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Permanent 100 & BRM 200 Pink Ride 6.0

Graphic courtesy of audaxmalaysia.com

In early January, V asked me if I was planning to do the 2023 Pink Ride. She had registered for the Permanent 100. Having just completed the Rapha Festive 500 Challenge, I felt I could manage a 100 km ride. So I registered for it. Some other R@SKLs registered for the BRM 200.

Both events would start at the same time. Pre-dawn at 5:00 am. I decided to spend Saturday night as close to the start location as possible, so I would have more sleep time before the very early start.

I was late looking for accommodation. All the homestays, of which there aren’t many around Kota Kemuning, had already been booked. My Biker Chick decided to make a weekend staycation out of the event. She booked a two-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Puchong, 10km from the ride start in Rimbayu, Kota Kemuning.

Puchong used to be tin-dredging territory. We had a nice view of one of the old mining pools from our room.

Since I was going to be in the area on Saturday afternoon, I volunteered to collect goodie bags for the R@SKLs. Pick up was at the Gamuda Land twenty-five.7 Experience Gallery.

Photograph courtesy of audaxmalaysia.com

It didn’t take long to collect about a dozen goodie bags.

Photograph courtesy of audaxmalaysia.com

In addition to discount vouchers from the event sponsors and optional additional-cost tee shirts and cycling wallets, each bag held an event-specific brevet card and bike tag.

The brevet cards get stamped at each checkpoint along the route. The bike tags identify differentiate registered participants from unregistered ones, known locally as “ghost” riders.

The giant lakeside flamingo behind the Experience Gallery was where I met the other R@SKLS at 4:30 am on Sunday morning to hand out brevet cards and bike tags.

Photograph courtesy of LKK

Everyone ready to roll. Four of us doing the Permanent 100, and the rest doing the BRM 200.

Photograph courtesy of AR

The Permanent 100 and the BRM 200 shared the same route for the first 20 km. At Taman Periang, the Permanent 100 riders turned right towards Banting, and the BRM 200 riders turned left towards Kampung Sungai Manggis. Although the two routes reconverged at Asam Batu Laut, we would not see the BRM 200 riders again. The Permanent 100 riders got to Asam Batu Laut after a further 20 km from where the two routes split. The BRM 200 riders had 130 km to cover before they got to Asam Batu Laut.

Maps courtesy of audaxmalaysia.com

The only checkpoint for the Permanent 100 was at KM 56 at Dataran Morib. We got there at a few minutes past 7:00 am.

Photograph courtesy of VV

One of the event sponsors was Boom+, which is an isotonic beverage. There was an ice chest full of all four available flavours at the checkpoint. I had a lemon one. Very nice!

Graphic courtesy of mamee.com

It was also time for something to eat. A kilometre from Dataran Morib is Delicious Bread Coffee Shop.

Soft-boiled eggs, charcoal-toasted bread with kaya (coconut jam) and coffee hit the spot.

Photograph courtesy of VV

The R@SKLs doing the BRM 200 would have been riding towards Port Dickson from Sepang while we were enjoying our breakfast.

Photograph courtesy of JB

The finish at twenty-five.7 Experience Gallery was less than 50 km away for the four of us.

Photograph courtesy of audaxmalaysia.com

We got to the finish at 9:30 am.

Photograph courtesy of audaxmalaysia.com

There was more Boom+ available at the finish. As well as a very nice photographer in the shape of Sam Tow.

Photograph courtesy of audaxmalaysia.com

The finishing checkpoint was at one end of the row of shops behind the Experience Gallery, facing the Central Lake. One of those shops is a café.

Photograph courtesy of VV

Rewind is a very nice spot for a post-ride latte and a sandwich.

The neon sign inside is very cyclist-appropriate 😂.

All the R@SKL BRM 200 riders finished safely too.

Photograph courtesy of JB

We all got medals. The Permanent 100 was not an official Audax event, so the ones we got for riding 100 km are not the same as the Audax Club Parisien-issued medals that the successful BRM 200 riders could purchase.

Photograph courtesy of audaxmalaysia.com

Congratulations to all the R@SKLs who rode the Pink Ride 6.0 Permanent 100 or the BRM 200.

