Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Return to PCC

It's been a while since I've been on a PCC Sunday ride, and since I didn't go riding on the Saturday, I thought why not. This particular Sunday, they were heading to Malaysia's own Gold Coast, Bagan Lalang.

The ride started at approximately 7.40am because the two Dons (Chan and Haider) only rolled into the car park at MTDC Bangi at 7.30am. Before that, we were joined by Lim (Rain), Adzim and a whole bunch of riders who started from BikePro in Taman Megah.

The ride got underway Lim setting the pace up front. It was a nice comfortable pace at first but picked up as we were 10km into the ride. The pack stayed together as the speed picked up, no doubt taking advantage of the draft. One or two riders did drop off as we headed to the rollies between Salak and Sepang but the main bunch held it together. I barely managed to hang on as we rolled into the Shell station at Sepang, our first regrouping point. 32km completed in 1h02m for an average of 30.4km/h.

We hung around at the Shell for a lot longer than usual. One of the newbie riders, Weina, still hadn't rolled in yet and we started to worry. New rider, new route, was she lost? Senn was on the phone trying to call her but to no avail. Big Mac valiantly got on his bike in search of her and backtracked for about a kilometre with no sign of her.

After a while, she finally rolled into the Shell stations with Wong CC and Mac. Apparently, she dropped her chain at the beginning of the ride and had to play catch-up. Luckily Wong CC was there to show her the way.

Soon we were rolling again. This time the pace was definitely ramped up and we got to Bagan Lalang in just under half an hour. The surprising thing for me was that I managed to hang on to the front pack the whole time and only lost them as we entered Bagan Lalang. That was quite a feat for me.

After a quick meal of roti canai, we started the journey back. At this point I was in two minds: should I try to just stick to the pack and take advantage of their draft or should I hang back and take it easy, having subjected my legs to the fast and furious pace during the first half of the ride.

I wanted to take it easy but the lure of the peloton was too tempting. So I hung on for dear life.

However, when we got to the rollies after Sepang, riders were starting to drop off the back. One by one, the peloton was getting smaller. Then I dropped off which was a bummer because the winds were really strong at this time. I managed to get into a four-rider pack, each taking a turn braving the strong headwind. Then I took my pull, tucked down low in my aerobars. When I pulled out to let Rahim lead, it was just the two of us left.

And so we worked together to the end, each pullling for about 2-3km before recovering in the slipstream. About 15km from the end, Rahim spotted a coconut stall so we stopped. Unfortunately, the stall had no ice, so no air kelapa for us.
We had a quick refill of 7-Up and soya bean and we were off again.

We got back to MTDC Bangi at noon. By then, the group that started from BikePro had already buggered off. As we were packing up, we heard news that Annie had severely cramped up and had to take a cab back to MTDC. It was quite a sight when she got back, she couldn't move at all! And you can really see where the priorities lie for the different genders: the guys were busy with her bike while the gals, Senn, Perli, Joanne and Adeline, were helping Annie out of the cab!

Anyway, I enjoyed my return to the PCC Sunday ride. The company was good and the pace a lot faster than I remember. But it's all good.

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