Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Earth Day

Last year I bought this DAHON MUP8, 20" folding bike, I chose turqouise color.
I ordered the bike by phone to a bike shop in Jakarta,
transferred the money thru ATM, and about 10 days later,
the bike was ready for me. Like every new bike,
I had to adjust the brake, cables, changing the seat, and adding few accessories,
before making the bike comfortable to be used for commuting.

Within a year I logged 1200km, mainly by commuting to work.
My other folder, 16" Hasa F2, now is used by my eldest daughter,
Carla, who turns 9 this year.

This Dahon MUP8, is more comfortable to ride than Hasa F2,
mainly due its longer wheelbase, and I believe also due to its bigger tire size.
But it is also true that my Hasa F2, is more portable.
I found out that to fit inside my wife's car, Toyota Rush,
the MUP8 seat post needs to be pushed down and steering post needs to be folded.
The height of Toyota Rush cabin on the back is just not enough to accomodate
the bike if we only fold it on its main hinge.

I forced the bike inside the car once with the steering post
and seat post sticking up, I ended up scratching car's interiors
and got good comments from my wife for my stubbornness.

The bike was drawing some attentions too, and some of my colleagues
also bought folding bikes of various brands after observing mine.

I also found new friends with this folding bike,
one that I am still remember is,....

one day there was a pizza delivery boy who put a pizza on top of my rear rack.
I asked him who ordered the pizza and he said a name of a young lady.
Soon the pizza was gone, but when I saw the lady later on,
I told her that I want a slice of pizza,
since I had seen the pizza was sitting for a while on my rack,
...she just smiled and we started to talk, and to my surprise,
despite her elegant appearance and nice-chic-classy look,
she is also a down to earth person, and very pleasant to talk with,
and we becoming friend after.

Who said that ladies care only flashy cars,
some of them interested in folding bikes too,...!
So my 2 cents is,
suppose we have more ladies like her,
there will be more men getting motivated to ride bicycles,
instead of driving cars.......
again, it's only my 2cents for Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bali, my nostalgic trip

Bali, this island means something to me, back to 1979, before my 12th birthday,
I made my first holiday trip, without my parents, to Bali.
It is still living in my memory, I climbed to bus from Malang
on one early evening with my schoolmate Wayan.
One of Wayan's relatives, few years older than us, went with us,
accompanying us all the way. Without him, our parents would never let us go.
We arrived in Gilimanuk early morning, then took a smaller bus
to continue our trip to Singaradja.
And from Singaradja, we took another car, modified Mitsubishi pick up,
to go uphill further north to Suwuk, a village outside Singaraja,
Wayan's home.

For 2 weeks we were there,
we were doing what kids at our age doing on the country side,
wandering around rice fields, disturbing birds, grabbing fruits from Wayans garden,
and watching wedding ceremony in the neigborhood.

In fact, apart of wedding ceremony which was slightly special,
we were doing things that we could easily do in Malang, my own home.
But still, being in Bali made the whole things special.

Back home my parents seemed happy, they were smiling all the times
and they listened to all of my stories with enthusiasme.

Now, in 2009, 30 years after my first trip, I made another trip
to this paradise island. And I went there ,,,,A L O N E,,,my wife granted
a permission to visit his younger brother, and helping him
moving his family to another house.
To make the trip nostalgic, I started my trip from Malang,
took the cheapest bus I could find that late afternoon,
and tried to sleep while the bus heading East to Bali during the night.

The bus arrived in Denpasar around 8 am, and my brother in law picking me up.
After quick breakfast in his place, the first thing I asked him was my folding bike.
And yes, my folding bike (...well, one of them..), has arrived there earlier than me,
and it was ready. So I wandered Sanur Beach, and after running around for a while,
I decided to stay in one of the hotels there.
I could see a puzzle in my brother in law's eyes, but he let me go.

It was amazing to biked around that area, there is a bike path next to the beach,
just between the beach and hotels, where we can enjoy nice environment,
with a lot of trees protecting us from hot sun.
At night time Sanur area is alive with its restaurants and live musics,
sure I could not resist the temptations and stayed around for few beers.
Next afternoon I was too tired to take a bus to Surabaya, so I took Lion Air flight,
and heading home. I left my folding bike in Bali since I am planning to come back soon.
But maybe I will have to change the plan, at home my wife was slightly quite,
she listened to me, but not as my parents did 30 years ago,..
I kept talking about how nice it was biking around the beach with my folding bike,
and being in peace with myself since I was alone,...
Finally she smiled, and said that I can go back to Bali anytime I want.
It just too good to be true, I know from the way she smiled,
that next time it will be impossible to go there alone,....