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Tag Archives: KESAS

Kilo Months

I started keeping track of my rides in January 2010.  I had a new road bike, and an even newer Garmin Edge 705 cycle computer.  Uploading the details to the Garmin Connect web site after every ride became standard practice.   That year I rode 3,173 kilometers.

The heat map below shows where I rode for the first six months of 2010.  The most-ridden routes are depicted in red.  Click on the heat map to open the image in a new window.  You will see that most of my kilometers were accrued on the West End Tuesday and Thursday evening rides, and the Sunday Taco rides through Houston.

2010 Heat Map

Heat Map courtesy of Strava

I had some big rides outside metro Houston:  The Humble Lions Club Ride, The Space Race, and the BP MS150.  But I didn’t have a kilo month, which is my term for riding more than 1,000 kilometers in a month.

In mid-2010 I moved with my biker chick to The Netherlands.  The excellent cycling infrastructure there gave me more opportunity to ride, albeit on my own as I didn’t connect with a cycling group until the following year.

I started riding with the Not Possibles in March 2011.  The Saturday and occasional weekday rides with them boosted the distance I rode in 2011 to 6,985 kilometers.  In 2012 that number increased to 11,054 kilometers.  Almost of those kilometers were around Den Haag, with the 2011 and 2012 Ronde van Vlaanderen sportives, and the 2012 UCI World Championships sportive in Belgium thrown in for good measure.

Heat map courtesy of Strave

Heat Map courtesy of Strave

I racked up my first kilo month in August 2011.  The fine summer weather allowed me to ride eighteen times that month for a total of 1,085 kilometers.

Somewhat surprisingly I didn’t have another kilo month until January 2012, when I rode 1,091 kilometers.  I then had four more kilo months that year.  March, and three in a row from June to August.  My Not Possibles friends and I had a good summer that year.  My biggest ever kilo month was in July, when I rode 1,718 kilometers.  I had the luxury of being able to go on twenty five rides that month.

In October 2012 my biker chick and I moved home to Kuala Lumpur.   My ride frequency and average distance dropped dramatically for some months before slowly increasing again.  So it took more than a year before I had another kilo month, in September 2013.  Helped by five rides of at least 100 kilometers each.

My 2013 heat map looks a lot like my 2010 Houston heat map in that most of my rides are limited to a couple of routes.  Int his case KESAS and the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, with Putrajya and Genting Sempah thrown in for variety.  Scattered around the map are the one-off events that I rode in Johor Bahru, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan and Penang,  My Racun buddies and I also rode to Fraser’s Hill, and I joined Dave Ern on a ride to Cameron Highlands.  You can also read about the Bike X and Broga 116 rides.

Heat Map courtesy of Strava

Heat Map courtesy of Strava

It looks like I will ride about 7,300 kilometers in 2013.  And perhaps have another kilo month this quarter.  Garmin Connect will reveal all.

Is This a Cycling Blog or a Food Blog??

I haven’t eaten any satay since I came home to Kuala Lumpur almost six months ago.  I mentioned satay in Another Place to Eat three days ago.  We stopped for satay last night.

Karma?  Coincidence?  You decide.

Tuesday and Thursday nights have become KESAS ride nights.  I wrote about this route, along the Shah Alam Expressway to give the road its proper name, in Another Uncle Wiggily.

WhatsApp is our current messaging medium.  My mobile phone starts pinging with weather updates from 5pm or so.  Confirmation that the ride is on comes at about 7.30pm.  Between then and the 9pm start time the messages are usually of the “I’m on the way” and “Stuck in traffic” variety.  It was no surprise to get a message from Chris at 8.50pm, telling us that Chon and he were close by.  What was unusual was his second sentence.  “Satay ride.  Chon is hungry.”

It turns out that there are two choices for a satay stop.  Both are Sate Kajang Haji Samuri outlets.  The first is about 10km into the ride, at the Taman Kinrara Rest & Service area.  The other is on the opposite side of the expressway at the Awan Besar Rest & Service area.  About 19km from the start.

Chon chose the nearer one.

Sate RR-Kinrarakinrara1

Kajang has been traditionally known as the “Satay Town.”  There was a time when you had to make the 20km drive south from Kuala Lumpur to Kajang to get authentic Kajang satay.  These days there are numerous stalls and shops selling Kajang satay.

Sate Kajang Haji Samuri is a Malaysian equivalent of a fast-food chain.  They have twenty outlets.  Three in Kajang and the rest scattered around the Klang valley, Seremban and Port Dickson.  If the quality of their satay is consistent across all their outlets, they are doing something right.

We had chicken satay.  It came piping hot from the grill.  Tender and juicy, with the right hint of lemongrass in the marinade.  A key part of a good meal is the kuah satay or peanut sauce.  This one was good enough to eat by itself.  And in a nice touch the kuah satay and the sambal, or chilli paste, for the sauce came separately.  So each of us could add as much or as little sambal to our individual bowls as we wanted.  I skip the sambal completely.

We also got a generous serving of cucumber and nasi impit, or compressed rice cakes.  These are the traditional accompaniments to satay.  There was a time when ketupat instead of nasi impit was served with satay.  The difference being ketupat is cooked in a woven palm-leaf pouch, while nasi impit is cooked in a far less labor-intensive plastic pouch.

Satay During Kesas Ride 03

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

Happy days for Gary, Chon, Chris and myself!

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

As an aside, the short zip on my Not Possibles jersey may have been adequate for Dutch weather, but it didn’t work so well last night in the heat and humidity of Malaysia.  Especially as we averaged about 32kph getting to the satay, and the same afterward to burn it off.

That satay was worth the effort!

Another Uncle Wiggily

Many moons ago I lived with a host family in Painesville, Ohio.  I have very fond memories of my year as an American Field Service (AFS) exchange student.  One memory in particular is of Uncle Wiggily Longears.  Uncle Wiggily is the main character in more than seventy children’s books by Howard Garis.  Those books must have been a childhood favourite in my host family.  “An Uncle Wiggily” came to mean a new adventure or experience.

I just had my latest “Uncle Wiggily”.  I have driven along the Shah Alam Expressway on countless occasions.  Also known as KESAS, it is a major roadway linking Kuala Lumpur, Cheras, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang.  I never dreamt that one day I would cycle a part of it.  That day, or night to be precise, came yesterday.

Six of us started off near the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park.  I managed to have a rear tire puncture as we rode past the Monash University Malaysia campus on the way to the highway.  All of two kilometers from where we had parked our cars.  I suppose better there than alongside the highway.  The university carpark came in useful as a safe place to replace the inner tube.  My companions were ahead of me when I stopped.  It is a good thing they came back for me.  I didn’t know the route.  It would have been a short ride back to my car.

KESAS Night

Photo courtesy of maslogo

We rode on the motorcycle lane beside the highway.  The riding surface is very good and all the tunnels are well-lit.  Best of all we didn’t get buzzed by many motorcycles and scooters

Photo courtesy of Sam Cheong at The Samosaurus Chronicles

Photo courtesy of Sam Cheong at The Samosaurus Chronicles

We covered about 30 kilometers from the Kewajipan interchange to the Sukom interchange and back to the Sunway interchange.  Negotiating the Sunway interchange toll booths in a car is often a fraught-filled experience because of all the traffic.  Cycling unhindered around those toll booths was a most pleasant “Uncle Wiggily”.

KESAS Toll