Kampung Jelu and Kampung Pampong continued to claim the weak.
By the time I've cleared this villages, I was cycling with two boys and right ahead of me, was Michelle and a dude riding a Strida.
This is strongest of the lot.
While maintaining my pace, I noticed that the rear hub of my bike was beginning to drag, slowing down movement to a phatetic speed of 15km/h.
I noticed that Raub is not all flat.
There's plenty of undulating terrain that will rob you of your energy.
Back in Kampung Jelu, I had a chain-slip. This was where Iost Michelle.
The two boys ahead of me was complaining of thirst while an adult cyclist experienced cramps...
|Michelle was far ahead in this section at Kg Pampong|
|My new friend: Abang Din Misai|
I was making my way towards Dong and Gesing.
And elderly man rode beside me and told me that all four 'basikal nyamuk' (small bikes) had dropped out.
He told me that he loved to be in the rear-end of the pack, making sure that all is good.
The man rode with me throughout the last 42km of the Raub ride.
He introduced himself as Din.
We exchange courtesy by formally introducing ourselves and continued cycling.
The KORE i-beam seat was taking a toll on my ass. It was starting to hurt really bad, but I continued cycling.
Abang Din Misai, my moustachioed guardian angel kept me motivated.
He's a local guy and knew a lot about Raub's cycling tracks.
So, with this guy, I don't really have much issues completing the ride.
|Last of the cyclists being loaded onto a truck|
|Abang Din, making a downhill glide|
I finally caught up with two guys on their fixie bikes and the dude on a Strida.
They were resting on the road while we slowly climbed towards Dong.
I've been to this area on a camping trip many years ago, the landscape had changed so much.
Much to my enjoyment, I got to soak in the kampung view and witnessed plenty of agricultural activities like small-holders tapping rubber, ladies drying up cocoa beans.
We rode towards the Dong village centre where the cyclists re-grouped for a push towards Cheroh.
By this time, the uphill climb had taken a toll on the fixies. They were flat out.
A Ford Ranger pick up truck was on hand to sweep them and bring them back to the finishing line.
I continued with Din Misai who guided me.
"Ah, kat depan, ada dua bukit, pacak and panjang..."
He was giving me a visual idea about what that lies ahead.
Indeed, there was a long climb towards the Cheroh junction.
I crunched gears on the SRAM DDII which was showing signs of wear and tear.
The rolling resistance is beginning to take a toll on my legs.
"Sikit lagi Sam! Wah, tak sangka basikal nyamuk kamu ni boleh tahan memanjat..," said Din Misai.
This guy, he was strong. To him, the 62km loop was just practise.
Din also told me that he is an avid outdoorsman.
The final push...
By the time we hit Cheroh, we had about 12km to Raub.
My bike was dragging so bad, I had to stop and rest.
At a grocery shop, I bought a bottle of 100PLUS for Din. A ride Marshall on a motorcycle was waiting.
When we cleared Cheroh, there was a couple of climbs ahead.
This was the point where I was dead-tired.
I asked the Marshall if I can get a tug, a few times along the way, which he agreed.
So, the last leg was a bit of a motorized tug. The SRAM DDII was giving way, making the ride even worse than ever.
We took a short-cut towards Raub Lake Gardens and made a grand entry.
At the finish line, I've asked the Marshall to help snap a picture of me and Din Misai, which he had gladly obliged.
Abang Din was the second-last man standing on the gruelling 62km ride.
I made my way towards the event area and blasted the bike's airhorn a few times, indicating that it was all over...
|Last men standing: Me and Din Misai|
|One for the album: the last finishers of Kayuhan Raub 2011|
Hills or no hills, I must say that my RM80 for this ride in Raub, Pahang was well-spent. The organizers did a great job in ensuring every rider's safety. Kudos!
Even though Michelle did not complete her ride, she has happy with the fact that she managed to go at least 70% of the course.
The hospitality and generosity I've experienced with the locals in Raub was amazing.
Its people like Din Misai and the entire community that would make me mark Kayuhan Raub 2012 as one of the main events in my cycling diary...