RSS Feed

Author Archives: alchemyrider

BRM200 Pink Ride 2.0

Photograph courtesy of Audax Malaysia

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.

Map courtesy of Ride with GPS

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.

Photograph courtesy of Alfred Chan

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.

Photograph courtesy of Sam Tow

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.

Photograph courtesy of Khoo Bin Soo
Photograph courtesy of Sam Tow

At precisely 5.00am a horn sounded and a stream of blinking red lights flowed down the road.

Photograph courtesy of Kieren Ooi

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.

TimeDistance (KM)Event
050000Start ride
060024Brief stop 1 at Sungai Manggis
064540Checkpoint 1 at Taman Langat Murni
0700Restart ride
080062Brief stop 2 at Sepang
084578Brief stop 3 at Bukit Palong
091590Checkpoint 2 at Port Dickson
1015Restart ride
1130115Brief stop 4 at Sepang
1245143Checkpoint 3 at Tanjong Sepat
1400Restart ride
1445160Brief stop 5 at Morib
1600182Brief stop 6 at Jenjarom
1715200Finish ride

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.

Photograph courtesy of Sam Tow

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.

Photograph courtesy of Khoo Bin Soo

After 51km / 32mi we had an unscheduled stop to fix a puncture.

Photograph courtesy of Martin Lee
Photograph courtesy of Khoo Bin Soo

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.

Photograph courtesy of Jason Yee Tsin Koh
Photograph courtesy of Sam Tow

Port Dickson was also a food stop. We had done 90km / 56mi and it was time to replenish.

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soo Hu

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.

Photograph courtesy of Martin Lee

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.

Photograph courtesy of Sam Tow

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.

Photograph courtesy of Sam Tow
Photograph courtesy of Khoo Bin Soo

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.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

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.

Photograph courtesy of Sam Tow

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.

Photograph courtesy of Sam Tow
Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Beaucoup congratulations to all the R@SKLs, and especially to everyone who did a 200km ride for the first time. Bravo mesdames et messieurs.

Grow Your Jersey Collection One Ride at a Time – 2018

There were fewer organised rides (often 160km / 100mi long with an entry fee in exchange for partially or completely closed roads, a jersey and a finisher’s medal) on offer in 2018 than there had been in previous years.

In 2013 I participated in eleven organised rides.

In 2014 it was seven events.

In 2015 I rode in six events.

In 2016 the number of organised rides I did went back up to seven.

In 2017 the number fell to five.

The steadily falling number of organised rides I have participated in can be attributed to two things. One is the “done that” syndrome. The only ride with enough appeal for me to consistently take part over the years is the Campaign for a Lane (CFAL) ride in Penang.

The other factor is that there are fewer century rides being organised. A couple of years ago an event was cancelled after the organiser absconded with all the entry fees. Since then the cycling community has been averse to signing up for events unless it is with a known / trusted organiser. There are not many of those on the local scene.

So in 2018, I collected four event jerseys. The first was the CIMB Challenge Ride in April. The highlight of that century ride was that the start and finish were at the Sepang International Circuit, which hosted the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix for many years.

The 10th edition of the CFAL Ride took place in August. The organisers provided a jersey and a t-shirt. That ride is part of a party weekend in Penang for the R@SKLs.

The Avillion Coastal Ride was in October. I managed to give myself a saddle sore the day before the event and couldn’t ride on the day.

Note to self: Always use chamois cream, even if the ride is only 32km / 20mi long.

Hence no ride report for that event. I still got the jersey though

The final organised ride of the year was the King of Mountain Challenge in December. That ride is an approximately 1,800 metre / 5,900 foot climb up to Cameron Highlands.

As in previous years, I offered up these jerseys to anyone who wanted them. As in previous years, the jerseys were rapidly snapped up.

I wonder how many event jerseys I will pick up in 2019.

The R@SKLs Ride to Cameron Highlands Anew

The R@SKLs did their first King of Mountain Challenge last year.  364 days later we were back at Simpang Pulai ready to take on the climb to the Meiko Strawberry Centre again. 

