Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ultra cycling: Double Peaks Genting Fraser


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The road to Sempah...

At sempah to fix the seat...

Stopping at Bentong...

Heading towards Tranum...

You can see the mountains to tackle...



Tranum!

Having a rest while waiting for the 1pm window.

Ready to go up...

The clock tower at Frasers...

Had some fruits...

Near the dam at KKB. It's hot now...



This used to be filled with water..!



That's Fraser at the back...



The road to Gohtong Jaya...toughest route to tackle..

Finally almost reaching Gohtong Jaya



Why in the world I choosed cycling...?

Pagoda...

At 2km mark...

It's conquered!

The idea is not actually mine. It was Steve's, who had told me during the post IM dinner many moons ago. Basically, ride up both peaks in one day. And from some blogs, it did seemed some did try, but none scaled both yet.

I've given it some thought, and think it's doable within a day time frame, if you're able to reach Fraser Gap within 11am for the time slot up.

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I did try to roped in a few guys. Only one said he'll come. Well, on Sunday, I failed reaching him, so I concluded he'll not come. Oh well, the ride must still be on.

I started from HOA at 7:35am, riding in a moderate pace up Sempah, reaching at 8:25am. My seat was too low, so I set it up higher. Then, it was blasting all the way to Bentong.

As I passed the bridge for the next 26km, I met with a lone cyclist going on a easy pace. I passed him quick, but he seems determined to follow. And I was going at speeds nearing 40kmh, while hanging low on the handle bar. This was not a leisure ride, and I was determine to reach Bentong within 2 hours.

I looked back and he seemed within non drafting distance. Odd...usually cyclist will tend to stick quite near behind. It wasn't until the junction to the highway, that I finally figured out it's Sam Matsunaga in his white Specialized bike. He passed me by, but I quickly worked my way up to the lead, and finally reaching the Shell station at 9:23am.

Great...got some time to spare. So I stopped by one of those old chinese style coffee shops for a drink and refuelling. Then it was off to Tranum. I didn't know how far Tranum was, but give and take, I'd guess reaching Gap will be around 100km.

The road to Tranum was tough at some parts because of the 'invisible' uphill slopes. There were lots of lorries by the road side packed with durians.

I managed to reach Tranum at around 10:45am. I try rationalizing if I could make it within one hour to Gap, which spells 11:45am, and I'd still be within the time frame. So, I pushed going up the hill. Scenery was nice, but really not in the mood.

Finally reached Gap at 11:55am, but actually it's already closed at 11:40am. Nothing much you can do, so I had drinks and nasi lemak at the store nearby. So, time from HOA-Gap is around 4hr20min.

Two chaps was interested getting into some conversation, and it was quite a relaxing atmosphere, just to sit and enjoy the scenery. They were quite surprised with the lone cycling from Gombak, and they were actually heading towards Raub.

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1:03pm, and it's off rushing towards the peak. Now the route ain't so bad. Of course there's climbs but manageable. After 8km of uphill, managed to reach within 32 minutes, and then it was off to munching some langsat with durians.

2pm. No time to lose. Sped off in TT mode towards KKB. Surprisingly, the lake level has dropped almost 5 meters. It was so much, that I could see grass growing underneath the bridge. Meter at KKB traffics was 147km, and took a bit more than an hour.

While the air at more than 1000 meters at Fraser was chillingly cool, it was now a hot sunny affair with the afternoon sun beating down. Did a stop at a mosque for prayers, before speeding off to Batang Kali (3:56pm), and the meter was around 166km.

Now comes the killer part. From Batang Kali to Gohtong. I've never rode this part of the route before. At first it was some rolling slopes, and then after the waterfall stop, bam, it was all the way climbing. And climbing. And more climbing. I couldn't put into words how tough it was. There's no flats, none. Coupled with the heat, and slow grinding, personal self torture was what I thought I was going through.

Courage, I need more courage. At times like these, you question the sanity of the goal. From the distance, I could see the buildings at Genting perched so high up. Just thinking of hauling my bike from here to there, is an impossibility. But like in life, there's setbacks. There's huge walls you have to break. You just have to keep on going. As long as the legs could rotate, as long as the bike can slowly inched up at 6km/h, then the fight is still on.

Finally the cable car station came into view, and after some climb, I've finally made it to Gohtong Jaya which stood at an elevation of around 950 meters from 25m in Batang Kali. I needed to refuel, so stopped by the usual mamak.

Time was not on my side. It was close to 6pm when I started the ride again. It's either safely descending back HOA within the daylight, or going up.

