Category Archives: Personal Opinion

Malakoff Interstate: My story

I fell & unconcious on Day 2! What an experience. A scary one.

Me & few fellow friends joined Malakoff Fellowship Interstate Ride on 31 Dec 2011 & 1st Jan 2012. Day 1, we cycled around Penang Island. We were served 80KM route came with hills & the 12% climb! We survived the ordeal.

On the second day, the new year, we cycled from Youth Park crossing Penang Bridge to the mainland & to cover 3 states. I had no problem cycling up to first pit stop in USM. I managed to catch up with the first group. However I don’t know what happened after that…..I have no memory of anything beyond that pit stop until few hours later.

Posing after the first pit stop in USM

Friends told me that I was involved in a mass accident involving almost 10 riders. They told me that a MTB rider who was trying to avoid a pothole went outside his cycling line & causing other riders to crash on one another. I was among the riders. I was told that we were travelling at 45-50 kmj. A friend, Faizal told me that someone hit my rear wheel, I fell down & unconcious for 5 minutes. I then recovered, but insisted to continue riding. I managed to ride another 10KM to the next pit stop but was later found to be disorientated & confused. A fellow doctor, a friend from Bukit Jelutong Cycling Club noticed the symptoms of head injury & helped me. He arranged for the ambulance & finally got me admitted to Sungai Petani Hospital. Whatever I relate here are based on what people told me….I remember nothing!

My friends later sacrifed their interstate ride & went to the hospital.

CT scan done at the hospital revealed no structural damage. No bleeding. At about 6PM, I was discharged. I am blessed with so many great friends! I do not know how to thank them enough. I was also told the Chinese ambulance driver, Indian attendant from St John’s, the support’s lorry driver, En Umar…and definitely many others including marshals & policemen had helped me. What a true 1Malaysia spirit.

Thanks Allah…..He could just end my life there…..Thanks to Dr Azmi, Zali & Wan Cadel from BJCC, all Geng Jahaq who looked after my bike & my own team, GSM…..whom many did not complete the ride because of me.

The accident site. Is that me lying on the road?

Naza helped me to get up while Soffi look after my bike.

Me after recovering at the accident site...but I do not remember this at all!!

Doc Azmi’s side of the story…

Why Zali, Wan Cadel & I didn’t complete the fill 170km on 2nd day of MIFR ride;
The 3 of us BJCC slowpokes (myself, Zali & Wan Cadel) were in the second peloton from the first pitstop. I got dropped since I stopped at a roadside petrol station to take a leak. Zali & Wan Cadel got dropped when the lead car upped the pace to above 30km/hr. I caught up with them 20km from Kulim. When we arrived at the second pitstop, with our water bottles replenished, so I went to take a leak (again!) and met with Doc Jamal (KCR organiser from Geng Speda Malaysia) wandering around the front of Caltex, looking very confused. When I greeted him, he said he has retrograde amnesia. After coming out the toilet, Doc Jamal was beside the flagpole looking even more confused.

Although we were in a hurry to complete the next 50km ride, tak sampai hati tengok Doc Jamal macam tu. So we stopped to checked on him. After realising that he really can’t remember what has happened and has no idea what is going on, we really became worried. His pulse was above 100 bpm then. I had a look at the helmet and realised the impact occurred at the right temporal-parietal area. I worry that he may have a sub-dural temporo-parietal bleed, which will lead to death in only a few hours. Kami tanya Jamal apa nama isteri dia so that we can find her name on your phone and call her. He just looked at us blankly. So I rattled off the name of the riders that he introduced to me the day before, and Wan Cadel BJCC found King Marul’s name on his phone. So we called King Marul.

At the same time Wan Cadel had a police marshall to call for the ambulance, but they were almost already in Sg Petani, following the lead peloton. The only option was to send Doc Jamal to Hospital Sg Petani by truck. They placed him beside Umar, the driver. I and Zali was at the back with the 3 bikes. Wan Cadel had to take the next lorry. We had to forsake the rest of the ride. The MIFR may be there gain next year for us to ride again but if we left Doc Jamal behind at the petrol station, he may not be with us any more if he really had a sub-dural bleed.
So began a harrowing ride at high speed in the truck with a police escort. We were going so fast that I fear that we may die in an accident instead. Zali and I was really holding on for our dear lives!

Once we met up with the ambulance, Doc Jamal was transferred to the ambulance with me accompanying him. Zali stayed in the truck to take care of the 3 bikes. The same ambulance team that did the dressing initially was also the same team that sent him to the hospital later. The Indian guy who did the dressing on Doc Jamal was Devamany (dresser). The Chinese guy was the driver. Forgot his name already. The young Indian boy was the attendant.