Our plan had been to arrive at Simpang Pulai in the early afternoon on Saturday so we could get to the Restoran Ayam Tauke on Jalan Guntong before they ran out of their signature nga choy kai (beansprout chicken) and sar hor fun (flat rice noodles).  Last year we got to the restaurant after dark and were lucky to get any chicken at all.

The traffic on the North-South Expressway was atrocious.  The trip from Kuala Lumpur to Simpang Pulai is about 195km / 120mi.  It can be done in just over two hours.  On this day it took almost four hours.

Nevertheless, almost all of us were seated at the restaurant before dark.  In time to get all the chicken that we wanted.  Marvin had left Kuala Lumpur in the late afternoon and he got to the restaurant just in time to clean up.

Photograph courtesy of Alfred Chan

A few of the R@SKLs chose to start at 7.30am from the Symphony Hotel.  That is when and where anyone with aspirations for a podium finish or an official time had to roll across the start line.

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Plus Malaysia magazine

The rest of us started at the Hotel Pulai.  We wanted to start the climb early so we could be finished before the weather got too hot.  That meant riding to Restoran Sun Kee Hin across the road from the Hotel Pulai for a breakfast of noodles, kaya toast and soft boiled eggs at 5.45am.

We were looking surprisingly bright as we waited for our orders.

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

We were on our way at about 6.45am.  As the sun came up we were on the lower slopes of the approximately 1,800 metre / 5,900 foot climb ahead.

Photograph courtesy of Hsing C Pai

The Simpang Pulai to Cameron Highlands road runs through virgin forest.  There is hardly any development on those north-western slopes until you get within touching distance of the junction with the Tapah road.

Map courtesy of Ride with GPS
Photograph courtesy of Cycling Plus Malaysia magazine

It had rained overnight and it stayed overcast all morning.  A mist was rising out of the jungle as we pushed our way up the mountain.

We regrouped just after the first official water station where we raided our support vehicles for water and snacks.  Some R@SKLs could not partake of the water on offer at the water station because they had not registered for the event.  They were “ghost riders” in the local cycling parlance.

Photograph courtesy of Leonard Yee

While we were larking about at the side of the road the leading group of riders in the race proper sailed past.

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Plus Malaysia magazine

The top five finishers of the race came from the group of riders at the very front of this pack.  The average speed of the winner was 30.1kph / 18.7mph.  Exactly double my average speed.  Youth.  What a wonderful thing!

We continued up the road at a much more sedate pace.

Though it must be said that Daniel was moving considerably faster than the rest of us.

A couple of rascals turned around before getting to the finish.  One blamed a leg injury.  This was the cure.

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soo Hu

You be the judge of the veracity of that claim.

The rest of us took another break near the second official water stop.  Bottoms and legs were getting sore by that point.  We were relieved to cross the finish line 10km / 6mi further and 340 metres / 1,115 feet higher up the road.  This ride hurt us more mature types!

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

It must have hurt Fallanie too.  He bagged second place in the Men’s Open category with an average speed of 29.2kph / 18.1mph for the 58km / 36mi race up 1,800 metres / 5,900 feet of mountain.  Congratulations Fallanie!

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

There was food available at the finish.  I didn’t bother to check what it was.  Which was a mistake.

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Plus Malaysia magazine

Some chicken satay would have gone down very nicely.

On the way down the mountain, we stopped at the “Welcome to Cameron Highlands” sign on the hillside at the border between the states of Perak Darul Ridzuan and Pahang Darul Makmur.  The Cameron Highlands is in the state of Pahang DM.

Photograph courtesy of Lee Heng Keng

Then it was 39km / 24mi of high speed descending for those who like zipping downhill.  Others were more cautious.  No matter the speed of descent, everyone’s arms and shoulders took a beating.  The Simpang Pulai – Cameron Highlands road was opened in 2004 and the road surface is showing its age.  The road is slightly rutted and rough for most of its length.  Not dangerously so, but the constant jarring over such a long distance is quite uncomfortable.

Everyone got back safely to the Hotel Pulai.  It had been in the high teens and low twenties Centigrade on the way up, but it had warmed up to the low thirties Centigrade over the final 15km / 9mi to the hotel.  Hot, but still three or four degrees Centigrade cooler than it had been at the end of last year’s event.

