Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ultra cycling: KL-Klawang-Karak-Tranum-Fraser Gap-KKB-Ulu Yam-KL 344km


Bukit hantu...

Morning was beautiful with mist...

Up genting peres...

Notice the fellow at the back?...he's chasing

Refuelling with durians...better than powerbar.

Karak...

Somewhere to tranum...on the verge of bonking...

Fraser hill at the back...it's going to be a tough climb...

Road to Tranum....

Finally reaching Fraser Gap...


Suprisingly, I could still cycle to work today. Although a bit stoked from all the cycling done the previous day. I couldn't sleep well either. I kept on having dreams on and off with a brain full of activity.

I knew right before hand, this won't be easy. Lights will be needed to go beyond 12 hours into the night.

I started exactly at 7:27am, zooming off to climb the Ampang hill, then Bukit Hantu (which always is the hardest), and then Genting Peres. Met some cyclist on the way as well. Sofian and Chan's group, which made me wonder if they were doing broga.

The nice part with going up Genting Peres was a mini race. There was a group which had just started the same time, to start the climb. The leader stubbornly stick to my back 10,20 meters or so. And each time he neared, I pushed up the pedal and went off. This happened for a few kms, and he dropped off somewhere. Then there was a guy in a cervelo road bike.

I passed him, and he seems not so impressed. So he worked hard to chase. Managed to pass me once, but when Genting Peres was near, I pushed again, and he was left in the dust. Oh well, that was fun.

Then it was off to Klawang which I reached around 10:15. Had some lunch, and it was off to Simpang Pertang. It had started to rain slightly, and it turn out to be a downpour. That had me soaked from top to bottom, and some how, I sensed my speed was not going that fast either.

Passed Simpang Pertang, and then had a stop at Simpang Durian, where I had some drinks and removed the wet socks with Nike dry fit. Then it was a stop at Manchis to have some fruits and drink before finishing the 30km to Karak. Managed to reach karak around 3 something.

I had been thinking of refuelling, and I thought why not durians? So at karak, I had 2 of them, which I told the boss, it was for climbing up Fraser.

Then it was a stop at the mosque in bentong. I give the kow pow ice kacang a pass, because I don't want to be climbing up Fraser in the dark. From bentong at 4:52pm, it was a race up to tranum. Now, the road to tranum is a bit tricky. What looks like flat are not. You could sense it when you're wondering why your speedometer keep on hovering around 15km/h. And at this point, I was on the merge of bonking, having delusional thoughts if I could even make it up to Fraser gap. I was stoked and dreaming of Gap, and the slow speed is certainly a heart breaker. I wanted to go fast and the legs and butt pain is becoming a hindrance.

Anyway, managed to reach Tranum. And then it was a long long climb up. The elevation is similar to going up Genting sempah from bentong. But the distance of 21km is a real mental challenge as I was left wondering when all this would end. Every twist and turn looks monotously the same. It was sitting and pedalling for a few hundred of meters, and then standing up to loosen up the legs and back.

After 1.5 hours, I did reach Fraser gap at around 6:30pm. Sitting down on the bench never felt so good. I reflected the journey from Klawang and calculated the distance. It's 170km approx. It was just shy of 10km for IM distance.

There's no time to lose. So it's all downhill to KKB for 30km. This is perhaps the best part of the trip and I felt I deserved it after suffering. As I passed the lake at the dam, I never thought I'll see Lake Semenyih and this one at KKB on the same day. There was a lot of people doing fishing, and it seems the water level had gone down a few meters.

I reached KKB at 7:30 and had one gel. But I was craving for solid food. I did have a powerbar but that doesn't seem like edible. It was getting dark, so I proped up the bright LED light.

It was bright enough to see the what's ahead. So, it was pretty safe, I guess, to ride in the dark. Managed to reach Batang Kali, and I settled down for a burger and some drinks. Then it was off to Ulu yam.

