Monday, January 28, 2008

Trail Running anybody?

Bought this from the Net. Tried it and it feels nice and light. Now where am i gonna use this to test out its capability.
Surprisingly, its half the price if I were to get it from here

Community Service - Sweeping

In trying to recover from the GE Run, didnt do much sporting activities this week except for the BRICK in Putra Jaya on Thursday and a 3km jog on treadmill on Friday morning. So I decided to join PCC in their flattish Bagan Lalang ride. I had to open my big mouth to volunteer to sweep, and there lies my problem.

Firstly, I accidently left a rider Weina (wandernut) behind and only realised when we reached Sepang. I stopped by Sepang and Maysen Ariff asked me, "Have u seen Weina?". I quickly got on my bike and cycled backwards and met her 1 km behind. Feeling foolish, i kinda made notes to stick with her to and fro on the ride.

As we were on our way back from Bagan Lalang, another rider Annie got the cramps. We coax her to Petronas Salak and rested there for about 15 monutes. Just as we were out of Salak, she cramped again, this time so badly that her body was so stiff, that in order for her to get off her bike, we had to remove the front wheels and drop the frame down. We then had to lift her off her dropped frame and place her on the roadside. There she laid by the roadside and was unable to move. Constant massage from Weina couldnt get her muscle to relax. Time for us to hail a taxi back for her.

After about 20 minutes or so, we managed to hail a taxi and got her into the taxi. But the scene was comical but also pitiful. Try to stuff an unvolunteering body into a taxi with care ;-). With the sun on our back, Weina, Vong and me made ourselves back to MTDC and arrived about 40 minutes later. Some of the guys waited patiently for us and we really appreciated that. That 97km ride somehow feels like a 1++ km ride with us being in the sum for more then 6 hours.

I think i will stick to short ride for the time being. Quite an interesting week this has been. But I suppose, someone's got to sweep while others can enjoy their ride.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Great Eastern Run 20km

If you think cyclist get up early for their biking, think again. Runners get up earlier and are already on the road by 6 am for their running. Quite a memorable run for me as I manage to progress from my previous 10km to another notch of 20km.

Quite a fair bit of quotable quotes during and after the run which are words of encouragement for me:-

Anonymous before race - "There is a difference between Carbo Loading and making yourself fat for those legs to carry you, you know"
Hin Tong at the 6km mark - "Is that you Mac? god it is you"
AJ (MD of Malakoff) at 12km mark - "Come on young man, lets go.." as i slowed down to a walking pace.
Ariff (triathlete) at 12.5km on opposite side of road - "You are doing fine Mac"
Adrian at 13km - "See you at the finishing line"
Adeline at 14km on opposite site - "Is it far to the Petronas loop?", my response "Yes"
Sazly - Fitness Consultant @ 15km mark - 'There is only one way to face - forwards" as i stopped to stretch my calf
Ihshal by txt after race - "Don't worry, we all walk like crab today, avoid stairs"

Finished the 20km in a slow time of 3 hours and 15 min (unconfirmed) fully knackered. Ah well, at least I finished. Four memorable climbs of the race are:-
a) The 2km climb from JKR to Kenny Hill junction
b) The climb near Wilayah Mosque
c) The long climb near Plaza Damas and lastly
d) The small loop climb behind Petronas Hartamas.

The difference between cycling and running, even going downhill, u still need to run - no recovery. Thats what no training does to you, only thing that got me through it is some secret concoction that Bernard had recommended and Ihshal pass it to me.

Two massive body pounding events for the month of January, better slow down old boy.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Cameron Trip - Bike Cam

Here is the Video from my BikeCam of the Cameron Trip. The video is about 4min 39 sec. long.

