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R@SKLs Do Morib

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Morib Sign tripadvisor co uk

Photograph courtesy of tripadvisor.co.uk

The R@SKLs still had the 1,200 plus meters / 3,900 plus feet of climbing to Fraser’s Hill, from the weekend before, in their legs.  So for this weekend’s ride they opted for the flat run from Kota Kemuning to the beach at Morib.

Sixteen of us gathered at BR Maju Restaurant in Kota Kemuning.  We weren’t the only ones in lycra at BR Maju.  It is a popular spot for cyclists to have breakfast, or just a drink, before heading out on their rides.

Morib Restoran BR Maju

Photograph courtesy of Peter Shea

My previous rides to Morib have been westward on the motorcycle path alongside the KESAS Highway, and then south on Jalan Klang Banting.  The ride along the motorcycle path is nice enough, especially on Sundays when there are few motorcycles on the path with you.

The riding on Jalan Klang Banting, however, is truly unpleasant.  That road has been damaged by the constant heavy vehicle traffic.  Cyclists face more than 10km / 6mi of potholes, ruts, lumps and bumps.

Morib Old Route

This time Meng and CK led us along a much more pleasant route southward from Kota Kemuning to Bandar Rimbayu and the bridge over the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE).

From the SKVE crossing to Jenjarom, the riding is along 14km / 9mi of well-surfaced, lightly trafficked kampung roads.  The occasional speed bump is much more preferable to the minefield that is Jalan Klang Banting.

Morib New Route

We did have to ride northwest along Jalan Klang Banting to get from Jenjarom to Jalan Bandar Lama.  Whilst the road surface along that 4.5km / 3mi section was not great, we had avoided the worst ruts and potholes to the north.

The right turn onto Jalan Klang Banting confused some of us.  A left turn onto Jalan Klang Banting, aka Federal Route 5, would take us south and then west through Banting town and onward to Morib.  Surely turning right would add distance to our ride?

Turning right instead of left did add 6km / 4mi to our ride.  The reward for riding extra kilometers was that once we were on Jalan Bandar Lama, we rode over well-surfaced and quiet roads to Morib.  Although the road surface south along Federal Route 5 from Jenjarom to Banting and then Morib does improve, there is always a lot of traffic to deal with.  Thumbs up for the coastal route.

The group had been divided about where to eat and drink in Morib.  Delicious Bread Coffee Shop was on the minds of some.  As the name suggests, their kaya toast is delicious.  But the coffee shop had run out of nasi lemak by the time we got there, so we opted for the food stalls along the beach instead.

Morib Delicious Bread

I had not noticed, but our group had shrunk by one.  Leonard’s bicycle had started making worrying noises as we left Kota Kemuning, so he headed back to his car.  And drove to Morib.  I’m not sure which he wanted to see more, us or the nasi lemak!

Morib Waiting for Food Simon

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

This is what everyone had been waiting for.

Morib Food Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

We found a helpful tourist to take a group picture of us at the beach.

Morib Group 2 Ong Peng Hong

Photograph courtesy of Ong Peng Hong

I suspect that most tourists are disappointed when they see Morib beach.  It is not one of Malaysia’s better beaches.

Morib Beach 1 Simon Soohu

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

We retraced our route back to Kota Kemuning.  We rode along the coast for 7km / 4mi, and then along the Sungai Langat for 3.5km / 2mi.  Just as the road veers away from the river, there is the option to turn left to Bukit Jugra, and a climb of 180 meters / 590 feet over 1.6km / 1mi.

We turned right.

Morib Route

As is often the case, it had warmed up considerably by 11am.  Luckily we were spared the full brunt of the sun.  There were rain clouds over the sea, and it was overcast on the coast.  It had rained the night before.  The rising temperature had made it more and more humid, so everyone was dripping with sweat.  We didn’t help ourselves by pushing a 30kph / 18.5mph pace.

Once we had crossed the climb of the day – the bridge over the Sungai Langat – we were ready for a drink and a rest.

Morib Sungai Langat Bridge Google Maps

Photograph courtesy of Google Maps

1.5km / 1mi from the river is Ross Cendol & ABC Santan Sawit.  The stall is not much to look at from the back.

Morib Cendol Johan

But it has tables and chairs shaded from the sun by umbrellas.

