Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Time To Shred Some Fats

Its been just over a year since my last run at 2011 Sundown. I completed 21km, barely able to walk across the finishing line due to cramps. But its still a personal achievement to finish it below 3 hours.

One year on and I have lost all my stamina and muscles, in exchange for expanded waistline, barely able to fit into my pants (again), and some not so good readings with my bad cholesterol. Well the combination of uncontrolled feasting on rich, yummy and sinful food and the zero exercise over the year all adds up.

It is time to put a stop. Watching Sasuke Singapore on TV makes me wanna get fit again! RAWR!

Image from Nike Running Singapore
First, set a target, for without it, there is no aim, purpose or motivation. First target is to complete the Nike 10k 2012. Its almost like Deja Vu as it was the Nike 10k 2010 that I caught the running bug. Let's hope this run gets me started again. Let me know if you are going for this run too. Friends would make it more fun. More details can be found here.

Update 28th Sept 12: Registration for Nike 10k 2012 has closed.

I have also bought myself a Polygon Helios F500 flatbar road bike to join my poly friends on their weekly rides. The first time I ride with them was a 36km ride. I wasn't really expecting that and boy was it gruesome, wanted to give up halfway. But having ride a few more times it's getting more and more enjoyable.

Hope you guys find some fun activities to do and keep fit as well.

Update: Yes I complete the run in one piece. Although the timing is not great, completing it is itself an achievement.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Chain Reaction Cycles - Excellent Customer Service

When I received the replacement package yesterday, I knew I had to blog about them.

Last month when I was in my "lost" world, I bought myself a road bike so I could join my cycling friends on their weekly cycling routine. Most of the time when a cycling newbie like me start on the cycling journey, the bike cost would be the first to hit you. Later on do you realise that it is actually the accessories cost that would run up pretty high, unknowingly.

From my Online US Shopping and Online Shopping Encore posts, you would have realise that I embrance online shopping. Often the prices are cheaper and the range are more extensive. The downsides are:
1) the waiting time,
2) the lack of physical touch (on the actual products),
3) the fear of being cheated,
4) the fear of damaged or wrong goods delivered.

Some of these could be mitigrated. So if you do not need the items urgently, and you have seen or touch or knows exactly what you are getting, the first two downsides are cleared. The third downside could be mitigrated by choosing a reputable online retailer and using Paypal to pay. Why Paypal? Because if you have issues or disputes with the seller/retailer, you could raise the dispute through Paypal who can help you get your money back. I personally have used it before when I won a eBay bid for a toy, paid for it but the toy never came. Raise the dispute ticket with Paypal and they credit the money back to me within 3 weeks.

The last downside is abit of a hit and miss that happens even when you buy at local store. The issue is if the retailer is overseas, you pretty much write off the package since it usually cost too much or is too much of a hassle to ship it back to them for replacements. That was what Arthur and I almost did.

What happen was last month, I found out about this UK online store call Chain Reaction Cycles (CRC) selling heaps of bicycle stuff. The thing I like about this store is, they can display the prices in SGD, enabling easier comparisons with local prices. And if the total orders are above SGD250, they ships for free no matter how big (love this as I ordered a car mount bicycle rack). So I ordered a number of stuffs including two Blackburn Flea lights, one for my friend Arthur. These lights uses USB to recharge so you save on batteries.

The package came fairly quickly but one of the Flea lights USB charger was not working. Arthur took it as bad luck and was ready to write it off. But I felt bad as the light wasn't cheap I actually help him purchase it. So I dropped an email to CRC about the charger. The next working day CRC replied, apologising for the faulty product and said in the same email they are sending a replacement to me. And this was without asking for photos or further information. They send the replacement from UK, no questions asked.

This is what I call excellent customer service. And it is online retailers like this that eliminates the final downside. I would definitely be patronising this site again in future. That BeOne Diablo carbon bike looks so tempting...