The importance of servicing a bicycle

I must have been cycling for 5 years now, on the same bike I bought through the Cycle-2-Work scheme. I have mended punctures numerous times, changed brake pads at least once for both wheels, and replaced freewheel and chain a year and a half ago. But not once have I really serviced my bike. In fact I have not even cleaned my bike before! I mean I have put on the odd lubricants on my chain every now and then, and tightening the brake cables when absolutely need to. But I really haven’t found the need to bring my bike in to a bike shop to get it serviced, until my brake cable got so dodgy that I can hardly brake my rear wheel.Cycled to Halfords about a week ago, looking to buy a fixed lock that I can mount onto external wall to secure W’s bike. Then found out that I can still purchase their one-year bike plan, which includes bike servicing, because my bike was bought from Halford. In fact the bike mechanic can still recall that I bought the bike there! I found this rather unbelievable, but anyway he had a look at my bike to confirm and thought my bike was still in, well, tolerable condition. Fantastic! Because I was toying with the idea of bringing my bike to a local bike shop in Reading town centre instead, as it is easier for me to leave and collect. But at only £18 for a one-year bike plan, it was an easy decision.Collected my bike today. And I honestly could not remember that I can cycle so quickly with my bike! I know my bike has now been pumped up, more than I usually am accustomed to. But it is still incredibly quick. Gear changes are much smoother, and I don’t miss certain gears anymore. The brakes are very responsive as well. Had I known that maintaining my bike in good conditions can make such big differences I would have sent my bike in to the bike shop more frequently, perhaps once a year. Wasted too much energy cycling for too long!

Liquid ban is flawed at KLIA too!

Reading the blog post by Bruce about liquid ban flaws at Schiphol, Amsterdam, reminds me of the same style of security system being used at Kualu Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Malaysia too! Basically KLIA also allows passengers with printed boarding pass to go to the duty-free shopping area, which is located at the satellite building, without having to go through any security checks, yet.KLIA LayoutThe passengers will only be checked when they want to enter the waiting lounge of their respective gate. Because the airport allows passengers to buy duty-free goods there, the security personnels will have to allow passengers to bring lots of liquids up the plane as well. There lies the flaw, where passengers can potentially exchange the liquids inside the bottles of liquids they bought at the airport with those they brought in from outside the airport. I could not remember whether bottles of liquids bought at KLIA are sealed. But it does not matter. Passengers can still get pass this by doing what the reporter did as described in the above blog post.I remember asking questions some time ago about not having central security checks before allowing passengers to enter an airport. It makes sense to distribute security checks to gates as passengers then do not have to queue together with passengers of other planes, thus potentially shortening queueing time. But it does bring questions to my mind about whether this is a good way to secure an airport. To me terrorists can bomb the airport relatively easily even though they may not be able to bring liquid explosives up the plane. But now it seems that the terrorists may be able to bring large amount of liquid explosives up the plane as well!

Ultra sound scan of our baby!

This is most amazing. I haven’t realised that the foetus is already fully formed at just 12.5 weeks! She is very well behaved at the time when the scan was carried out, chilling out in the womb 😉 The doctor had no problem making a measurement of her size, at 6.1cm, which is tiny! And I was amazed to see her move, and turn around like a baby already at such young “age”! Her heart beat is visible, almost feel like it is about to burst out from her tiny body! I’m very happy, as she looks healthy, and looks every bit like what a foetus should look like 🙂 A lot more relief now than I was weeks ago, not even knowing whether our baby is alive or not. Looking forward to the next scan in two months time already!