When the weather isn’t merciful, we cyclist had to chose the better of both worlds i.e. come prepared with an inch of sun block or stay indoors on the grueling trainer. The hazy weather lately adds in to the challenge. Again we had to repeat last year’s camaraderie of updating API reading now and then as we approach the weekend. Hence, the ride venue will be decided then and then only.
From last week’s Broga fruitful cozy attempt, we just had to forget about climbing anymore, be it a small ant hill. We had to have pancakes. API from Kuala Selangor sounds convincing enough, plus the pancake route just adds up to the sweetness of the syrup. It should give us circa 115km or so, just enough to taste the bitterness in the legs.
With thousands of people running in the city for SCKLM 2012 that same morning, I assumed we had less traffic over the other side of Klang Valley. The same route that was ridden before with BJCC, and I just had to make a comeback for it, this time with more attention to energy and hydration management. I have to put this in mind since the flat route can be the greatest mischief of all. You’ll be long gone whacking the crank as it easily gets the meter tops 40kph and by the time you play dead by the roadside at half the distance, the legs have already gone empty as well as body fluid. That is so un-cool especially when considering the flat roads here reaches as far as the eye can see.
The route, as laid out by fellow localities Ziff and Alwin, we exited Bukit Jelutong into GCE and moments later exited to Jalan Batu Arang. The rolling hills were such a pleasure for sudden surge to the heart rate and the cold wet tar opened up to refreshing kampong scenes along Jalan Paip towards Meru town. Oooo…ini lah dia pekan Meru rupanya. Ngeh ngeh ngeh.
The flat and straight road continued on from Meru to Kapar. Traffic started building up as we stopped and go at each traffic light. The coastal air started to fill our lungs as we wisely control our pace line chugging the peloton in rotation. With three new ride buddies joining the ride, we had no problem blending in as everybody knows the ride ethics. We were one strong train bonding against any feat thrown at. It was a good drill as we have the road aplenty and miles and miles of flats. Less the scattered utility manholes than can cause severe manhood damage, we had to save the sightseeing for hand signals waving all over the places and shouting out for…Holes!
Eventually we reached Kuala Selangor. Alhamdullillah. Just a bit further towards the kopitiam shop area where the 7-Eleven opposite served us Gatorades and some quick bites. Yes, it was planned as a no-frills-ride (means no makan besar ride). 15 minutes tops, we were on the road once again, taking the first left turn into Jalan Rawang from Kuala Selangor town. The best about small town like this, the hectic traffic dispersed right away as one left just a kilometer away. And there was not a single honking can be heard, replaced with yet another stretch of beautiful long flat road cutting across plantations after plantations of padi fields and palm oil. We were too focus on our pace line I presumed, and the strong headwinds of course, we just had to let go of the breathtaking sceneries. OK la, perhaps next time we come with touring bikes, we go slower and stop at every coconut stall.
We routed into Batang Berjuntai town (pardon them for the ‘obscure’ name…hehehe) and took the first right major turn cranking yet another stretch of straight course towards Ijok. And the wind started bringing in the heat. We started to notice some tired legs as the pace line started to yo-yo once in a while. The judgment from each of us maintaining the peloton form was a thumbs-up. Thanks to Syaful & Azman, the two young strong buddies, we pulled it off checking in at Petronas Ijok for the second pit stop. The welcoming air conditioned outlet simply irresistible. Chilled Coke was my remedy for calories and sugar replenishing. And a bit of chatting to chase the weakened legs away.
The roads ahead were anticipated to be tough as the heat gets stronger by the hour. Enrouted into Jalan Kuala Selangor we were in search of Guthrie Corridor Expressway for our final route back to Bukit Jelutong. Still maintaining pace line, we withstood at any obstacles thrown at us be it the rolling roads.
Eventually we found the entrance to GCE and the motorcycle lane provided the room for solitary riding. As we were less prone to traffic hazard on the dedicated motorcycle lane, we were strung out miles apart obeying to every mental games available. I just had to let go of the front group and played the role of supporting the weakening one. The heat and wind didn’t ease down, not a single second. It just played the music of damage on and on, but the soldiering carried on. A few regrouping were held for mental & psychological boost. We clocked in 115km in 4 hours grinning for the rest of the day. Thanks to Awe, Syaful and Syed Azman for chipping in. All 10 of us definitely did well. I ranked this ride as one the most smartest & most ‘tatasusila’ ride. Thumbs-up guys.