Sunday, July 26, 2009

Genting Highlands: Riding into the clouds

The rain had cleared the skies. Peak is visible before descent.

Having lunch...

Stopped at 2km mark...and it doesn't get easier.

Finally all done...


This picture is a bit deceiving. It's steeper than it looks. Thinks my camera phone is distorting it.

There has been news that cyclist are barred from cycling up to the top of Genting. That had me worried, so I guess I'll try to ride up and see if it's true. Quoted by a pro cyclist doing the Tour of Langkawi as being as tough as two Alpe D'Huez, it's certainly a ride that any cyclist will think twice before going up.

I had also changed to a smaller handle bar, because the previous was a bit larger for my frame.

The morning rain was a great welcome for yesterday's hot wheather, but it also meant the ride had to start late, or not doable at all. But by 10, it seems the rain stopped, so I sped off to HOA.

Started the ride at 11:45am, and it was a pleasure ride up Genting Sempah. But due to the rain, humidity was super high. It had me sweating buckets. Just Before reaching the underpass at sempah, I turned into the opposite direction to proceed with the climb. At least, one don't have to go all the way down to McD and cycle up again.

At the first checkpoint, the guards don't seem to bother. So I proceeded. It was a tough time on the bike. With more experience on the belt, I thought it could be at least easy but that's not the way it was. A few km up, and I was already thinking of quiting. Yes, quiting. I was having a 25 casette at the back, and I was hoping it could grow to 27.

Just before the first roundabout, I stopped to get some breather. It was the first stop. And my heart rate is going through the roof.

Then I proceeded to reach a few more climbs before a welcoming descent. Then a some smaller climbs to Gohtong Jaya. It was lunch time. Rice would be too heavy so I had roti sardin. Bump into a few mountain bikers. I asked them if they were riding up, and they said they drove up, then cycled down. Wtf...How come I didn't think of that?

After lunch, I pedalled slowly up. Just before the 2nd checkpoint, there was a sign saying you can't jog here. So no more silly night run up folks.

The first 2km ascent is bearable. The next few are steeper. All I could do was slowly turning the crank. As long as the crank is moving, the bike move. No pushing all out. Just saving the legs for any dramatic incline.

The hardest part ironically is the last 4.4 km. First a hair pin that will go straight up after the bend. Then it was another steep incline after the Pagoda.

Just remember, that the route after this is pretty steep. You'll have to manage your heart rate well. It doesn't get easier.

I had a stop at the 2km marker for some rest. Then proceeded to pedalled up. Not easy, but the view was breath taking. As I inched up to the last 300 meters, I had to tell myself not to stop. And passing the brown arch took all the misery away.

Settled for some iced lemon at the Coffee shop, before heading down. Took 3 hours plus rest time. It was a blistering ride downhill...albeit a bit dangerous...

After the ride, I pondered if I was fit enough, and I couldn't say I was when coming to hill climbs. It was last year which I did genting but at that time, it was a heavier wheel set and I was using casette size 21. I'll never know how I could have managed that.

Check out the link on how tough genting is...


andrew said...

any chance a group could come together and cycle up? would that be allowed? considering runs are nw nt allowed..

yipwt said...

hi andrew,

Seems like you can:

Mountain bikers going up.

andrew said...


thanks for the info but me just like urself, roadie :)