Monday, October 17, 2011

OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2011 in perspective..

Team Jetstream
When the dust had settled down...
We were pushing our bikes on Dataran Merdeka and while we were at it, I received a call from Billy. 
"Eh Samo, mana engkau? Aku tengah makan hotdog ni!," he said.
Then, I bumped into Kenny Chia, owner of a black Raleigh i8 foldie who pointed me the direction Billy was taking a rest.
He was having his meal near a hot dog kiosk.
We parked our bikes nearby and I was wary of a drug addict that was glaring at our bikes. 
The Camelbak pack that I placed near the rear tire contains my wallet and coin purse including some gear. 
Since this is a crime of opportunity, we kept our eyes peeled on the bikes as the Pek Hoon Kia was on the prowl.
Later, Billy excused himself and took off.
We stayed behind and later pushed our bikes to the Polygon booth to catch up with Ruey Chan and Chanson Lau of Le Run.
There was a Dahon bike promotion on the fair grounds.
While I was at it, Seumas Tan, a fellow foldie who came on his XDS bike came by.
I was introduced to his wife who suffered food poisoning. 
The gutsy lady rode the entire 21km in pure gusto! 
We exchanged notes on the bikes and Seumas told me that his next bike would be a Dahon Jetstream! Way to go! Another member in team Jetstream....


The guerilla cyclists
So, there I was, complimenting a newbie about his Dahon Speed P8 and told him how versatile the bike was.
You can use it for anything. I likened the Speed P8 with the A-10 Warhog. You can rig it up with heavy stuff and still bring it back in one piece. The Speed is one tough summabich!
Smack in the middle of it, I met Ng Sek San, famous landscape architect and a Dahon user. His latest bike as a Brompton and he had cycled with Guan to Kuantan on a 'Green Mission'.
The ageing Rockstar rode his Mu Uno and I can see it pimped with leather which is very sissy for my taste.
Parked right next to my Jetstream Sek San said: "Aiya, my bike looked like a Proton Saga next to a Mercedez la.. "
All I did was chuckle. To rub it in, I might just get the Mu XL and Vector X10... Muhahahaha!
My colleague Andrew Sia was in the guerilla group too. I waved at him from a distance to acknowledge his presence at the fair.


Angry cyclists
Some of the roadies including one of my team cyclists were hopping mad.
Bare two hours into the 52km challenge, the ride was called off.
Those who rode under 2 hours completed five laps while the slower cyclists were diverted to the recovery pen.
What surprised was the fact that some kiasu roadies were actually sprinting to the finish line and raised their hands like it was a race in Europe. What a bunch of losers! I'm talking about guys who came in on the fourth or fifth group in the challenge...


Kiasu is kiasu!
The excitement of a podium finish and wearing the yellow jersey made many of the amateur cyclists super-kiasu.
As a result, some crashed their bikes on the hair-pin turn near Jalan Tun Ismail.
This is apparent when road conditions were still wet from the early morning shower.
Some of the people who rode in the foldie challenge complained that they were not given the first dibs.
Well, too bad.
At a later photo session, I saw the Kiasu Racing Team (K.I.T) posing for a shot taken for a local cycling magazine.
This won't be the end as I expect to see them in OCBC Cycle Singapore next March... hhaahah!


We did okay.. 
I wasn't pushed for time and am glad that I didn't cop out. 
Two rounds riding up that long climb, I must say, had sapped the daylights out of me. It wasn't as bad, but the impression that time is of essence did make the ride a very rushed affair...
Michelle finished on the 28th place in the overall standing. There were 76 participants in the foldie challenge. I think this should be scrapped next year as their numbers were insignificant. A hundred foldies would make it better. But really, if you are in for the challenge, take the five-lap 52km ride. Not 21km with the rest of us lowly minions.
On gender placing, my wife was 7th, which is not bad at all. This puts her in the top 10 women riders. You can minus the second place in the Female Foldie category because a man rode in the challenge.


First time is the most memorable
I paid RM49 for the ride, got a T-shirt that fits, some junk in the goodie bag and cycle in KL's city centre with the police diverting traffic. 
This experience is unforgettable as it brings back memories of commuting along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman on my racer.
I think its not fair to slam OCBC for the abrupt end to the 52km ride.
As far as my 21km experience is concerned, the guys from Spectrum and their contractors - some old hands who managed Le Tour De Langkawi had done a professional job in managing the event.
Like the head honcho of OCBC had said: "This is not a race.." It was kind of an oxymoron when the kiasu buggers had crashed and injured themselves for a stupid yellow jersey...
Next year, they better avoid Jalan Chow Kit at all cost. The ride could be done around Bukit Bintang, Jalan Imbi and other parts of town... But its all up to the organizers to make the ride even more happening. So, next stop: OCBC Cycle Singapore 2012...
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