Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Mayor's Night Ride

Here's the catch..

I received a mailer from OCBC Cycle Malaysia. Spectrum, the event organizer has invited cyclists who are registered with the event to ride with the Mayor on Jan 18.
Then, my colleague Fitri Majid from the Sports Desk had forwarded an invite by Naim Mohamad of the MNCF to join Datuk Seri Phesal Ahmad, the KL Mayor on a short night ride.
I told Fitri to fix it and that we would join him in the ride.
The main event was on the next day, so, we don't really have much time to rest.
I planned to ride from the KTM KL station to Dataran Merdeka with Kevin Tan, my colleague and the plan was to fill up with a simple dinner in town.
Leaving for Dataran after setting up in KTM KL station
An early dinner at Soong Kee
We rode off from the KTM Station towards the city centre.
It was a breezy ride as it took us less than 10 minutes to reach Soong Kee noodle shop to have our dinner.
While we were at it, a patron there came up to me and greeted: "Hello Mr Samo, I read your blog a lot!".
I wished the guy well and told him to have a safe ride the next day at the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014.
From Jalan Silang where we had our dinner, we proceeded to Dataran Merdeka.
By the time we got there, the crowd was just filling up.
Fitri had informed us that he couldn't make it because his daughter was sick and hospitalised.
So, there were just the few of us at Dataran who eagerly awaited for the ride to take place.

Kevin and Ehfan

At the bike parking area...
A last-minute affair..

To take part in the Mayor night ride, participants of the OCBC Cycle Malaysia 2014 had to pay an extra RM20.
For this, they get a special tee shirt and a wrist band.
Access to the starting grid is given to those with the special tee shirt and wristband.

The long and short of things...

While waiting for the rest to group-up, I overheard Kevin yelling "Boss!".
I looked over my shoulder and noticed a little man coming forth.
It was the event sponsor's head honcho and his henchman, the PR guy.
We shook hands, exchanged in a light conversation and moved on.
After two rounds with the OCBC Cycle Malaysia event, I found the PR guy to be real phony and insincere dude and later, the consulting PR team greeted Kevin.
These people are only bothered to get publicity mileage for their client on the newspaper and for this year, they tried to pitch an interview with a former national cyclist and his daugther for the ultimate Foldie challenge. Which fell through..
And since we were invited by Naim on behalf of the Mayor, well, there isn't much to say..

At the starting line..

With the gang 

A short ride...

We set out towards Jalan Kinabalu and did a short loop towards the Lake Gardens and then exited Masjid Negara and headed back to Dataran Merdeka.
In a zip, everything was over.
At the fairgrounds, cyclists were given supper courtesy of the KL City Hall.
We hung around for a chat and later headed back to the KTM station where we parted.
It was a short 6-km loop and I guess that everyone was happy to be able to rub shoulders with the Mayor and get on with their business..

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