Morib Cendol 2 Simon Soohu

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

Morib Cendol Simon Soohu

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

And of course, ice-cold and sweet cendol.

Morib Cendol 3 Simon Soohu

Photograph courtesy of Simon Soohu

It was about 30km / 18.5mi from Ross Cendol back to BR Maju Restaurant.  By the time we left the cendol stall, those rain clouds over the sea had moved inland ahead of us.  The wind picked up, especially as we neared the bridge over the SKVE.  Fortunately, we didn’t get rained on.  We got a bit splashed and splattered anyway.  The roads between Bandar Rimbayu and BR Maju Restaurant were very wet.

Apart from Leonard’s mechanical, that was the only blemish on the ride.  Nice roads, good weather, and excellent company.  What more can a group of cyclists ask for?

BCG Morib Ride

 

The Bangsar Cycling Group can be counted on to organise fun rides.  The latest one I did with them was a run from Kota Kemuning to Morib.  Just shy of 100km / 62mi there and back.

BCG Morib Ride Route

Map courtesy of Ride With GPS

14 of us left the McDonald’s Kota Kemuning car park just after 7.00am.  Unfortunately one cyclist suffered a broken spoke 5km / 3mi into the ride, so she and her partner had to turn around.

The rest of us continued along the motorcycle lane beside the KESAS Highway, keeping our ears open for the sound of approaching Hondas, Yamahas and Suzukis.  Unfortunately we cyclists don’t get the motorcycle lane to ourselves, even on a Sunday.

It wasn’t long before we on Jalan Klang Banting, sharing the road with all manner of motorised vehicles.  I for one was thankful that there seemed to be less traffic than usual on Jalan Klang Banting for a Sunday.  Despite how it looks in this photograph.

BCG Morib Ride Banting 02 Johan S

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

We spent about 10km / 6mi on Jalan Klang Lama before we turned off that major road onto Jalan Bandar Long and then Jalan Pusara.  Both are much quieter secondary roads, or what we would call kampung roads.

One of the goals of this ride was to maintain a pace that everyone was comfortable with, and which allowed people to practice riding in a pack.  Always with the option to make a stop or two to ensure that the group stays together.

Once the group was on the really quiet coastal road between Pantai Kelanang and Morib, Foogie and I ran an experiment.  We wanted to find out what speed was just that bit too fast for people to hold a conversation whilst they were riding.  We put ourselves at the front of the peloton, reduced our speed until there was lots of chatter behind us, and then slowly ramped things up.  It got very quiet behind us at about 28kph / 17mph.

In just under two hours from the time we left Kota Kemuning we were all seated at the Medan Selera (Food Court) at Morib Beach, waiting for our drinks and ais kacang.

BCG Morib Ride Makan AiLin Lim

Photograph courtesy of AiLin Lim

After we were well-irrigated, we posed for the de rigueur seaside shots.

BCG Morib Ride at Morib

Photograph courtesy of Wee Hwee Wang

BCG Morib Ride at Morib Safwan Siddiq

Photograph courtesy of Safwan Siddiq

Photo session over, we retraced our route back to Kota Kemuning.  There was talk of making a short detour to Jugra.  There is a lookout point with an impressive view of the Langat River, and the Straits of Malacca beyond, at Bukit Jugra, but it is a very steep climb to get to it.  We turned right, away from the climb.  Maybe next time.

BCG Morib Ride Jugra Johan S

Photograph courtesy of Johan Sopiee

Instead, a few kilometers further on we stopped at a sundry shop along Jalan Bandar to refill bidons, and to pose for more photographs.

We made one more stop just after crossing the Langat River to regroup.  When we got back to Jalan Klang Banting, the gloves came off and it was every person for themselves.  Those who wanted to could ride as fast as they liked.  Some of us – I won’t say who – did exactly that.

No matter the speed, we all got back safely to the McDonald’s in Kota Kemuning.  Where most of us immediately ordered something to drink and eat.

“I’ll have a mango sundae.  Make that two mango sundaes.”

I was happy.  And am looking forward to more BCG rides.

BCG Tour Klang – Port Dickson – Klang Day 2

BCG Klang - PD - Klang Logo 2

The photographs are in!  Thank you Johan Sopiee.

