Monday, February 20, 2012

SIC-Kencana Bikeathon 2012

You don't get this every weekend, unlike running. A bike race. A real one, you know...with the numbers pinned on your jersey thing. And I don't get the chance to participate for the last....hold on. Macam bagus. It was only back in 2008 aje I joined a road race event. It was the same SIC-Kencana. Oh?! That was 4 years ago. Lama tuh.

This year, I signed for Amir Yusof as well. He ran his first run race last month, and today his first bike race. He was excited upon receiving the first gesture from me about the race, and it's at the Sepang International Circuit some more! He likes bike and he likes cars. Let say, he likes speed. I guess it's a boy thing la kot. And he thought he could witness any F1 cars around on race day.

Too bad we don't actually get to train much. Al-maklum, kerja makan gaji full time, dok bertenggek atas saddle as part time. Amir urged me for a last minute tutorial, Saturday morning. It was actually a very nice morning for a spin. Why not? Since he asked for it. I don't have my rear wheel, still kat workshop. Spoke patah from last ride. That only left me with Amir's BMX since he's riding Kaklong's Trek. OK la, setakat kerja-kerja coaching no need proper bike sangat, and in fact I was in a pair of kakis long pants aje. To top it up, Umar was excited with the idea and he hopped onto the top tube. Dah macam sakai kampung, nak pi petik buah kelapa. Kah kah kah. Lucky la no orang kampung as witness.

There is this 200 meters stretch near our place with low traffic and flat as a pancake. Under a canopy somemore. The Orang Kampung used to do speed training for SCKLM 2010 here. Amir had the whole road to him. All he needs to do was intervals and gear shifting skill. Start light and drop heavy as momentum gains with only 2 to 3 tabs of the shifter. We did about 5 sets. Cukup la tuh. Sebenornya ayah dia yang penat mengejor naik BMX. Berat oooo the BMX. Anyway, Amir looks natural on the bike. I admired his fluid pedal stroke and his spirit. A champion in the making. Level orang kampung je :]

The Race

The whole family went to SIC that morning with Dett & Naufal in separate car. A quick pit stop at McDonald Kota Warisan and moments later kids were aw-ing the circuit as we approach the entrance.

We have lots of teams, local & foreign. Hmmm....and I thought, the Master's Category (40 yo & above) is a small crowd. I thought wrong! And these guys looks old enough, like me but those lean legs and body are remarkable...just like me also, minus the 'one pack' of course. Muahaha!

The Clover Circuit
There was not much time for a proper warm up after our sign in, and we were called upon to the start line moments later. Argh! No time for suspense langsung. As I was spinning graciously on my new carbon braided red Fizik (ehem...poyo sikit bleh?), then the thing started rocking like a rocking chair. Alamak!

Chill brader. No need to panic. If I trust my butt and my saddle, then I don't have to worry. I told Alwin, Azmar and Det at the starting line and nothing can be done at those final seconds to count down. I had to go with the flow, or I'll miss the race. The strategy was to stand pedalling or avoid from rocking too much on it. The first option seemed impossible though. Hehe. Hence, I had to workout some extra glutes strengthening la ye.

The best about racing with otais, we had wisdom. So we stayed together on the first lap. In 2008, when I was in the Open Cat, we were strung out immediately after the gun went off. Guess who the devil was? Anwar Manan and his geng la. He was with Team LeTua back then. Habis peloton strung out all over the circuit. Well, that was the race strategy normally they would do also la.

Surprisingly most of us had no problem staying with the group of....I estimated about 100 over MAMILS. Hahaha. Of course the pace was high, it's a race! Even rolling down inclines also have to spin to catch up. That was at 50kph I guess. I didn't had my speedometer, tukar wheels with Azmar so the sensor was not reattached. But Azahari did told me we clocked 9 minutes on the first lap and 7 minutes on the second. God! That was fast!

There was headwinds and sidewinds as we cut and sliced into and away from the bends and corners.. I was relieved I left my Reynolds, kalau tidak kompom jadi kapal layar! I don't want to imagine the exaggeration part. The other thing was the sharp turn followed with inclines. We lost momentum and quads were straining to get back up into the bunch. I counted 4 of these repeatitions per lap. The drill was to spin on flats and descends, grit teeth and squeeze the brakes at sharp turn, and stand climb at short burst inclines. And again I can't imagine how the pros do it. At grand tours, they spend 21 days on the road. Scary.

My initial plan was to complete more than 2 laps. Improvement than previous race. Yes, last time I only managed 2 laps. Salah kan Anwar Manan lagi. Another 2 laps would be a bonus. Affendi Rosli and gang escaped from the bunch on the third lap. The domino effect took place right after. The rest of the bunch started showing distress calls. The pace went unsteady. Adding to the situations, we have some nuts who don't know ride ethics. They swerved happily into and out of the peloton as they want. There's also one sakai rode with an aerobar!!! Damn dangerous, for us la of course!