We showered and had lunch at the same coffee shop where we ate breakfast.  Restoran Sun Kee Hin.  Then most hit the road back to Kuala Lumpur.  The traffic was as bad as it had been the day before.

I took a nap – better to fall asleep in a bed than behind the wheel.  I didn’t get on the road until 6.00pm.  I got home at 9.45pm. 

The sense I am getting from the post-mortem comments is that the R@SKLs won’t do the King of Mountain Challenge next year unless we hire a bus to get us to Simpang Pulai, transport us down the mountain from the event finish area, and get us back to Kuala Lumpur. 

This might be my only King of Mountain Challenge finisher’s medal.

The short way home

We checked out of the hotel at 7.30am.  We rode out in a drizzle to look for breakfast.  You can always count on a mamak restaurant to be open at any hour of the night or day.

After breakfast, we rode to the usual photograph spots.  First the Porta de Santiago, a small gatehouse which is the only part of A Famosa, a former Portuguese fortress, still standing today.  A Famosa is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Southeast Asia and the Far East.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Then we went to Christ Church Melaka.  Construction of Christ Church Malacca started in 1741 and it was completed in 1753.  When the British took over Malacca they added a weathercock and bell to Christ Church and transformed it from a Protestant church into an Anglican one.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We had decided over dinner the night before to amend our plan for the day.  Originally we were going to ride to the KTM station in Rembau, where we would catch a Komuter train to KL Sentral station.  The Rembau station is 58km / 36mi from Melaka.

We decided instead to ride to the KTM station in Tampin, which is 40km / 25mi from Melaka.  We would be very glad that we chose to ride to the closer station.

We rode through the narrow streets of historic Melaka to the AMJ highway.  The highway took us north to Alor Gajah. 

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We left the AMJ highway at Alor Gajah for the 14km / 9mi remainder of the distance to Tampin.

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

The cool and overcast conditions had quickly given way to hot and muggy conditions.  It was 30º C / 86º F at 10.00am.  We were relieved to have opted to ride to Tampin rather than Rembau.

We had time for a cold drink after buying our tickets.  The train left on time at 10.55am.  And in only a few minutes we were cold.  The air-conditioning on the KTM Komuter trains is quite chilly.

We warmed up once our damp jerseys had dried out.  By the second half of the journey, we could feel the heat of the sun coming through the train windows.

Photograph courtesy of Jake Sow

The train takes about two hours to get to KL Sentral station.  On the way we messaged Jeff Liew of The Bike Artisans, asking him to book duck rice lunches at the restaurant next door to his bike shop.  We would be riding in that direction to get back to my place from KL Sentral station.

It was an easier task to get out of KL Sentral station that it had been to get into Tampin station, where the lift had broken down.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We rode the escalator up to the main hall of KL Sentral station and then wheeled our bikes fifty metres to the exit.  In less than a minute we were on Jalan Tun Sambanthan headed towards the Bike Artisans and lunch.

In less than 4.5km / 3mi we were at Jeff’s doorstep.  Which was a good thing because it was another hot day. 

Kelin joined us for lunch.  

Photograph courtesy of TH Lim

As did TH.

Photograph courtesy of TH Lim

We made short work of the chicken and duck rice.  Thank you Jeff for buying us lunch, and Kelin and TH for joining us.

All that remained was to ride the hot 3km / 2mi to my place.

Photograph courtesy of TH Lim

We had moaned at times about the heat over the two days.  But we did agree that it had been a fun couple of days, and that we looked forward to more such rides.  

And there are already some R@SKLs asking to join the next overnight ride.

To Melaka for the night

Some activities require a lot of planning.  Others happen almost spontaneously.  This trip to Melaka was one of the latter.  The idea was mooted on the 13th.  There were few takers initially.  On the 20th there were four of us interested.

Things sped up from there.  Within a couple of days, hotel rooms were booked and the ride start location and time were agreed.  At 6.15am on Sunday 25th, six of us were starting the 180km / 112 mi ride to Melaka.

