Senn and I once had this debate: which is tougher, Broga Classic or Broga Reverse?
At that time, she had only done Reverse and I had just finished riding Classic. Neither one of us had ridden the other.
So the debate ended in a stalemate. We talked about starting at Bt 14 one day, and splitting up at the foothills of Peres, she to go on Classic and me Reverse. This was we could decide once and for all which was the tougher loop.
That never happened, of course. And today, as luck would have it, Broga Reverse was on the menu. Finally, I'll be able to see for myself which was the tougher route.
They are both equally tough.
Ya, ya. Cop-out answer, right? But seriously, Broga, either way, is tough. But they both present very different challenges.
On Classic, you're on flat to rolling terrain for the first 60k. Then, you start climbing. Two short but steep hills, followed by the medium-length Bukit Tangga, and then when your legs are spent 110k in them, you get the pleasure of going up Perez, a 14k killer. At this point you're no longer thinking, you're just pedalling. With all the climbing towards the end of the loop, Classic proves to be a very physical challenge.
On Reverse, however, by the time you hit 90k, you're done with all the climbs (unless you want to take a shortcut through to Bt 14 at the dam, like we did today). But what is left after that is 60k of flat to rolling terrain. The stretch between Semenyih to Tekala, however is where it all kills your mind. it's about 12km of straight, flat road and can be mind-numbing. You're pedalling along for what seems like ages, and you seem to never see the Nirvana Memorial, much less the picnic grounds. I was riding today with Bacin and Adeline and we just rode on in complete silence, wondering when the end would come. This is when you start questioning yourself: why are you doing this? are you nuts? etc. So in this respect, Reverse is more a mental challenge.
So it boils down to basically physical vs mental. Sure, it's a cop-out answer, but that's just my opinion lah. Still, for those of you going out to do Ironman next year, Broga, either way is good training ground. Classic because you're going to need the strength to go up that same damn over and over again. And Reverse because once you're out there on the bike, at 130k, under th blazing sun and your legs are cramping, you're going to be questioning your very existence. And you're going to need every ounce of mental strength to pull you through it.
Again, this is just my opinion, I'm sure others have theirs. I'm not sure my debate with Senn is over yet though. She may want to do Classic herself and maybe only then can we settle it once and for all.