|Zark and his kid|
The 11th PIPR ride in Putrajaya was one tough ride -- for newbies that is.
The course designers must have been a bunch of sadistic guys who loves to crunch gears and climb.
At the starting grid
Anyways, I met my buddy Billy and his kid at the fair grounds. They arrived at 7:45am and
were cycling for the first time in such an event.
This was a 30km route that cried out: "Hills! Hills! Hills!"
Co-incidentally, there were a few events on the same day.
A more prominent ride was the Sime Darby Leukemia cycling event where participants had to pay RM50 to ride 100km around Putrajaya.
I opt for the PIPR ride because of the familiar faces.
From the Masjid Putra, I rode about 3km to the fairgrounds to register and collect my meal ticket.
This time round, free T-shirts were given. I didn't bother.
During the registration, I met up with DC Ong, Ronnie Soon and Mr Chan, a group of regular folding bike kakis.
Life is unfolding
Unlike previous PIPR events, the number of foldies are growing.
I met Wey Pang and Ming who told me that previously, they were the only foldies around.
The number had grown ten-folds as more and more foldies are actively participating in the event.
This also includes some newbies, the regulars, team Storm Riders, customers from Folding Bike Trading and the Putrajaya Urban Riders.
|Old friends: Wey and Ming climbing|
I knew that the very moment that Taman Rimba was mentioned, it spelt a certain doom for the unitiated.
This was the same place where we were led to in one of the rides covering some exotic jungle plants.
The course was hilly with plenty of steep climbs.
We rolled out from the starting grid near the MOF and veered right.
There was a gradual climb and I was keeping an eye on Billy's kid. This meant a slow ride and while I was climbing behind a big-sized dude on his MTB, the guy made a sudden stop.
I banged into his rear wheel and got off my Dahon Jetstream.
With no momentum to climb, I was dead on the water.
So, its push and ride.
Lucky for me, I didn't fall or injure myself.
Since Billy and his kid were newbies, we were right behind the flock.
I kept my speed at 11km/h so that I can keep an eye on his kid who had just taken up cycling about a week.
Progress was slow as we were the last batch of cyclist to arrive at Precinct 14.
There, we re-grouped with the rest and proceeded to another hilly course.
Compared to previous PIPR rides, this one had the most casualties.
There was a steep roll and many cyclists were so scared, they got down to push their bikes.
While I was assessing the roll, a couple of mounties said: "Eh, rugi la.. rugi!!!"
What these guys meant was getting down to push.
Obviously, they were adrenaline junkies who went "swoosh!" without stopping.
Anne, my collegue Andrew Sia's friend who was right behind me asked: "Are you going to zip down the slope?"
Well, that was my cue.
I had a full-suspension bike with the best disk brakes money can buy.
A voice in my head said: "Fuck it! Lets rock and roll!"
And there I was, zipping downhill at 60km/h without blinking an eye.
The front and rear shocks did their job by reducing the bumps and vibration.
My Ashima disk brakes were solid.
Whatever that goes down must come up
After a steep roll, it was time to climb again. At this point, many cyclists had either dropped out or continued with the ride.
I made my way to a horse ranch where most of the cyclist were waiting to get their dose of bananas, bread and refreshment. By this time of the day, the sun was up. It was also getting really hot. I re-grouped with Guan, a musical composer who rides to work, Scuba Sim, some diver dude who rode a strange-looking recumbent, Alvin - from team Stormrider, my colleague Andrew - who rode work on World Car Free Day, with his partner Anne, Will, the bank employee I met at the OCBC training ride and Mr Chan, owner of a Dahon Speed P8 with all the bells and whistles for touring....