The plan for Day 2 was to roll out at about 7.00am.  A few of us crept out of the hotel before dawn for breakfast at McDonald’s.  Trying not to wake up the person at the front desk.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Hotel

Then it was time to put on cycling shoes (which had dried overnight after the ride through the rain), sun tan lotion, inspect our bikes, and wake up the desk clerk so we could check out.

 

 

Fikri, Izzat and I were ready to roll at the appointed hour.  We discovered then that the rest of the group had opted to eat breakfast after putting on their cycling kit and checking out of the hotel.

So the three of us hit the road while the rest went to McDonald’s.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Early Breakfast

Before long we were making the left turn onto Route N4 toward Chuah.  I don’t think the others were that far behind.

By the way, despite what you see in these photographs, the national tree of Malaysia is NOT the oil palm.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Kampung Chuah Oil Palm

The climb of the day came as we approached the left turn to get back onto Route 5.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Kampung Chuah Climb

At 35km / 22mi the route curled through the small town of Sepang, before heading back toward the coast.  That was the closest we would get to the KL International Airport.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Hot Day

It was 8.45am when I rode through Sepang.  I was supposed to be at Morib at 10.00am, to meet up with some Flipside friends, who were riding to Morib from USJ.  Morib is 45km / 27mi from Sepang.  I was going to be late.

I made a short stop at the PETRONAS station in Sungai Pelek.  The same one where Fikri and I stopped on the way to Port Dickson.  As I remounted my bike, Izzat rode by.  I chased after him and we rode together back out toward the coast.

About 8km / 5mi outside Sungai Pelek we came upon the U-turn point for the participants in the Klang Première Century Ride.  That ride started and ended at the Klang Première Hotel in Bandar Botanic, a kilometer or so from where we would finish our ride.

We shared the road back to Bandar Botanic with the Klang Première riders,including some who had decided that they had ridden enough for the day.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Klang Premiere

I got to Morib at about 10.30am.  Alvin, Liang and Mark were still there.  I slurped down an iced Milo and an ais kacang, and enjoyed the sea breeze as we sat in the shade.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Ais Kacang Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Just as we were leaving Morib beach, Fikri rode up behind us.  He had been delayed by a problem with his seat post.  He might have wished he hadn’t caught up with us.  Liang proceeded to set a pace between 35kph /22mph and 40kph / 25mph for the next 20km / 12mi to Telok Panglima Garang.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Flipside 02

It was midday.  And hot.  And the pace had been high.  So a stop at Cendol Santan Sawit Mak Lang was called for.  Nothing like ice cold cendol to induce a touch of brain freeze.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Cendol Brain Freeze Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark Lim

Brain freeze or not, we stopped again 7km / 4mi later at a PETRONAS station for yet more cold fluid.

It is 5km from that PETRONAS station to the interchange between Jalan Klang Banting, as Route 5 is named at that point, and the KESAS Highway.  Fikri and I waved goodbye to the Flipsiders as they turned right at the interchange toward USJ.   The two of us crossed the KESAS flyover and rolled the final kilometer to the Hotel 99 in Bandar Botanik.

Izzat was already there.  He has a great capacity for riding long distances without stopping.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Finish 03

Happily, everyone else made it to the Hotel 99 safely.

It was another excellent cycling event.  Foogie produced an excellent video summary of the two days.

Many thanks to Danial, Johan, Foogie, and the other participants for making this a fun weekend.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 2 Finish 13

So when is the next BCG Tour?

 

BCG Tour Klang – Port Dickson – Klang Day 1

BCG Klang - PD - Klang Logo

 

Johan Sopiee, Danial Marzuki and Foogie Sim organised the third overnight bike ride under the BCG Tour banner.  This time from Klang to Port Dickson and back.

The start was in the parking area outside the Hotel 99 in Bandar Botanik, Klang.  We loaded our bags into Johan’s car, collected our cue sheets, and paid attention as Danial briefed us on the day to come.  In the meantime Johan was already into his stride as official photographer.

Unless indicated, all the photographs in this post were taken by Johan.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Start2 Johan

A dozen of us were going to spend the night in Port Dickson before riding back to Klang the next day.  Another eight or nine were joining us for the ride to Port Dickson, and were planning to turn around and ride straight back.  A 240km / 150m round trip.