P.S. The Pink Ride 6.0 is the third Pink Ride that the R@SKLs have participated in. You can read about the others by clicking on the links below:

Pink Ride 2.0 2019

Pink Ride 3.0 2020

2022 Rapha Festive 500

The Rapha Festive 500 challenge is to ride 500 kilometres between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. I completed my first Rapha Festive 500 in 2014. The reward for completing the challenge was a woven roundel that Rapha posted to you, free of charge. The 2014 roundel is the one on the upper left.

You can read my post about the 2014 Rapha Festive 500 by clicking here.

The roundels I earned in subsequent years are shown in clockwise order.

In 2020 Rapha stopped sending roundels to successful participants. The number of participants ballooned from 84 in 2010 to 240,991 in 2020. Perhaps the cost of producing and posting woven roundels became prohibitively expensive.

2020 was a year of great upheaval. The first COVID-19 lockdown started in Malaysia on 18th March. Restricted to our homes until early May, I didn’t ride at all in April. After April 2020, restrictions on outdoor exercise were relaxed and reimposed as each wave of COVID-19 infections came and went. Despite not riding much in October and November 2020, I did complete the Festive 500 challenge that year. That year’s digital roundel is the one on the bottom left.

You can read my post about the 2020 Rapha Festive 500 by clicking here.

I broke my Festive 500 streak in 2021. A variety of restrictions on cycling and surgery on a knee I injured while jogging meant I rode very little in June, July and August 2021. I wasn’t fit enough to give the 2021 Festive 500 a go.

Until mid-December this year, I had given no thought to attempting the 2022 Festive 500. As you can see from the chart above, I rode very little in 2022. Including none at all between March and July. I came out of that period very unfit and carrying more kilos than is good for me.

I covered 118 km in August, 281 km in September, 563 km in October, and 666 km in November. Not the distances that made me confident that I could ride 500 km in eight days. Especially as only five out of the forty-two rides I did in those months were longer than 62 km. The average distance I would have to ride every day to cover 500 km in eight days.

Image courtesy of Strava

As Christmas Eve, the first day of the Festive 500 challenge, drew closer, I considered giving it a go. I had lost some weight and was feeling fitter.

The clincher was Kieren asking if I was doing the Festive 500 this year. After a few days of mulling it over, I decided to go for it.

Kieren and I rode 102 km on Christmas Eve morning, from Bukit Jail to Jenjarom and back. I hadn’t ridden more than 100 km in a single ride since January 2022.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps

Knowing I needed to front-load kilometres in case I couldn’t ride on one or more of the allocated eight days, I added a 27 km ride on one of my regular city routes that afternoon.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps

I felt shattered on Christmas morning. There was no way I could get out of bed for an early ride. I did manage a 45 km city ride in the afternoon.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps

I was already glad I was ahead of the minimum daily cumulative total kilometres required to get to 500 km on Day Eight.

Ride number four on Boxing Day was a very pleasant and relaxed 72 km ride to Elmina and back to TTDI with Vanessa and Kieren.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps
Photograph courtesy of Vanessa

The relaxed pace in the morning meant that I was able to add a 42 km ride that afternoon to my total distance.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps

I roped Mark in to ride with me on Day Four. This was a 73 km ride to Kuang and back via Elmina. My legs were starting to feel the strain, and I certainly didn’t break any speed records.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps

With 360 km in the bag, I felt good about completing the challenge.

I rode solo on Day Five, from Batu 14, Hulu Langat to Batu 18 and on to the Semenyih Dam and back to Batu 14. With detours toward Kampung Lubok Kelubi to the north and around the kampungs on the way to Bukit Hantu. That added 86 km to my cumulative total.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps

Day Six was spent together with KS and TH, riding to the Hospital Orang Asli and back to the city.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps
Photograph courtesy of KS

Those 66 km on Day Six earned me this year’s roundel. Relatively plain, as Rapha Festive 500 roundel designs go, but I will take it.

Image courtesy of Strava

To say that I am pleased to have ridden a total of 500 kms in six days is an understatement. I am absolutely delighted!

Product Review: Knog Scout Bike Alarm & Finder

My riding buddies are always worried that their bikes will be stolen while we are inside a coffee shop or restaurant mid-ride. Which means trying to have our bikes within sight while we are eating and drinking. That is not always possible.

