Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bangi-Bagan Lalang-Bangi 100km Ride

This ride was organized by Bacin, but the organizer pulled out last minute due to family matters (amik report card anak daa). Route suggested was Bangi-Bagan Lalang-Bangi, a 100km backtracking route, with about 95% (!!!) of it are flat road. What an excellent idea!!

Those who joined were (in order of arrival) Abu, Saiful, Adzim, Ali, myself, Kabie, Azwar and Zabil. Semua power-power kecuali yours truly.

We depart at 8am and the plan was to work together until we reach Bagan Lalang. Work together hapekebendenya. I got dropped very early in the ride. Then my chain slipped, which didn't help. Ali slipped his chain too, and got lost. So I had to turn back and wait for him. Both of us didn't know the way. Hey, at least having someone when you're lost is a lot better than getting lost alone.

We manage to navigate our way to Bagan Lalang without much problem. The route was really flat, except occasional low degree incline and one steep hill before De Palma Hotel Sepang.

During the ride, Ali told me I pedal well on flats and that I've got the speed, but I suck on hills. Aaaahaha. Pedulik apa. A compliment is a compliment.

We refueled at Bagan Lalang. I had the best plate of bihun goreng I've ever eaten (not because I was too tired or hungry, it truly is delicious!).

The plan was the same on the way back, work together. I drafted for quite a distance. The Baboon Train was going at 40+km/h!!! Few kilometers after Sungai Pelek town, the group started to pick up speed. Even keeping up with them took a lot of effort, so I backed off and went solo. Boy, was it lonely.

I was left alone, not that I mind. I was raped by a menacing concoction of headwind, crosswind, blistering heat and the occasional stench of rotting roadkill. I was in heaven.

I pedaled on the inclines and flats, and coasted on declines.

Then the durjana hill came, which is a lot steeper on the way back; the kurang asam hill before De Palma Hotel. The road gradually rises up, until a point where it shoots up and form a wall ahead. I knew I had to use the granny. As I reach the foot of the hill, I hit the granny and...................... phoooooiiihhhh!! Semput beb!! I unclipped my shoes, got down, and pushed the bike up the hill. Takpe, takpe. Next time I'm gonna get you, bukit durjana.

After that, there weren't so many problems. I did a lot of sight-seeing today. I saw a car with the plate number NAJ18 and thought that was cool. Then near Bangi, I saw another car with the plate number NAJ8. What are the odds?! Ali told me he saw a kampung called Kampung Semen. That must've been really sticky.

As I reached MTDC, all has left except Ali. But of course! I have his car keys. Haha. Zabil left us with some tuna sandwich, a kick of carbohydrate that brought me back to sanity. Cayalah Zabil. You're the best.

All in all, it's a good route to practice speed work. Truly one of its kind. Where else can you find a flat route that goes 100km with tolerable traffic and is close to KL?

No pictures this time. Orang yang kayuh slow kena denda takleh masuk gambar.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What a Waste.

The evening weather was perfect for a ride. Sunny sky, low humidity (relatively. When is it ever low here?), breezy day, and I'm stuck in the library finishing my presentation on HIV/AIDS for group session tomorrow. It's gonna be a Lionel Ritchie in the library today - all night long. What a waste of a perfect weather. *sigh*

Long rides plan have been working. I rode Labu Route till the end, making the route approximately 43km after making the U-turn. And I've done it twice since Thursday. The end of the Jalan Labu is the Sendayan-KLIA junction. KLIA turning is very busy with busses, lorries and cheap highway-bypassing drivers who refuse to pay toll. Sendayan turning is more promising. I've only cycled 2km into the Sendayan turning. The view is BREATH-TAKING! I wish I had a camera with me. Definitely I'll go further next time around.

DING! Ok, time's up. Back to clubbing my head with the keyboard.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lambat Punya Update, Busy Punya Pasal

[Updated: 25th June]

A lot has happened after that taste of pedaling in PD (do not get confused witht he PD tri clinic, happened recently on the 17th. I chickened out and didn't turn up).

Tuesday, June 5th.

After a day break from PD, tried to pedal up the route I used to go to long time ago, the trunk road to Labu. I love this route. The route goes along Jalan Rasah - Taman Bukit Chedang - Columbia Asia Hospital - Simpang Labu - Pedal all the way secukup rasa, then U-turn - Simpang Labu - Seremban Town - Jalan Rasah. Quite a mouthful to say isn't it? Let's just call it Labu Route from now on.

The best part is the 'pedal all the way secukup rasa', so I can customize the cycling session to the amount of time I have. Traffic is very light after Simpang Labu, but doesn't really matter actually. Seremban drivers are very courteous, and they respect cyclist. They actually give way!!! :-O

Distance was about 25km. Then again, it's an estimate. My cyclocomp went bonk.

Wednesday, June 6th.

Labu Route, with an extra 5km than the day before.

Thursday, June 7th.

Labu Route, same distance as the first day.

Friday, June 8th: Complete rest.

Saturday, June 9th.

This time, it's a re-visit to Sungai Tekala. My cycling partner this time is Ali, my best buddy. He cycled a mountain bike with slick wheels. Not for long though. He'll be making a debut soon on a road bike! Cayalah beb!

The route taken was exactly like the first time I went there with Ikhwan Hadi. I have to say, I'm still unfit, but fitter than previously. I use less of the granny gear. Most climbs are bearable, except that one climb at Simpang Tiga. Pundek betoi. Steep gila nak mampos. Dah la aku berat gila. I was panting so hard, I think all the beruk nearby got turned on. Nasib baik I remained seated. Should I lift my butt up, sure kena suntut dengan beruk. Haha. Sial.

