Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sundown memories...

Sundown ultra 84km is tough. I wish all those going for sundown good luck and finish it regardless of time.

Your brain shutting down at 2am is perhaps the hardest challenge. Here's some pics (from Tey) that I didn't publish.

Torture is the best word for this night ultra.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

KL-Klawang-Simpang Pertang-Karak ride (274km)

Bukit hantu climb is 3km no flats....

Genting Peres

A town just before Sg Pertang..can't remember what it was.

Simpang Pertang...notice the direction to Karak.

I think this is kampung machis..


Resting at RnR sempah. The bike definitely needs a rest.

Map - It's a huge loop spanning 4 states (KL-Selangor-n9-pahang).

This mega loop goes from KL-Klawang-Simpang Pertang-Karak-Bentong-KL. I roughly estimated it to be 250km, but it turns out more than that.

There were no takers when I suggested the ride, so I guess I'll have to hit it alone. The challenging part is to get back to KL before the sun sets. This means, pushing it at a speed of 30ish km/h.

I packed a small bag with two tubes, one spare tyre ( I believe this is necessary after having 2 blown up tyres), one powerbar. I choosed the red polygon roadie (tri bike is out of the question...because there'll be lots of climbing).

Precisely 7:47am, I head of to climb the Ampang hill. Then up the notorious Bukit Hantu (this climb made me took a double take at my fitness to tackle more climbs), then Peres, and then finally Klawang at around 10:45am (72km). Not many were going Klawang. Managed to catch up with 3 cyclist on the final few km. I passed them, but ain't sure where they were heading. Met with Azmi (whom I met at last friday's putrajaya nite ride), who was with his family for his brother's marriage proposal...

After having a hearty lunch (i think a bit too much protein), I head of to Simpang Pertang. I've never go to this part before, so I was just hoping it won't be too hard. To my surprise, Karak is 100km from Klawang. And it's 28km from Klawang to Sg Pertang as well.

I had a few stops for sugar cane, coconut, herbal tea along the way. At one point I was drinking too much fluid, I had to put a stop to drinking. The wheather was notoriously hot, but I've got to push on.

After reaching Simpang Pertang,'s another 70+km to Karak. Not pretty far. The road is here is pretty winding, with oil palms, and plantations along the way. It's so winding that at one point I was just drafting a timber truck, which was going around 30-40km/h only. I couldn't pass it, afraid I could go underneath it. But drafting was fun, only I reminded myself not to get too near.

I was hoping to make it to karak at 3pm. Finally after some furious pedalling (yes, I was pushing it) managed to reach by 3:03pm. I headed for the fruits store who's owner I met during my excursion to Kuantan and back. I said I was going back KL, and he suggested jokingly, why not take the bus.

After having a drink and some fruits, it was off to Bentong (around 20km). Had to pass the highway section a bit before detouring to the town. Stopped by the main mosque, and then it's off to refuelling with the famous Bentong ice kacang. The business there was so good, I had to take it outside.

Around 4:30pm, it's off to climb up genting sempah. I was pushing it once again. Time is running short and I don't want to get stuck in the dark going down sempah like last time. To my surprise, I made it to sempah rest area in less than 1.5 hours. Then I head to the stores for some chest nuts and drink. The meter reads 228km.

After 25 minutes of rest, it's off to make the final climb up the hill, and there and then, it's all done. I was sweating profusely at the top. Then it's all the way leisure ride down, or was it? No, it's still mashing the high gears, and going 40 to 50 plus. Kind of fun, but dangerous.

Finally reaching HOA, then going towards the Gombak toll, and joining MRR2. I was still in feeling good, so I pushed it. It's hard not too, when all the vehicles passing by is creating the vacuum that sucked you in. Suddenly a car on the right slowed down, and the driver was curiously looking..ah, the bicycle rack on top gives it. Probably he's wondering what an idiot is to cycle on the highway at this time.

I finally reached home at 7:55pm. Meter says 274km and average speed is 26.5km/h

Then I was off to Tomato and Yap's BD at Ampang hill lookout point. I had said I wanted to cycle up there, but I think it's enough of cycling for now.


Ride: The distance is almost the same as from KL-Kuantan. I think it's the hardest so far I've done considering I thought the road from Kuantan to KL was tough, but this is way harder because of some initial climbs. The road from Klawang to Karak is pretty ridable. No major climbs so you could go 30 and beyond.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A typical cycling nite in putrajaya

I sped off to putrajaya at almost 100km/h. I usually do 80 to adhere to the speed limit...but don't wanna be late.

Reached the information center and the usual guys are there. Abu power, Sue, Esmen, Faisal, Zin, Razak, Syawil.. Went to set up the bike, pump the tires..and we are ready to go.