In the middle of the fourth lap, things when haywire, totally. A small crash took place involving 3 cyclists. Biasa lah, tayar bercium. Right after the third incline, all hell broke loose. Unlike running, when the legs said no, there's no shame in accepting the fact that you can't pedal anymore. That happened to most of us half way into fourth lap. The nervous peloton cracked and a quarter of us soaked away into the pavement like oil spill. Muahaha! I had to let go and wished that I could wave goodbye but the strong wind shook the bike aggresively.

We tried to gather what was the remaining of us. The ones closed by. We slowed down and formed a new bunch. All 6 of us. We took turn with the rotation drill and completed the fourth lap. Azahari and me straight away pulled aside and call it a day. We waited for Det and Rozaimi and called upon them. Surprisingly they responded without the tiniest hesitant to carry on. Hehe. Heart pounding & nerve cracking avg 37kph! Great race. Great organiser. And great buddies.

Amir's Race

Amir was in the 8-10 years old Cat. 400 meters straight line race. Means there's only one strategy. Attack straight on! I think about 50 of them girls and boys. These younger generations have their race face on upon waking up that morning la rasanya. Semua garang aje. Hehe. My Amir was enjoying every moment. He had Naufal and Azhan as part of his trikidz buddies. But Naufal is already in the Junior Cat. Some last minute pep talks and strategizing, Amir lined up at the start line. Nobody looked nervous though. Semangat betul.

I was running along the track towards the finish line before they started. Kalau ada lubang celah rumput tu, kompom aku dah buat adegan sakai no.2 untuk minggu ini. Nasib baik takde. The oraginser was awesome. They kept the event going with Mr. Emcee playing along with the suspense of count down to start and finishing.

The race started as I reached three quarter of the way, huffing and puffing. Maklum la, dah lama tak ber-lari. I saw Amir was in third position half way into the race. He was spinning and revving up. Reaching the final 50m, I think a few kids overtook him. Bonk la tu. Hehe. Apa tak nya? Hours before the race start, he was cycling all over the SIC Complex with his gang. I was reluctant to remind him to reserve some for the race but that would be against the fun concept. Let him explore and socialize.

Amir seemed confident he got placing under 10 but it didn't. It's OK buddy. We must learn the spirit of defeat as well. Next race OK. As soon as started travelling back, Kaklong who was earlier didn't want to pursue the Trikidz races, suddenly said she wanted. And Amir also want lah. Aiyak!

Monday, February 13, 2012

BTHO-Kuala Klawang Roasted Meal

Another feat chapter and another tormenting experience. The baddest of 'em all. Attempting Kuala Klawang from my home, BTHO. Last we did Broga Classic from home as our last long ride training for Interstate, and we almost met the soccer fans on their way for their evening kicks. Yesterday, we reached BTHO almost before azan Asar. 

The idea cropped up when PD 120km was tapau-ed two weeks ago in auto cruise mode. We were hunger for more and we need to teach the body for some sufferfest. One of us lambung-ed Kuala Klawang from BTHO. Surprisingly, nobody was against it. With some googling for the milage and anticipated ride time, kami turut kan aje.

Main enemy would the weather, which for the last few days never stopped burning and roasting. Everybody knows the drill of sufficient carboloading and hydration. Remember the bonking recipe? Wait till you read the rest of it.

We rolled off from BTHO slightly late but managed to gain some ground with quick stops at Batu 14 to meet a few others. The white clouds doesn't seemed to help with good signs for good weather. As we climbed up Genting Peres, the sun shone sharply on to our foreheads. The ride up was sufficient enough to reach the top exclude panting.

Less than 3 minutes stop at the peak, we took the descending route towards the other side of Genting Peres where the point of no turning back. Jangan pandang belakang...dahhh. S1 did magnificently tackling every corners where it was pointed at. The 3T Funda fork took it like a silk. A glimpse at the speed, clocked 56kph and the cockpit was still rock solid as I crunched over grasping the dropbar. Magnificento!

We planned for some pace line rotation practice as we hit Titi where a good 20km stretch all the way to Kuala Klawang was the perfect training ground. Daripada kayuh buta ja, baik selit kan sikit-sikit skill. Maybe next long ride, kami plan for some motivational talk by an ustadz kot. It was a great practice, plus the effort of cruising between 32 and 35kph was shared between the nine of us. Should we rode it solo, an extra 30% energy spent would be inevitable. Factor : Headwinds.

