150km. 4 mega climbs. That's the legendary Broga loop. People say doing the reverse loop is tough. The classic loop even tougher.
Never having been on this route before, I decided to join Adzim on this ride. And it was an epic ride.
We gathered at Batu 14 Hall at 8am Saturday morning. The day did not begin well for me. First, I discovered that I forgot to bring the wheel magnet for my computer. Luckily, I had a spare. Then, I discovered I had travelled all the way to Batu 14 with my wallet at home. So I'll be riding with no money, no ID.
Fortunately, I managed to borrow some $$$ from Mac. Doing 150k with no money to buy water and 100 Plus is never a good idea.
The crowd that gathered that day for the ride was a bunch of power riders. We had superstar triathlete Kimberly Yap, Jasmine, Elaine, Andrea, Bacin, Alex "Jesus is my Powergel", Dicky, Bacin, Faaisal, Jeffrey, Mac, Bernard, ride leader Adzim, and a couple of others. Looking at the calibre of these riders gave me an inferiority complex.
We pushed off heading towards Batu 18. The pace, driven by Kim and Bernard was an astonishing 35kmh! I was thinking, "Whoa guys!! Take it easy. We still have 150k to go!" As we turned the corner at Batu 18, Adzim reminded me that the front pack were only going as far as Tekala then heading back. So I eased off the pedals a bit and let them go.
We went through the dam area at a more leisurely pace before making a stop at Tekala. After saying good-bye to Bernard and Mac, we proceeded to Broga.
That was when the pace picked up again. Superman Simon Cross, Randy Tan, Sam Pritchard and one other rider happened to be on the same road as us and everyone wanted to follow their pace. As expected, I was dropped like a bad habit. I went all the way to Semenyih watching the pack get smaller and smaller in the distance. And I was still doing about 32kmh. At the rate they were pulling away, they must have been pulling 40+.
Luckily for me, Dicky noticed I was missing and slowed down to wait. I managed to get a draft from a scooter and soon caught up with him. Then Dicky pulled me all the way to Broga. Thanks Dicky. He was a super domestique that day, having slowed down to pull Bacin when he dropped his water bottle earlier, then slowing down to pull me to Broga. I owe you one bro.
At Broga, we said good-bye to Kim, Simon, Randy and their gang. And now it was down to just the 10 of us.
The came the climbs. The first one was short but really steep. Jeffrey attacked early on but the lost it, inching his way slowly up the hill. Andrea and Adzim went up the hill like it was flat, disappearing into the distance. I laboured along slwoly with Elaine for company. We finally made it to the top and were rewarded with a nice descent.
The second hill was more of the same. It wasn't as steep but it was still tough.
A quick rest before we came to Bukit Tangga. 4km of pure torture. It was long, labourious and hot. It just went on and on. 4km felt like 40. But what goes up must come down so when we finally hit the top, we had a good time going down. I caught up with Jasmine at the end of the descent and we worked together all the way to Klawang.
At Klawang, we had a break. Got myself two bottles of 100 Plus and two bottles of mineral water to refill my bottles. And a vanilla bun for fuel. We were all gearing up and psyching ourselves up for the 14km climb that is Peres. The extra bottle of mineral water was meant to be kept in my pocket so I can pur it on myself if I feel like I'm overheating. As it turned out, that was a very good idea.
We started the climb and I was glad I had that extra bottle. It was hot. Adzim and the ladies, again, just pulled away like it was flat. Bacin, Alex and I kept yo-yoing up the hill. First Bacin would pull away, then we'd catch up and I'd pull away, then Alex would catch up and pull away. We went like this all the way up.
Being super domestique had take its toll on Dicky's legs and he dropped back. As did Jeffrey, who clearly hadn't fully recovered from Interstate and was pushing very hard early on in the ride.
Finally, after climbing for what seems like forever, I saw the UMNO sign. At that point in time, it was the most beautiful sight ever. I was soo happy to see that sign I let out a scream of joy, much to the amusement of Alex, who was a few metres behind me.
We waited at the peak for everyone to show up. One by one, Faaisal, then Dicky appeared over the crest. While waiting for Jeffrey to come, a yellow truck pulled over. The passenger door opened and out popped Jeffrey. He really took his legs too far.
After that, we descended Peres and rode to the nearest kedai runcit to refill. Everyone had used up all their water supply on the climb. After filling up, we were supposed to have a slow-slow ride back to the car so that Jeffrey (and the rest of us) can recover. Hah! Slow-slow was 36kmh! I shudder to think what a fast pace back would be.
We finally got back to the car around 3-something. Tired, beat, hungry, but happy. It was tough but I have finally completed the legendary Broga loop. And the tougher classic loop at that. What a feeling.
Kudos to Adzim for organising such an epic ride. Now it's time to conquer the reverse loop.