And now here's the hardest part. The first climb is similar to bukit hantu for a few k. Atrociously hard. The dark night made it more dangerous. And then there's speeding cars cutting corners like mad because of the downhill. After that was done, it was pure bliss downhill.

Now what is most dangerous of this route is not the climb, cars or the night. It's muggers. My friend Zin had warned me of this place. I acknowledged it with some sense of understanding of what I was getting into.

I noticed a motor bike trailing for a few k, just like 100meters at the back as I was zooming down 30kmh over. But it soon pass ahead. I didn't give it much thought because of the mammoth final climb up the hill near the dam.

That final climb was overcome with every muscle fiber in the leg mashing the pedals. Luckily it was short, and the time showed 9:27pm. Time to get back home, or I thought.

Just after the junction into the main road, a motor bike with 2 guys appear from behind. One tried to grab my pouch bag. I yelled ooi...but the yank made me fell. They didn't made off with it though. And this was right at the middle of the road. Luckily no cars was behind. I quickly made a reassessment of damage. No bones broke but a minor abrasion on the right elbow. The bike was ok and ridable.

I stood there cursing those fellows. Later at a petrol station washing the wound, a man told me that place was notorious with gangsters, gum sniffing and mat rempits. Snatch thievery is common.

Because of the wound, I could manage to cycle slowly back to KL, going through Jln Tun Razak, and then back to Cheras.

Looking back, this ride is probably the only one I would not do again. It could have been a blast if not the mishap with snatch thieves. But in the end, finishing is all that matters.

Distance: 344km
Ave: 24.3km/h
Out on the road: 7:27am to 11:30pm (16 hours)
On the saddle: 15 hours
Total Elevation: unknown....

18 comments:

Detective Malone said...

i think with the economic climate as it is and the rising unemployment, it naturally corresponds to a spike in the crime rate. I think it's wise that u should not cycle alone at night especially in a remote and notorious stretch.

Hierarchy of Needs - to finish 344km is a Self-Actualisation Need. To rob you of your money at all cost is also a Need.

Just be careful in the future.

sofiantriathlete said...

MY HERO

zulhassan said...

Malaysia ku yang semankin merbahaya dan danger

My Hero !!!

yipwt said...

hi malone, i didn't expect to get mugged the first time there. That really says something bout that place...

Guys...just don't cycle alone in ulu yam.

Simon said...

MY HERO TOO - A ride to shame any ordinary Ironman and you beat off muggers too! AWESOME

Stupe said...

Impossible is not your middle name. You made it to be I M Possible. You made it sounded all too easy.

Well done Hero. Just the inspiration i need.

Raymond said...

my Hero too!!
Just be more careful next time! Malaysia is never safe

Anonymous said...

Wah..salute u cinya kau-kau lat !!

But must be carefull !

Tey

yipwt said...

simon, they sped off without the bag of course...happened in a blink. And actually I packed only the IC, one ATM card and cash just in case things like this happened, to minimize the losses so to speak. But damn...didn't thought first time 'lucky'.

Stupe, IM is always possible, as long as you train for it.

sofiantriathlete said...

My Hero,
Don't even bring ATM card. I will make photo IC, licence for next time. If original, don't put in pouch.

Mich said...

weeet weet... Congrat on your longest ride. BTW next time find a place to camp lah... Don't just cycle the whole day. Cycling downhill at night is a super duper dangerous game.

Lynn said...

wow! incredible ! Totally left me with a wide open mouth after finish reading your write up! Thank god you're okay from the fall. Take care yeah!

Lawrence said...

Wow! You are truly an ultraman! Great adventure!

Ngae said...

Well done well done my hero.

johar said...

Jika kayuh hingga malam,sewa lah mana2 hotel bajet di pekan yg anda lalui ,sambung kayuhan esok pagi.untuk safety

le_runner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
le_runner said...

thankfully you are home safely. what a magnificent ride. take care, legend.

Anonymous said...

You are great! Carefull nexttime..