When Knog sent me an announcement about their Scout Bike Alarm & Finder, I was intrigued.

Photograph courtesy of road.cc

That announcement had a link to a DC Rainmaker review of the Scout. As with all of Ray’s reviews, this one is worth reading. When I saw that he wrote “As soon as the Knog site opens for ordering, I’m ordering a slate of these”, I was sold.

This is what is inside the cardboard packaging.

Photograph courtesy of Knog

From the left:

  1. A silicone cover
  2. The Scout unit
  3. Anti-tamper screws
  4. Spacers for use when mounting the unit under a bottle cage
  5. A tool for tightening and loosening the anti-tamper screws

The Scout combines an 85dB alarm and a bike finder function. The finder function uses Apple’s Find My app. The Scout has a water resistant IP66 rating, which means it is rain and wash-proof.

I mounted the Scout under a bottle cage.

The Scout is 10.5mm thick, so it is fits unobtrusively under my bottle cage. The neon yellow silicone cover, which is designed to advertise the presence of this security device (if desired), can only be used if the Scout is mounted without a bottle cage over it.

Control of the Scout is via the Knog Mobile app. Unfortunately for non-iPhone users, there is no Android version of the Knog Mobile app.

Icon courtesy of Knog

Once the Knog Mobile app is installed and the Scout is paired to the app (pairing is done via the app and not via the iOS Bluetooth settings), the Scout can be customised, armed and disarmed from your mobile phone.

Image courtesy of Knog

Customisation options include:

  1. Renaming the device, which is useful if you have more than one Scout paired to the Knog Mobile app.
  2. Setting the movement sensitivity of the Scout
  3. Adjusting the alarm volume
  4. Choosing from eight alarm tones

Pressing the red arrow at the bottom of the Knog Mobile app screen opens the Apple Find My app.

Icon courtesy of Apple

Once you add a Scout to the Find My app, the app will display the Scout’s location on a map. You can connect multiple Scouts to the Find My app.

Claimed battery life for the Scout is six months. Charging is via USB-C. I haven’t decided if I will remove the Scout from my bike to charge it, or leave the Scout on the bike and recharge via a power bank. I have six months to think about it 😄.

My initial impressions of the Knog Scout are good.

Setting up the Scout via the Knog Mobile app, and mounting the Scout underneath a bottle cage were both straightforward tasks.

The alarm is certainly loud enough to deter a thief.

The Find My function works exactly the same way as it does for Apple AirTags. I should be able to find by bicycle if it is taken.

Of course, I hope no one will try to steal my bicycle. With the Scout on my bike, I will hear if someone tries to take it.

I can relax during our mid-ride stops. No need for me to be able to see my bicycle at all times now.

RHB LEKAS Highway Ride 2022

LEKAS is the acronym for Lebuhraya Kajang Seremban, a 44.3 kilometre six lane highway connecting those two towns. 

Map courtesy of ijmtolldiv.com

Since 2013, the highway concessionaires, Kajang–Seremban Highway Sdn. Bhd. and IJM Corporation Berhad, have worked with other sponsors to hold an annual cycling event on a closed section of LEKAS. 

The first was in 2013, when it was known as the Shimano Highway Challenge.

In 2014, the event name remained the Shimano Highway Challenge

There was no event in 2015.

In 2016 RHB came on board as a sponsor for the RHB Shimano Highway Ride.

I did not participate in the next three events. In 2020 I registered for the RHB LEKAS Highway Ride.

Then the lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 pandemic started. This event was initially postponed to 2021, but continuing COVID restrictions meant a further one-year delay to 2022.

Graphic courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

I had forgotten about this ride until I got an e-mail from the event organiser, GoSportz, telling me that my 2020 race entry remains valid and will be automatically transferred to the new event date. At the time I wasn’t sure I would take part. I had not ridden at all between March and August 2022. And since August 2022, nothing close to a 120 kilometre ride, the distance I had registered for.

Graphic courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

But as the event date drew closer I began to consider doing the 78km route. Not seriously enough to remember to collect my race pack on the designated dates a week before the event, though.

“Race pack” because there was prize money for the first five finishers in each of three categories for both the 78km and 120km distances.

Fortunately GoSportz accommodated late race pack pick ups from their office.

