Monday, November 20, 2006

PCC/Proton Presidential Ride - Sunday

The journey

Morning began with me picking up a fren Mantak from his abode in Subang Jaya. I later met up with Isaac at Sungai Way to convoy to Kajang Perdana where we reached at about 6:45 am. Parked our cars and assembled our bikes and gears. This photo is provided by Benny

The Flag off and Ride Format

There must have been more then 650 people (though 650 registered for the ride) at the Flagging off session. Familiar faces there were Kim, JT, Benny and Naeem (from the Kiara Geng), Ashley, Chloe, Stephanie Chok and Zeus (from the Fitness First Gym), Aidid and geng (from the FRIM ride) Valerie, Boon Foo and Lim (Bikepro) and Lim from KSH. Checkout the photo courtesy of Isaac and the one below by Benny.

The Ride consist of 4 Trails. The Trails mainly is design to satisfy rider who like the outdoor with a mix of mountain climbing, downhill ride, obstacles and cross country rides. Flag off was at 8:00 am and there was a stream of rider down the SILK highway before going to the first trail.

The Ride

Trail 1, I think is design to separate the fit riders and the unfit. Due to the masses of riders and the steep (some 50 degree climbs) hill, much of our times were spent pushing the bikes up hill becoz of congestion. This took out some wind and energy. There was also a downhill section where falls were inevitable. Ironically for someone who abhors danger, i think perhaps with the adrenalin pumping, i went thru almost all of these obstacles even down the 500m downhill section. Managed to finish Trail 1 at about 10:00 am and picked up our supplies of water and banana.

Starting Trail 2, JT, Kim, Naeem and me got off 5 minutes later but missed a flag and accidentally went to the "chicken Route" ie back to start. I had to double back to the Start of Trail 2 and lost 20 minutes in the process. Going up the Trail, managed to catch up with the pack consisting of Ashley, Chloe and Zues. We reached Checkpoint 2 at about 12:00 pm. Chloe and Zeus left for the Chicken Trail at this point as Zeus had to catchup with Class. I was quite lethargic at this point and hands were aching. I was quite lucky that I had not suffered cramps like many others do by the trails.

Left for Trail 3 with Stephanie and Ashley, and at this point I had made my biggest mistake of not taking enough water. 2 and half litre of water is not enough for hot midday sun and one of two toughest Trail and by kilometer 6 of the 16km Trail 3, I had already exhausted my water supply and just couldn't keep up with Ashley and Stephanie. The last 10km was the most enduring almost grueling of my life. Images of cartoons of me crawling in the desert and looking for water kept coming to mind. Good Samaritans I met, gave me what ever water they can spare for me to complete Trail 3. This is the most memorable trail I had ever had to endure. There was and almost vertical hill drops of about 30 feet and climbs and endless hill climbs with very technical trails through rubber trees. The fact that U do not know what challenges lies ahead plays havoc on your strength, mind and willpower. I reached checkpoint 3 after it was close and had to proceed back to the Start since the race is already finished.

Addendum and Errata: Here also is a cute video doneup by LingtheMerciless of the PCC ride. U can see some familiar faces here.

By the time we cycled back to the Start point, it was already 5 pm and everybody was about to leave. 8 to 9 hours of ride covering a distance of approximately more then 55km takes quite a toll on the body. I was shivering uncontrollably and quite lethargic by the time I reached my car. Only about 100+ riders finished the full 4 Checkpoint. I had to take 30 minutes of rest and soaking myself with 2 cans of Energy drink courtesy of Isaac and Jason before proceeding to pack my bikes and gears before heading off for home.

As if to greet my failure of non completion, the heavens open up and rain poured heavily closing what was a day of excellent weather. On hindsight, the day has been most memorable as what i set to do was to compete with myself. Nine month ago, i could not even climb a full flight of staircase without feeling breathless, now I could manage an approximate 50km of MTB. I'll be better prepared for next year and I look forward to next years challenge.

The aftermath

I am now suffering aches and pain on my wrist and knee perhaps due to long time spent on the bike and downhill. It is not as bad as I had anticipated though, nothing that Counterpain cannot cure. Now its time to clean the bike and the car, Ciao.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lessons in First Aid

My Life at the moment seems ruled by Cycling. I am so looking forward to a monumental event that will be happening this weekend - the 60km Presidential Ride. In my zest to practice and have company, i had asked a friend of mine R*** to the ride in FRIM. We parked our cars near Sungai Buloh Hospital and started our climb through the trails heading for FRIM.

