Last Sunday’s easy ride was not a true indication of my physical conditioning. I couldn’t have expected anything different. The result of three months of idleness is that my heart rate races from the effort of clipping in to my pedals, let alone from trying to hold my spot in a pace line. My three rides so far just confirmed I have a long road ahead of me to regain the fitness I had in June.
Today’s test was a ride with nine other Flipsiders. We rode from D’Bayu in Bukit Jelutong to Ijok for breakfast, and then looped through Bestari Jaya to Batu Arang, and returned to the Guthrie Corridor Expressway for the ride back to Bukit Jelutong.
Fortunately for me the group made frequent stops. This is a regular one, at the point where we leave the Expressway to get onto Jalan Kuala Selangor.
We got to the wanton noodles shop in Ijok 35 kms into the ride. We stacked our bikes against a wall and piled into the shop. There is an Alchemy bicycle somewhere in there.
The rest of the guys settled down to their noodles while Shahfiq and I went to see why there was a crowd around a roadside stall a hundred meters away.
On sale was nasi lemak, fried chicken, a variety of curries, fried eggs . . . . and freshly made apam balik. Peanut pancakes for breakfast for me please!
I needed all those calories once we got to Bestari Jaya. The road from Ijok to Bestari Jaya (right to left in the graphic below) was pancake flat. As soon as we made the right turn toward Batu Arang the road got very lumpy. That was my cue to fall behind the others yet again as my lack of power and endurance showed on the climbs.
And again the guys helped me out by stopping until I caught up. This was one of the few flat sections on the way to Batu Arang.
The next stop was only 5 kms down the road in Batu Arang. There is a small roadside stall selling fresh sugarcane juice. Really fresh sugarcane juice.
The canes go through the crusher three times. The juice is strained into a pitcher before being poured into ice-filled glasses. Those cold drinks were most welcome. The sun had been beating down on us since we left Ijok, and the heat was leaving its mark on us all.
I was in survival mode for the remainder of the ride. My average heart rate for the entire ride was 135 bpm. My average heart rate for the final 40 kms was 140 bpm. Despite my efforts to spin in as light a gear as possible to keep my heart rate down.
We made our regular final stop at the Elmina R&R for a cold drink from the shop there. We got back to D’Bayu at Bukit Jelutong with a couple of kilometers less than a metric century on our cycling computers. I can be as competitive as the next person when the mood strikes me. If the guys were going to do a 2 kilometer loop to make it a century ride, then so was I.
Every kilometer helps.