HOA - Genting Sempah - Bentong - Genting Sempah - HOA
Total ride time: 4h05m17s
First time riding with the CSC (Cycling Siamang Club) boys. Those guys are animals. I consider myself a fairly decent climber but was thoroughly humbled by these guys on Saturday.
On the way up to Genting Sempah, I was dropped within 5km.
Finally got to the peak in around 52 minutes, my best time so far. But these guys had already been there for at least 5 minutes, looking thoroughly relaxed as if they hadn't started riding.
The trip to Bentong was a lot of fun. Five of us, myself, Laif, Adzim, Azwar and Fairuz, started working together in a paceline, each pulling for about 30 seconds at 34-38km/h. But everytime Azwar took a pull, he would pull for around two minutes and bring the speed up to 40-42km/h! It was hard work just hanging on to the wheel in front! Maybe he got carried away abit, because he was texting while pulling us all along! (No wonder he felt it was a boring route. I am truly not worthy of riding with him.)
But the fun didn't last. As usual, I got dropped approaching Bentong, at exactly the spot I thought I would. Before long, Saiful, Abu and Bacin caught up with me and began pulling away. Luckily, we were already in Bentong so I didn't have to suffer the humiliation of geting dropped by them too.
After a quick ABC, it was back up to Genting Sempah again. In cycling, what goes down must naturally come up, so it was back to climbing again. The first 15km or so was quite pleasant, with the whole group sticking together in a nice paceline, led by Azwar and Adzim. But as soon as the road pointed upwards, all hell broke loose. The paceline just exploded. Adzim and Azwar dropped the hammer and immediately, I fell behind. It was a solo ride all the way to Genting Sempah, not being able to keep up with the front runners, yet slowly pulling away form those behind.
I finally got to the last kilometre before the rest area. For some reason, I can never understand this bit. It doesn't look steep, yet it's always a slow slog just to get through. Cranking away on 39-25 feels like a 53-12 here. To make things worse, the plan was to not stop at the rest area and continue up McDonald's hill to the T-junction to regroup. I normally stop here to rest and refuel, but because I didn't want those guys to wait long, I continued on. And my legs really felt the burn.
By the time I got to the regrouping point at the T-junction, the front runners (Adzim, Azwar, Bacin, Abu, Saiful and Yusran) had buggered off. Maybe I took too long to get there and they got bored of waiting.
Anyway, I stopped at the T-junction and waited for the rest. One by one they showed up, first Fairuz, then Adeline and Shazly, then Senn, then Laif. Patrick called and said he was eating at McDonald's so don't wait for him. Jaja and Fadzil also were stopping at the rest area to refuel, so we decided to go ahead to HOA. The 15km descent was heaven sent, a nice reward after all that climbing.
The plan was to go with PCC for a 108km ride to Batu Arang. But decided not to since my legs were still feeling the burn from the day before. So slept in and went for Nasi Lemak Mak Wan Jor in Kampung Baru. Yum.
Afternoon, took the boys for their swim lessons so decided to put some laps in myself. Did 1200m in around 26 minutes and also did some short sprints, playing catching with the boys. That's a fun way to get a sprint workout in.
So overall, a very good weekend. Let's hope it's enough for Desaru.