Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cikgu Adnan's Ride

I few months ago, I made a pledge to send off my teacher, Cikgu Adnan Osman. Cikgu will be cycling to Beijing. I was under the assumption that Cikgu will be cycling to Beijing in August.

Two days ago (26 May 2008), I got an SMS from Mat Licin (Cikgu’s cycling partner during the Malaysian section of his ride) that they’ll start their ride on Tuesday (27 May 2008).. Major misunderstanding on my part!! I had already reserved 3 days of my annual leave to ‘see him off in August’! And I had to clear some stuff at work before I sent off for the BTN course 29 May! Macam mana ni?? I was really hoping to cycle with him for at least one leg of his journey!!

Being a ‘salary-man’, I had very little choice.. I had to forgo my plans of joining them.. maybe another trip Sir.. but I will send you off!! That was the promise that I made to myself immediately after reading Mat Licin’s SMS..

So, on Tuesday, 0330hrs, I left my house, and rode to the RV point (near Carrefour Wangsa Maju) to meet up with Mat Licin. We were going to cycle to the starting point of Cikgu’s ride.

Though I only has 3 hours of sleep, I could not complain, Mat Licin (and later I found out, Cikgu too) did not sleep a wink!! Maybe they were excited over the trip, butterflies or jitters.. but these guys, almost twice my age, did not sleep at all that night, and they’ll be cycling from KL to Ipoh!

Anyway, Mat Licin and I arrived at St Johns Ambulance’s HQ (Jalan Peel) at 0500hrs. Cikgu and family were already there. There was also a St John’s VIP. After a brief photo session and well wishes spoken, Cikgu’s trip to Beijing started!!

We rode on Jalan Tun Razak, headed towards Jalan Kuching. But at the junction of Jalan Ampang, I had to leave them, and headed for my office… I still have mouths to feed.. I shook my hero’s hand, gave him a final salute, and took a left turning toward KLCC.. I looked back to Jalan Tun Razak and saw the blinkers (safety lights) of their bicycles slowly fading away.. I guess in books and movies, the heroes ride into the sunset after completing their adventure.. Yesterday, I saw two heroes ride into the sunrise to begin their adventure.. Looking at my bike’s odometer, it’s 10km down, 8000++km to go!!

Anyway, you can read about Cikgu Adnan’s adventure to Beijing at his blog site:

On a personal note: Well Cikgu, what can I say.. I envy you, Sir.. You had a dream, and you got on your saddle and are on your way to realizing it. May your dreams come true.. Have a safe and enjoyable journey.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A'famosa International Triathlon 2008

Dear All,

You can read the race report here.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Training With Soon-To-Be-(God willing)-IronMan

I was inspired by Upiq's Triathlon achievements.. who wasn't? And now I have such a strong urge to get off my butt and do something..

First thing's first.. I'm going to shop!! Yup, some people go to Seremban to by curtain/carpet/ wedding stuffs, I am going to Seremban tomorrow to buy a secondhand compact crank from this Mat Salleh who stays there.. (ye-lah, aku ni kan lembik sikit, mana tahan pakai gear yang besar, so kenalah cari gearing yang compact sikit!- FYI, the ride starts with a ride up to Genting Sepah!!). I'll be back in KL by noon, then I'll be setting up the crank and tuning my bike for Saturday..
coze on Saturdayyyy... I'm gonna be training/riding with IronMan 2009 hopeful, Kam Kasturie!

FYI, the IronMan consist of 3 disciplines- 4km swim, 180km bicycle and 42km run. Kam will be doing all this on 28/2/2009.. that said, he has another 9 months to train..

Back on our ride this Saturday.. we will taking part in the Malakoff Charity Ride.. the ride consist of 3 stages-
stage/day one- KL to Temerloh (150km).
stage/day two (Sunday) Temerloh to Kemaman (160km).
stage/day three (Monday) Kemaman to Kuala Terengganu (170km)

A lesser mortal like myself will only be doing the KL- Temerloh section. But our IronMan hopeful will be riding ALL THE WAY to Kuala Terengganu. (ohhh speaking of Terengganu, just in case you missed it, Kam also swam 6 km from Marang to Pulau Kapas a few weeks ago). And next month, he'll most probably be going to Kenyir for Kenyir Triathlon.. (wehhh Kam.. mungkin ni hint engkau nak berjodoh dgn orang Terengganu!!)


(p/s OP Shazly Khan (IronMan 2008), OP Fadzil (Cheif Kutu) and OP Ahmad Jauhari (multiple IronMan) will also be riding)

Sunday, May 11, 2008


People do great things, and most inspiration stories comes from a person beating his limitations to achieve things beyond his reach. The further and more unreachable the goals, the more inspirational it becomes..

Here's one of those stories (I only wish my posting could do the story justice).

Rafiq Khan is the biggest guy in our batch. He's big.. what more with a KHAN's blood and KHAN's diet! Genetics and life style, the odds were against him to slim down.

