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We Meet Again Mr. Dragon’s Back

It has been more than a year since I last rode the Dragon’s Back.  That roughly 14km / 8.7mi stretch of slopes in Bukit Jelutong.  The easier approach to slay the dragon is to turn onto Persiaran Mokhtar Dahari from the Guthrie Corridor Expressway.  (The late Mokhtar Dahari is Malaysia’s most-revered soccer player).  Turn left at the traffic light onto Jalan Paip, and then turn right 200 metres later onto Jalan Bukit Cerakah.  You are done with the Dragon’s Back when you get to the T-junction.

Dragonback Veloviewer

Graphic courtesy of veloviewer

Leslie suggested the ride.  Evelyn, Marco and I took the bait.

This is the Jalan Bukit Cerakah section of the Dragon’s Back.

Dragonback 4

We all made it over all those humps without incident.

Dragonback 3 Leslie

Photograph courtesy of Leslie

Even so, it could be a while before I tackle the Dragon’s Back again.


The highlight for me came at Warung Selera Ria in Kuang, where we stopped for sustenance.  Perhaps I haven’t been paying attention, but this was the first time I noticed this contraption.

Dragonback Eggs Marco

Photograph courtesy of Marco

Order half-boiled eggs, and this is what appears before you.  The hot water drains from the upper receptacle into the container below.  When all the water has drained out of the upper section, your eggs are ready to eat.



All Clear



Back in the Saddle

My last bike ride was on July 5th.  The day I crashed on the descent of Fraser’s Hill.  On July 14th I had surgery to drain an anorectal abscess.  On 23rd August I had a second surgery to repair a fistula that was the cause of the abscess.

While recovery from the injuries incurred in the crash is still ongoing, I could have started riding again at least a month ago.  However my surgeon had other ideas.  He did not want me to risk compromising the healing of the wound that he created when he opened up the fistula.  So instead of sitting on my saddle, I spent seven weeks sitting in a sitz bath twice a day.

I got the ‘all clear’ to ride last Saturday.  Some of my Flipside friends agreed to spend their Sunday morning riding with me to Kampung Kundang and back.  It is a route that we have ridden many times.


We followed the Guthrie Corridor Expressway to the Kuala Selangor exit.  Here we are at that exit, waiting for Marco and Natasha.

Reintroduction Ride 04

Photograph courtesy of Eric Seow


Our intermediate destination was Seleria Ria along Jalan Kuang.  I didn’t eat all those packets of nasi lemak.

Reintroduction Ride 03

Photograph courtesy of Eric Seow


They were shared amongst us all.

Reintroduction Ride 01

Photograph courtesy of Marco Lai

I throughly enjoyed the 56km ride.  The weather was mild, and my riding companions maintained a reasonable pace.

Nevertheless, it felt like hard work.  The three-month layoff clearly eroded my fitness levels.  A comparison of my heart rate during this ride, and my heart rate during a very similar ride in June, illustrates this.

My average heart rate during this ride was 130 beats per minute.  My average speed was 25 kilometers per hour.


My average heart rate four months ago was 120 bpm, at an average speed of 26.5 kph.



I need to rebuild my fitness.  I also need to continue to strengthen my left arm.  The nerves I damaged in the Fraser’s Hill crash will take at least another two months to repair.  My arm is significantly stronger than it was a few months ago, but it has not returned to full-strength, and it still tires easily.  I struggled to hold my position on my bike in the last forty five minutes of the ride.

I have another week to build up my fitness in preparation for the Melaka Century Ride.  Wish me well!

Recovery Ride

Six of us had ridden either about 110 km or 130 km on Saturday.  Four of us turned up at D’Bayu on Sunday for a recovery ride.  The idea was to have a gentle ride to a nasi lemak stall near Kampung Kundang, have breakfast, and then ride back to Bukit Jelutong.

We got to the Kuala Selangor exit fairly quickly.  A sign of things to come.


The breakfast part went as planned.  We stopped at Selera Ria in Kampung Cempedak for the usual food and drink.


Photograph courtesy of Marvin Tan

The recovery part was anything but.

We rode about 57 km at an average speed of 28.6 kph.

Granted we went twice as far the day before.  That ride hadn’t feel slow by any means.  We averaged 27.6 kph.

So much for a gentle recovery ride.

What was clear was that I had recovered from the ‘flu that had made all my rides in the preceding two weeks feel harder than normal.  That was most obvious in my heart rate.  My heart rate was at least 10 bpm higher than usual.

This was my Saturday effort.  My average heart rate was 131 bpm.

Suffer long

Graph courtesy of Strava

On Sunday my heart rate had settled down.  My average heart rate on this faster ride was 120 bpm.  I spent much less time in Zone 4 – Threshold than I had the day before.  And conversely more time in Zone 2 – Moderate.

Graph courtesy of Strava

Graph courtesy of Strava

So the ride on Sunday was a recovery ride of sorts, despite the higher speed.