Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ride to the sea, eat a lot, and ride back (slowly)...


It was not the best of preparation. I could not really sleep. We had a somewhat heavy dinner, quite late yesterday. Before that we travelled almost 300km. Make a detour at the office to pick up Scotty. Slept late. Woken up a few times, fearing for being late at the RV.

At 7am, rushed to the RV, without breakfast and no water in my tank. None in my bottle too. Somehow managed to reach there with a few minutes to spare. The weather is clear, signaling it will be a really, really hot day, all the way to the sea. Greeted Abg Man, and were told that we are waiting for CH, who apparently woken up late.

Took the opportunity to grab some watered down isotonic drink to fill in my bottle, half of the fun will be lost if I 'died' before we reach the sea. Sneaked over to Petronas, and afterwards to the loo. Too much water in too little time wreaked havoc with me. Luckily I am done, just as CH and the rest of the party arrive. Consensus taken, with all saying 'aye' all the way to the sea, even if the sun threatens to bake us all.

The ride rolled out sometime after 8am, everybody working their legs in anticipation of the long, hot ride. The pace slowly picked up from 20kmh to 25kmh, then it became fast and furious, trying to make up lost time it seems. Like Abg Man's comment, Sham Dewa seems to be in a cycling trance (in the zone perhaps), pulling everyone along. Laju pulak tu.

The two km towards De Palma, the riders regrouped and make short change of the long climb. Then we fly towards Salak, where we negotiated the heavy traffic (to the market perhaps?) and after than raced towards Sepang. The undulating terrain posed some problem, but none too big. Working as a team, pulling everybody in, all the way to Sg Pelek town.

The last few kilos are flat and the 'sprinters' in the group have a field day, hitting high 30s. Tried to tag along but my tank is getting emptier by the minute and contended with being in the middle. Amin, like a true leader, falls back and rode as the sweeper to make sure everyone is accounted for. Caught up with Abg Man and the rest who slowed down after the entrance to The Gold Coast.

Cikgu Hisham goes all out to the sea, while we slowed down to regroup. Suddenly we heard a commotion behind us, and zoomed in a green Viva full of young girls cheering us on. Ni yang rasa macam nak kejar ni, hehehe. Cyclist groupie, perhaps? My mind wander back to uni where a group of cyclist going up the back hill is always full of admirers. Hehehe.

Reached the sea and sure enough we met with the cheer squad. Ha, dah dekat2 ni malu pulak, tadi siap sorak2 lagi... What else to do, photo ops for posterity. We then proceeded to the eating place, to refuel and lo and behold, the cheer squad is at the next shop. Nak buek apo, tengok yo la. The hungry crew could not wait no more, even if the one who takes our order is sweet. WE WANT OUR 100 PLUS! NOW!

At 1115 we finally make a move. The first few kilos our legs felt like lead, heavy. Just trudging along, forcing blood into the (whatever) jelly like muscle I have. The pace is good, in the high 20s. After Sg Pelek, follows Hafiz all the way to Sepang, trying to catch him. Apparently he want to distance himself as far away from Amin, 'Nanti dia potong saya bang, hehehe'. Such playful nature, these boys.

Hafiz sped in front, and Cikgu Hisham and Azam caught up with me in Pekan Salak, where nearly 'ditabrak mobil'. Tak reti pakai signal ke? Then I came face to face with the De Palma climb. Hard but still do-able. Wanted to stand all the way, but my jelly legs reminded me to sit in the saddle. Hafiz goes down and do the climb once again. Me? No thank you, once is enough.

Decided to wait for the rest, while Cikgu Hisham decided to press on. One by one, the rest of the crew passes up until finally we saw CH and Abg Man. Yaay! Great for you CH. Abg Man and Hafiz sped away, and I decided to keep CH company. Its torturous but I am sure we can do it. Caught up with Sham Dewa, buying drink at the roadside. As I chug along, saw a stall selling... coconut water. Ice cool coconut water. Kena berenti nih!

CH passed me, and when i caught up with him, pass him my last bottle. Hope it'll last the remaining few kilometers. Cycling alone was never fun, but made it to the RV point nonetheless. The rest have gone back except for Abg Man, Sham Dewa and Acap. Decided to look for CH, and caught up with him near Teras Jernang. He declined the assistance, and triumphantly rode into the RV point after a 100kilo ride.

'Not a man best moment', he says but we told him, one should be proud of finishing that distance, in the hot, humid weather. Especially this is his farthest ever. Now take a rest and feel good in a few days, hehehe.

Thanks to everyone for the torturous ride (borrowing Abg Man's word). Abg Man's note of the ride here

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