|At the state boundary marker this morning|
|Jubilant: Michelle is one of the very few 16" folding bike rider on a 3-speed bike to reach the 10k uphill mark|
Choy was making reference to this morning's training ride where a small group of folding bike riders including Uncle Meng on a recumbent and Choy who rode his hybrid bike who made it all the way from Pekan Bt 18 to the Selangor - Negeri Sembilan's boundary marker.
I couldn't believe it myself as I pedalled my Dahon Speed P8 and made it to a slope area where the rest of the riders were cheering.
Earlier, an elderly rider who rode past me said: "Dah dekat geng!" (you are very near!).
I knew that the next 200metres meant everything I had and one of the riders Wey shouted: "Hey Sam! You must hit the signboard and turn back.."
The rest was history.
Make or break, today was the 'decision day' after we rode to the Kuala Kelawang - Semenyih junction.
Michelle had some reservations as we had a late night on Saturday.
She had drinks with her cousins while I lay sulking away because no beers were served at her cousin's wedding dinner.
I also had little sleep because we had to push off from our home at 06:00am to reach the starting point at pekan Bt 18.
We were the first to arrive, followed by our friend Wei Ling, Wey and Ming.
Uncle Meng, a regular feature now at the training ride. He's a recumbent bike rider and an experienced tourer who inspired many of us.
As usual, I shot off early and after riding continuosly at an average speed of 24.2km/h, I started to wear down.
This was apparent at the km-7 of the route where I was struggling.
At km-10, our usual pit-stop, I arrived with Wey and Wei Ling already waiting.
We weren't sure as to how far we would push and well, as usual, the last 800 metres to the Kuala Kelawang - Semenyih junction was a test of skill and endurance.
I rode behind Michelle who was struggling with her 3-speed bike.
Finally, after reaching the junction, the gang was resting on the left hand-side of the junction.
At this point, the word was cast in stone. "Make or break".
Uncle Meng gave a few words of encouragement and led the way.
The next 10km was an uphill ride that took nearly an hour.
I struggled all the way, making a few stops to regain my composure. If I push myself too hard, I end up suffering from cramps.
At one stage, I was very comfortable with the low gearing, but with a bike that could only yield 8-speed, the challenge was to stay focused and on course.
Some roadies overtook me including a dude who looked like a Polar Bear in a pink riding jersey.
He was escorted by a pick-up truck.
After riding the last 100metres, the Selangor - Negeri Sembilan boundary maker came in sight.
To me, it was all over. My wife and friends were waiting on the other side of the road and this called for a photo session to capture the sweet moment.
It took another 45-minutes to reach pekan Bt18 and to my surprise, another group of folding bike riders were already having their breakfast there.
These are high-end people with their fancy British-made Bromptons.
One of them was a familiar face. A lady who rides in the middle of the road.
We laughed it off and exhanged notes on the ride.
Since I had to work today, I excused myself from the crowd and headed home for a shower.
For the rest of the day, I am really spent. But the feeling of making the 10K uphill challenge would be an inspiration to take on more training rides in Hulu Langat.