This is what my Flipside friends and I do.
We inflict pain on ourselves, and each other. We cover triple digit distances. We push ourselves faster and for longer than is comfortable. We climb for fun. We bake under a blazing sun.
After we get our breath back and cool down a little, we say “Thank you for the great ride,” and make plans to do it all again together at the earliest possible convenience.
None of us has said it, but we surely subscribe to the following.
Yesterday’s 140km / 87mi jaunt from Taman Megah to Ijok and the “Big Box” around Bestari Jaya was the latest in the long chain of rides that, I guess we believe, contributes to better living.
We started at dawn. The brightening sky foretold the hot, cloudless conditions to come.
But not before an unusual treat. It got very misty as we approached the Paya Jaras interchange on the Guthrie Corridor Highway. Riders literally emerged out of the fog, feeling cool and sporting frosted eyewear.
I’ve never seen it so misty on the GCE.
We exited at the Paya Jaras interchange and headed toward Kuala Selangor. Our breakfast stop was in Ijok. Nasi lemak, noodles, chicken rice, toast with kaya, half-boiled eggs. Restoran Ijok served it all. Along with lots of coffee.
I only noticed the graphic on Leslie’s bandana when looking at the photographs of this ride. It wa an appropriate image. I was feeling one-eyed by the time we got back to Taman Megah, about 100km / 62mi after we ate in Ijok.
After breakfast the pace, unsurprisingly, picked up as we covered the right and top side of “the box.” The roughly square outline around Bestari Jaya.
Kampung Kuantan sits at the top left corner of the box. Home of the Fireflies Park. Also home to this shaded bus stop, where we parked ourselves for a rest.
We blasted along the third side of the box, thanks to a very fast pull from Liang. The run along the bottom of the box wasn’t that much slower.
After finishing the box we all needed the cold drinks and air conditioning at the PETRONAS station in Ijok.
We still had 60km / 37mi to ride. It was getting on to 11am by the time we left Ijok for the second time that morning. The skies were clear, and the sun was hot and bright.
The heat took its toll. We made two more drink stops within 25km / 16mi of Ijok. Once at the sugarcane juice stall in Batu Arang, and once at the PETRONAS station in Kuang.
After Kuang we began to split into smaller groups as some of us reduced the pace to cope with the noon time heat.
We made regular stops to allow the group to reform. Everytime we stopped, it was in a patch of shade. With 10km / 6mi to go my face matched the colour of the staircase behind me.
The perfect end to the ride was a few bowls of ice cold cendol. And some rojak.
I had to be elsewhere, so I missed out.
There will be a next time very soon.
To my Flipside friends:
We have a videographer now. Thank you Alvin.