The Test of Perserverence - Cameron Cycling Trip

What do u do, when an invitation comes to you to cycle from Simpang Pulai to Tapah to Tanah Rata via Ringlet and further on to Kampung Raja and back down to Simpang Pulai - a trip that is 182 kim in distance. Well, being one of two hill climbs that i have not done, i approached this ride cautiously. I too, have not been well having just recovered from a bout of Flu three times running, i said yes with much reservation. The only comfort that i had was from a close friend who had promised to support me in case i bonked out.

The assembly
There were approximately 70+ riders from all over major towns assembled at the Simpang Pulai junction from KOTRT, MKH, PCC, ATM and many others. Familiar faces were Adzim, Andrea, Vong, Laif, Kimbeley Yap, Ariff, Lim, Shahrin (KOTRT) and Adeline. Upon seeing so many strong and fast riders, my decision to come along was much regretted and my heart waned. Had it not been support from one friend, i would have chickened out.

The Route
The route essentially is a large loop which starts at the Simpang Pulai juntion, heading towards Tapah on the trunk road and heading towards Tanah Rata (Cameron Highland) and further towards Brincang and subsequently to Kampung Raja. Here, we will turn left back towards Simpang Pulai.

The trip to Tapah (start time 7:45 am) - distance 50km
Journey out to Tapah was conducted sanely only for a distance of 10km. The next 40km was done at a ridiculously fast 42-44km/hr pace. One thing that I learned from long distance cycling, never let others dictate your pace unless u wanna bonk out early. Pacing at a more reasonable and moderate 32-35km/hr with a handful of cyclist we made the 50km journey in about 1:30. The journey to Tapah town is through relatively flat route. We reached Tapah and convened at SHELL petrol station at the Tapah/Cameron junction.

The trip from Tapah to Ringlet - distance 46km
We pushed out from Tapah towards Ringlet at 10:45 and reached Ringlet at 1:30 pm where we had lunch at Ringlet and had our refills. I was really keeping m eye on the Garmin and was watching us climb a total distance about 1300m above sea level which translate to about 4200 ft by the time we reached Ringlet. Memorable thoughts about this stretch is the never ending climb into Ringlet, there seem no end and I don't remember any recovery area. There is only about 1 km of decent into Ringlet that i can enjoy.

The trip to Tanah Rata and Brincang - distance 19km
We pushed on at 2:00pm towards Brincang and it started drizzling about 5km before Tanah Rata. It seems that the rain had been waiting for us in Tanah Rata and was not able to overtake riders like Adzim and Andrea. There are those that got washed out by the rain and those that started before the rain came. For us, due to our slow speed, we were not quick enough to enjoy the washout and had to endure the tail end of the rain and had to enjoy it during our climb to Brincang and "down" to Kampung Raja. We reached a maximum altitude of 1633m (more then a mile in height). There are two killer climb of about 5%, one leading out of Ringlet to the Bharat Tea House and another just after Bharat Tea House. Each climb is about 3 km. Reached Kampung Raja at about 4:00 pm.

Brincang to Simpang Pulai (via Kampung Raja)- 65km
This was published as "going downhill" but alas was not (as can be seen from the ride profile that i had got from my Garmin). There are numerous climbs that we had to endure before really enjoying the downhill that was promised. with about 3 hours left, i was quite concern that we would not be able to make it home on time. But , with last drawn energy and some supply of PowerGel, we made it down and reached Simpang Pulai at 7:05 pm.
Ride statistics
Total Ascent - 2442 m
Max height - 1633m
Average speed - 20.4 km/hr
Maximum Speed - 58.2km/hr
Total Calories - 7281 cal
Post Mortem
I think, this is the toughest ride that i have done, even the ride to Broga is easy by this standards.Though I suffered while doing this ride, i would do it again albeit with better fitness level. But at least, that will erase this ride from my checklist and which leaves only the ride up to Genting as my last on the list of hill climbs that i need to do.

My thanks to the MKH group which was there behind me and their presence somehow give me comfort and concerned text and calls from Adzim, Ariff, Tham and Vong. Lastly, i would like to thank my ride buddy who was there for me always, Adeline.