Midway, we got taken over by Ikhwan, Azmar and Laif. They came from Genting Peres, and plan to take the shortcut to Batu 14, cutting across that dreaded steep hill. I went up the hill once long time ago, on foot. Memang betul steep. Ikhwan calls it Bukit Celaka. Mau tau kalu, sendiri kena kasi try lah.

Time for some pictures. These are all post-ride pictures. Sori lah. Cycling pants don't come with pockets.

Ini adalah Mr. Ali posing with my trusty mini van. To Azwar aka PrimateChief: See, I don't drive a Savvy la.

Mari mari mari! Car boot sale! Sekilo RM4.50

Toyota Unser drivers eat your hearts out. Who's more spacious? I reckon this beaten-up Ford Spectron can easily fit 5 bikes, unassembled.

Tido selepas kayuh memang best.

Sunday, June 10th: Attended cousin's wedding. Rest.

Monday, June 11th: Tido, because I didn't sleep the whole night before.

Tuesday, June 12th: Hujan. Rest.

Wednesday, June 13th: Malas. You can see where this is going.

Thursday, June 14th: Right thumb hurts. Rest.

Friday, June 15th: You guessed it, rest, yet again.

Saturday, June 16th.

Haaaa. On this day, I can't kayuh. My sister got engaged. Yes, my ADIK perempuan. Haha. I thought it was going to be kecil-kecilan. But when I got home, hambek ngko, siap berkhemah-khemah lagi. Families from segala pelosok negara showed up.

That day I sort of got tired being bombarded by my uncles and aunties.

"When is your turn?" [repeat 21,486 times]

Hah, takpe korang. I'll ask you guys the same question when we meet in funerals.

But one aunty managed to save the day. My Mak Cik silenced the rest of my family when she said "Azman? Don't be so expectant of him lah. He's too choosy. Plus he said wants to buy house, 3 big cars, and a few expensive bicycles first." Cayalah Mak Cik. You're my favourite aunty. I think she's the only one in the family who understands that I'm married to my bike.

Ok, ok. Enough family talk. The way my cycling is going, I don't think it'll benefit much. I always find a way to cheat myself. I think I should make it less frequent, 2-3 times a week, but longer rides. That way I have no way out but to do it. Let's try it this week and see if it works.

Oh, to those who are wondering what happened to my running, I've decided to give my running shoes a rest. I love my knees. I don't want to bust them from overuse. So it's gonna be cycling until I shed some kilos off. Then maybe I can get back to running, hopefully faster and pain-free.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007



No, they're not Zipp wheels.

Not an html error either.

404 is the distance in kilometers covered by Aini, cyling over the weekend!! Putrajaya to Kuantan. Hambek ngko! I'm telling you, this woman is like no other. Itu kaki kasi tendang kalu, mau masuk gol.

She is strong physically, no doubt, but what inspires me most is her determination and strong will. Kalau Aini, bukan takat iron will dah. Ni dah kira reinforced carbon fiber will dah ni.

Congratulations on your monumental achievement, Aini, and we are so proud of you!! You are officially INSANE (INSAN Extreme).


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pedaling in PD

I joined the cycling group in PD on Sunday. Present were Azmar, Jaja, Abu, Saiful, Fairuz, Pujie, Muhammad, Steve, Caroline, Vicky and myself.

Azmar, Jaja, Steve, Caroline, Pujie and Muhammad did the 3km+ swim earlier, with Vicky kayaking alongside.

Abu, Saiful and Fairuz ran before cycling.

I, who came later to join the cycling leg, was having breakfast at home when they were engaged in their activities. Hehe.

They plan to simulate the PD tri and to a certain extend, Ironman, condition by cycling under the blistering hot sun. Cycling started around 11.30 am, from Pantai Sri Purnama Batu 8 towards Linggi, using about 60% of the PD tri route, about 40km.

It was HOT! I could feel the ultraviolet light photons working their way through my skin. The route was about 60% flats with the rest being undulating hills. Climbs were ok. Tekala climbs are much worse.

Puji, Muhammad, Abu, Saiful and Fairuz took off very early during the ride. BOOM and they're gone. Azmar waited for everyone to settle at their own pace before he too sped up to catch up with the group ahead.

Vicky, Steve, Caroline and Jaja rode together at a moderately fast pace.

I was waaay back, dropped like a goose egg. Haha.

We stopped at 20km mark to regroup and made a U-turn back to where we started.

To those going to PD tri, mark these words. The headwind on the way back to PD is VERY strong. So get your strategies planned. Either draft behind a larger person, get a TT bike and an aero helmet, or grit your teeth and keep on pedaling.

It was the lunch rush on the way back, so the coastal road was congested. I overtook a lot of cars, yet maintaining my humble position way at the back.

The final hundred meters was a steep downhill. With that ahead and the thought of finishing, I hastened the pace and went berdezup downhill. Unknowingly, there's a grill across the road ahead covering a drain. It was too late when I took notice and hadn't had time to properly align my wheel to pass the grill.

And so, the drama of getting the front wheel caught in between the grill ensues. PANG!! PRRAAANNGGG!! KEPOM!!!!! Psssssssssssssssttttttttttttttt............
I managed to stop the bike AND unclip my shoes. Phew! Nasib baik tak tergolek (lagi). Awww... my first flat. Pujie looked and me an said "Apa jadi?" Aku senyum je.

Rupa-rupanya diorang dah sampai lagi awal, dok tengah bedal watermelon, courtesy of Steve. Memang stim makan tembikai sejuk. Thanks Steve!

Steve, Pujie, Azmar, Muhammad and Caroline continued with the planned run, with the rest decided to give it a pass.

All in all, it was a good introductory ride to the PD tri route. An eye opener, definitely, a reminder that I have to train harder. I'll go there again before race day, twice at least. Sapa nak join? Nanti kita calling calling.