This event is always generously supported by sponsors, so your race number and timing chip come together with some goodies. This year the highlight was the two-colour LED rear blinker. There was also a head scarf, a large tube of skin lotion, and an energy gel.

Graphics of prizes courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

I opted not to pay for the event jersey. I own more than enough cycling jerseys as it is.

Graphic courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

There were thirteen in our group. Most of us got to the event venue early, so as to beat the traffic and to get a convenient parking space near Restoran Yip Sheng. Our usual dinner venue before the LEKAS Highway Ride. We weren’t the only early ones, and we weren’t the only ones wanting dinner at Yip Sheng at 5:00pm. We were wise to make a reservation.

It was a short ride from where we had all parked to get to the Kajang Selatan Toll Plaza complex.

Photograph courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

And as usual, there were lots of amenities for participants: food trucks and a variety of services under the tents.

Photographs courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

This event has evolved over the past ten years or so. A variety of supporting activities have been added to the programme, including a kid’s event this year.

Photograph courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

We joined more than 5,600 other cyclists at the start line.

Photograph courtesy of ML

The 120km participants were flagged off at about 7:55pm. It was closer to 8:15pm by the time the 78km participants got underway.

Our route was out-and-back. The 120km participants did a U-turn at the 75km point and another U-turn at the Mantin toll plaza in order to cover an additional 42 kilometres.

Graphic courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

There was intermittent rain, some of it quite heavy, from about 4:45pm. That helped to cool the air, but it did mean that it was very humid. Nevertheless, it is always a lot of fun to have the highway to ourselves.

Photograph courtesy of carsifu.my

We all made it safely to the finish. No flats. No falls. And we didn’t get hit by the rain that fell near the finish mid-ride.

Photograph courtesy of ML

Medals were handed out at the finish line. Nice ones too!

I for one was too tired to worry about getting some of the satay that was available at the finish area.

Photograph courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

We also didn’t stay for the lucky draw, despite the very nice first three prizes:

  • A Dura-Ace R9250 groupset, worth RM16,000 (USD3,400)
  • An Ultegra R8150 groupset, worth RM12,000 (USD2,550)
  • A set of Ultegra WH-R8150 C36 wheels, worth RM8,500 (USD1,800)
Graphics courtesy of lekashighwayride.my

Once all of us had crossed the finish line and caught our breath, we rode the 2.5 kilometres back to Restoran Maulana, which is three shop lots down from Restoran Yip Sheng. We were hoping for a drink and some mamak food, but Restoran Maulana was closed. We were told that the restaurant cannot stay open on a 24-hour basis because of a staff shortage. Quite a common problem in the F&B industry now.

The restaurants in the vicinity that were open were, unsurprisingly, packed. So most of us drove to the closest McDonald’s for burgers and fries instead of teh tarik and roti telur. Which I would have preferred.

Blood sugar level restored, there was just the 40 kilometre drive home. The mamak restaurants near home were still hopping at 2:30am. By then, all I wanted was my bed đŸ’€.

The CiclovĂ­a

Ciclovía is a Spanish term meaning “cycleway”. All Car Free Days around the world take their inspiration from the Ciclovía, which started in Colombia. Bogota led the way in 1974. Medellín started its Ciclovía in 1984.

The CiclovĂ­a in MedellĂ­n operates every Sunday, and now covers over 65km of streets across many city neighbourhoods. Notice how long most of the streets are closed.

We walked the 200 metres from our apartment to Avenue El Poblado. One of the roads that is closed for the CiclovĂ­a.

We were greeted with walkers, joggers and cyclists. There is one thing to note from the photograph above. Almost every road in Medellin is either uphill or downhill. 

We walked 2.4 kilometres along Avenue El Poblado before retracing our steps.

This is the profile of those 2.4 kilometers.

There is perhaps 100 metres out of the 2.4 kilometers that you can describe as flat. Look in any direction and the road is either rising or falling.

This is Calle 1. It comes downhill from the east, crosses Avenue El Poblado, and continues westward downhill on the other side.

The constant uphill and downhill explains why almost all the cyclists I saw, and I saw many, were on MTBs.