All the formalities were done by 7.45am.  Danial tooted his roti man horn and we were on our way to Port Dickson.  Johan led the way in his car, while Danial and Foogie were in a pickup, on sweeper duty behind the group.

BCG Tour Klang - PD - Klang Support Truck Danial

Photograph courtesy of Danial Marzuki

The roads from Klang to Banting were not as busy as they have been on my previous Saturday rides through that area.  Fikri and I started riding together, and we stayed together all the way to Port Dickson.

Morib is about 40km / 25mi from Bandar Botanik.  Which made it a good place to stop for a drink and a nibble.  Some of us had soft-boiled eggs and kaya toast here.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Delicious Bread2

The only photograph that I can contribute

Others rolled a further 500 meters to the food court at the beach.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Morib kentmoo88 blogspot com

Photograph courtesy of kentmoo88.blogspot.com

Then it was onto the 25km / 15mi stretch along the coast to Kampung Tanjung Rhu.  A sea breeze was blowing.  Unfortunately it was a gusty block headwind.  I was thankful to have Fikri with me.  He did more of the work into the wind than I did.  I was finding the going tough.  Fikri spotted one reason why that may have been.  My rear tire was slowly losing air.

We stopped just after Tanjung Sepat.  A few seconds later Danial and Foogie pulled over ahead of us.  I decided to risk just pumping up the tire rather than replacing the inner tube.  It was a hot morning, I had been working hard, and one of the things I like least to do is fixing a flat with sweat pouring down my face.

Rear tire fully inflated, Fikri and I headed onward into the wind and sun.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Tanjung Sepat Johan

40 minutes later we were on the lookout for a place to stop for some fluid.  Fikri’s bidons were empty, and I needed a refill too.  The PETRONAS station in Sungai Pelek fit the bill.  Cold drinks and air conditioning.  Danial and Foogie stopped there too, so I had my rear tire topped up as well.

By the time we got through Sepang and the climbs along  Route 5 to the right turn onto Route N4, the skies were darkening and thunder was rumbling in the distance.  In a matter of minutes the heavens opened.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Rain Johan

It wasn’t long before we were completely soaked.  Both by the rain and the spray from passing vehicles.  The wind was still in our faces, but at least we were feeling a lot cooler in the wet.

At about the 100km point the group of ‘out and back’ riders rode past in the opposite direction.  The weather probably played a part in their decision not to ride all the way to Port Dickson.  Even so, they probably covered 200km / 124mi by the time they were done.

The roads were wet all the way to Lukut.  Fikri and I caught up with some of the other riders as we rode through Lukut.  With 4km to go to the hotel in Port Dickson, Asni had a puncture.  I wasn’t much better off.  The hole in my inner tube was getting bigger, and I was losing air at a faster rate.  After Johan fixed Asni’s flat tire, I had my tire fully inflated again and sped off, hoping to get to the hotel before my tire went flat again.

My tire held out, and everyone else made it safely too.  We stayed at the Waterfront Boutique Hotel.  The location on the esplanade walk of the PD Waterfront development means that the hotel is amongst a variety of food and beverage outlets, a bank, and shops.  Best of all, the hotel allowed us to take our bicycles into our rooms.

After a shower and a short rest a bunch of us headed out to lunch.  Danial and Johan drove to Teluk Kemang, one of the more popular beach locations in Port Dickson.  The eatery of choice, based on their past experience, was Cowboy Place.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Cowboy Place Menu sharinginfoz blogspot my

Photograph courtesy of sharinginfoz.blogspot

Renowned for its grilled chicken and steamed rice.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Cowboy Place Chicken  azienamico blogspot com

Photograph courtesy of azienamico.blogspot

The merely hungry ate quarter chickens.  The really starving ate half chickens.

Lunch was late.  It was about 3pm by the time we got to Cowboy Place.  By 7pm or so we were all thinking about dinner.

Foogie’s local knowledge took us to Restoran Seri Mesra Ikan Bakar.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Restoran Seri Mesra Ikan Bakar TripAdvisor com

Photograph courtesy of Tripadvisor

You pick what you want from a variety of fresh fish, prawns, crab and other shellfish, and choose how you want each item cooked.  Sit back and wait a few minutes while everything is being prepared, then roll up your sleeves and dig in.  We had fish cooked two different ways, batter-fried squid, vegetables and rice.  Delicious.

