear derailer!

That same evening, news got around that a dog attempted to take a bite out of the Hungarian rider, Adam! It turned out to be a minor scratch, but a jab should ease all fears of his suffering from a Rabies attack.

There was talk of leopards and bears roaming the jungles at night, and warnings were given (and heeded) against wandering too far from camp upon sundown. Candra, an Indian biker who works in the security field, attests to several of his dogs falling prey to leopards!

One would have dismissed these encounters as the luck of the draw incidences, until I saw with my very own eyes a leopard resting by the side of the main mountaineous road leading to our campsite for the night! Only the jeep with the Singaporean girls bore witness to this encounter.

But it didn't take such a ferocious cat to scare the living daylights out of us so-called "tough" mountain bikers! :)

It was day 5 of the 9-day enduro race, and we were on our way from Baghipul to Bahu. I was making good time, riding mostly alone at my own sustainable pace...when I heard a loud "shhhhhh, slow down, slow down".

I looked up and there was the speedy gonzalez curly-haired Hungarian, Balin, motioning me to get off my bike and to be quiet. I could not see what was ahead as the road turned a blind corner, but I did as I was told. I slowly inched closer to have a look, and low and behold, it was a bull with part of his right horn broken off, and the left looked kinda chipped as well.

Above : The poor bull, who in video looked much smaller than I remembered him to be!
My first guess was that the poor bull must have been a victim of a hit-and-run, and rumours later confirmed that a biker hurled his bike at the bull. The bull's blood-shot eyes screamed rage, its horns coated with thick red blood, snout dripping with mucus, and its right front limb indicated that it was preparing to charge, toro style.

Being an animal lover, my first instincts told me not to be afraid and try to calm the animal down. When I looked at Balin and Foo cowering against the side walls of the highly elevated cliff, in a rock-climbing position, something told me that that seemed to be a safer option. So a rock I became, camouflaging myself like the other 2 before me. A chance to test the theory of a bull being colour blind?

Balin and Foo told me they have been stuck there for almost half an hour! Jeez! How on earth are we to get out of this predicament? This ain't something you read about in mountain bike magazines!

Chiku arrives, and without a thought, raises his bike over his shoulder (and head) in an attempt to appear larger than the bull! Nice try, professiore! Is this what they taught you in animal behaviour school? hee hee!

Slowly but surely, the bikers start to pile up on our side of the fence. Rina and Steve join the gang.

Rina : "What are we to do?.......Can you ask the local guy, they would know what to do."

Just then, one of the local guys nonchalantly strides by the side of the bull. The bull rams into his bike! (later, we learnt his wheel was totalled from the impact!)

Rina : "Oh shit!"

Chi continues holding the bike above his head, edging closer...and closer.

Rina : "I'm not going, Chi don't!"

Ling : thinking quietly to herself "oh dearier me! we're gonna have to bring Chi back in a body bag if he doesn't stop this nonsense at once!" "Chi, don't be stupid!"

Foo : "Your shirt is a red colour...." and continues to mumble something about how red isn't such a smart colour to wear at the moment!

Rina : "Why is he injured? Yeah, we wait for the jeep..."

At this point, Chi smartly places his bike back on solid ground. Good boy! Maybe he was just tired?

Rina : " I'm....I'm....late"....or did she say she was going to wait?

Balin (still clinging to the side of the wall) : "Karen just passed by...the bull...before me...she might have been attacked...when I reached her...the bull, it was like...hooo hoo (imitating bull by making toro motion with arm) I stopped everyone..."

Above : Time stood still as we crack our brains on ways to get across the narrow road! To our right is a rock wall, to the left, the edge of a cliff!

Ling : "You can try but be careful"....can't remember what that was in response to....probably a suggestion to dash across once again..."because if he runs...", I shall spare you the gory details!

Above : The bull contemplating the meaning of....humans!

Rina : "Poor cow!..." (cow starts to wag his tail, maybe he's calmed down?)

Just then, Pravat appears and asks what's going on.

Ling : "The bull is injured and he's about to attack"...

Pravat again tries to find a loophole.

Rina : "You can run from the inside...oh please be careful Pravat! Please???"

A few minutes later...

Rina : "I think we go fast...the other side, can go past..."

Above : The hunky Hungarian, Balin, taking the safer (and probably smarter) option...

