The 7th in the series of King of 9 Mountains challenges that Dave Ern has put together was held today. The 100km / 62 mi route took us from Semenyih in the state of Selangor to Kuala Klawang in the state of Negeri Sembilan. There was a 60km / 37mi option for those who didn’t relish 1,900m / 6,200ft of climbing.
About twenty of us gathered in Semenyih for the 7.30am start. But first a briefing about the route from Dave Ern.
The turn-around point for those doing the 60km route was 1km up Bukit Tangga. After the Bukit Mandom 1 and Bukit Mandom 2 climbs. Bukit Mandom 1 gets the heart pumping. It is only 1,000m / 3,300ft long, but it has a 400m / 1,300ft section with a gradient of more than 10%, maxing out at 18%. Bukit Mandon 2 is a bit over 2km / 1.3mi long but it has gentler gradients that do not exceed 9%.
So everyone was ready for a break by the time we got to the local convenience store on the lower slope of Bukit Tangga.
The home-made soft drinks looked good, but this looked better. I’m sure it tasted better too.
The Bukit Tangga climb is about 5km / 3mi long. If that was not enough to put people off the full 100km route, the thought of doing the climbs from the opposite direction on the way back to Semenyih did. Only Adrian and I rode on to Kuala Klawang after this group photograph.
I got to Kuala Klawang in good shape. Helped by a 65kph / 41mph run down Bukit Tangga. Adrian and I camped for a while in the Petronas petrol station at Kuala Klawang, guzzling cold drinks in air-conditioned comfort.
By the time we started riding back the way we came it was 11am.
The hottest time of the day. I didn’t need WeatherTemperature.com to tell me that while the thermometer read 35° C / 94° F, it felt like 43° C / 109° F. Adrian set a tempo north of 35kph / 22mph. By the time we started back up Bukit Tangga I was overheating. My heart rate had come down fairly quickly after the climbs on the outward leg, when it was cooler. Not so on the return leg.
I should have put some ice in my bottles at that Petronas station.
I tried to keep my heart rate below 150bpm on the climbs by turning as light a gear as possible and going slowly. Even so my heart rate hit 170bpm on Bukit Mandom 2. That is higher than I have ever seen it.
The last 20km was all about heart rate management, taking a drink every five minutes, and keeping cramps at bay.
And looking forward to my post-ride beverage of choice.
There is a King of Perez Stage 2 planned. It will be the same route as we rode today, but with an additional 68km / 42mi and another big out-and-back climb beyond Kuala Klawang to cover.
A step too far methinks.