We still had room for dessert.  McDonald’s was running a Mango Mania promotion.  A mango sundae sounded like just the thing.

BCG Klang - PD - Day 1 Mango

Photograph courtesy of Golden Arches Restaurants Sdn Bhd

Four of us went straight to the McDonald’s near our hotel after dinner.  Only to be disappointed.  They had sold out of mango sundaes.  We had to settle for chocolate soft ice cream cones.

Then it was time for bed.  It would be another early start the next day.

Fun and Food (Not Necessarily in that Order)

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Morib was the destination this morning.  It is a route I have ridden a few times already.  An Epic Ride describes one of those prior jaunts to the seaside at Morib.

Alvin, Liang, Mark and I got rolling at about 6.45am.  Avoiding the midday heat on the way back was our primary objective.  All looked good as we made our way down the motorcycle path beside the KESAS Highway, through Kota Kemuning and on to Bandar Botanik.  It was an overcast morning, and we had cool conditions as we rode through Telok Panglima Garang and onward to the coast and Morib.

Morib Route

The road along the Langat River to Tanjung Tongkah Lighthouse, previously a section of road in disrepair, has been resurfaced.  Cool weather and smooth tarmac makes for fun riding.

The first order of business once we got to Morib was breakfast.  We stopped at the aptly named Delicious Bread Coffee Shop.

Morib Delicious Bread

The bread was as advertised.  We had ours toasted, with butter and kaya.  Along with nasi lemak, soft-boiled eggs, and iced Milo or coffee.

Morib Breakfast Alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

Yummy yummy!

Morib Breakfast Group Alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

Then it was time for a bit of fun.  Photographs further down the road at the Morib Gold Coast Resort, for no other reason than it has a sign that reads “Morib.”

Morib Gold Coast Mark

Photograph courtesy of Mark

More photographs on the sea wall at the beach at the end of Persiaran Mestika.

Morib Bicycles Alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

And another picture just to prove that we had really ridden to Morib beach.

Morib Group

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

The overcast skies cleared just as we started on the 70km / 44mi ride back to Bandar Sunway.

It was less and less fun as the temperature and humidity ramped up.  By the time we were 15km / 9mi from home, it was properly hot.  So much for an early start to avoid getting toasted on the way back.

Morib Weather

We were only 12km / 7.5mi away from Morib when we made a hydration stop.  The first of a few such stops.  We pulled up to a small sundry shop near Kampong Kathong and bought litres of water, some iced tea and other flavoured waters.

About 20km / 12mi from Morib we had made what in hindsight was an ill-advised detour toward Pulau Carey.  The realisation after 4km / 2.5mi of the detour that it was still a long way to Pulau Carey, coupled with the rising temperature, prompted the smart decision to turn around.

Our next hydration stop was at Cendol Santan Sawit Mak Lang.  A mere 20km / 12mi from the sundry shop.

We didn’t know that there was such a thing as santan sawit.  Santan is the Malay word for coconut milk.  Made, as the name makes clear, with the flesh from the nut of the coconut palm tree. Kelapa sawit is the Malay term for oil palm.  At the time it didn’t make sense to us that santan could be made from the nut of the oil palm tree.  We figured the term “santan sawit” referred to santan made from coconuts that grew amongst the oil palm trees.

I now know that palm oil is used to make a coconut milk substitute.  The aforementioned santan sawit.

Which, despite the complete lack of coconut milk in it, makes a delicious cendol.  Made even better, in this case, by lots and lots of shaved ice.  We even got an extra bowl of shaved ice.

Morib Chendol Mark

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

We made two more hydration stops in the 37km / 23mi between the cendol stall and Bandar Sunway.  Both times at petrol stations.

At the Petronas station 10km / 6mi from Bandar Sunway we met up with some friends who had ridden to Morib as well.  They rode a slightly different route, including a climb to this lookout spot at Jugra.

Morib Dicky Cindy Benjamin Cindy

Photograph courtesy of Cindy

By the time they pulled up at the Petronas station they were looking just as hot and sweaty as we were.

It was 1.45pm by the time we got to our cars.  More drinks, and lunch, were on our minds once we had cleaned up and stuck our bicycles into our vehicles.  Mark led us to Lim Fried Chicken in SS15, Subang Jaya.

