Sunday, December 12, 2010

MOH Putrajaya 50km Health Ride

Setting up at the MOH's parking lot in Putrajaya this morning..

Michelle, reaching the 25-km checkpoint at the PICC in Putrjaya

We made it!

Our fellow folding bike rider Wey Pang had circulated news about a 50-km Kayuhan Kesihatan in Putrajaya on Dec 12.
It was a working day for me and I had made some arrangements with my colleague to finish up the advanced pages so that I could come in after the ride at 2:30pm.
I registered Michelle and I via email to one of the organisers Encik Azahar who was kind enough to take my call after a fax I sent over to the MOH had failed to transmit.
So, we got up really early this morning for the event in Parcel E in Putrajaya.
There was some confusion as to where the final registration and flag-off would take place. After circling around the Government buildings ( I am familiar with Parcel D with my dealings at the Home Ministry), we finally met some cyclists who took part in the event and was directed by one fo the ride officials to a carpark at the side of the building.
With all the hoo-haa, I had a feeling that things would turn out in a slip-shod manner.
But, despite the shortcomings, there were some plus points.
The breakfast pack was decent, chilled isotonic drinks and mineral water was distributed at the finishing line.
My only grouse with the ride organisers was the fact that they were not concerned at all about slower riders.
Not all the participants were top-notched, highly-trained road bike cyclists.
And since this was a Kayuhan Kesihatan or Health Ride, the emphasis should not be on speed.
What made matters worse was the fact that some tail-enders were left to fend for themselves as the sweepers had abandoned them.
This was apparent at the 21-km mark where no one was left to man the course.
I had to ride with a mountain biker from Shah Alam to the second stage checkpoint at the Putrjaya International Convention Centre.
Michelle, who was left behind, had a more harrowing tale.
One of the foldie riders Jackie had encountered some problems. She had muscle cramp and as she was agonising in pain, the sweepers took no heed.
Lucky for her, there was an ambulance on standby who ferried her to safety.
And at a certain stage, one of the ride officials had told Michelle off by turning back to the starting line.
What pissed me off was this: on the entry forms, it was clearly stated that ALL bicycles are allowed to take part in the ride.
With a smaller wheel size and poor gear ratio, its pretty much expected that foldies would be much slower in tackling the straigth stretch and climbing hills compared to larger bikes.
Even some roadies and mountain bike riders had trouble keeping up with the lead pack.
I found this to be really sad as the ride was aimed to promote healthy living.
All that jibberish that was read on behalf of the Deputy Health Minister can be flushed down the toilet bowls.
Compared to the Putrajaya Interpark rides, this event was poorly managed. Perhaps the MOH should look into categorising the rides instead of turning it into a race.
Sweepers should not leave anyone behind and fortunately, no one was hurt or got lost during the 50-km course.
Michelle and I managed to do only 35-km as we were diverted to take a shorter route.
Lucky for us, there was a very helpful ride official by the name of Mr Woon who took care of us.
As for all those shitheads in their souped-up road bikes, they can go ride of a cliff.
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