We checked in at No. 188, Restoran Fatimah, Jalan Dato Menteri, Kuala Klawang, Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan for a quick meal. Maggi soup la apa lagi. Cepat dimasak, sedap dimakan. As we digged into the bowl, the hot weather blew in strong breeze, that would be not a so good news. The ride back will be a tough one.

With tummy all tucked in, we spinned our way back to Titi for the big climb ahead, But that would be premature without those three warm up climbs between the stretch. Rozaimi showed signs of fatigue when he lost grip of the main bunch and slipped away to the back, as if magnetized. 

The best about our group, on long rides especially, we practiced regrouping and of course 'group' ride. We don't normally abandon buddies. Should there be someone wants to be the hero of the day by breaking away from the group, we 'educate' them. Should there be someone needs some ethical lesson in a group ride, we furnished them, spot on. Should there be tardy souls fail to be punctual, there won't be a next ride for you. If a friend in need of support, we send the best support team for motivations. No pun intended, just for the harmony and safety of the cruising peloton and us the family people who have love ones and family chores to attend minutes after any ride. Ada faham?

The climb back up Genting Peres was, as usual a torment. All 13km of it. And the nine souls failed to pace each other since climbing takes up personal motivation, strength and courage. Again, I felt the power transfer of S1 and it was solid. None wasted. And I kept on cranking those grannies without hesitation. Alwin and Azmar turned back to give support to Rozaimi whom was swallowed by the climb since our regrouping down at the bridge at Titi. 

Surprisingly, it was all over before frustration and regrets crept in. Phew! While waiting for Rozaimi, Alwin and Azmar, we made used of the tiny shades at the peak. Remember the road shoulder make shift day bed? We started talking skewed stuff as our IQ starts draining more IQ juice. 10 minutes later the full bunch gathered. Rozaimi still maintaining his macho tapi hancur look. Should we stayed longer, the lambung session might get severe and somebody might need dripping from chronic jaw cramp.

The ride back down and home was more like determination to finish despite the scorching 3.00 p.m. sun and chaotic Hulu Langat traffic. But the ride won't be called epic without some technical glitches. Akmal's chainrings kaput in the middle of the ride to Batu 9. Thanks to Azmar whom rescued him by car, with Rozaimi by his side. Yes, he decided to cut short his ride.

I broke my rear wheel spoke in the middle of the final climb into BTHO. Argh! Under the sun and Afiq was already ahead chasing the green light while Alwin and Dett were way behind, can't be seen. Some MacGyver stuff, I managed to slot the spoke back in, temporarily I hope, just for a mere 2km more.

Reached my front gate 10 minutes before four. Phew. No complains from inside the house. Guilty conscious la konon. Hehe. I took bath 3 times after the ride and I was still sweating. Dayem! Petang before Asar mandi lagi. Prior to Maghrib one more time. And one last time before tidoq. Cuping telinga dah rasa macam keropok ikan parang. Jahanam, but it was a truly epic ride. 

Thanks to the great ride buddies Alwin, Akmal, Dett, Fendi, Azmar, Kak Jlo, Afiq and Kepet for the 6 hours 24 minutes camaraderie. We clocked 147.24km and my sore butt will require dynamic recovery. Any suggestion? :P

Saturday, February 11, 2012


This time around 2 years back, I'd go through the same routine weekends' eve. I'd be looking forward for the little adventure for weekend warrior stuff. Hence 2 years ago, I visited Delifrance for pasta meals every Friday evening to carboload. My kids will be with me at most of the visit since wife was stuck in class. Sampaikan outlet manager pun recognised us. Oh! The dad and his kids for pasta dinner. Of course they offered a decent promotional dinner meal, but not nowadays la. Koyak la if right now. Kak Sharifah, the manager siap jemput mai kenduri kahwin anak dia a year later tauuuu! And late last year Kak Sharifah dah jadi nenek fro her first grandchild. How time fly kan? 

That was almost 18 weeks into my first SCKLM training. People said pasta for fuel, I took it. People said tempe good for post run meal, even better! But not until some friends shared ideas about homemade pasta meals, which I enjoyed preparing and having it with my kids. That was 2010. 

Last year, no SCKLM but my training meals for Interstate was slightly altered meeting tight budget. It was plain rice la bro. Pay day only got pasta or pizza. Sebab dah bayar fee mahal. Hahaha!

Today, I did the same routine again, cause tomorrow I'll be needing all the glycogen in the world. I don't wish to go bonking in the middle of nowhere between Jelebu and Hulu Langat. That would be my greatest nightmare for 2012. Plus the weather, anticipate it will be Setting Fire to the Rain.