Balin : "This is a very strong animal...I think it doesn't really worth already know your choice...maybe I'm very shy but...."

Someone suggests that we throw it some food.

Indian biker : "I ate all my bananas this morning! Does anyone have any....power bar?"

Someone (I forget who) : "Not a good idea. The bull might become stronger!"

Rina pulls out a bag of jelly chewy worms and throws one at the bull! It falls neatly on the ground beside the bull. Of course the bull didn't even flinch!

Some smart alec : "An angry not a hungry bull"....hahaha...

Above : The scoreboard : Bikers, 10, bull, 1. It seemed that the bull was either being a real bully, or we're just a bunch of chickens! Boy, do we have a cock and bull story to tell the others!

A few moments later, a jeep it was sooner or later bound to! Hurray! Now we can get on with the race! But...errr....what are those guys doing? Oh no! It's the Nat Geo folks, and they're coming out of their jeep in full force with their big guns....except that the only shooting they're doing is pressing the record button! Yikes! *ok, I would have done the same - the opportunistic cameraman*

Above : 2 jeeps arrive to save the day!

After milking the situation for all its worth, they got into the jeep, and we strategically did a run-around-the-jeep Indian tango, which brought most of us from harm's way, except for Rina and Steve, who ran a couple more rounds than most because they were not being attentive! :P

By the time Winnie met the bull, it looked udderly calm and pitiful that she almost gave it a pat on the head! Wouldn't have surprised us if she'd nursed its wounds too!

Should one risk life and limb in such a situation? Why isn't there a chapter in Mountain Biking 101 on what to do when you come face to face with an angry bull? Should we just have grabbed the bull by its horns? Or offered it some of our powerbars as a peace offering?
Believe it or not, I find good answers on a website about.....mushroom picking!

What can I do if a bull charges me?

In your outings through cow fields you may stumble upon a bull, or it may stumble upon you. In dire situations like these it is important to keep your head. Your body is producing fight or flight endorphins and neither is acceptable. Remember, a bull will usually leave you alone unless it becomes agitated.

Before a bull charges he will perform a broadside threat; standing or walking sideways to you is its way of showing you how big and powerful it is. At this point you should be directly facing the bull returning it's threat as this sometimes gets the bull to back off. Start backing away slowly but do not run or turn your back to it. Find an exit immediately.

Have you considered your options if the bull does charge? A bull has a longer stride than you and has twice as many legs. If you think you can outrun a 2,200 pound piece of meat coming at you at 33 mph please reconsider. Unless the bull is several multiples away from you of the distance you are from the fence, you may have to face it. Take off an article of clothing such as a hat or a jacket or get a bag of mushrooms or a backpack ready. As the bull nears throw the object as hard as you can to the right or the left in a horizontal fashion. The bull should follow the target away from you. Jump out of the way if you have to.

Don't lie down. While this may work with a horse, you will likely be trampled by a bull.
Don't start running first unless safety is within reach as it is much faster than you are.
Don't run towards the bull. It is unlikely that you will be able to jump over it or clear its horns.

Your best bet at avoiding such a scenario is to just ask the farmer if there are any bulls in the field. A bull raised solitary in a pen and not socialized with the herd from an early age may try to exert it's dominance over humans as it would in the herd. Even an adult bull may have tendencies to challenge humans if is isolated.

by TheShroomHermit

So, remember to heed the advice above, and hope you live to tell the tale! For documentary evidence of this event, click here!

Photos above and video taken by Rina and Steve!

There's a Princess Leia in the house!!!

Dana is now known as "Dana Leia" Lee-Yong! Thats Dylan on her left and Emily on her right!

A little princess by any Star Wars name would grow up sweet...and tough! :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

An unexpected thanksgiving present!

The head profile...

...the left arm...

...the right foot....

No, these are not the latest collection to my alien series, but one of my own kin taken about 2 - 3 months before entry into this world.

My sister, Ying who lives in Hawaii, just delivered her third kid, Dana! Hurray! Both mommy and daughter are doing just fine!

I got wind of the latest news about the new family member from my brother-in-law, Gene, who was just celebrating Thanksgiving with my sister, Ying, their son, Dylan and daughter, Emily!

Email from Gene

"In the midst of preparation for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday afternoon, Ying felt Dana give her a big kick and decided she needed to poop.

Famous last words.