Speaking of road crossings, every junction along Avenue El Poblado was manned by one or two marshals in uniform. Their job was to ensure everyone stopped when the traffic lights gave the right of way to vehicles crossing the avenue.

We passed a few bicycle shops. This was the biggest. No road bikes were on display.

There is lots of street art to see. Street art in all shapes and sizes. This is one of twelve life-size fibreglass cows which were decorated by MedellĂ­n artists for the CowParade, which came to the city in 2019.

CowParade is the largest and most successful public art event in the world. CowParade events have been staged in more than eighty cities worldwide since 1999.

MedellĂ­n is nicknamed “The City of Eternal Spring.” It was 17ÂșC / 63ÂșF while we were walking at mid-morning. The average year-round temperature is 22.5ÂșC / 72.5ÂșF. Great cycling weather – if it wasn’t so hilly đŸ€Ż.

Along with the cool temperatures comes an annual average rainfall of 1,752mm / 69 inches. Which makes MedellĂ­n a very lush and green place.

There are lots of activities along the Avenue El Poblado during the CiclovĂ­a. People set up stalls selling food and drink.

These came from the stall pictured on the right.

The drink / snack on the left was a mixture of banana, watermelon, apple, pineapple, mango, papaya and thinly sliced lime peel. Delicious. 

That stall was also selling what looked suspiciously like kueh goyang / kueh rose. You can see them in plastic bags on the red and white cloth. We are going to buy some next Sunday.

Music is everywhere along the Avenue El Poblado.

There is also a Mercado Campesinos (Farmers Market) where vendors sell handicrafts, fresh fruit and vegetables, and hot snacks.

We plan to walk along the Ciclovía streets every Sunday. Especially as there are lots of cafés along the way that serve delicious desayunos (breakfasts).

However, you won’t be seeing me lining up for this on Sunday 24th April.

I’ll be happy to host you in Medellín if you decide to participate 😄

The R@SKLs to Teluk Intan

The R@SKLs have ridden to Teluk Intan several times over the past few years. We will remember this trip more for the searing temperatures than the udang galah dinner.

We set ourselves up for a potentially hot ride by choosing the 9.09am departure from Kuang station rather than an earlier train. The sun was already out when we arrived at the otherwise deserted station.

Photograph courtesy of HCC

The KTM Komuter train rolled in on time.

Photograph courtesy of AL

Bicycles are allowed in the first and last carriages. We got ourselves and fourteen bikes onboard the rear carriage for the hour or so long journey to Tanjung Malim.

The cyclocross portion of our ride came at the Tanjung Malim station.

Photograph courtesy of AA

Most of us had not eaten yet that morning. It was a 3km ride to Restoran Yik Mun. Famous for its pau.

Photograph courtesy of NL

Amongst the orders for pau, kaya toast, and half-boiled eggs were three Hainanese chicken chops. These were big servings of Hainanese chicken chop. Two riders later regretted eating that.

It was 11:15am when we were ready to start riding to Teluk Intan.

Photograph courtesy of NL

Look at that clear blue sky and sharp shadows. It was 34ÂșC / 93ÂșF at noon. Half an hour later it was 36ÂșC / 97ÂșF.

Photograph courtesy of HCC

The 85km ride to Teluk Intan was punctuated by regular stops to get out of the sun.

A stop in the rare shade at the edge of the road near Trolak.

Photograph courtesy of HCC

A stop in Restoran Shakir near Sungkai.

Photograph courtesy of NL

A stop at a roadside fruit stall at Kampung Baharu Kuala Bikam. Where it was 39 ÂșC / 102ÂșF.

Photograph by JS

Despite the enervating heat, everyone made it to the Yew Boutique Hotel. We were all (well, all but one) glad that we hadn’t had to carry our stuff with us in saddle packs. Many thanks to my Biker Chick for driving to Teluk Intan with our bags.

Photograph courtesy of JM

One of the attractions of the Yew Boutique Hotel is the bicycle parking area in the hotel loby.

Photograph courtesy of JS

Teluk Intan is famous for the Liew Kee (Ah Lek) Chee Cheong Fun shop. The chee cheong fun is so good that we had some before heading to our rooms to shower.

Photograph courtesy of JM

The next order of business after freshening up was rehydration. Which came in several forms.

After drinks and naps, it was time for the main event. A dinner of udang galah.

