Sunday, October 9, 2011

Last call... Part 1

At Hulu Langat Bt 18 this morning
We haven't been cycling much as a couple of late.
Michelle had to travel quite a bit and the only ride I managed was a 21km loop around Desa Park City last week.
This was in preparation for the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2011 event in Dataran Merdeka on Oct 16.
There's much to be done as my cycling team is still waiting for their bikes. They have yet to train and I must say that at least four of them would find it challenging when they hit the road next week.
Since there's only less than seven days before the big event, I decided to ride the Hulu Langat Trail with Michelle and my buddy Billy. 
We've made arrangements to meet at the Balai Polis at 07:30am
First-timer: Billy and his bike
Some old kakis
When we arrived at Bt18, I noticed a Proton Saga parked beside the police station. It was uncle Meng and Rita Wong.
Meng is well-known in the cycling fraternity for his recumbent bicycle ride to Beijing and had recently returned from France.
This was the first time I met him after a ride from Karak to Bentong in Pahang earlier this year.
Rita was featured in The Star yesterday. She rode with the famous Storm Riders from Haadyai to Ko Lanta recently.
We caught up with some conversation and was introduced to a couple who came with a Scott Mountain Bike and a Dahon Expresso 26" foldie.
Uncle Meng asked if I wanted to get a recumbent and join him for a tour of Japan next year.
"Eh, we are going for the Cherry Blossom ride la, its affordable, about RM1.8K to transport the bike and airfare only..."
I told him that I would only entertain the idea of a folding trike, which is more practical. 
Bikepacking guru TT Siang, who led the Storm Riders made mention of this once..
After the group had set up, they rode off to the 10km marker.
At least two more foldies were on their way. One of them rode a Reebok folding bike and was accompanied by a newbie.
True grit: Billy pushing the last 800metres
Hitting the trail
Billy arrived just in time for the ride.
The two ladies have set up their bikes and cycled ahead of us.
After we made our exit from the main road towards Kampung Sungai Lui and overtook the ladies.
The day was cloudy and cool air from the mountains made the ride really pleasant.
We came across a group of roadies who were on their way back from either Genting Perez or the Langat Dam.
After riding nine series in this route, the journey towards the farmhouse in km10 of the ride seems breezy.
Since Billy was a first-timer here, I kept a line with Michelle riding lead. She did fine by keeping a good pace while I swept.
Billy was in the middle and during intervals, I asked if he was okay.


Death on the road
With one km to go, I saw a guy on the road cycling a foldie. He was accompanying another dude on a road bike.
When we rode past each other, I noticed he was someone I knew, riding a Dahon Vector X20. What a coincidence!
As we were nearing the farmhouse, an ambulance whizzed by.
I knew that at this point, something was wrong.
The couple whom we met earlier on a Scott and a Dahon Expresso rode past and told us there was an accident ahead.
We were exactly 800-metres away from the Semenyih and Kuala Kelawang junction.
This was a tough climb in the last leg of the route.
I told Billy to maintain a steady cadence and when Michelle led the charge, we came across the body of a cyclists covered in a bed sheet on the side of the road.
Several other roadies were there to accompany a plainclothes cop who was guarding the scene.
He was there to determine that there were no foul-play in this case.
One of the cyclists we knew said the man had collapsed and died.
His body was not discovered until a group of roadies came to his aid. By the time first aid was rendered, it was too late. The man was gone...
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