My biker chick and I drove from home straight to the Sultan Azlan Shah power plant in Manjung to pick up my ride number, t shirt etc.
This is the eighth edition of this event, and it showed. The organization throughout was superb. Starting with the clear signage and multiple ride pack collection desks.
It also helps to have your own grounds upon which to host the event. There was plenty of space for the various tents, stage etc.
My biker chick and I stayed at the newly refurbished, and much improved Sfera Hotel. The only thing that hadn’t changed for the better was the view from the room window.
After checking in to the hotel we headed out for a meal. Manjung boy Shahfiq recommended Dapo Berando. Pretty cool place, with delicious banana fritters and smoothies.
I hopped on my bike in the evening to recce the 7km ride to the start. Then it was into the supermarket next door to the hotel to stock up on things to snack on before bedtime, and stuff to eat for breakfast.
The event website had a countdown clock, running down to the 7.00am start time. I should have been at the start by the time this was displayed.
Instead I was lying in bed looking at my mobile phone, wondering why the alarm hadn’t gone off.
I set a personal best for jumping into my gear, and inhaling a yoghurt, a coffee and a few digestive biscuits before dashing out of the room. For once I was hoping that the ride would start late.
If I had made it to the start on time I would have been a part of this.
Instead I was 2 kilometers away when I saw the flashing lights of these escort vehicles coming towards me.
I had to roll to the side of the road, turn my bike around, and merge into the peloton as it came past me. A hundred meters or so down the road I heard my name being called. The only other Flipsiders at the event, Griffin and Peng Soon, were right behind me. They had started together with a group of their friends.
As this wasn’t a race, the pace was controlled by this car. That meant that the participants didn’t get too spread out along the route.
Which made it easier for the marshals to control traffic as we rode through intersections.
The excellent event organisation was evident throughout the day. From the police escorts . . .
to the smiling volunteers at the well-stocked rest stops.
It was a hot day – no surprise there – so the ice-cold bottles of water and cans of 100 Plus at the stops was very much appreciated.
We rode a changed route this time. Last year we headed west towards the coast before cutting inland. This year we rode a clockwise route east of the power plant.
There were two mandatory stops to allow the participants to rest, rehydrate, and regroup. Here I am approaching the first stop.
The rest of the ride went well, despite the rising temperatures and the headwind as we retraced our route back to the power station.
I was feeling pretty good as I approached the power station – it does help not to crash – but I was still glad to see the finish line.
And even more glad to take a shower after getting my finisher’s medal.
Many of the riders tucked into the lunch that was provided.
I struggle to eat a full meal after a century ride. I have no problem with taking in fluids. As evidenced by the two bowls of cendol I downed before I rode back to the hotel.
Griffin and Peng Soon also earned one of these.
We weren’t lucky enough to win one of the bikes that was on offer in the post-ride lucky draw though.
Perhaps next year.