The restaurant is on a bank of the Sungai Perak. The view from the restaurant of the herons flying over the river is nice.

Photograph courtesy of ML

Much more attention was paid to the food though.

The evening ended with photographs at the iconic Menara Chondong, and more drinks and ais kacang at the food court nearby.

Photograph courtesy of JM

The challenges of the ride to Teluk Intan prompted us to plan for an early departure in the morning. Which would give us plenty of time to catch the 11.45am train from Tanjung Malim.

We were on our way into the rising sun at 7:15am.

Photograph courtesy of ML

The sky was clear, but the shadows cast by the trees kept the air relatively cool. The temperature was below 30ÂșC / 86ÂșF until we got to Slim River. Two-thirds of the distance to Tanjung Malim.

Photograph courtesy of HCC

We took a restroom break at the Petron station at Batu 8 Changkat Jong, and a food and water break at the Petronas station in Slim River. We were at the Tanjung Malim station just after 11:00am, to find that a new train schedule had been implemented that morning. The 11:45am service that we had planned to catch was no more. The next train would leave at 12:35pm.

With time to burn, we went to McDonald’s. Ready to ride back to the station after our lunch, Nic and I were confronted with flat tires. Fortunately, we had pumps and our tires held enough air for long enough to get back to the station. The train was waiting as we repeated the cyclocross routine up and down the stairs to get to the correct platform.

We were both glad that we hadn’t flatted while on the road. Changing a tube in the cool of the carriage was infinitely preferable to doing it in the sun at the roadside.

Photograph courtesy of JS

Our plan had been to take the MRT from Sungai Buloh station to Kota Damansara, to avoid the risky ride from Sungai Buloh station onto Jalan Sungai Buloh. That plan flew out the window because the MRT service between Sungai Buloh station and Kwasa Damansara is suspended.

We tried to get our bikes onto a feeder bus to Kwasa Damansara. A “yes” from the driver quickly changed to a “no” when he saw that there were more than just a couple of us.

We negotiated the access to Jalan Sungai Buloh without incident. Unsurprisingly, it was hot at 2:00pm. 41ÂșC / 106ÂșF hot. Luckily we had only 15km to 20km to pedal, depending on where we had started cycling from the day before.

My Biker Chick got home with our bags just before I did. Not only were we all grateful once again for not having to haul our stuff with us on our bikes. One of us was also grateful that she managed to convince Liew Kee (Ah Lek) to sell her twenty packets of chee cheong fun at noon. The shop doesn’t open until 3:00pm.

The day ended with almost all of us meeting at Kwong Cheung Loong Kopitiam for drinks, food, laughter and to collect bags and chee cheong fun.

Some of us ended the evening at Joloko with coconut shakes and more food.

Photograph courtesy of AL

We are already planning our next overnight cycling tour. Hopefull with less or no sunburn.

Grow Your Jersey Collection One Ride at a Time – 2019 & 2020

The number of paid organised rides I participated in per year has stayed relatively constant since 2017. The count since 2013 is:

Eleven in 2013.

Seven in 2014.

Six in 2015.

Seven again in 2016.

Five in 2017.

Four in 2018.

I was in five organised rides in 2019.

The first was the CIMB Cycle @ Putrajaya event in April. I opted for the shorter 80km route because I had to be home early to help pack up the house prior to moving to a new apartment. Which turned out to be a good thing because it was a very hot day. The riders who did the 160km route got a proper roasting.

The RHB LEKAS Highway ride was in July. I don’t remember why, but I didn’t ride in that one. I got the jersey though.

My previous employer Repsol organised a Fellowship Ride in September. That ride almost did not happen because of the haze that had blanketed the country for weeks. The decision to go ahead with a shortened ride was made on the day.

The long-running Campaign for a Lane ride in Penang was renamed as the Toward City Cycling Penang. That ride was in October. As in previous years, we turned this ride into a weekend-long fiesta.

This ride came with a T shirt as well.

The Bentong-Raub Golden Ride 2.0 was the last organised ride I did in 2019. What I remember most about that event was that it took me more than three hours to drive the sixty kilometres home afterwards.

I’m not sure why I didn’t write the 2019 annual ride jersey update a year ago. It is no spoiler, though, for me to reveal here that COVID-19 restrictions meant that there were very few organised rides in 2020.