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

Our route took us along the Maju Expressway (MEX) toward Cyberjaya.  It started drizzling as we rode toward MEX.  When we got onto MEX via Jalan Kampung Pandan the expressway was wet but the drizzle had stopped.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim
Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

The roads got progressively wetter as we rode through Cyberjaya and on to Dengkil.  Our touring saddle bags came in very useful as fenders to keep the spray from our rear wheels off our butts and backs.

We had planned to stop at the same roadside roti canai stall where we always have breakfast on rides through Dengkil.  To our surprise, the stall isn’t there anymore.  So we stopped at the closest mamak shop for teh tarik and roti telur.

It was still overcast when we got to Sepang.  70km / 44mi into our ride.  The Shell station at Sepang is a convenient place to stop for a rest room and to raid the convenience store refrigerator.

15 minutes earlier we had ridden through Pekan Salak, where on a previous trip Liang and I had been gouged by the owner of the bike shop there.  If I recall correctly we were charged RM30 / USD7.15 per inner tube.  We had to buy some there because we had both already had flat tires and had used all our spare tubes.

This time none of us had a flat during the entire trip.

The weather changed between Sepang and Lukut.  In less than 20km / 12mi it went from overcast and cool to sunny and hot.  And  very humid too, thanks to the wet roads.

When we got to the Port Dickson Waterfront it was well past 30º C / 86º F.  We were looking forward to an ice cold cendol but the stall was closed.  Which seemed odd for 11.15am.  So we moved on to the McDonald’s.  That was open but they had no fountain drinks nor ice.  They had no water supply at all.

So we rode to the nearest 7-Eleven, where we were told that the entire town had been without water since Friday due to the forced shutdown of the Sungai Linggi water treatment plant.  No wonder the cendol stall was closed.  Residents were dependent on tankers to deliver water for cooking and bathing.  The chillers at the 7-Eleven were well stocked and the air-conditioning was running full blast.  It was 35º C / 95º F outside.  We cooled down in the 7-Eleven for fifteen minutes.

80km / 50mi to go.  We covered just over 26km / 16mi before we had to stop again to seek respite from the heat.  We had reached the junction with Jalan Pasir Panjang – Kuala Linggi, where we would leave Federal Route 5 and ride along the coast.  There is a stall at the junction selling fresh coconut water. 

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

I needed that drink.  We all needed a drink.  We all needed thirty minutes in the shade.

5km / 3mi up the road is the Linggi river which in that neck of the woods forms the border between the states of Negri Sembilan and Melaka.  That sign over Brian’s head reads Selamat Datang ke Melaka (Welcome to Melaka).

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

It was about 1.30pm when we crossed the bridge.  We were hungry.  Our planned lunch stop was at Kuala Seafood in Kuala Sungai Baru.  9km / 6mi away.  Despite the heat, we got there in twenty minutes.  It was past the usual lunch hour, but there was still enough food left on the buffet for us to fill our faces.

It was about 40km / 25mi from Kuala Seafood to our hotel in Melaka.  We weren’t going to cover that distance all in one go.  We made another 7-Eleven stop after 7km / 4mi to refill our bottles.  We were going through fluid at a very rapid rate.

Our next stop was at Klebang Original Coconut Shake.  This is a “must-stop” venue for hot and thirsty cyclists.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

I had two of these fresh coconut water and vanilla ice cream concoctions.  And got a brain freeze in the process of sucking down the first one.  Which wasn’t as bad as it sounds, given the heat of the afternoon.

Revived by the coconut shakes we pedalled the last few kilometres to the Euro Rich Hotel.  Once we had stowed our bikes in the storeroom near the front desk, it was time for a shower and a rest.  Six and a half hours in the sun had taken it out of us.  And turned parts of our bodies a few shades darker.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We met at 7.00pm for dinner.  Earlier we had thought of riding to somewhere to eat, but we nixed that idea.  This had been Jake’s and Martin’s longest ever ride.  They had had enough of riding for one day.

Instead we wandered to Pahlawan Walk.

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

I got a mango juice from the stall on the right on the way to dinner, and another one on the way back to the hotel.  I was probably hungry and dehydrated in equal measure.

It was an early night for all of us.  Thank goodness the hotel is in a quiet part of town.  Undisturbed sleep until 6.30am.