Fried chicken, a fried egg, green beans and curry rice, with extra curry gravy and sambal on the side.

Morib Lunch Alvin

Photograph courtesy of Alvin

Chased with ice-cold homemade soya milk.

The ride to Morib and back was suddenly fun again.

 

Pulau Indah 180 2016

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Banner

180km / 112mi is further than most organised rides.  An extra 20km / 12mi didn’t sound like much, especially as a few of us had made it through the 220km / 137mi brevet a couple of weeks before.  As it turned out, this ride was much more challenging than even the brevet was.

The attrition rate in an event is one sign of how challenging a course is.  592 riders started the Pulau Indah ride.  398 finished within the cutoff time of 7 hours 30 minutes.  So 33% of participants either did not finish, or finished outside the cutoff time.

The three of us rode together.  I missed the memo about the choice of jersey!  I can assure you that we didn’t look so cheery eight hours later.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Justin, Liang, JM Justin

What contributed to the attrition rate?  I think it was a combination of the road conditions,  the winds, and the mid-day sun.

As the name of the event suggests, the ride started and ended on Pulau Indah.  The island is separated from the mainland of peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Lumut.  Pulau Indah is home to Westports, the largest sea port in Malaysia.  Together with Northport nearby, Westports has become the 18th busiest seaport in the world.  Pulau Indah is also home to an industrial park.

The side streets and the Pulau Indah Expressway carry a large number of cargo trucks everyday.  Which inevitably leads to potholes and cracks in the road surface, and then patch upon patch as the damage is repaired.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Route

The organisers did warn us about the poor roads during the technical briefing before the race / ride was flagged off.  I don’t think all the participants fully appreciated the warning, and some started out riding too fast for the conditions.

By the time we got to the bridge over the Straits of Lumut, a number of cyclists had suffered pinch flats or damaged carbon wheels.  There were lots of bidons on the road.  I also heard that there were a few crashes.  Signs that the roads were damaged and very bumpy.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Bridge

So the first contributor to the attrition rate came early.  Puncture a tubular tire, or crack a carbon rim, and your day is over.

The poor road conditions continued after we turned right onto Jalan Banting Klang. through to Banting town.  Things improved a bit along the coast after Morib, but concentration on the road and riders ahead remained very important over the entire course.  Even Cat’s Eyes could catch you out.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Cat Eyes Jack Mah

Photograph courtesy of Jack Mah

I think the energy spent constantly concentrating on the road conditions was energy that was not available to turn pedals later on in the event.

I must credit Central Spectrum SB for doing a fine job organising the Pulau Indah 180.   This was one of the better run events I have participated in.

Central Spectrum couldn’t do much about the roads, but they did very well with other aspects of the ride.  Directional signage to the start point was good.  Goodie bag pickup went smoothly.  There was free coffee, tea, and some munchies on offer before the start.

We started on time – hooray.  Always a good indicator that the organiser is on top of things.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Start Cycling Malaysia Magazine

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Malaysia Magazine

The directional signs along the route were large and clear.  Especially helpful were the signs warning of humps in the road.

The marshalling along the route was excellent.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Moto Marshalls Cycling Malaysia Magazine

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Malaysia Magazine

Some busy roads through Banting were closed off to traffic, which made life less stressful for the riders.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Closed Road Cycling Malaysia Magazine

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Malaysia Magazine

We did have to ride with traffic in some places.  Again concentration was important.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Traffic XviCliX

Photograph courtesy of XviCliX

 

There was free food and drink at the finish.

Kudos Central Spectrum SB.

The first water station was 50km / 31mi into the event, on the south side of Banting.  Bananas, water, and 100 Plus were available.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Water Station XviCliX

Photograph courtesy of XviCliX

17km / 11mi later the three of us stopped at Morib for breakfast.  I was surprised that not more riders stopped at those food stalls beside the sea for a rest and some eats.

It had been overcast for most of the distance to Morib, so the riding had been comfortable.  We averaged about 30kph / 19mph to that point.  A bit faster than I had anticipated, but my average heart rate was only 107bpm.  I must have been drafting the entire way!

Conditions changed after Morib.  We were riding along the coast, and the wind was making itself felt.  It was my turn to pull, and started riding in the drops.  I was crouched low against the wind for much of the remainder of the course.  Which explains why my glutes are so sore today.

