The Story of My Tommasini

On April 27, 2018, in bicycle, by omegaforest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had the chance to purchase a Tommasini Racer from Arthur Van Rooji, a vintage bicycle seller based in Heeswijk, Netherland. With some luck, I managed to trace the seller to Rob van Beek.

Rob shared that he purchased the T from an old man. It came with an old saddle and handlebar. Apparently Arthur had done some upgrade to make the T more sellable.

Rob came back a week later with a story of the T.
In 1984/5, Kokke sport, a cycling shop in Putte Capelle Belgium bought over a cycling team in Rotterdam. The club, known as RC Ahoy purchased 25 Tommasini bicycles. The T racers have a customised colour scheme, likely to represent the club colours.

The T Racer is likely used as a competition bike for 2 seasons. When the team cyclist left the club, they would have to return the bicycle or pay a sum of €250 (fl 500) to keep it. The bike was bought by the chairman of the club and converted to a touring bicycle for the wife. However, she did not like the ride and it was kept in the store. It was eventually sold to Rob and to Arthur.

Her wife passed away about 6/7 years ago. Her husband was known to be in poor health.

The club, RC Ahoy still existed and I have sent an email to inquiry for related information. According to Rob, the T is a very rare team bike from the 80’s.

He mentioned there was a similar bicycle for sale on Marktplaats.nl and they sold it for around €500.

I have sent the photo to Barbara at Tommasini, hoping that she will be able to identify the year of manufacture. She replied in 2 occasions, one email dated it at 1986/87 and the other 1989.

Hoping for good news from the club in the next few days.

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August in Penang

On November 16, 2014, in travel, by omegaforest

This year marked my third trip to Penang for CFAL.

My 90 mins AirAsia flight seemed so uneventful. I noticed the lady sitting across me praying hard during takeoff and landing. After all not all enjoyed the flying experience.

At the airport, I was chauffeured by a lady driver in her Nissan Sylphy. One of the 5 lady drivers in the fleet. She even came down and helped me with my 24kg bicycle bag! That impressed me! I told her I’ll have her to fetch me back in 4 days time.

I was glad to be back in Penang. The familiar sigh of Komtar as we turned into city and the old shop houses along Chulia street. This year, I stayed at Nam Keng Hotel. This boutique hotel was just 4 month old and highly rated at Tripadvisor.

Junction at Lebuh Chulia

Junction at Lebuh Chulia

Pre-war shophouses, the beauty of George Town

Pre-war shophouses, the beauty of George Town

Interesting exhibition space. Photo exhibits at the courtyard of a temple.

Interesting exhibition space. Photo exhibits at a temple’s courtyard.

Change is constant. More boutique hotels could be seen along Chulia street and its vicinity. Food is still the biggest draw. We had Nasi Kandar at Little India to Zi Char along Weld street, not mentioning the countless Wanton noodles.

Our first meal was @ Little India.

Our first meal was @ Little India.

Cycling | Photography | Food

It was a privileged to join Alvin and his cycling team on the last leg of their tour. It was a different experience. Instead of searching for countless wall murals, they spent time sharing experiences and appreciating the heritage part of town. Priceless!

Food..good food and lots of it!

Food..good food and lots of it!

The best way to enjoy Penang.....walk!

The best way to enjoy Penang…..walk!

Coincidentally, CFAL was also held in the month of the Hungry Ghost festival. Getai, Chinese Operas and Puppet shows filled the night. The experience was just too overwhelming!

Offerings!

Offerings!

Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera in Penang was of a different league. The troupes were engaged from China and Taiwan. Many featured talents who were as young as teenagers. It was a great experience to document two troupes from China. The young members were extremely passionate about their performance, very dynamic and possessed lots of potential.

Artist from Taiwan

Artist from Taiwan

Artist from China

Artist from China

A show  for the gods

A show for the gods

Backstage

Backstage

The next morning brought new opportunities for photography. Our hotel was just a stone throw away from Chinatown and Chowrasta market. The daily wet market was my all time favorite. Stalls lined the sidewalk and it felt so 70s.

IMG_0029

I see beauty…do you?

One of the many Coffee shop that brought back the 80s feel!

One of the many Coffee shop that brought back the 80s feel!

Morning Market...as fresh as it can be!

Morning Market…as fresh as it can be!

Intestines or some brains tissue?

Intestines or some brains tissue?

IMG_0150

Where metal were forged!

From hostel to boutique hotel!
This was the first time I stayed in a upmarket lodging. In my previous trip, my modest room was only MYR$70! (based on twin sharing)

Nam Keng Hotel was a gem in its own league. Nicely decorated room and friendly staff. The area below the light well was an amazing space. I believed Ying Chang spend a good part of his time here.

We had the family room!

We had the family room!

Time seemed to have stopped here.

Time seemed to have stopped here.

View from 2nd floor.

View from 2nd floor.