Movember Charity Fun Ride

1 Mo Ride Banner 1

Movember is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide.

Since 2004, the Movember Foundation charity has run Movember events to increase awareness and funds for men’s health issues, raising USD710 million to fund over 1,200 men’s health projects focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

Annie Lim came up with a brilliant idea for the R@SKLs to plan a Movember charity fun ride in conjunction with Pegasus Cycles.  She developed the concept and a number of R@SKLs joined her to make the event a reality.

Annie worked on marketing materials and sponsors.  CK Lim persuaded some of his suppliers to provide discounted products for sale on the day of the event.  Mark Lim got this event onto the Peatix platform so that participants could register online.  Daniel Lim helped develop the route for the ride.

You would be excused for thinking that this was a Lim clan event.  Not so.  There were non-Lims involved too.

Simon Soo Hu lined up the organisations we would donate all proceeds to.  Leonard Yee and Kelin Chan picked up various bits and pieces that needed doing.  And more than a dozen other R@SKLs volunteered to man junctions along the route to ensure that no participants got lost during the ride.

Within a few weeks of Annie first mooting the idea, we were ready to run the charity fun ride.

21 Mo.Ride Poster

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Annie and Daniel completed the final task of putting up directional signs along the route on the eve of the event.

20 Movember Eve Daniel Lim

Photograph courtesy of Daniel Lim

We had just over 100 participants registered on Peatix.  About 70 turned up despite the wet roads on Saturday morning.

22 Getting Ready

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Befitting a Movember event, we had some moustaches and beards.

Leonard welcomed the participants and wished the Mo.Bros and Mo.Sistas a safe and enjoyable Movember charity fun ride.

37 Starting Instructions

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

The route was a moderately challenging 20km /12.5mi loop through the leafy residential neighbourhoods of Sri Hartamas and Bukit Damansara.

40 Movember Ride Route

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

41 Trees

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

“Moderately challenging” because there were about 400 metres / 1.300 feet of climbing to do.

Despite the climbs, everyone enjoyed the ride.

A number of stops were included within the route to ensure that the group didn’t get too stretched out on the road.

The R@SKLs were in their pink jerseys so that everyone could spot them as they manned each junction on the course.

70 Marshall

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

We also had roving support in the form of Annie on her motorbike.

73 Movember Annie Motorbike JS

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Mark and Marco on Mark’s scooter.

71 Marshalls Roving

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

And Kelin and Sulaiman in Kelin’s SUV.

72 Movember Support Vehicle 1 JS

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Fortunately, we had no major mishaps during the event.  There were one minor fall and a couple of mechanical problems.  As far as I can tell, there were only two flat tires.  As luck would have it, it was ride leader Daniel who had the first puncture.  Here being ably attended to by his Pegasus Cycles colleague Sulaiman.

65 Movember Daniel Flat CK Lim

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

Making it up the last climb on Jalan Beringin warranted a wave!

66 Top of Beringin Climb

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Everyone rolled safely back to Pegasus Cycles.

Where there was finger food waiting.

90 Food

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Also on hand to dispense nitro coffee and pineapple ginger tea from his combi van was Simon Chua of Tiffi Tap.  Simon generously donated 20% of his takings to the Movember cause.

Participants browsed a number of stands set up by businesses who came out to support Pegasus Cycles during this event.

My Revv Energy donated energy gels to all participants.  The R@SKLs very own Jake Sow runs Lotos Marketing Sdn Bhd.  Jake donated 70 bottles of Liang Liang Cool Shirt spray for sale, with all proceeds going to the Movember cause.

Along with displaying products from Oakley, Pedla, Ride 100% and Silca, Cyclist Wardrobe also donated Kask Protone helmets for auction.  Ngee Cycle Sdn Bhd, Gin Huat Sdn Bhd and Aeco Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd also made products available to participants at discounted prices.

While the participants were snacking on curry puffs, chicken wings and sandwiches, and downing cups of Tiffi Tap nitro coffee and tea, Leonard conducted the charity auction, which included a set of Cane Creek ee brakes and a limited edition Kask Paul Smith Protone helmet.