We chased down a group ahead of us, which gave us the relief of a draft.  I noticed a red Specialized Roubaix in the group, and wondered if it was Simon.

image

Photograph courtesy of Joy Saidin

A salute to the guy on the fatbike.  It must have been an effort to push those tires aound the course.

Simon and his girlfriend had found my blog, and had contacted me some weeks before the Pulai Indah 180.  Simon was making the trip from the UK to ride this event, and asked if he could rent a Roubaix in Kuala Lumpur.

The short answer is “no”.  The availability of rental bicycles in KL is extremely limited.  The only shop providing rentals that I know of is Cycleism in Taman Melawati.  They have Lapierre bicycles for rent, but only in size M.

Simon decided to bring his Roubaix with him to KL.  I didn’t manage to chat with Simon during the ride, but did see Farrah and him at the finish area.  It was very nice to chat with them.  I am pleased that we connected through this blog.

By the time we got to the second water station at 103km / 64mi, the sun was out, and the temperature was quickly rising to the predicted high for the day.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Weather

Graphic courtesy of Weather Underground

Some were better prepared than we were.  There was a contingent of rider friends from Van’s Urban Bicycle Co.  They had a support vehicle with, among other things, an ice chest full of drinks.  Certainly made our lukewarm mineral water look distinctly second-best.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Support Car William Cheang

Photograph courtesy of William Cheang

There was a time check at 110km / 68mi, right outside the Sepang International Circuit.  It would have been fun to ride a lap of the circuit as part of the route.

Hope for some relief flickered briefly at about the 120km / 75mi, when a light rain started to fall.  That lasted for all of a minute, after which normal sunshine resumed.

We were getting cooked, and wind hadn’t helped us.  We were hoping for a tail wind on the way back to Pulau Indah.  But the wind had turned, so we rode against it for most of the rest of the event.

A cold drink stop was in order.  We pulled into a PETRONAS station at 130km / 81mi.  A spot of air conditioning and three cold chocolate milks hit the spot for me.

We were starting to drag, as were many of the other riders around us.  This ride was becoming hard work.  I can’t imagine what it was like for the elite men and women, who were racing for cash prizes.  RM3,000 for the category winners.  Not to be sniffed at.

The third water station at 150km / 93mi couldn’t come fast enough.  Lukewarm water served to rinse salt off our faces.  Fortunately there was a row of shop houses behind the water station that provided a source of cold drinks, and some shade.

We lingered in the shade for longer than we probably should have, but the thought of another 30km / 19mi in the wind did not appeal.

It was hot.  It was windy.  The roads were bad.  It was hard work.  My average speed over the last 60km / 37mi dropped to 27.5kph / 17mph.  My heart rate went up to an average of 134.5bpm.

What a relief to see the 5km / 3km / 1km to go signs.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 3km Sign Catherine Wong

Photograph courtesy of Catherine Wong

The organizers were about to dismantle the timing gantry when I got to the finish.  I think I was the last finisher to get an official time.  Just a hair outside 7 hours and 30 minutes.

I could have used a spray down at the end of this ride, but the fire truck was long gone by the time I finished.  Not even a wet patch on the road remained to show that they had been there.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Bomba Cycling Malaysia Magazine

Photograph courtesy of Cycling Malaysia Magazine

For those of you into numerology, check out my ride number.

Pulau Indah 180 2016 Medal

Unfortunately it was D007 that won a prize in the post-ride lucky draw!

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes *

Image courtesy of Dave Ern

Image courtesy of Dave Ern

The weather has not been kind lately to Kuala Lumpur.  It has been very hot and dry.  The month-long drought has had two effects.  One is that water rationing has been imposed.   The other is that forest and peat fires have sprung up, driving air quality to unhealthy levels.

It is no wonder Dave Ern posted weather and haze updates in the days leading up to the Iron Horse ride.

Image courtesy of Dave Ern

Image courtesy of Dave Ern

Image courtesy of Dave Ern

Image courtesy of Dave Ern

The main concern was the haze.  The air quality was in the moderate range on Wednesday.  Conditions deteriorated as the weekend approached.  By Saturday the API value was in the unhealthy range.