There's 2 routes. One 55km, and a shorter one 44km. Tonite, we choose 44k.

And for reasons unknown, abu powered ahead early in the ride. The rest of the group were left behind for like 50 meters. I just tagged along behind abu's back, not pushing it. We don't push until we reached the traffic lights heading southwards for a long long downhill ride.

Once at the traffics, Abu sped off. I anticipated that move. I looked back. The rest of the gang is not seen. Cycling alone is not fun actually. But...since Abu went ahead so fast, I would just play along.

First, a few hundred meters climb after the traffics. No pushing it...just cruise up easily up. Then...for the joyride. Here's where I could reached 50 easily. 60 plus if I hammer it. Abu was still far ahead. I could catch a glimpse of him though...but I have no plans to play catch up. I just want to do my own pace...trying to maintain 40 all the way while leaning precariously down on the TT bike.

Towards the end...and to my surprise...more to horror actually, Syawil was right at my back! Where did, or when did he came from?....not a sound...Oh well...I will just have to push on it then...

As usual, just before the first stop the guys at the back sped off leaving me in the dust. I really can't answer that.


The next phase of the ride would be northbound, then detour towards KLIA toll. And as usual, Abu was leading...I was just hitching a ride. I looked back. Syawil was there. Good...After some ups and downs, we took the left junction downhill to the start of the road to the toll...And that was when I realized the peloton had broken up. Where was the rest? Only 3 of us...Abu can't be that fast?

Oh be it. I let Syawil go behind abu, while I just enjoyed being third. The two were pushing 41km/h. After through the middle of the course, I felt I need to do some work, so I powered up to the front to do some work. 41,..42..43...

And as usual...just before the bridge...Abu somehow pressed the accelerator (55kmh) and I was left in the dust. Hmm...cycling is somehow...unfair, but that's the rules of the game...

Then we went for the u-turn. And I began to start to move up the speed limit...30,32...35..36. Bam..fine. I'll maintain it. Passed Abu who asked to slow down. Sorry..abu..I am so used to going this speed at this stretch...couldn't slow down...

Syawil was still with us. I leaded the 2 of them up to the climb, and wham...they went downhill to execute the final long long climb. TT bikes are notorious for having less power on as usual..I could just watch them go off.

But somehow syawil slowed down...And sensing I could still beat him...I stood up and pedaled all the way to the top, and sped off to have a 2nd stop at the bridge, to wait for the rest..

On the way back...we don't usually go fast. We pass by some of the government complexes...I usually clock the most 30km/h. Then for some reason...I could go 35km while in aero. That's cool...rode for awhile...and them pssstt. I had a puncture. There's go another RM150 bucks because it's a tubular.


Now..I've been carrying an E71 with GPS functionalities. Great thing has a sportsTracker, which you can upload all your running/cycling workout. What's so great about GPS is that it shows you the speed, altitude and at which location you were.

Here's the site:

Nokia Sports tracker

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Compared to my mileage last 2 years, my weekly mileage is embarrassingly low. I used to run almost every day with distances more than 10km. Somehow, after joining triathlon, and with a bike, the running part had went lower. Triathlon is about balancing all three disciplines well enough that you don't lack any one of it. So, typically I will have a run only day, then swim and cycle day, and alternate this daily, with the occasional long run/bike in the weekends.

Last sunday, with saturday's stomach full of rendang from attending kenduri kahwin, I got to make it up by doing 20km at bkt aman. Malaysia's food is sinfully deliciously swimming in lots of fats. And I got the feeling it's beginning to pile up.

What surprised me, was the speed I was pushing it for the first 5km. It's fast (by my standards). And I think the cycling intervals in Putrajaya had helped do that part. I am used to going 100 on the cadence, and sometimes 110, while alternating between cadence and strength on the bike. Oddly, i found myself running like a cyclist would cycle. Somehow, the cycling motion legs could mimic or morphed into running legs, and wham...I was shooting it.

In a nutshell, I concluded, cycling does helps in running.

But after the 5km mark, an old persistent hip pain resurfaced (from cycling actually), and I was trodding around on my usual pace. On the way to Petronas, bumped into Tey who asked if I was doing 84km sundown this year. I said no. Sundown is perhaps the most mentally challenged run I had ever done. With cramps and sleepiness mixed into the torture, I hardly think it's enjoyable. I think running 84km to klawang and back is more fun...More things to see like trees, cows, farms....

On the way back, I was trailed by a pair of runners. And they were gaining. Hell..i was getting slower. Insticntively, I put on the turbo mode and speed off all the way back to bkt aman. I don't, or used to have these tendencies. But I think cycling has helped tuned the racer mentality.

Now..what should I do tomorrow?