At least this time, she noticed something felt different and we all decided we'd better leave to go check it out even though she had not had any contractions.

Ying checked into the hospital around 4:30pm and the nurse informed us we would not be returning home. She was still only 2cm dilated and felt no contractions, so I took Dylan & Emily downstairs to the hospital cafeteria for Thanksgiving dinner as they really wanted to stay for all the fireworks. A friend of Ying's also came by to stay with her.

Contractions started about 7:00pm, with Ying feeling no signficant discomfort till about 9:00am. Dana popped out around 10:30pm, Thanksgiving evening, with Emily and Dylan besides themselves with glee and cheer. They were both cuddling in my arms the whole time until the nurse passed a swaddled Dana to me. They then both took turns talking to her, singing to her, and of course, being siblings, teasing her and imitating her.

They were there the whole time except for about 5 minutes when the doctors all came in and Dana came out (I took them just outside). We went back in and they were great while they watched the doctors take care of the afterbirth and the stitching. Both Emily and Dylan were talking to Ying and the doctors while they were stitching, with Dylan and Emily both telling the doctor that they didn't think they would want to be doctors when they grow up because, as Emily's put it "it's yucky".

Dana came out at just over 5 lbs. and is in great shape, as is Mom."

Though we don't really celebrate it here in Singapore, Thanksgiving Day is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks, traditionally to God, for the things one has at the close of the harvest season. I'd like to give thanks for the family members that have been harvested from my siblings! Yikes! I'm an auntie all over again! :)

Congrats to Gene, Ying, Dylan and Emily on the arrival of Dana!!! :)

Friday, November 24, 2006

MTB Himchal 2006 - "A Load of Bull****" series

And now, the moment we've all been waiting for.....*drumroll*......the infamous video taken by Rina and Steve on that fateful morning when we came upon an unexpected obstacle in day 5 of the 9-day MTB Himachal 2006.

Will definitely get down to the dirty details when I next update the bull series!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

PCC Presidential Ride 2006 - the silly video

Below, GPS markings taken by Chwee, whose suffering met an early death due to failure to meet the cut-off point - reason? well, he started at the back of the 600+ MTBker pack! That sux! 49.6 km is still a feat!

And more juicy photos from Angela's album

I live for fun epic rides like these! Hee hee!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

PCC Presidential Ride 2006

Yes, we're still in one piece after this xiongalingam ride! Actually, the Himachal training really helped coz I didn't think it was that bad in comparison to a 6-day MTB race in the Himalayas...but then I guess you can't really compare chapati with prata. Plus we were taking our own sweet time waiting for those who suffered from the cramp attack....even managed to get some photos and videos too!

For evidence of pleasurable pain, click on Merciless's Album and Janice's Album....

Above, GPS markings (from Wayne's toy) of the 1oo+Pringles route taken by JanicMaxiWayne (Angela took the "normal" route like everyone else).

According to Pat from the Pedalphiles, the ride autopsy came up with:....
1 guy with a broken finger.
1 singaporean with a broken saddle.
1st rider check in at 12.15
Last 20 riders needed a ride back from checkpoint 3.

Funniest story I heard so far was of some biker with long track pants and GT bike dissing Maximuxx and telling him to lose weight! haha....couldn't stop laughing! All his Hamburger Hill stories...hilarious! There was also a kind Ipoh man who supplied Max with a wonder anti-cramp spray, which worked wonders...until the effects wore off! Then it was back to square one! Poor thing!

Anywayz, kudos to the PCC organisers for putting up such a fantastic show for 650 bikers, especially when we got to be on stage while they were watching! Hee hee! We need to return the favour one day by organising our very own Singapore epic ride! :)

Next stop - Penang Jamboree 2006! We never learn, do we?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A series of roller coaster rides!

The poster, designed by yours truly!

The map marked out by Mingloid.

The elevation chart prepared by Max and Mingloid.

A "before" photo. For more photos, click here. For a short video of what it looked like from the top of one of the knolls, click here.

And now, our very own rolling hills....covered with the best carpet grass in Singapore! :)
For more photos, click here.

And here's a link to a funny video by Broken Arm Productions about the makings of this trail!