Although he played a few games (tennis, squash, hockey- games typical of a Khan), people saw his appearance rather then the sportsman. He was often teased and looked down because of this. This was Rafiq a year ago!

Then the training began! His cousin 'dearest', OP Shazly Khan (90-94 Eagle) started a training regime. Such regime often coincides with activities where other royal 8ths took part in. For example, a 'stroll' up to Genting. (Refer to blog report: Lamb and Genting 21/9/07 http://royal8th.blogspot.com/2007/09/lamb-and-genting-2192007-make-sense.html )

Note: Shazly with a stick in hand

& they marched up to Genting!

Ni muka yang influence Rafiq naik
ke Genting!!

A month ago, Rafiq took the next step- purchasing his road bike.. and as reported in an earlier posting- the virgin ride was almost 100km!!

So, after the exercising, training, purchasing.. what was one to do? Well, this was where trickery and pressure comes in.. everyone in the group (except for me) went to take part in the A-Farmosa Triathlon. And these guys convinced Rafiq to do the sprint event. On the eve of the race, with everyone phsyced up and eager to go, they pressured (read Shazly pressured Rafiq in public) to do the full monty- 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run. And that was what he did.... I don't think that he was prepared for it, nor did he believe that he could complete the course.. he knew that his body will take an extreme amount of punishing.. he had nothing to lose.. (except hospitalization?).. be if.. a BIGGGGG if, if could endure all the pain, fatigue and survive the ordeal, he could prove to himself and others that all the training and and effort is showing results.. Completing the course would mean that he was actually reaching for heights that he, himself, thought impossible to reach..
Anxiety got the better of him that evening. Nervous, scared, excited etc.. he slept at 3a.m.! After 3 hours of sleep, Rafiq woke up to face one of the biggest physical challenge of his life.
The photos below captured the moments..

Pre-race anticipation
After over one hour, he completed the 1.5 km swim..
then on the bike (40km) and finally the run.. almost at the finishing line, he had friends running along side to cheer him on!

Notice the FINISHER's Medal on his chest?

After Rafiq completed his Triathlon, I've received calls for me to also complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon.. There were the typical "wehhh.. Upiq dah buat.. engkau bila lagi?"..

To date, he has lost about 40kgs!! Please refer to the Bagan Lalang Ride report (April 08) to see how much he 'reduced'

My friend, you have inspired me.. and I will start my training this evening- Fitness First Menara Maxis- RPM Class!! I will be training and I'll keep training, and hopefully, in a few month's time, I be at the same ranks with you- as one of those 34 year old- over weight guys who have completed an Olympic Distance Triathlon- THANK YOU FOR INSPIRING!!

I hope that my report does not steal the thunder from the achievement's of Kam (also first time completed Olympic Distance Tri.. Ironman hopeful for 2009!), Ala Usat, Stupe, Chief Kutu, Shazly, OP Sofiyan...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ala's mail to Mr. Johan Jaafar

"Ala's responding to an essay/story in the NST dated 3rd May 2008. Story at: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Saturday/Columns/" - Kam

Mr Johan Jaafar,



Asalamualaikum, First of all, I am a fan of your weekly columns and essays in the NST. Today i read your article regarding Cikgu Adnan with joy and with pride not to mention admiration for the man. I am one of the hundreds if not thousands of students having passed under Cikgu Adnan's wings. He was my arts teacher and company commander when I was studying in the Royal Military College between 1987 to 1991.

When you mention to OP's (old puteras/ ex student of the college) about Cikgu Adnan, people will remember the gentle but stern arts teacher. People will remember also the calm composed gentleman that he always was. Those interested in arts will testify that he was a keen arts teacher who encourages his students to strive harder. Two of my batch mates who were mentored by him are now established architects and Interior designers, no doubt cikgu Adnan being a big influence in their chosen career.

But people may not know, that besides being a wonderful individual cikgu Adnan is actively involved in all those activities that you had wrote about.(marathon running, biking, mountain climbing and a lot of other adventurous stuff) He has also spent a lot of time doing charity work. Despite being in his his golden years where most people would take it easy, cikgu Adnan continues to inspire others. Just last month at the Kapas - Marang swimathon, he kayakked along my batch mate attempting to finish the race. He was among the last individual out of the water in the 6.5km race but there was cikgu adnan giving him encouragement all the way.Who would kayak in the hot sun for 3 hours just to accompany someone to make sure he makes it? Without cikgu, my friend said he wouldnt have made it. Cikgu adnan continues to motivate even till this day!

Which brings me to my first encounter with him since leaving college 17 years ago in 1991. Not surprisingly it was the KL Marathon where he nonchalantly overtook me and a fellow OP. Needless to say, he finished ahead of us half his age. This man is inspirational. I just hope more teachers, if not more people would be like him.

The next time you have your teh tarik with him, wish him all the best. A lot of 30 to 40 year olds from RMC are encouraging him on his Beijing epic. Knowing him, it will probably be a walk in the park.

Dr Hisyam Salleh

Subang Jaya.