None of us knew what was coming when we lined up for the IIUM Endu-Ride 2020 from 29th February to 4th March. The full Ultra-Ride event was 1,200 km / 746 mi long. That was just a bit too long for the four of us who did the 280 km / 174 mi Endu-Ride from the IIUM campus in Kuantan to the IIUM campus in Gombak.

We got a T shirt in our goody bag for that ride.

On 18th March the Malaysian government implemented what was to be just the first of a number of Movement Control Orders. A series of quarantine and cordon sanitaire measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. That led to the cancellation of a number of rides with jerseys on offer which were planned for later in the year.

The absence of paid organised rides continued in 2021.

My guess is that the same will be true in 2022. I doubt any organisers will be willing to risk putting on a paid event while Omicron and the threat of further virus mutations exists. We will make do with our own long and overnight rides, COVID-19 restrictions permitting.

Putrajaya to KLIA

V suggested a Sunday ride to KLIA. In the hope of getting a photograph like this one:

Photograph courtesy of ML

The next day weather forecast on Saturday was not promising.

Graphic courtesy of wunderground.com

By Sunday morning the outlook had improved.

Graphic courtesy of wunderground.com

Six of us met at a carpark in Putrajaya for a 7:00am start. Which was delayed a bit.

Photograph courtesy of ML

The sun was already present as we rolled across the Sri Gemilang Bridge toward the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. A sign of what was to come.

Photograph courtesy of ML

Our route took us from Putrajaya to Dengkil and onward to a loop past the Sepang International Circuit and around KLIA 1 and KLIA 2.

Map courtesy of ridewithgps.com

The “Mostly Cloudy” forecast was in reality “Partly Cloudy” at best.

Photograph courtesy of ML

It wasn’t long before that changed to “Sunny.”

Photograph courtesy of ML

I was hot by the time we got to what was the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in the days before KLIA 2 opened.

The last time I rode to the airport area was in December 2019. Since then, the LCCT has been replaced by the Cainiao Aeropolis Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) Hub.

Photograph courtesy of themalaysianreserve.com

The eWTP Hub is huge. It occupies 60 acres (2.6 million square feet) with 1.1 million square feet of warehouse space. The eWTP Hub is a 70:30 joint venture between Malaysia Airports & Cainiao HK (the logistics arm of the Alibaba Group). It is Alibaba Group’s 1st eWTP outside of China. 

The eWTP was the only thing to see. We spent about forty minutes within sight of KLIA 1 and KLIA 2. In that time we saw just two aircraft taking off: an AirAsia flight and a cargo aircraft. We didn’t get that shot of us standing underneath a departing aircraft.

Our route ran around the south end of Runway 2 and then parallel to Runway 3. The 5km ride alongside Runway 3 is invariably into the wind.

Map courtesy of windfinder.com

It was a strong headwind too. We were all hot and in need of some shade by the time we pushed through the wind to the right turn at the north end of Runway 3.

We rode into the shuttle bus pickup area in KLIA 2 for some respite from the sun.

Photograph courtesy of VV

The space behind us used to be a staff canteen for the air crew and other airport employees. Yet another business that has shut down because of the COVID pandemic.

Fortunately for us, the McDonald’s at the PETRONAS station 3km away was open.

Photograph courtesy of ML

Time for some air-conditioning, food, and social media checking.

Contrary to the weather forecast, there were no clouds in the sky. The temperature continued to rise all the way back to Putrajaya. It got up to 36ÂșC / 97ÂșF.

I was so fried by the time we got back to the carpark that I forgot all about the egg tarts that Marco had offered us at the start.

Photograph courtesy of ML

That was a rookie mistake. Those tarts look yummy.

It was a fun ride. Apart from the sun. I was radiating heat well into the evening.

My next few rides are likely to be at night. That will make a welcome change, temperature wise.

Jogging did me no good

I wrote about my knee pain in More Ouch on 11th June. My self-diagnosis was Plica Syndrome. The prescribed treatment for Plica Syndrome is rest. After a few days of rest, the pain knee ceased. I started walking and cycling again.

The pain in my left knee came back and did not cease after a few days of rest. It was time to see a professional.