And a big thank you to the folks who put their blood, stinky sweat and tears to making this trail happen, most notably : Papa Smurf Nik, HM Eaglet, some of the other boys who helped to design the trail and of course, Maximuzzi!! :)

Just one question : when can we have cows and sheep?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Sabah Adventure Challenge 2005

This year has been ultrabusy for me in terms of work! No free time in office to talkcock, singsong, and write about my adventures! many adventures, so little time, even less time to pen them down!

Well, here's an article written by fellow adventure racer, Wilson Low, photos by Kang Wei and Kimmy!

Sabah was the longest race I've ever undertaken, well....til the MTB Himachal 2006! SAC 2005 was epic race for 2005, and MTB Himachal for 2006! Wonder what's in store for 2007? Hmmmm....

Friday, November 03, 2006

Doggone it! It was Halloween!

Halloween was a non-event for me. Can't remember what I did, really! Wanted to go explore Istana Woodneuk from across the road, but I had an unwilling spouse. Will write more about that as soon as I've gone in to take some pix!

Anywayz, I'd just like to wish those born on 31 Oct a belated birthday! BTW, Halloween Babies = Mingloid + Winnie + Tar Baby!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Subaru Action Asia Challenge 2006 (as seen on TV)

Edited version compliments of Mingloid of Team MingLing infamy, who was caught split second in the video. Others caught in the thick of action : first ladies team, Team BeccaRina, Andrew and Janice, Foo and Walter and marshalls Chi, Nik (and his vroom vroom)....

Friday, September 08, 2006

Action Asia Challenge 2006 - da video!

Just another regular Sunday morning in the lives of Ming & Ling....hee hee!

Excellent video extracted from :,14684,,00.html

And oooo...more photos :

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Action Asia Challenge 2006 (extended ver)

Here's Janice's account of the race (and cool pix taken during the race) :

And more evidence of the torture below....

Monday, September 04, 2006

Action Asia Challenge 2006

Yesterday's race was a blast! Can't say that the level of adrenalin had surpassed our first race in 2004 (it was novelty then to abseil down the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and zipline down the Esplanade), but this time round, I have no complaints about the race route, the daredevil stunts and especially my race partner, Mingloid!

A few surprise podium finishes :

Becks and Rina (Team Angels) managed to outrun, outbike, outkayak etc. 12 ladies teams (some of them very strong contenders like naval diver Esther's team and some of the giant ang mo teams, well at least, in comparison to us puny Asians).

In 2004, then Team Ming-a-Ling came in 41 out of 150+ teams! We got cut-off at the kayaking station, but still managed to sneak in the ropes section! We could only join 1 category : the Mixed Team category (as there was no age group cat save for combined age of 80+, which we could probably join in a couple of years time). This year, we were "forced" to join the combined age group category and notwithstanding our coming in 49 out of 110 over teams (i.e. after a few misadventures along the way), we still managed a third prize for our Mixed 70+ category! Woo hoo!

Walter and Lai Thutt were going strong, but they had super strong opponents in their Men's 80+ category! Tian was plagued with the cramps (actually, so were a lot of us), but theirs was extra bad, and Tian apparently only had 2 hours of shut-eye the night before. So, this was Jason's first towing race, but they were happy to have not missed the ropes (back in 2004, they didn't even reach the ropes section)! Read about their incredible story in Jason's blog! Hee hee!

And finally, Andrew and Janice made their way to the finish line in style. It's tough racing with the spouse, and I take my hats off to them for making it all the way! If it had been Max, we would have stopped halfway for a bowl of bak chor mee and a massage! :)

'Nuff said today.....Team MingLing will have to work up an appetite to finish our reports for 2004 and 2006! Will leave you with a collection of articles about this year's race.....

So glad that Alvin and Kim Hong did us proud! Our claim to fame : we actually crossed paths during this race!!!
Andrew and Janice celeb team practising their abseil at Climb Adventure. I was standing right next to the reporter when she took this shot! Ming was blending in with the background.

And the man who made this happen....Michael Maddess, with the help of organisations and volunteers in Singapore.....was great to see familiar faces along the way.....the volunteers we knew from SACA and Friends : Maximuzz at Hindehe Quarry, Peiling at the T15 biketrail, Nik at bouldercity, Renhao at the startline, Chi (and supposedly Huimin) at Visitor Centre Carpark, Eric while on our way to the finishline (too tired to turn my head to say hi), and Dr Low all over the place!

Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting too old for this shit? But the voice within me shouts, "no....never surrender!!!" My legs and contused neck beg to differ! :P