Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oops.. They Did it Again

Three different bike courses in as many years.

I've been to Ironman Langkawi three times and this will be the third bike course. In fact, in 2006 it was a different bike course too as well as 2005, so make that 5 different bike courses in five years.

Anyway, this one looks to be the mother of all bike courses. It looks like it combines elements from all the previous years' courses. It's got the Bukit Malut climbs from 2005 (albeit in reverse), the flat out blast along Air Hangat Road from 2006, the steep, short climb along Padang Gaong Road from 2007 (the one that killed me back then), and the airport roundabouts from 2008.

One thing it doesn't have (and I'm quite thankful for that) is the LISRAM Highway climbs.

Here's what it looks like:

And the route profile:

Looks tougher than previous years' but at the end of the day, we still need to cycle the 180km anyway, so no point worrying about it now. Just need to remember to take it easy, don't push too hard, especially on the flats, and spin up slowly up the hills.

And be glad that I have a 27t cog on the back :p

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Weekend Report


I can still feel the lactic acid in my legs and the saddle sores on my crotch! This being the result of a pretty heavy weekend with long rides on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday took us around the Fraser Loop: HOA - Genting Sempah - Bentong - Tranum - Gap - KKB - Batang Kali - Ulu Yam - Batu Dam - Batu Caves - HOA.

The morning didn't start out too good. As I left the house, it started drizzling and by the time we got to batu caves, it was a downpour. Called everyone up and we met for breakfast at McDonald's.

Soon the skies started to clear and at 8:09am, Senn, Adeline, Azmar, Kam, Mo and I started riding.

Overall, the ride wasn't as tough as it was the first time I did it. I think the weather, which went between overcast and light rain, certainly helped. If we had done this ride a couple of days earlier, I think we would have all suffered in the heat. As it was, the climb to the Gap was pleasant with a light drizzle and by the time we got to Batu Dam, we weren't as beat up as we expected to be.

Mac and Jim joined us at the Gap. They were there to drive support and take pictures for SK's photo album project. They also provide some much needed sustenance in the form of ikan bilis and kacang goreng!

We finally rolled in to HOA at about 7:15pm, the last 10 kilometres or so in total silence. It had been a long day for everyone and I don't think anyone was in the mood for conversation during the closing stages of the ride. Most likely everyone was thinking about food!

That all changed when we got to HOA, however. Suddenly everyone was alive, most likely elated that the ride was over!

Well done to everyone, especially Kam (he had a minor spill coming down from Gap, but soldiered on like the brave Ironman that he is), and Mo (he thought the ride would be over by lunch, he had no idea what was in store for him when he mounted his bike!) for finishing what is probably one of the toughest rides around.

Senn and I, along with Mac and Adeline, went straight to Tony Roma's after the ride to fill up our empty stomachs. We would be needing it for Sunday's ride.

Sunday, we did the all-time favourite Broga Classic Loop: Batu 18 - Tekala - Semenyih - Broga - Lenggeng - Bukit Tangga - Klawang - Perez - Batu 18.

From yesterday's group, only 3 of us, Senn, Adeline and me, were crazy enough to do this ride. Everyone else opted for the Malakoff ride, a run or rest. We were joined by Mac, Elaine, Adli, Don Haider and Kannan.

The ride started off slow enough. From Batu 18 to the T-junction, we just cruised along. Once we got to Tekala, we let Don, Kannan, Elaine and Adli go. We were on recovery pace and just didn't have the speed to keep up with them.

SK was around this time, taking pictures with his crew. He took some lovely shots which I hope to post up when I get them.

Anyway, the ride was fairly easy, my heart rate not going up to Zone 5 at all. There were a few hairy moments, like going down one of the hills after Lenggeng at 72km/h with the crosswinds throwing me about as well as descending Bukit Tangga with very strong winds.

Of course, we had the mandatory stop at the Peres Waterfall Spa and Resort. Although, again, the weather was kind to us, a dip in that waterfall is always welcomed.

We finally got back to Batu 18 around 4.30pm. I still had enough in my legs to do a nice 10km time trial from the T-junction back to the car. I had a blast blasting down that road.

Kudos to Mac for finishing this ride when he didn't have the confidence to. It took some coaxing but he did it. Well done!

That's it for long rides. This weekend is all about the run, and then it's time to taper. These back-to-back long rides are just what I need to boost my confidence for Ironman. Finishing it suddenly seems possible now.

Now, let's not do these back-to-back rides ever again.