I choosed the heavens. And slowly, it was back to self torture. After so many times up Genting, the climb was manageable. It was tough as nut, but I knew what to expect, and trying to conserve energy while not on the hard parts.

At 4km, the steepest hairpin in history looms. I stood up, jerked the bike with hand power for a few times, and kept telling myself, if I could beat this, I could make it to the summit.

I finally did, and had to stopped for the first rest just above. Then it was going up again. The scenery was beautiful with the sun's setting rays casting a golden ambience hovering around the mountains below. But I've got no time to appreciate.

The pagoda was in view. This is perhaps the 2nd hardest climb, and if you could beat this, genting is all yours. Some standing climbs, and it was all over. I had to stopped just at 2km mark for some rest.

The peak was so near, yet so far. How do you conquer Everest? You can't run up, can you?...it's placing a foot, and then the next forward. At this point, I had given almost all I had. But I knew it had to be done. It was exactly that, one pedal rotation after another. If I was too tired to push while sitting, it had to be done standing.

Just after the 0.9km, there's this steep slope, and then, it was the last 500 meters. My bike was going sideways, and I tried not to get too excited. You need patience, and perseverance to pull it through.

300 meters, and it was still tough. Finally reaching the peak, at around 7 pm plus. Afterwards, it was pure happiness. The double peaks is conquered. However, I quickly refill for the 35km descent. Darkness was already in the sky.

Now it's surviving descending Genting in the dark. And I regretted not bringing the bright LED light for the front. This means, I will need to feel the road, while guiding the bike at dangerous speed descent.

There's a minor climb after Gohtong, and then it was reaching Sempah around 8pm on the dot. Like it or not, I'll have to descend in the darkness. It was pretty ok with the sky not totally dark. At least I could see the white lines. A car behind was pretty helpful shining the road in the front for some time before my chain jumped. I had to stopped to fix it. Nothing too hard, just bring up the gears a few notch, and then it was riding again.

Reached HOA at 8:42pm. I slowly packed the bike , drove home. I was famished, and needed to eat. So I fixed back the wheelsets to my commuting bike, and went hunting for food.

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Some stats:
Distance: 224.8km
Total ascent: More than 3200 meters
Gear: 39x25 lightest

The only flaw in this plan is to miss the 11am window at Gap. Starting at 7am sharp from HOA will help. Getting a compact crank will help. Getting a lighter bike will help.

If I were to rate the hardness of this ride, a 10/10 is what I can think of.

15 comments:

Simon said...

You are truly amazing, you had me sitting on the edge of my seat reading this. I have climbed both these peaks but never in the same ride. It just blows me away to just think about it. Well done, what an achievement.

Denis Oakley said...

Dude!

plee said...

I forgot to breathe while reading this!!!Speechless!
BTW the Batang Kali route was the one that nearly killed Edwin Ng (going down it) Going at 80kph ++ when crosswinds lifted his rear wheel.

yipwt said...

Lee,...yea...i did read the mag on Edwin...pretty nasty come to think about it.

I don't dare go at that speed. Going down genting in the dark had me pressing the brakes all along.

Tuan Senang Besar said...

erkk!

Raymond Tan said...

Wa lao eh! Fu yoh! Ai seh man! Can u please lift up my jaw on the floor? I didn't even blink an eyelid reading your status report. If I were to drive 224.8km, I think u'll be faster than me la. Well done! =)

sofiantriathlete said...

Wow, wow , wow

Lawrence said...

Man! That's amazing! Pure unadulterated guts mixed in with sheer stubbornness and determination! Well done la! Fantastic stuff!

Raymond Hee said...

Well done yip! Another remarkable feat!! no 99 still stucked on your helmet hahaha

Anonymous said...

you must be totally insane to do this..beyond Iron beyond ultra aint it ? WELL WELL DONE !! Utterly in awe. Salute !!

~~JO

ajo said...

Erkhh!.. Yip pinjam Kaki:P

Haza said...

You chose cycling because those big bikes can't give the same kind of high. Plus, they are a bit showy.

cheekaimun said...

Hey, bro, u sure u weren't riding one of those super bikes? Cos' none of the photos shows that u were on a bicycle. I don't believe you....wait a minute, you are Mr Steven Yip, right?

U are so unbelievable, good job man & my absolute admiration for your determination.

Miroslav said...

Hey dude, what a ride! Very nice, still you've missed the Colmar tropicale@Berjaya Hills. Keep it up. Maybe we meet at IM in Langkawi? CU, Miro

encik sang said...

every time i need motivation on cycling, i always came back to this blog. especially this story of double peak. its 4 years now and the story always lift my spirit up. tq for this.