Unlike long distance running, bonking on long rides is inevitable - of course if you closely follow the bonking recipe. You'll be Gone in 60 Seconds. And the whole world gone static. Dead. I mean dead legs.  Not even a tooth from the chainring. Then you'll start doing the impossible. Like cursing yourself for example. Out loud I mean, when the incline adds up to the equation for Armageddon. Your regular buddies might be familiar with the situations, when out in the silence of the climb, in the middle of the day, around the corner, came a voice of frustration.

Some might also opt to make the road shoulders as temporary make shift  day bed. When there's not even a tiniest shade, the empty freeway drain can be cooling.

Ooops! Nuff said. Time to hit the sack. We'll get back after some Pumped Up Kicks tomorrow. Chapeau!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Running took a side step. Blog updating pun took a faceplant. Long weekend holidays come and go like a dash. An abrupt plan was tabled out to compensate the adrelanile rush come free time, else I'll be holding up the pressure build up. S1 was the answer.

Terpaksa simpan Adidas Response Cushion 20, baru sekali pakai LSD. Kena substitute dengan S1. Memperkenalkan S1 yang dah berhabuk sejak setahun lalu diterbangkan dari Colorado ke Chicago dan finally to Subang. Phew! Jauh dah milage S1 ni. Hehe.

Dengan sengsara merawat archilles aku yang sedikit sebanyak menghambarkan keyakinan berlari, aku juga turut menjeling CAAD4 yang berdiri lesu di sisi tangga. Aku & ia memerlukan tiupan nafas baru. Tambah lagi dengan pembukaan lembaran tahun baru.

Plan asal nak tunggu bajet terpaksa aku modified. Hanya dengan modal sedia ada, aku decide untuk swap komponen dari CAAD4 terus masuk ke S1. Berdebar menunggu masterpiece terkini hasil dari bantuan kerjatangan & kemahiran ex-rider kebangsaan Panjang. Sriap pap! Dua hari settle.

The 2009 CSC Team Race Bred Winner

Maka bermulalah perjalanan aku & S1 menempuh perjalanan baru kami. 

Aku mula berjinak-jinak semula dengan sahabat lama yang bernama 'trainer'. Maka bermulalah pertapaan di atas 'trainer' sambil ditemani koleksi playlist terbaru yang aku compile khas dari Adele 21. Nafas baru ler katakan. Cuti CNY macam biasa majlis pelancaran bermula dengan kayuhan lawatan persahabatan melawat kawasan ke Hulu Langat especially ke kedai roti canai feveret Batu 18. 

Det : Macam mana rasa frame baru bai?
Aku : Rasa? Setakat hari ni, rasa baru je la. Ngeh ngeh ngeh.

Second ride, kayuhan mencapai awan naik Genting Peres sudah menjadi kewajipan. Sekali lagi S1 berhempas pulas bersaing dengan rakan-rakan baru menjejak badai. Semakin aku dapat merasai & mengenali karakter S1. Binaan dari material & geometri 'race bred' pasukan CSC 2009 yang diperkenalkan ke dalam S1  dapat aku rasa setiap kali 'power transfer' disuntik. Tidak ketinggalan juga, ketepatan haluan Fork 3T Funda menerkam setiap selekoh menuruni Genting Peres menambah keyakinan.

2010 Team Garmin Cervelo Ride

Walau hanya berbekalkan milage 84km, weekend yang seterusnya aku telah decide untuk melawat pekan Port Dickson. Hampir 30 orang, bagaikan get together ride bersama geng kayuh yang dah lama tak bertemu, kami menghabiskan kayuhan 120km dengan senyuman kepuasan terukir di setiap muka yang dah mula berkilat dek panas.

Aku lebih yakin bahawa penggal pertama 2012 akan lebih dihabiskan bersama S1. Dengan routine harian yang sememangnya sibuk dan tidak menampakkan window untuk aku kembali berlari, tambahan lagi dengan kudrat aku yang semakin dimamah usia, mungkin plan terpaksa diubah. Dengan berbekalkan pengalaman dan asam garam kami bertahun-tahun, aku yakin our fellowship of riders akan memberi peluang untuk sajian kayuhan yang lebih meriah untuk 2012. 

Sejenak juga aku terfikir, berbanding dengan sukan larian, cycling is a team sport actually. I know that I will be and actually have been missing the camaraderie of group running, I don't miss it from cycling. Tak pernah. There is always the fellowship thingy. In fact, as I can recall, it was ever since I started way back ten years ago! Especially when you get the chemistry and the click, you'll be stuck together like Lance and Hincapie for seven years of tour. Anyway, it is just my little thoughts....pinjam kejap ye :]

By the way, pro riders don't call it a team sport for nothing, right?

My roti canai bread winner :]