Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The start of more races to come...

A friend of mine, Nick, has been itching to race since the three years that he has been here. He laments the lack of local races compared to his native NZ. So what else to do if you can't really find a race? Organize races yourself.

So this Saturday, Nick will be organizing a race at Putrajaya, specifically at Persiaran Timur. Racing will start at 9am, so if you're interested in racing, kindly be at the RV point before 8.30am. It will be run on an 18km loop, depending on your category, you could be racing 54km, hehehe...

Depending on numbers and motivation it will have 3 categories...

Cat 1: Open - 3 Laps (~54km)
Cat 2: Vets/Women - 2 Laps (~36 km)
Cat 3: Social/Novice - 1 Lap (~18 km)

More information such as maps, instructions etc could be gleaned at the Race Website : http://sites.google.com/site/klcycleracing

I might just drop by to Putrajaya on Saturday to race, in the Social Category of course, hehehe...

Monday, April 13, 2009

The 'Mendum' ride...

"Saya memang cuak jugak nak ride dengan grup ni. Diaorang semua ni kuat, kayuh beskal memang laju. Naik bukit pun laju. Makan apa la agaknya?" - Enche Bon

The ride this week was dominated by the Disco boys. One third of the riders are Disco boys. And one from Astana. That must be one of the reason why they ably gobble up the hills, even the formidable Mendum and then spits it out. Easy, peasy... for them that is.

Anyway, I was having two minds about joining this ride. There are some things needed to be done in office, but upon securing some help at the very last minute, decided to tag along. I do not fully understand it but the mere mention of 'bukit'/hills, make the whole ride so much more desireable. Could it be some psychosomatic manifestation of some sort? Or some unseen primal connection to conquering hill(s)?

I reach the RV just as they were rolling out. I haven't met a few of them for quite some time, like Suhaimi PPZ. Hey, even I was surprised I was there :) We rode slowly at first, catching up while I have the nagging feeling that my rear wheel sprung a tiny leak. Ayie catches up with us shortly before Teras Jernang, and we continued in a single file towards Semenyih.

Like I said, the Disco boys drive the pace quite high and before long one of us at the back of the peloton suffered a puncture. I chased the front riders to slow them down, and we stopped for a while. The ride to Semenyih was hazardous, negotiating potholes and fighting 'lori hantus'. Once Bro Syarul's wheels given extra air at Pekan Semenyih, we zipped thru the UNotts highway all the way to Broga.

My suspicion is stronger with each kilometers that my wheels sprung a leak as my wheels are getting heavier but maybe the leaden legs are caused by the 60km ride yesterday. I haven't really recover from my fever on Wednesday and Thursday, and maybe, just maybe, the dehydration/overtraining effects lingers. All of a sudden, I was alone. Left behind by the front pack, I decided to push on all the way to Lenggeng, when I temporarily got lost. Lost?

Have not been to Mendum before, so I do not know where to go. Retraced my route, yet failed to see any rider. Stopped and ask one pakcik, and he confirms a group of cyclist did ride thru just a few minutes ago. 'Macam mana boleh miss ni?'. There is only one other junction to try, towards Pantai/Kelawang. After a few kilos, I read a sign which says 'Kg Mendum'. Most probably I am at the right place. Then I saw the view...

As I slowly make my way up the incline, Wari, Ayie and the rest of the crew came zooming down. One corner sets you up for another corner. Once you exited that corner, up it goes another 20 degrees towards another corner. Just 25 meters before the third corner, I admit defeat. I almost unclipped myself. Bukit Mandum will have the last laugh, today...

Broken, I make my way back down, hitting 75kmh. Cycled slowly towards the nasi lemak ikan keli shop, where I joined the rest of the crew. I do not have appetite to eat, my mind were elsewhere. After the crew almost finished everything at the shop, we make our way back. My wheels are getting flatter by the minute and luckily for me, I was rescued 10 kilos into my ride back.

My mind were still on Bukit Mandum. And how I let it defeat me today. One fine day, I will climb all the way to the top, and conquer it... one day.

