The R@SKLs signed up for the first Malaysian Brevets de Randonneurs (BRM) ride for 2019. 200 kilometres / 124 miles from Kota Kemuning to Port Dickson and back.
We parked at Restoran BR Maju. Parking at BR Maju was sure to be easier than it would be around the ride start and finish point. There were lots of parking bays available when Alfred got there at 3.30am. The rest of us were parked and getting ready by 4.00am.
Why so early? This Audax started at 5.00am. We wanted to be riding to the start at 4.15am so we would have plenty of time to get our brevet cards.
The start/finish line was 2.5km away from BR Maju. Brevet card distribution was in full swing when we got there. Sam Tow and his team from Audax Randonneurs Malaysia had been hard at work setting up from before 2.00am.
Almost 1,000 people were registered for this ride. I had anticipated a long queue to collect our brevet cards. That worry was unfounded as the organisers scanned the QR code on our tickets to verify our names rather than searching through long printed lists. We all had our brevet cards before 4.30am.
At precisely 5.00am a horn sounded and a stream of blinking red lights flowed down the road.
We had 13.5 hours to ride 200km. I had planned out how we were all going to achieve this with as little pain as possible. Regular stops were key parts of the plan, which was predicated on an average speed of 25kph / 15.5mph.
|0600||24||Brief stop 1 at Sungai Manggis|
|0645||40||Checkpoint 1 at Taman Langat Murni|
|0800||62||Brief stop 2 at Sepang|
|0845||78||Brief stop 3 at Bukit Palong|
|0915||90||Checkpoint 2 at Port Dickson|
|1130||115||Brief stop 4 at Sepang|
|1245||143||Checkpoint 3 at Tanjong Sepat|
|1445||160||Brief stop 5 at Morib|
|1600||182||Brief stop 6 at Jenjarom|
To my surprise, this plan worked out quite well. We stopped at Sungai Manggis for a few minutes and were at Checkpoint 1 slightly ahead of schedule. Which meant that we were moving a bit faster than 25kph.
We had our brevet cards stamped and were on our way again within the space of about five minutes. Dawn was breaking as we approached the airport.
After 51km / 32mi we had an unscheduled stop to fix a puncture.
That repair took longer than expected so I decided we would skip the next planned stop at Sepang, which was only 12km away, and ride through to Bukit Palong. There were some spectators along the way.
We got to the Shell station at Bukit Palong at 8.30am. As we were refilling bottles we saw some speedier participants already on their way back to Bukit Jelutong. Way too fast for us.
We rolled into Checkpoint 2 at the McDonald’s at the Port Dickson Waterfront right on schedule.
Port Dickson was also a food stop. We had done 90km / 56mi and it was time to replenish.
We were still on plan when we rode out of Port Dickson. As you can see from the sharp shadows the sun was starting to make its presence felt.
It had been a really hot week leading up to the Pink Ride. We were all concerned about getting roasted. It was 32ºC / 90ºF as we left Port Dickson. Luckily for us, the sky alternated between sunny and overcast. So the temperature fluctuated up and down between 32ºC and 36ºC / 97ºF.
These photographs were taken during one of the overcast periods.
There was about 500 meters / 1,640 feet of elevation on this ride. Two-thirds of which came on the Sepang to Port Dickson and back to Sepang stretch. We had about 100km / 62mi in our legs when we started the last series of rolling climbs at Lukut.
Despite that we were still ahead of schedule when we got to Stop 4 at Sepang. We were averaging 26kph, which was good considering that just under half of the ride had been on rolling terrain.
It is pan-flat from Sepang to Sungai Pelek and then along the coast to Morib and then inland to Kota Kemuning. Unsurprisingly the pace picked up and we averaged 28kph over the next 67km. A bit faster than had been advertised before the ride.
We had two stops during that time. Checkpoint 3 was at Tanjung Sepat. The air temperature was 35ºC. After sitting in the sun for forty minutes my Garmin read 48ºC / 118ºF. After getting brevet cards stamped it was time for a longer stop in the shade under a fan with a cold drink in hand.
We stopped again 18km later at Morib. We were one hour ahead of schedule by then. So we could easily afford to spend fifty minutes at Morib having lunch.
I was the first to sit down. Unfortunately, I sat down at the stall serving substandard nasi lemak. I should have chosen a table at the adjoining stall. Note-to-self taken.
We discovered the second flat tire of the day after lunch. There were no more flat tires or other mechanical issues for the remainder of the ride. Which was pretty good going for a group of over twenty riders who covered a cumulative total of more than 4,000 kilometres.
There was a tailwind between Morib and Jenjarom. Which meant we rode the next 21km at an average of 30kph. I take the blame for that. I was having fun.
It was very hot fun though. Three of these helped to cool me down as we regrouped at a 7-Eleven in Jenjarom.
We had 18km to go the finish. The wind was still favourable but we rode that last bit at a more sedate pace. We crossed the finish line about forty-five minutes earlier than I had estimated when I drew up my ride plan. Very good going by all the R@SKLs.
All that was left to do when we were back at Kota Kemuning was to get the final stamp on our brevet cards. Some also collected t-shirts that they had pre-ordered.
There were no finisher’s medals left by the time we ended our ride. So it will be a few months before fresh stock arrives from Paris and we get our medals.
Happy faces at the finish.
Beaucoup congratulations to all the R@SKLs, and especially to everyone who did a 200km ride for the first time. Bravo mesdames et messieurs.