Nevertheless about forty people gathered in the car park at GM Klang for the start of a two-day round trip ride to Port Dickson and back.

Photograph courtesy of Nelson Ng Hong Tuck

Photograph courtesy of Nelson Ng Hong Tuck

The ride would take us out to the coast at Morib.  We would then ride south along the coast to Port Dickson.

Avillion Route

The early going was not pleasant.  This was on the way out of Klang enroute to Banting.

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The air quality got worse the closer we got to Morib.  Many of us had masks or bandannas over our mouths and noses.  I had neither, but made sure that I was breathing through my nose rather than through my mouth.

There was little we could do about our stinging eyes though.  Except hope that the air would be clearer and cleaner along the coast.

At Morib we should have been able to see the beach and the sea.  We couldn’t.

It was not until we got to Tanjung Sepat, about halfway to Port Dickson, that the haze started to clear.  At that point I was in a group of six cyclists that was ahead of the other riders.  Traffic lights, flat tires and other stops had slowed the rest down.

The six of us made our first stop at Tanjung Sepat.  Soft boiled eggs, buttered toast and kaya, and iced tea for everyone.

The wind had picked up by the time we got rolling again.  Not so good that it seemed to be a constant headwind.  Very good that it cleared the smoke and haze.

Photograph courtesy of Junie Leow

Photograph courtesy of Junie Leow

At Sungai Pelek we took a detour through a housing estate and an oil palm estate to get to the little ferry that crosses the Sungai Sepang.

Photograph courtesy of Ann Daim

Photograph courtesy of Ann Daim

We got onto the ferry in the state of Selangor, and disembarked a few minutes later in the state of  Negeri Sembilan.  This is the Selangor side of the river.

Photograph courtesy of Junie Leow

Photograph courtesy of Junie Leow

The first half of the ride was a battle through the smoke and haze.  The second half of the ride was a battle though the heat.  We stopped for cold drinks and ice cream at Sungai Pelek.  We stopped for more cold drinks and ice cream 15 km later on the outskirts of Port Dickson.  We had only 10 km further to go, but it was so hot.  We had to rehydrate and cool down.

I dove into the freezer cabinet and discovered Nestle Apple Sourz iced lollies.  They were so good, and I was so hot,  that I had three of them.  Those frozen treats, and the air-conditioning in the 7-11, cooled me down enough to face the final 10 km to the Avillion Hotel.

Photograph courtesy of ScoopyScoop.com

Photograph courtesy of ScoopyScoop.com

Twenty five hot minutes later the six of us rode up to the lobby of the Avillion Port Dickson.

Photograph courtesy of Travel Advisor

Photograph courtesy of Travel Advisor

Our relief at arriving at our destination was short-lived.  There are two Avillions in Port Dickson, and we were at the wrong one.

So we had 5 km more to cover before we got to the Avillion Admiral Cove.

Photograph courtesy of Travel Photographer Asia

Photograph courtesy of Travel Photographer Asia

The other Flipsiders had made a stop along the way for clay pot chicken rice.  They arrived later but not as hungry as I was.

Photograph courtesy of Brian Tan

Photograph courtesy of Brian Tan

I was thankful for a cold shower and air-conditioning.  My young riding partners were staying at the Best Western.  A further 15 km down the road.  They hung out for quite a while in the lobby of the Avillion Admiral Cove, waiting for their friends.

Photograph courtesy of Brian Tan

Photograph courtesy of Brian Tan

The most adventurous ones in our group camped on the beach.

Photograph courtesy of Kellie Itoe

Photograph courtesy of Kellie Itoe

These true tourers packed up their tents the next morning and rode the 115 m back to Klang.

Photograph courtesy of Ann Daim

Photograph courtesy of Ann Daim

The guys I cycled together with did the return trip also.  These guys rode an extra 20 km to get to the start at GM Klang.  They then had an extra 15 km to the Best Western Resort in Port Dickson.  So in all they rode about 315 km.

Photograph courtesy of Brian Tan

Photograph courtesy of Brian Tan

I took the easy way back home.  As a passenger in my biker chick’s car.

The ride was smokey.  The ride was hot.  Given the chance I am sure we all would do it again.

Photograph courtesy of Ann Daim

Photograph courtesy of Ann Daim

* With thanks to The Platters