It has been three weeks since my crash at the Janamanjung 2014 ride. My bike is repaired. It has a new shifter on the right side. SRAM shifters are sold in pairs. So I have a spare left side shifter if anyone needs it. My body had repaired itself enough for me to give the Shah Alam Enduride a go. Or so I thought. I was the only Flipsider to register for this event. So all I had for company while waiting to collect my event t-shirt and rider number were the games on my mobile phone.
There were about 450 registered riders. Griffin and Liang joined me at the start on Sunday morning. They were among the unregistered cyclists. AKA ghost riders. The ride was flagged off by the Menteri Besar of Selangor. It is just a shame that he arrived more than 30 minutes late. The route was designed to be challenging. In other words it was lumpy from the start, and stayed lumpy for 70km. The first third of the ride was on fairly busy roads like this one. I must commend the organizers for the excellent marshaling of the route.
The next third of the ride was on quieter and scenic roads like this one.
Unfortunately I wasn’t enjoying the scenery. I was having a really bad day. It was very hot and humid. I should probably have been drinking more regularly than I did. I started cramping at about the 60km point, and struggled from then on. I was thankful for the stop at the 7-11 in Batang Berjuntai to inhale a chocolate milk and to loiter in the air-conditioning. Griffin dragged me from the 7-11 in to the second water stop. At the second water atop I started to worry about not making the cut off time at the next water stop. By the time I hit the 100km mark I had given up on making it to the finish. I have ridden the climbs on Jalan Batu Arang a number of times. I knew that my cramping legs wouldn’t get me over those hills. So I looked for some shade where I could end my ride and wait for a broom wagon. It wasn’t long before my bike and I were in the bed of a pickup truck. Together with another rider who had been picked up earlier. We both got dropped off at the third water stop. I sprawled in the shade under a large canopy, sipping on a very cold drink courtesy of the ice cubes that the volunteers were handing out. I considered continuing the ride once I had cooled down, but thankfully sanity prevailed, and I waited for the lorry that would haul my bike to the finish. There was an air-conditioned coach already waiting to take all the DNF riders to the finish. I had lots of company. About 100 of us bailed out of this ride at various points. This would have been part of the welcome if we had finished the ride.
Despite not finishing, we all got a medal. I would have rather have finished on my bike rather than in a coach. I made the right choice though. The body wasn’t able.
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