To all kawanbike

Ring! Ring! Ring!
Another jolly good ride up to Penang Hill during X'mas holiday.

Penang Hill

Breathtaking! No matter how many times you been up there, it feels like a new experience every time. Penang Hill, also known as Bukit Bendera or Flagstaff Hill, is 833 m (2,723 ft) above sea level and stands out prominently from the lowlands as a hilly and forested area.

A hill with elevation of about 833 m (2723 ft) has proved that it is one of the toughest for local mountain bikers, but ironically, this make people come back for more. For those who not bike or hike but wish to experience this wonderful hill, obviously taking a ride on this charming Swiss made funicular train is the best way to get up there.


Riding The See Saw

Riding with children from the earliest possible age is the best way to introduce them to cycling and the great outdoors. As avid bike pedallers, It's never been so easy to take the kids cycling.

Besides bike seats and helmets for safety, all we need is just a little patience (for those short and slow rides that's full of stops for snacks... playgrounds... animals... wee wees... poo poos... Zzzzs... and the list goes on and on, and on)

Oooooh boy, a little patience goes a long way. Because we know that in years to come we’ll have the best of all riding partners. A 'Kawanbike' of our own flesh and blood to share all those great experiences that cycling can give.

This is it

The time is ripe. This is the moment we've waited for. There is no reason
why anybody needs to be left at home now. Everyone is going, Yeah!!

At 11 month old, baby Iwen is ready for some off-road adventure.

Merely 6 km , this was one of the best ride of our life.


Like mushrooms after the rain, mountain biking phenomenon in Penang is growing in popularity. It wasn't all that long ago when we heard someone say something like "What?? 3000 Ringgit for a bicycle??? Better buy a motorbike-lah...". Now you see mountain bikers on flashy mountain bikes everywhere. MTB has become tremendously popular, and it's too hot even an avid badminton player like CHONG (old buddy) who isn't really an outdoor person couldn't wait to jump on the two-wheel bandwagon.

Yeeah!! CHONG (second from left) survived his virgin MTB ride.
(30km hilly ride from Teluk Bahang - Pantai Aceh - Teluk Bahang)

No mushroom seen, though there are beautiful waterfalls along the ride.

Here goes another Kawanbike gesture.

Ultralight DIY Stove

Outdoor cooking is one of my favorite activities. Be it a 3 day bikepacking epic or a half day fishing trip, i always carry a stove (Camping Gaz Turbo 270) with me. I've owned this little stove for over 10 years and it still performed like a champ. However, nothing’s perfect, the price for a 220g canister has hiked up almost 150% since then and its quite difficult to get one too especially here in Penang. Thus, the idea of having a backup stove came in.

While doing some research for a alternative stove online the other day, i stumble across a very funky DIY can stove that is fun to make and use. Without a second thought, i decided to give it a try.

A pot stand/windshield combo (my own design) was crafted from a 500g Nestle cereal tin & finished with Three 51mm binder clips to complement the stove. The tin lid work as a nice priming pan.

This simple pot stand/windshield provides a extremely stable base for my 14cm pot & fits perfectly inside together with the stove & fuel bottle.

So how does it work anyway? Check this out!

Keeping the tradition alive

A few days prior to the Lantern Festival taking place, i took my boys to lantern shopping. As expected, its quite tricky to pick one as there are so many beautiful lanterns in all shapes and sizes, not to mention those battery operated plastic lantern with noisy monotone music which is a hit for kids nowadays. For some reason, i still prefer to have something basic for a traditional festival like this.

Imagine having 10 children + 10 plastic lanterns + 10 different tunes playing at the same time while you & your family enjoying the moon cake under the bright full moon. Phew!!

But kids are kids, they are more attracted by those noisy plastic stuff. On the other hand, i am swear by those handmade/candle light lanterns. However, with a little persuasion & negotiation, Wien ended up with a traditional fish lantern made of glass paper that look exactly like i used to have when i was a kid. :)

~ The mid-autumn festival aka lantern festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar calendar. On this day, children will light beautiful lanterns in all shapes, sizes and colour and place it around their house. It is also a time for families to gather and enjoy the moon cake, a special sweet delicacy while gazing at the bright full moon.


Sun, sea, surf & Kawanbike...buuuuurp!



Selamat Hari Raya in advance... all my Muslim kawanbike
as i'll be out of the city for Hari Raya holidays.


to a lovely wife, a super mom & of course a kawanbike

A trip down memory lane

Oh boy! Wish we could jump into the time machine to go back to our wonderful fun filled childhood living in kampung. As children, we would ride with our parents on bicycles or motorcycles for 2 or 3... We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house & yelled for them... We go to jungle to catch spiders without worries of Aedes mosquitoes...We drank water straight from the tap & not from a bottle... We catch guppy & fighting fish in drains or canals & when it rain we swim there...We would leave home in the morning & play all day till street lights came on... No one was able to reach us all day & we don't have handphones to bug us & still we're ok & safe...We had... We... the list goes on... Hmm... Needless to say, those were the happiest time of our life.