100 Auction 1

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

101 Auction

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

The happy winning bidder for the second Kask Protone helmet!

101 Auction 2

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

The main reason for the Movember charity fun ride was of course to raise funds for men’s health.  I am delighted to say that the R@SKLs will donate RM12,000 / USD2,865 to The Prostate Cancer Society of Malaysia and RM5,880 / USD1,404 to The Malaysian Clearinghouse for Men’s Health.

Representing these organisations were Encik Zakaria Hamid of The Prostate Cancer Society of Malaysia and Professor Dr Ng Chirk Jenn of The Malaysian Clearinghouse for Men’s Health.

94 Charities

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Professor Dr Ng kindly gave us a short talk to answer the question “Does cycling cause prostate cancer and infertility in men?”

And the answer is “Men, you can keep on cycling!”  Thumbs Up

Dr Ng highlighted that men in Malaysia need to be much more concerned about colorectal cancer. Malaysian men are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than Malaysian women. The good news about colorectal cancer is that it is preventable as you can be detected and treated early if you go for regular screenings.

Also gracing our event were, from the left, Dr Teo Chin Hai of the Department of Primary Care Medicine, University of Malaya (in the red shirt), Madam and Mr KL Kong and Mr Peter Wong of The Prostate Cancer Society of Malaysia.

The Malaysian Clearinghouse for Men’s Health is hosted by The Department of Primary Care Medicine, University of Malaya.

93 Charities

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

The Movember charity fun ride was a roaring success.  Everyone had a good time, and more importantly, everyone stayed safe.  We raised a hefty chunk of change for two very deserving NGOs which work hard to combat men’s health issues.

Congratulations R@SKLs, Pegasus Cycles, participants, sponsors and donors.

103 Closing Group Shot

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

We will have to do this again.

A very grateful and appreciative “Thank You” goes to Johan Sopiee.  He took more than 1,000 photographs of this event.  You can view the Facebook gallery of his photos by clicking here.

You can relive the event through a video created by Marco Lai.  Click here.

Ride Your Age

I picked up a birthday “tradition” while living in The Netherlands.  Ride Your Age.  In most cases, this means a ride length equal to or longer than your chronological age.  My Duch cycling friends added a maximum speed equal to or faster than your chronological age to the mix.

It sounded like a good idea ten years ago.  Less so now.  There will come a time when the ever-increasing miles required turns this tradition into a fool’s errand.  Nevertheless, I set out on a solo ride this morning to ride my age in miles.  This was my first chance for a ride since my birthday last week.

The route which started in Bukit Jalil was a mix of motorcycle lanes, main roads and quieter back streets.

Ride your Age Route

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

To make sure I covered the necessary miles for my age I took a little detour from Bandar Rimbayu to Bandar Saujana Putra.  All those lakes are disused tin mining pools.  In the 1880s Malaya as it was then was the largest tin producer in the world.  As late as 1979 Malaysia was still producing 30% of the world’s tin.

Much of the mining was done by floating dredges.  The chain of buckets on the front scooped up the tin-bearing soil, which then passed through an oscillating drum and a system of jigs and screens to extract the tin, before spewing out the waste material at the rear end through a number of chutes.

Tin Dredge

The heydey of the tin dredge has passed.  Tin prices collapsed in 1985 and the tin mining industry in Malaysia went into terminal decline.  The ponds which were left behind have become prime real estate spots.  My guess is that in five years a photograph taken from this spot will show waterfront homes lining this pool.


The morning stayed overcast so I had a very pleasant ride.  I rode back to Bandar Rimbayu and then followed the usual route to Jenjarom.  From Jenjarom I rode along Jalan Klang – Banting for 15km / 9mi to the junction with the KESAS Highway.  I got back onto the motorcycle lane all the way back to Bukit Jalil.

As a bonus, I hit my age in kilometres per hour too.  There is a one kilometre stretch in Subang Jaya (see the top centre of the route above) which has an average gradient of -1.6%.  The slope certainly helps.  This is also the location of a major highway exit.  You come off the motorcycle lane and ride for that kilometre amongst five lanes of traffic.  The resulting adrenaline boost helps with top speed too!


Another year.  Another Ride Your Age in the bag.