Pics courtesy of http://manciocc.blogspot.com (Thanks Abg Man!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The cool tree lined roads...

Heard that Big plans to ride with Mursh in the morning, and sure enough, that was loosely the plan. Decided to join the ride, so I sent text messages to Wari to meet at the RV at 730am. After all, the two team rides planned on the 7th and the 10th did not materialise, so must make up for lost mileage eh?

I am late again in the morning and only reached the RV at almost 0750. Only Mursh was there, as Big and Wari were unreachable. As we discussed on our ride destination, we decided to run some errands in BBB first, and later ride some 40 odd kilometres to Semenyih. Mursh like the ideas, especially as the roads will be lined by nice shades.

We planned to ride a leisure 20-25kmh pace, and should be covering the whole distance and back in more or less two hours. I warned Mursh that there will be a few hills along the way, but nothing he would not be able to handle. He was up to the challenge all the way. Almaklumlah training selalu. We arrive at our destination after about an hour ride, and decided to stop for our break at a restaurant.

After the refreshing mandatory hydration stop, we make our way back. But not without teasing Big, about wanting to stop by at his house. The journey back feels a lot faster (ni mesti kesan milo ais dengan roti bom kot?) and we reached the RV in about 50 minutes. After planning our next ride, both of us part way, while I make my way back home. Leisurely that is.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

From Peras to Labu?

I received a short text "We r ridin frm to PEREZ sunday 5 april. Surf http://manciocc.blogspot.com 100km 730 sharp gerak" from Abg Man. Well, I haven't been riding of late (almost two month), and to ride 100km without many miles in the legs remind me of what happen to CH a few months ago.

But then again, the lure of Perez is too much to ignore. Without the chance to scale Sempah yet, Perez remains my yardstick as I could compare this ride with the last. Try to coax the rest of the gang, but Big, Am, Megat and even CH declined due to lack of mileage, they said. I guess that will just leave me and Wari, then for this ride.

Ride day - I was late. The ride was supposed to start at 0730, and at 0725 I was still 9 km away. I contemplated using the shortcut, and meet the group somewhere in the middle, but decided to go the distance, even if I have to chase them for the first half. Luckily for me, as I ride thru the RV, I saw the group were just making their way out. Fuh!

And as luck would have it, they also decided to change their route. If not, I would be climbing Perez alone as they tackle different route. Memang nasib baik. As I catch my breath, we rode into Salak in one single line. The pace up front was furious, with Ayie, Wari, Riezal (on a single speeder some more) dictating. I tried to follow suit, but the my legs keep reminding me, what I have missed all this month.

Suddenly, I found myself in front of the peloton going up the long De Palma hill. Imagined myself charging forward not unlike George Hincapie up the Alps (as if la) riding for Discovery and Lance, just that I could only manage 27kph all the way to the top near De Palma. Riding down, letting gravity do its stuff, I hit 64kmh. At the junction, we regrouped before making our way.

We make our way to the junction towards Pekan Labu, when Ayie, Sham Dewa, Amir, Cik Puan Bola2api and me ride our way to the front and ride towards food(? what else? already?). Abg Zizan (who acts as our marshall), reminded us to stop at the Big Pumpkin, for the usual photo ops. We reached the place in no time, but apparently two sudden technical problems means Abg Man and the rest of the gang took a bit longer to arrive.

After the customary photo ops, we make our way towards Gadong Baru when another puncture, derailed the rest of the gang. The stomach rumbles louder, but it would take another 20km of riding before we will stop to eat. Once the puncture sorted out, we ride the dragonback towards Enstek, joined by Abg Zack (another marshall?) and take a shortcut to Salak for our sustenance. Apparently, the karaoke singer also doubles as the roti canai/telur/bawang maker...