The approach from Sungai Buloh is a little bit challenging but we made it through to FRIM. In our eagerness to "extend" the ride, we continued on with the rather simple Rover Trails. Going down Rover Trails rather quickly and cutting the story short, R*** slipped and went flying through the air not before hitting the handlebar. This person suffered cuts on the chin, knee and shoulder. Applying first aid, i kinda felt guilty in dragging this guy along to the ride.

How does one apply First Aid to the spirit of the person and also to the guilt of another.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fortnight of Road Riding - Review

Inspired by Isaac, i thought I would do a review of RoadRides that has happened in the past Fortnight or so. He has kindly taken many nice shots and photo and featured in his blog. These are some excerps and review of rides that I have done in the past fortnight:-

KL City Tour

This ride was organized by a friend named PK. We knew that Second hari Raya would be a quiet time in KL and the road wud be fairly empty. We started of from Taman Megah at 8:00am and push off via the LDP and headed towards SS21 and turning right to KL via the highway towards Medan Damansara and heading down towards Parlimen. We went straight into the City via Jalan Raja Chulan and circled KLCC. We had our pit stop behind Lot 10 to have Roti and Milo.

We left the pit stop and push off towards Lake Garden towards the Tugu Negara and headed towards the old PM's office and going down towards Jalan Duta. We then climbed up and circle Jalan Duta mosque before making our way towards Hartamas. We then passed Pusat Sains before making ourself back via KLGCC and TTDI and headed back towards Taman Megah. More detail pictures and review available from here.

Puncak Alam Ride

Now, this was a real screamer. Went out with the roadies to test out what was advertised to us as a 70-80km ride to Puncak Alam. The route - Center Point Bandar Utama to Curve to Sungai Buloh heading towards Guthrie Highway and back. While climbing the Guthrie Highway towards Rawang, it was during this time that the pack broke like a pack of hounds. There was roughly 50 riders, but the pack of 15 of them broke and paced at 30-35km average screaming down the Gutherie Highway. Us the middle pacers were doing 25-30km/hr average had a tough time keeping up with them. It was during this time our group, me , Val, collin and 3 others overshot a junction which leads us to the North South Highway. It was also during this time , Val had a tyre puncture and we were helping her out to fix her tyres when she had another unfortunate bad luck with her second tube also being punctured. during this time, the PLUS Ronda guys stopped by and we packed Val off with the guys to be dropped off at Sungai Buloh while we rode off.

Next km or so, we were stopped by the Cops who wanted to know what we were doing on the PLUS highway without a permit. Due to some quick thinking by Collin, we were gracefully escorted by the Ronda Police to the Sungai Buloh exit. We stopped by Sungai Buloh exit and attempted to patch up Val's tyres again and took her back to CenterPoint via Damansara Perdana. By the time we got back to CenterPoint, we clocked 105km......SH.T. That was one hell of riding experience. Isaac covered it beautifully here with pictures.

Walk like a dinosaur

Being unemployed, i tend to travel using public transport. Last week, I was in Putra LRT, and i noticed this girl listening to her IPOD, but keep shaking her head left and right. Then what surprises me is that she keeps making this gestures using her hands almost imitating a T-Rex dinosaur with hands up and down her chest. I find it quite amusing though.

The train stops in KLCC and both of us got of the stop and so happen we were going to the same destination, the Gym. Later, I found out that she is a new Gym instructor. She was just going through her Choreography to team teach.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mountain Biking Revisit

The Rover trails in FRIM is quite a good Mountain biking trails for beginers like me. After arriving at about 8:30, checkout the map to go into the trails. Decide to go via the entrance near Jelutong lane.

The first part of the trails involve quite a decent climb with rocks and pebbles. There were a lot of Jungle Trekkers there making the climb a slow and careful process. The rain the night before did not help either making the trails very soft and slippery. There was very little traction (remind me to change my tires before the presidential ride) in my tires and makes the climb challenging and falls are inevitable.

The ride down was more enjoyable since the trails are not too technical as those in Kiara. The trails here in FRIM are wider (about 3-4 feet in width) and good for beginers. The only challenging thing I had to do was to go over the fallen tree that was blocking the trails on the way down.

On the way down, met a group of riders who has decided to ride from the reverse side which I think provides better warm up. Nevertherless the trails is recommended for any beginers to try out mountain biking with very little supervision.

The FRIM park itself is very cooling and has a canopy like effect for general outdoor sports. It has long enough tarmac road for those who just wants to do jogging and cycling on tarmac. Even at 11:00 am as I was leaving the park, it is not as scorching or hot if u were in and around in the open.

I would definitely make it as must visit place and would include it as my regular place and trails for my outdoor biking.