Dr Chan Kin Yuen is the surgeon who did the ACL replacement in my right knee fourteen years ago. He still practices at Gleneagles Hospital. He bent, straightened, rotated, and pressed on the knee. His initial diagnosis was a medial (inside of the knee) meniscus tear. He sent me off for MRIs and X-rays to confirm.

Three days later, I was in Dr Chan’s office again to review the results of the imaging. I did have a medial meniscus tear. The initial injury was an old one. I aggravated it by jogging.

Image courtesy of accesssportsmed.com

My options were to rest the knee for six weeks and see if the pain subsided or do an arthroscopic meniscectomy right away. Given the multi-planar nature of the tear, it was unlikely that rest was the answer.

Three days later, I was in an operating theatre under a general anaesthetic. As Dr Chan had seen from the imaging, the tear was too complex to repair. So the torn portion was removed.

A further three days later, I was at home with instructions to regularly ice the knee, take the anti-inflammatory drugs Celebrex and Myonal, and report for physiotherapy three times a week.

It has been four weeks since the surgery. I have the full range of motion in the knee. I have to say that it was a painful journey to get there, not least because of the swelling in the knee.

The swelling is in the bursae, fluid-filled sacs and synovial pockets surrounding the knee joint cavity. The irritation to the soft tissues of the knee during the arthroscopic procedure caused the swelling.

Image courtesy of midliferunning.com

Dr Chan gave me the go-ahead to start cycling a couple of weeks ago. I rode almost every day, culminating in a climb up to the Lookout Point in Ampang and a 55km ride a few days later.

On my most recent visit to Dr Chan’s clinic, he told me to skip the climbing and limit my rides to 50km a day. While the movement is good for the knee, overdoing it will irritate the bursae and prolong the swelling. My knee does ache a bit after physiotherapy and biker rides.

Today’s ride was just over 50km.

Followed by icing after I got home.

Dr Chan is pleased with my recovery so far. I don’t need physiotherapy anymore. I do need to ice my knee regularly. I am off to do that now.

More Walking Sights

It is three weeks since my last post with photographs of some of the things I see while walking. The lockdown continues. My evening walks continue.

Map courtesy of Google Maps

1

Kampung Bharu was founded in 1899 and is the oldest residential area in Kuala Lumpur. This arch stands at the entrance to Jalan Raja Muda Musa, aka Malay Food Street. Both sides of the road are lined with shops and stalls selling nasi lemak, nasi ayam, satay and a host of other delicacies.

2

The pavement along one side of Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz is lined with these posts and balls. I assume to limit access to pedestrians only.

3

Saloma Link is a 69 metres (226 ft)[1] combined pedestrian and bicyclist bridge across the Klang River. It links Kampong Bharu and the KLCC. LEDs light up the bridge in an endless variety of colours and patterns.

4

This bear guards the front of Star Residences Two on Jalan Mayang. Like the two smaller bears in front of Star Residences One, this bear references Sleepy Bear Homes & Suites, the company managing the apartment rentals in this property.

5

A gallery of Malaysian wildlife surrounds eight giant light boxes in front of the Petronas Twin Towers. Starting from the upper left, this composite image shows the Malayan Tiger, the Rhinoceros Hornbill, the Pygmy Elephant, the Tapir, the Peacock Pheasant, the Lesser Mouse Deer, the Pangolin and the Gaur.

6

While we are at it, here are the Twin Towers and the double-decker skybridge connecting the two at the 41st and 42nd floors.

7

KL City Walk is a covered 500 metre street arcade running between the skyscrapers which line Jalan Perak one one side and Jalan Pinang on the other. Usually bustling with F&B shops and service outlets, the arcade is temporarily deserted during the lockdown.

8

There are two sets of sculptures by Malaysian artist En. Nizam Abdullah in the porte-cochĂšre of the Equatorial Plaza.

Miza, Kika & Iwa is a modern interpretation of See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil.

Sorok Sorok depicts children playing hide and seek.

The bronze for these sculptures was smelted using metal salvaged from the original Hotel Equatorial Kuala Lumpur building.

9

St. John’s Institution is where I attended secondary school. The status is of St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, a French priest, educational reformer, and founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

10

To finish, another of the birds that populate the murals along the retaining wall at Taman Eco Rimba.