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トモエスガのお別れライド *

* The Farewell Ride for Tomoe Suga

Tomoe 14

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

The R@SKLs have been delighted, and privileged, to have had Tomoe ride with us.  Her ready smile and infectious enthusiasm brightened every ride she did with us.

Tomoe is a very accomplished cyclist.  Basking in her reflected glory is the closest most of us got to being a podium finisher!

Tomoe 1 Tomoe

Photograph courtesy of Tomoe Suga

It is a measure of the friendships Tomoe has developed during her time in Kuala Lumpur that 47 cyclists participated in the farewell ride the R@SKLs organised for her.

We started from Restoran BR Maju in Kota Kemuning.  As usual, Alfred was early.  Very early!

Tomoe BR Maju Alfred Chan

Photograph courtesy of Alfred Chan

By 7.10am we were on the road toward Bukit Jugra.

Tomoe 6 Pai

Photograph courtesy of Pai Hsing Chou

This was the largest group ride many of us had ever been on.

It turned out to be a day of a few firsts.  The ride from the base of Bukit Jugra to the lighthouse is just 1km / 0.6mi long, but the road rises 111 meters / 364 feet in that distance.  That is an average gradient of 10%.

For some, this was their first ride up to the lighthouse and the Jugra sign.

Tomoe Jugra Top Pai

Photograph courtesy of Pai Tsing Chou

For first-timer and regular alike, getting up that hill is an achievement.

Danial won the prize for Most Daring Cameraman.

Tomoe Jugra 1 CK Lim

Photograph courtesy of CK Lim

Some thought better of sweating and grunting up the climb.

From Bukit Jugra we rode the 13km / 8mi to the beachfront at Morib for breakfast.

And some posing with the Straits of Melaka behind us.

About 45 minutes later we were back on the road, retracing our route.

Japan may be the Land of the Rising Sun, but Malaysia has its share of sun as well.

Tomoe Rising Sun

The temperature was 19°C / 66°F when we started the ride in Kota Kemuning.  When we left Morib it was 34°C / 93°F.  By the time we got to our regular cendol stop 23km / 14mi later, it was 37°C / 99°F.  We needed that ice-cold cendol.

The proprietor of Cendol & ABC Santa Sawit Mak Lang was taken aback when I ordered 60 bowls of cendol.  He didn’t think that he heard me right.  It took a few repetitions of the order, helped by the sight of more and more overheated cyclists streaming into the stall’s seating area, to convince him that I was serious.

Tomoe Cendol Martin Lee

Photograph courtesy of Martin Lee

The return ride from Morib had turned into a hot one.  That meant a touch of sunburn, and some cramps, within the group.  But that didn’t stop everyone from completing the ride.  For some it was their first metric century ride.  Another milestone achieved!

Fortunately there were no falls or crashes.  The worst mechanical issues were one dropped chain, and one slow leak.  An excellent result for a group of 48 riders.

The R@SKLs wish Tomoe much success and happiness back in Japan.  And of course, many enjoyable kilometers on her bicycle.

Tomoe Happy Biking

Jepun Boleh!

A bit like trying to herd cats

Morib Banner jkstakent com

Graphic courtesy of jkstalent.com

The Bangsar Cycling Group organised a Sunday ride from Kota Kemuning to Morib.  I suggested that they use the route that the R@SKLs ride to get to Morib.  It avoids the heavily-trafficked and poorly surfaced Jalan Klang Banting, except for  4.5km / 2.8mi stretch from Jenjarom to Jalan Bandar Lama.

None of the BCGers knew that route.  That is how I ended up leading the BCG ride.

Coincidentally, the R@SKLs were also riding from Kota Kemuning to Morib on Sunday.  They were starting from their usual meeting point, Restoran BR Maju.  The BCG were starting from their usual meeting point, McDonald’s.  So I arranged for both groups to meet at Bandar Rimbayu, so that we could all do the ride together.

Both groups got to Bandar Rimbayu, as planned, at 7.30am.  There were forty two riders in all, including the cameraman for this shot.

Morib 01 J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

From the left:

Morib 07f J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07e J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07d J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07c J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07b J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Morib 07a J Sopiee

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

I set off at the head of this large group of riders, leading them through Bandar Rimbayu and onto the bridge over the SKVE.

Morib SKVE Bridge Up Shahfiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

As we rolled off the bridge I was still at the head of the group, riding at approximately the advertised moving speed of 29kph / 18mph.

Morib SKVE Bridge Down Shahfiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

Just as I felt a sense of control over the group, my illusion was shattered.  Riders shot off ahead of me, clearly more interested in testing their legs than sticking to 29kph.  Oh well!

Morib 12 Winston Wong

Photograph courtesy of Winston Wong

To no one’s surprise, the faster riders missed the right turn at Kampung Seri Cheeding.  Mobile phones to the rescue.  A few back-and-forth calls, and Google map consultations, and everyone was reunited 15km / 9mi later at the junction of Jalan Bukit Jugra and Jalan Jeti.   Google maps didn’t warn of this road hazard though.

Morib Cows Wee Hwee Wang

Photograph courtesy of Wee Hwee Wang

As usually happens, there was some talk of climbing Bukit Jugra.  I thought that first getting some food and drink at Morib was the way to go.  And that was what we did.

It was about 10.30am, and getting hot, by the time we left Morib for the homeward leg.

Morib 03 Shafiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

The R@SKLs left a bit before the BCGers, and they headed straight back to Kota Kemuning.  Some of the BCGers were determined to climb Bukit Jugra.  Which is why we ended up here.

Morib Jugra Climb Shahfiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

Some, probably wisely, elected to wait at the bottom of the hill.  Those who braved the up to 17° gradients were rewarded with views of the Langat River from the lookout point.

Morib Jugra Viewing Shafiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

And the added treat of watching a paraglider launch himself off the slope.

Morib Paragliding backpackerzmag com

Photograph courtesy of backpackerzmag.com

We probably spent a bit too long up on the hill.  I had expected that we would be back at Kota Kemuning at about noon.  It was 11.30am by the time we all got going again from the base of Bukit Jugra.  There was 45km / 28mi, and a cendol stall, between us and Kota Kemuning.

Any thoughts of skipping the cendol stall were dispelled by the 34°C / 93°F temperature.  The heat, and the distance, were starting to affect some riders, so a stop for a cold drink and a rest was well worth it.

And then the punctures started.  First at the cendol stall, when a tube spontaneously popped.  Then 5km / 3mi later.  A further 5km and it was my turn.  I rode over a rock. Eight of us clustered in the shade under a tree in someone’s front garden to review the damage to my rear rim.

Morib Flat Shafiq Khairy

Photograph courtesy of Shafiq Khairy

Not good.  Fortunately the rim was still rideable.

We weren’t done yet.  We had only just got moving again when we had puncture number four.  All in the space of 13km / 8mi.

What with one thing or the other, it is no surprise that out of the total ride time of seven hours, we were stopped for three hours.  Which explains why we didn’t get back to the McDonald’s in Kota Kemuning until 2.00pm, when the temperature was pushing 37°C / 99°F.

A salted caramel sundae never tasted so good!

Morib Salted Caramel

We all got split up between Morib and Kota Kemuning.  I haven’t heard any reports of missing cyclists, so I can only assume that everyone got back safely.  Albeit some with minor scrapes, cramps and sore muscles.

I need to practice being a ride leader.  If nothing else, it makes a good excuse!

Morib Banner north florida bicycle club

Graphic courtesy of North Florida Bicycle Club