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Monthly Archives: June 2021

What do you see?

One of my friends regularly cycles along a particular road. It was only when he walked the same route that he noticed the Telecoms Museum.

Like my friend, I walk now as cycling is not allowed during the Movement Control Order. Similarly, I am noticing details that I was blind to when I cycled those roads. This just goes to show how much I have to focus on the road when I ride.

My walks have been around my immediate neighbourhood, with a few taking me further afield. The numbers on the map show the locations of sights I probably looked at but did not consciously see when I cycled by.

1

Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock is a kopitiam chain. One outlet opened within a stone’s throw of where I live. This is on the side of the building housing the café. Ali and Muthu have their own murals.

2

There are two signs like this identifying The Row of renovated shophouses. I’ve been up and down Jalan Doraisamy for years now. I didn’t notice the other sign until a week ago.

3

This mural is on the outside wall at the rear of Gavel café. This photograph is a mashup of two images. The quote is actually separate and a few feet away from the waiter.

4

This mermaid is on the side wall of Woo Pin Fish Head Noodle House.

5

This building was the sales gallery for the apartment block where I live. After the sales push ended, the gallery was refurbished. I assume these wings were painted as part of that refurbishment. There is no indication of what the building will be used for in future.

6

“Where to next?” My list is long. But who knows when the owner of this mural, MS Star Travel Agencies, will be booking tourist travel again?

7

This combined actual and painted waterfall is part of the KL Forest Eco Reserve. It sits at the T-junction where Jalan Dang Wangi intersects Jalan Ampang. I ride to that T-junction every time I cycle from home. I haven’t noticed it because when I turn left, my attention is on a bump and a grating at the corner. When I turn right, I am looking over my shoulder while I cross two lanes.

8

The coloured spotlights lit the KL Tower as dusk fell while I finished my loops of the neighbourhood.

9

Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is a one-way street. This mural is visible only when facing the flow of traffic.

10

These five orbs are on the pavement in front of SOGO. They show Kuala Lumpur landmarks like the Sultan Abdul Samad building and Menara Maybank.

11

There are two of these chrome red bears in front of Star Residences. I believe they are a references to Sleepy Bear Sdn. Bhd., the former name of the company managing this property.

12

I last saw this pink food truck three years ago at the TAPAK Urban Street Dining lot on the corner of Jalan Ampang and Persiaran Hampshire. It caught my eye because my late father hailed from Bera in the state of Pahang. In the 1970s, Kuala Bera was a tiny kampung with no electricity or running water, accessible only by laterite roads and a series of ferries. Now it is a town with hotels, supermarkets and fast-food restaurants. And at least one pizza-serving pink food truck.

This truck is now parked outside a restaurant on Jalan Liew Weng Chee that serves Pahang specialities. No doubt waiting, like the rest of us, for the resumption of sit-down dining.

The cycling ban has been extended to 28th June. I have lots more time to spot what I missed from the saddle.

As for what you see in the image at the start of this post. Pillars or men?

More Ouch

In my last post, I wrote about my muscles aching after walking and jogging for the first time in years. Over the next few days, general pain in both knees replaced the muscle aches.

I was delighted that my muscles did not hurt anymore, either during or after exercise. My knees were another story. The aching ceased after I started moving, but the post-exercise pain put an end to my attempts at jogging.

I continued to walk. Over the next few days, the generalised knee pain had narrowed down to two areas: the front and inside of both knees. The inner knees were particularly painful when rising from a chair or getting out of bed and walking.

More research was called for. The Knee Pain Diagnosis page on knee-pain-explained.com is particularly helpful.

The issue in the front of my knees was an occasional pinching pain while walking. Flexing the affected knee a few times resolved that issue. That leads me to think that it is Plica Syndrome.

Plicae are small folds in the synovial membrane, the thin structure that surrounds and lines the knee joint. Knee plica irritation occurs when the plica gets caught or pinched between the knee bones.

I was not very concerned about Plica Syndrome. The pain was minimal and intermittent. The medial knee pain was more worrying. My knees stiffened up. Standing and starting to walk was difficult, and I limped for the first few steps. All that pointed toward Pes Anserine Tendinopathy or Bursitis.

The pes anserine bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac located 2 to 3 inches below the knee joint on the inside of the lower leg. That bursa lies beneath three tendons that attach to thigh muscles and prevents the tendons from rubbing on the tibia.

I don’t have swelling on the inside of the knees. That makes me think that I have tendinopathy rather than bursitis. The tendons and the underlying bursa are irritated, but the bursa is not yet inflamed and swollen.

In either case, the suggested treatment is rest and regular application of ice. I will do both as I do not want to progress from pes anserine tendinopathy to pes anserine bursitis.

After a day without walking, my right knee is virtually pain-free. My left knee is still sore, but the pain has lessened. Positive signs and good reasons to be idle for a few more days.

jj

Ouch

Posted on
Image courtesy of trainingcor.com

I ran a lot until I tore the ACL in my right knee. That got me into cycling in 2008. I can count on one hand the number of times I have run since then. A company sports day in about 2014 was the last time I ran fast. That was hard work, and it was only 200 metres.

COVID-19 restrictions in Malaysia prompted my latest attempts at running. Jogging, to be more accurate. The first Movement Control Order in March 2020 banned all outdoor activities. So I walked and jogged up and down the multi-storey car park where I live.

Restrictions were eased in May 2020, and I was back on my bicycle. The only limits were how far away from home I could ride and with how many people in a group. So no jogging since then.

New COVID-19 case counts have risen dramatically since Q4 2020.

Graph courtesy of Ministry of Health Malaysia

In response, the government declared a total lockdown from 1st June 2021. To the chagrin of many cyclists, jogging outdoors is allowed during this full lockdown, but cycling is not. It is not surprising that the government is not allowing cycling. Many riders congregated and rode in large groups, contravening the restrictions in place before the full lockdown.

So out with the cycling shoes.

And on with the running shoes.

There is a convenient 600 metre loop around where I live.

Having covered 12km over the past two days, mostly walking, all I can say is “ouch.” The only muscles that do not hurt as I write are the ones labelled in green.

Graphic courtesy of i.pinimg.com

Which made me wonder why. The same muscles used to pedal are used to walk and jog.

Some internet research enlightened me. Both running and cycling use the gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves to generate power. There is some difference in the degree of muscle recruitment and activation between cycling and running. Though not enough to account for the soreness I feel.

Cycling is regularly touted as an ideal form of exercise because it is a no-impact activity. Running is a high-impact sport. It turns out that is the main reason why I am now sore.

While cycling, my body weight is supported by the bicycle saddle. When running, my joints and muscles work much harder to support my body weight. The striding motion of running puts more stress on the gluteals, quadriceps and hamstrings than does the circular motion of pedalling. The small muscles like the hip flexors, extensor hallucis longus, and tibialis anterior have to work harder to stabilise the body and maintain balance, especially on uneven ground.

The only leg muscles that don’t hurt are my gastrocnemius and soleus. I suspect they, too, would start to ache if I sprinted rather than jogged. My knees would probably start to complain also.

This full lockdown runs until 14th June. It may be extended beyond that date. So it is walking and jogging for the foreseeable future. I hope my legs get used to the new stresses and strains. I don’t want to be “ouching” for much longer.