Thursday, September 13, 2012

CFAL4 - Part 4

Our strategy
Spare the dead motorcyclist, traffic jam and another climb, we planned out our ride.
I brought enough fuel to see us through.
The stretch after Balik Pulau was really boring.
Despite being nearly 50-minutes late, we rode towards the Pantai Acheh - Titi Kerawang junction.
At this point of the ride, many of the cyclists have been picked-up by their support vehicles.
Only the strong would continue to climb the windy stretch to the Titi Kerawang waterfalls.

Downhill roll towards Balik Pulau
The Titi Kerawang climb
 About 50meters into the climb, we stopped for refilling our water bottles.
I took out a piece of Powerbar and shared it with Michelle. She, on the other hand, had a piece of banana. 
We've burned our breakfast and was really disappointed with the water stations as there were no more refreshments left for the last batch of cyclists.
The hill claimed many cyclists who ran out of energy. They got down from their bicycles and pushed as far as they could.
Along the way, I could see the crowd resting by the roadside.
Traffic here was also pretty heavy as buses use this route to ply towards Teluk Bahang.
Michelle and I had kept in constant communication with our Motorola FRS radios as we don't want to lose sight of each other. That's what teamwork is all about anyway...
I was surprised that with the weekly training in Hulu Langat, we were able to climb without much problems.

A spectacular view of the Titi Kerawang climb
 Pushing the limits
We made it past Titi Kerawang and began the descent towards Teluk Bahang.
Some sections along this route is pretty technical.
I had the Jetstream P8 serviced by Johnny Ng of My Bicycle Shop and it was in tip-top working condition.
The fast downhill roll was no child's play as we gained time to reach Teluk Bahang..

A section of the roll

Reaching the Teluk Bahang reservoir
Further down the road, we saw a lot of cyclists taking snapshots at Teluk Bahang.
There was a fishing competition at the Dam area and the first thing I noticed was some dude fighting with a fish on his tackle.
Michelle signaled to pull over and asked for a bottle of muscle relaxant spray.
She said her back had started to strain.
From Teluk Bahang, the ride to Batu Ferringi is about 3km.
Georgetown is another 15km.
We knew that the distance was closing in.
Right after the Hard Rock Hotel, Michelle had suffered cramps on her legs.
She told me to continue and as I slowly inched towards Tanjung Bungah, I saw some cyclists being picked up by their cars.
One folding bike rider in particular, was waiting for her ride by the roadside.
I later re-grouped with Michelle and rode back to the finish line..

Reaching the finish line

Waiting for our turn to get a picture taken
Another set of medals to our collection!
Cooling down...
I made my way to the end of the line where we picked up a bottle of water, courtesy of the organizers.
Later, I redeemed the ride medals and was told that my number was called during the lucky draw. But I was too late, so, it was forfeited.
We hung around the event area until Michelle redeemed her lucky draw prize: a Cateye cyclo computer.
After having our fill, we rode towards Georgetown for a late lunch and toured the downtown area before heading back to our hotel.
The rest of the day, we went out for dinner with our hosts Eddie and Mag and had arranged for a visit to the motor workshop the next day before the long drive back to Kuala Lumpur.

Summary
The CFAL 4 was a well-organized ride.
Despite that, accidents did occur. But its not the organizer's fault.
I personally saw one of the head honchos telling of cyclists to take the left side of the lane and do not obstruct traffic.
With a big number, its not easy to please everybody.
Things like the water stations could be done better. Other than that, I don't have much to say. My only hope is that the G-Club will continue to organize this ride as it became a very important event for cycling in Penang.
 
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