Was four days too short? I would have to agree. Penang had indeed outdone itself. Tourists and locals had a lot more choices of hotel to choose from. Air conditioned cafe and eateries added to the ranks of local delights, making Penang another foodie paradise.

Great People!

Great People!

Awesome food!

Awesome food!

Awesome eateries

Awesome eateries

Will see you again in 2015.

View more of my Penang Photo on flicker.

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Location: Kenting to Jinlun
Distance: 124.6km

Route: 26>200A>200>26>199A>199>9

455PM
After descending for 12km, we took a break at a 7-11 on route 9. It was already close to 5pm. we reckon it was too late for us to reach Zhiben. We had the following options

1. Stay at next town Dawu, 大武。
2. Take a train from 大武 to Zhiben
3. Cycle to Jinlun, 金崙, where there is available lodging!

 

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Google MapsGet Directions

 

7-11 located at the end of Highway 9.

7-11 located at the end of Highway 9.

Route 9, we hit the East Coast

Route 9, we hit the East Coast

East Coast

East Coast

Heading down the coast

Heading down the coast

 
6PM

When we reached Da Wu, it was almost last light. We were already pretty tired. We stopped by Da Wu train station. Unfortunately the next train that takes bicycle (without the need to bag) was a few hours away. We cycled around Da Wu town but we did not came across any lodging ( I was later told that there are hotel along the main road).

Back on the main road, we met up with a few cyclists who were heading to Taitung and some said Hualien. Taitung is about 50km away! Either they are really hardcore or ignorant!

We decided to head to Jinlun, some 20km away. Did I mentioned we will be cycling into the night?
 

Da Wu Train Station at Highway 26

Da Wu Train Station at Highway 26

 

its DARK!

its DARK!


 
Slowly, we cycled into the night. As we moved out of the town, lamp post was non-existence! It was pitch darkness. This is when you appreciate the brightness of your front light. My 2 watt front light was a life-saver!

Cycling in the darkness was a unique experience. This was not my first but when you were so exposed on the coastal route, you wondered if some loose rocks were going to hit you! We could hear the waves pounding the rocks. What’s visible were the headlights of approaching vehicles and lights from distant town. I kept ensuring that my rear light was working!

On my left, the cliff were in pitch darkness. On our right, looked like a drop into the ocean! I tried to focus on Allan’s bicycle. What’s interesting was, when it was pitch darkness, our eyes tend to struggle to find a focusing point. I told myself I had to relax.

Allan was cycling in front of me and we kept our eyes on the road. We were glad that there were no headwind and traffic were sparse. At one point, we were the only traffic on the road. The East coast route was not entirely flat. There were some gradual slopes which proves challenging at this hour. We kept pedaling.

About 2 hours and 20km later, we reached Jinlun. Jinlun, 金崙溫泉風景區 is hot spring town. There were a few large scale Hot Spring resorts near to the main road. We were concerned as staying in a hot spring resort would definitely cost a lot more. We were twice lucky when a local recommended us to one that is further down the road. She even mentioned that they provided discount for bicycle tourers!

 

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Google MapsGet Directions

 

9PM

Our stay for the night was 美之濱溫泉渡假村. It looked more like a local motel with attached hot spring. The room was basic but clean. Hot Spring bath later, our first objective…..dinner!

 

Our stay at Jinlun

Our stay at Jinlun. Kind lady boss who offered 2 tired men a discount!

Our stay at Jinlun

Our stay at Jinlun

 

Most of the eateries were closed. We ventured across the main road and was delighted to spot a night market. The great thing about night market was tasting local food. There were fried dumplings, mee sua and braised delicacies. Frankly speaking, I was too tried for food. We sat on a table next to a church and the locals were having mass next door. What a great setting!

 

Night Market at Jinlun, 金崙

Night Market at Jinlun, 金崙

Dinner at 金崙

Dinner at 金崙

 

After dinner, we hit the hot spring. This was a bonus after our longer than expected ride. There were several pools located just outside our room. The setting was very 90s and looked family oriented.

 

Well deserved rest at the hotspring

Well deserved rest at the hotspring

Well deserved rest at the hotspring

Well deserved rest at the hotspring. Allan enjoying the super bubble massage!

 

Thoughts

It took us about 12 hours to cycle for Kenting to Jinlun, the last 20km in darkness. For solo tourer, I would recommend:

1. Start really early from Kenting if you do not wish to cycle into the night.
2. Stay in Da wu. You should be able to make it to the town before dusk.
3. If you intend to push forward to any town after Da wu, invest in a good front and rear light. Look for company or cycle with other groups. Cycling in pitch darkness on a coastal road with vehicle speeding pass you could be a daunting experience.

Useful Links

1. Longpan Park

2. 風吹沙

3. Hotel de Plus

4. Jinlun Hot Spring

5.台東金崙美之濱溫泉渡假村

6. About Jinlun hot spring town.

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