Little Iwen enjoying the ride on a classic bicycle child seat made of rattan.

Those are the remaining few kampung houses that still survived
from land-hungry developers.

Kawanbike at work

Trail work
It's time to get those muscles working again after so many 'cycless' days due
to heavy downpours. Armed with an axe, a parang & a pruning saw,
we hit the trail & had lots of fun doing the trail work.


No late outing...No mountain/jungle biking...No camping...No fishing...Oh No!!!

It's that time of the year again, the 7th month of the lunar calendar or better known as 'Ghost Month', in which ghosts and spirit come out from the hell & wander the earth. It's also regarded as the most ill-fated time of the year. During this bad time most people suspend all important activities & decisions.

Sounds scary isn't it? As a matter of fact, 'Ghost Month' also known as 'Hungry Ghost Festival'. Just as Halloween is for Americans, the 'Hungry Ghost Festival' is for the Chinese in Penang. For those who have never heard of this festival, Click this!

Those nasty scars on CS's calf served as a reminder to me that i should either

ride with extremely cautious or just observe the 'Ghost Month' taboos.

Old & Young Kawanbike

31 weeks old Iwen, 31 months old Wien &
a 20 years old bicycle.

Penang Char Koay Teow

On 14th February 2009, this popular Penang hawker dish has been declared as a traditional delicacy among other 172 items under the National Heritage listing.

To me, Char Koay Teow is more than just a famous hawker dish in penang. It's the culture, history & memories that make this simple delicacy so special.
I've been a great
fan of CKT for as long as i can remember. I still remember those days when my buddy & me have to cycle through dark, scary & dogs infested kampung (village) roads just to get to our favorite CKT stall for supper.

Today, i don't have to go through those ordeal for CKT anymore. I can drive or even ride a motorbike
, but i guess i still prefer the old way to get my Char koay Teow.

A used Bridgestone Subnade, fully imported from Japan that cost me RM120 only.

Bloody Monday

We all like to push the limits sometimes, the faster we go,
the more fun we have. But there is a fine line between
pushing the limits safely and pushing them recklessly.
~ Ride Hard, Ride Smart ~

A slightly off-concentration when going downhill at a speed of 42km/hour can spell disaster.


... a ticket to get closer to nature, family & friends.


A large spiky fruit often weighing up to three kilograms.
When the fruit begins to ripen it falls daily and almost hourly.
Taking a blow from a falling durian from the top of a
30 meter-tall tree is not fun & definitely not something
that we wish for while on the trail.

CS & a fresh fallen durian right on the trail.
Another good reason for wearing a helmet :)

Recycling is fun

Time flies.
It's been a year since my little buddy got his first tricycle.
Today, Wien is ready for the next stage. That's right, a bicycle.
From training wheels sourcing to bolts tightening,
it's really fun to get Wien to work on a hand-me-down bicycle.
What a perfect way to introduce kids to recycling as something
that is 'fun' to do rather than something they 'have' to do.

A smile that make our day

Priceless family moment with o' O' the Mini Pinscher

Golden hour that last forever

Finally...the air is fresh again after yesterdays rain.
A beautiful day like this don't come everyday.
What are you waiting for? Grab the camera,
get on your bike and get out there.

Left: Wien with his favorite toy gun & a MP3 strapped over his neck.

Right: A golden moment seized.

Fire in Sumatera...Haze in Penang

Obviously...pollution is a global issue.
Can we still afford to turn a blind eye to this?

18 June 2009
Missus pushing on the final section before reaching the peak.
Visibility reported to be at between 4 & 5 kilometers on that day.

A typical Dam view at the peak on a clear day.
Date picture taken: 7 June 2009

More trees to combat climate change

Bucida Molineti

also known as Dwarf Geometry Tree/Spiny Black Olive.

One of our favorite plants just planted in our garden. They're simply beautiful & we can't get enough of it.

"Cool shade anyone??

A wonderful Kawanbike weekend

Saturday, 6 June 09
A stroll in the city park (Youth Park) with my 2 little Kawanbike

Sunday, 7 June 09
With technical singletrack, awesome scenery & very less traffic,
this is one of the best XC trail for busy young father like me.

Mind our own business

Sunday, May 31 2009. Polling day for Penanti by-election.
Instead of voting, 3 busybodies biked up to Bukit Langkap &
left a small gesture of Kawanbike at the peak.

Memoir of a "Kampung boy"

One of the most memorable scenes that greeted me during a ride to Penaga was
that of charming kampung boys, green padi fields and rustic kampung houses.
While some may take the setting for granted, to city slickers such as myself,
it reawakened a time when air was fresh, space was in abundance
and everything was right with the world.

Red Sunday

Somewhere between Penang & Kedah state border.
It's been almost 9 years since i did my solo exploration ride in this area.
Today, i came here with kawanbike (CS & O2). Our plan today is simple,
roam as far as possible & come back in one piece.