Then we drove even faster with the ambulance accompanied by police escort. It was the fastest ride I ever had in an ambulance. I was holding on to whatever I could in the ambulance. After checking on him, I asked him to recite 2 kalimah syahadah and Quranic verses. Every few minutes Doc Jamal would be asking me what happened to him. Buat penah aje explain since dia akan tanya benda yg sama kejap lagi.

When we arrived, I managed to persuade them that it was an urgent case. I explained to them 3x (MA, doctor A&E & surgeon) who is Doc Jamal, who I am and what has happened. I guess being a fat guy dressed in tight lycras (MAMILs) doesn’t really help my credibility. I managed to persuade them to order the urgent CT scan before I left them under the care of Regim Mongol, King Marul and the rest of GSM members. I had to leave with the ambulance so that I can find the truck again at the 3rd pitstop to help Zali with the 3 bikes. But we got lost after dropping off Doc Jamal since we were looking for Petronas Sg Petani, not Petronas Bandar Puteri Jaya. Thanks to the attendant’s gps handphone, we found the 3rd pitstop at Petronas Bandar Puteri Jaya. Zali managed to get Saufi Kuantan who was at the pitstop to take care of Doc Jamal’s bike and phone with his car. So we were free to continue the rest of the ride together.

Just to fill in the details since I just rcvd my GPS card from Doc Ahmad Taufik;
-1.16pm bertolak dari Caltex Lunas dalam trak majlis bandaran. Going at 70km/hr. Max speed 77km/hr.
– reached the ambulance waiting at Ladang Victoria at 1.35pm, 17km away from Lunas. So 19 minit to cover 17km in a lorry. Laju tu.
-distance to Sg Petani hospital was another 23km. Bertolak 1.39pm. We reached there at about 2pm.23km in 20 minutes!

Source: BJCC Facebook


One of the reason I still survive

Good shade is also important

And what Faizal’s told us..

Eksiden 2nd stage sblm sampai kulim.,peloton besar baru lepas panjat bukit..jln desending kelajuan dlm 45kmh..ada rider cuber elak MTB rider dan lubang brek mengejut disambar rider belakang semua masuk longkang sebelah kiri..dan juga rider kt tengah jln sapu doc jamal sekali..jatuh terhentak kuat kt tengah jalan.

I managed to get a copy of my CT scan result. Thanks to Anor, my ex-student.

The CT scan. All normal. Alhamdulillah

SpeedPlay Zero Pedal

What can I say! Upgraded from my previous Look Keo 2 Max Carbon. Now when pedalling, I feel as if my shoes are attached to the crank.

Clip off is pretty easy. Clip on need some time to master.

Installation is so simple. Remember to install a pedal, follow the direction of pedalling. To remove, the other way round. For Look Keo, need to use Allen 8mm. To install SpeedPlay Zero, use size 15 wrench.

The secret of SpeedPlay relies on its cleat. It can accomodate 3 or 4 holes base. Then it requires additional 4 screws. Very bulky cleat. You can adjust the float angle or fix it to be no float altogather. I prefer no float.

Overall I am satisfied with this pedal!

Birding after a hiatus

I have not been shooting birds for ages. The hobby started with Common myna around my house to friendly birds at Fraser’s Hill…and I stopped there. Mainly because, I realized that bird photography require a lot of patience if one want to be serious on it. Birds at Jelai Resort are not enough. These birds are human-friendly. One Long-tailed sibia even perched on my tripod when I was shooting! That’s right…when I was using the camera.

For the real wild bird, I even failed to capture good kingfisher’s picture despite many attempts.

Nevertheless the recent photo outing with friends there at Fraser’s was a blast! We had a lot of fun! The spiders & birds were amazing. However food & the rooms were not good.

These are some photos I capture there.

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What are the gear I used?

I brought the two Nikon camera that I have, D3 & D300s. The best setup was D3 + Nikkor 300mm f2.8 + Nikon Teleconverter 1.7 + SB-800 without flash-extender. Best here mean, able to produce sharper pictures. Even though D300s has the 1.5 crop as the advantage but its AF is inferior compared to D3. The setting depended on the time but I tried to maintain aperture at F6.3-8. Speed circa 1/300s with auto-ISO mode on, set max to 3200 for D3.

I also used my D300s + 70-200 VRI. Quite similar setup but auto-ISO max was set at 1600.

For the tripod, both Feisol + Markins M20 & Fotopro + Photoclamp ballhead performed well! Even Fotopro can handle my D3 + 300mm. However its smaller diameter legs caused me to choose Feisol instead for assumed stability.

I also hooked my Phottix GPS on my D3 & Nikon cable release for the other.

I find the setups I have are OK for bird photographer ‘wannabe’ like me. The ideal should be sturdier tripod complete with gimbal head & flash extension holder and longer lens.