After having some grub, its time to roll out with the dreaded short, sharp De Palma climb waiting. No casualty there. I decided to push on, without waiting for the others, maintaining 40kmh for as long as I can (konon2nya breakaway la ni, hehehe). I thought I can go all the way to Dengkil junction, alas my tired legs could only be flogged up til Jenderam, where I was caught by the fast approaching pursuivant .

Regrouped at the Dengkil junction, say goodbye and make my way back as I have a date with the bowling alley. Don't want to let my team mates down. Thanks to Abg Man and the rest of the guys for a great ride, looking forward to do it again...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The short (sightedness) of it...

I have been wearing spectacles since I was... err, like 11 years old. So that makes it more than a quarter of a century ago. Being shortsighted unfortunately, put paid to one of my earliest ambition, to became a fighter pilot that is.

Anyway, to the best of my knowledge I started to wear spectacles after I got a high fever, which refuse to go down even after I got a jab in the rear end. Ouch! Degil punya demam. But I realised after that 'demam panas', I move nearer to the telly to watch TV by the day. Maybe, the 'demam panas' has fried some of my ocular nerves...

It was no surprise, that I have to use a -3.75 lenses for starters, and before long it goes up to -4.50. So all this while, I was actually a nerd, before nerd became cool. Then along came contact lenses, that allows me to participate in sports, even contact sports like rugby.

So imagine my surprise when I was going for an eye checkup recently, the technician took a tad longer to prescribe my lenses. It seems that I somehow had lowers my power, to -3.50. That means it has gone down by 1.00. Hows that? the technician even suggested that I use a -3.75 contact lenses compared to the usual -4.50 contacts.

Not too bad eh? Maybe if I live long enough, I may not need to use spectacles anymore... let say in another 50 years time? Hahaha...who knows?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

As good as it gets...

We are in basically in control of what we do (well, that is to a certain extent), so the excuse for not being riding for almost two month could never be attributed to the weather (it has been raining a lot of late) or travel (I have been heavily traveling these past few month) or work (it never ends, right?)

Basically, I was just felt a bit 'malas', and all the other reasons, somehow conveniently fits in. Once you started, its hard to stop and likewise, once you stopped, it is much harder to starts again. One week became two, then without the slightest notice, became a month and before you know it, you have not been training for two month. At least thats for me.

So, as we basically in control of what we do, it is unfair to blame the weather, frequent travel or long hours at work for our non exercising period. As it became harder and harder to ride at night (as it rains on most nights), I decided to shift my riding time to... right after work. And it starts yesterday. After finishing some loose ends, I reached Putrajaya at around 630pm, and proceeded to KTP where I unload my bike.

Starts my ride shortly after and decided to ride the big roundabout and maybe a climb to Shangri-La. Starts slowly (after all, I havent been riding for quite a long time) and to have a feel of my body, just to gauge the reaction. Felt good, even if I am a bit dehydrated to starts with, and by the time my one hour ride ends, I have circled the roundabout a few times and climbed up Shangri-La, twice, from both ends. HR? In the region of 180, and felt not too bad.

If you can't go for long rides, at least squeeze in some rides, even if its just for an hour. I am having runny nose today, which maybe is a sign my body needs some TLC...

Just like they say, "Carpe Diem"...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

One old boat race...

Finally, I manage to catch the 'Boat Race' on telly. This year its the 155th year that pitted the crew of Oxford against the crew of Cambridge. It was a good start by both crews, but not long after, the Dark Blues (Oxford) surge forward. Both crews upped their effort and counter effort up till Chiswick Eyot where in trailing, Oxford seems to resort to disrupt the rhythm of the Cambridge crews, by opting to clash blades :)

It does rattle the Light Blues a bit I think, and after that their rhythm is a bit affected. From the Eyot, they surge forward, two length advantage at Bandstand and extend it to three and a half length by the Finish. It was superb rowing, duel and clashing of blades, and both crews of international calibre produces a breathtaking race at its 155th edition. Read more here

On a local note, the Oxbridge alumnus here also stage a similar race in KTP. Any idea of the result? Did the Oxford crew emulate their Alma Maters success on the Thames?