Sunday, November 21, 2010

Long Ride: Elusive Genting

Descending to Batang Kali from Gohtong Jaya...
Fraser was hot!

Eating nasi lemak while my ride rests..

The peak finally...
It'll be another 90km over back to Gombak.

This ride is to see how long it would take to ride from Gombak, to Genting Peak and Fraser peak.

Started from Gombak (near some food stalls car park), at 8:09am. Met Vong who was waiting for a friend at the traffics, as I head up Sempah. As I passed a group of cyclist, one of them hook up behind me.

Now I tried to shake him off a few times. Well after a few KMs, managed to get him off. It's all for fun. Then it's up to Gohtong.

I was riding my roadie, and best thing is, it's compact crank. So going uphill is more pleasing. Reached Gohtong for some food.

Tried to go up the last 9km but the police won't allow. "Majikan punya arahan" according to person manning the station. Oh well, felt dejected, and headed down towards batang kali.

Now if there's cycling nirvana, this is it. I could easily go above 50kmh without doing a thing. Roads here are so steep you just zoom pass on furious speed. Some caution on the brakes will do.

Reaching the intersection to the main road is around 50km of distance. Now it's the long grinding up KKB, and Fraser peak. Nothing much to say, but the journey is exactly 96km up to gap.

Another 8km and it was 104km at the peak. I ascended using the 1pm slot. Actually reaching Gap around 12:45pm, and having nasi lemak beforehand.

2pm, and it was all the way back to KKB, Ulu yam and batu caves. I was abit cautious at the dam area. Previous mugging here made me paranoid at any motorcycle sound from behind. I had to hide my pouch bag under the shirt so as to be not that obvious.

After 9.5 hours and 197.5km, I was safely back.

Here's some interesting data:

To reach fraser gap from Genting peak, you'll need approx 3 hours. I think it was a blessing I wasn't let up, because if I did, I would have reach Gap around 1:45pm, given it'll add another hour just to ascend Genting Peak from Gohtong and coming down. By then, I'll have to wait for 3pm slot to go up.

Descending to KKB will bring the total distance to 143km. Now distance to Tapah from here will be 92.4km, and climb up to Brinchang is another 70km.

Therefore to cycle all 3 peaks should be around 320km. The insane part is more than 100km of climbs.

Now, if you could excuse me, let me jump off this building..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Malakoff Powerman 2010

I did this race last year. However, then, it was just to replace Victor Loh, who had an unexpected injury.

So, this year, it was my first time seriously doing it. Therefore, no more cycling to Lumut like last year.

And we're kind of lucky, as it drizzled a bit before the race. Last year, it was terribly hot.

Now, the race format is to run 11km, then cycle 64km, and then run another 10km. Sounds easy compared to half Ironman,

First run. We're let off on the dot. I have no set timing for this. Just run as fast as possible. Surprisingly, I saw Don Khor and thought that I would try to match his pace. But perhaps due to my immaturity in pacing, I passed him early. Of course, he passed me soon at the path coming back for the first loop.

Finished in around 42 minutes.

Then it was bike time. Now, I have yet neglected training seriously for the bike, and it shows. Tried to gun for 40kmh but found 35, 36 to be my pace for the remainder. Now funny thing was, I thought it was only one loop, after finding out that one loop doesn't suffice for 64km. Got the better of it, and did 2 loops.

I had one powergel after the bridge.

Finally it was the last run leg. The first loop was still cool. I saw Shahrom passed me just right in front of the water station, and in his haste grab the whole water bottle as he sprinted beyond. I was beginning to get cramps on both quads. Had to get some spray on, and just hope my legs will bring me through.

2nd loop and I was just wanting to end it all.

Came back in 3:34

Congras to all who have finished it. Especially to Richard Tang who aced with 6th position in 3:20. Simon Cross would have a good nemesis coming into his age group soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cycling Genting Highlands: Riding the TT bike


Finally reaching the top...

Looks fun...don't wear a white shirt. Even the best detergent on earth won't work.

The next day after the 12km run, I was onto something else. Now it's time to see if I could ride a TT bike up there. I've been doing all my genting climb using a roadie, so this kind of intrigues. Another thing is, I've not been riding alot. Fitness was there, but riding on a bike seems so alien after months not being on one.

After parking at HOA, I departed at 8:49am, reached Genting Sempah after 50 mins. The p2k group was there as well, waiting for some other guys before their usual breakie jaunt at bkt tinggi. Then after some rest, I headed solo towards Gohtong.

Easy, it wasn't. Although I could climb, speed was really slow, but I kept at it, and standing up only if the inclination is too much to handle. After the 4km hard climb, it was an easy ride up to Gohtong.

Then comes the hard part. Riding up Genting is like going into a forbidden place. Only the staunch, experienced and hardy cyclist attempts this. And it doesn't matter how strong you are, the mountain mocks you by saying "Oh, so you've climb this far? wait till you go higher..."

Really. The hardest part of the whole route, is the last 4.4km marker. From my memory, nothing is more harder than the last 4.4km up. Cause it really is. Two very steep hairpins, and the final 300m to the arch at the top, is enough of a challenge for anyone dares to go up.

And on a TT bike, it's definitely harder. I find myself climbing in an awkward position. Trying to coax the bike up is like pulling a rock up. It won't respond. You just have to mash the pedals or pull harder to lift it up. At times, I almost cramped at the quads. But I made a promise to my bike and whispered "I'll put you up there, baby"..

The only view I was having is making sure my front tyre moves. And of course the top was enjoyable after 2:40 climbing from HOA. Met with a guy resting at the cafe (rode a superbike), who was impressed with cycling up.

Then, it was going down to Awana to meet some friends doing the fun 14km run. Shih Ming & San did well (got 2nd), and Ray & Mich too (4th).


Now here's the challenge that is in my mind, with some friends. I consider it the holy grail of cycling climb in Malaysia.

Ride Genting Peak, Fraser Peak, and reaching Cameroon Highlands in one day.

Could that be done? Go figure...