3 weeks after the Century Ride. Thinking I should be writing the experience down before I forget and sign up for next year. Slap me!!!
Me, Boon and Alan, 3 brave souls decided to take part in this year's Century ride with minimum training and preparation. Especially for me, my longest ride before the century weekend was 76km from GS to Bentong Shell. that is 90km short of the century distance. No respect of the distance. Also not too many mileage with the clip. Mistake #1.
Last minute, actually, 1 week before the ride, wife decided not the bring the family along to Ipoh, so, decided not to stay the night before the ride at Ipoh, instead drive up from KL Sunday early morning. So, had about 4-5 hours of sleep, woke up at 2.30am Sunday morning, had a quick bite, have a sit down, and hit the road to Bukit Kinding, Tanjung Rambutan after pickup Alan. Both of us were lack of sleep and felt tired. Mistake #2.
Arrived the starting line 1 hour before the ride, the buzzing of activities at the site, everyone were getting their bike ready, pumping air to the tyre, loading the back pocket with energy bars and etc. I was getting nervous then knowing that this is it, no turning back.Was hoping to visit to toilet for another sit down, but heard of a long queue at the toilet and decided not to go. There are always petrol stations on the way. Had a powerbar and loading the rest of the power gel to the Camelbag. Decided to use camelbag as I am not too comfortable with drinking from bottle while riding. Finish off the bottle of Mountain Dew before lock the car and head to the starting line.
Decided that I will stick to the end of the pack since I am not going to be fast and not going to be good to join peloton. After the "NegaraKu" and a brilliant short speech by the politician, we were wave off with a 5km rolling start. 5KM? I got tired already at 5km mark. :)
The first 20-30km was pleasant, I was taking it slowly, enjoying the scenery without realizing that it is actually a race. And since it is still cool and fresh muscle, I should have push a little harder to cover some distance before it get hot and depletion of energy. Mistake #3.
By the time I reached the first set of hills, I was ready to tackle them. Push hard and grind to climb the hills with minimum 22km/h speed. Pushed little too hard and burned the quads at the last hills and had to come off the bike and hike the bike. Which is a shame. saw Maryam and Boon riding pass. Boon was fast since he suffered his first puncture at the first few KM of the ride.
The hills just come and come and come. By the time I arrived at the mid point, I was within "cutoff time" that Boon told us, 11am. I got in with about 15minutes to spare. I was happy about it and refilled my camelback with water, had a donut and a powergel before pushing off.
This is when the suffering began. From the 100km mark onward, the voice in my head begging for me to give up was so strong. Too painful, too hot, saddle sore, hungry, thirsty, boring, all kind of excuses. That lasted for about 40km, deep down inside, I was hoping that I got stopped by the organizer for being too slow and take me away from the misery. Every time the bus pass me, I was hoping it will stop and got dragged on to the bus. :)
But I push on, at the second last water station, which didn't come any earlier as I ran out of water way before, load up with water and 100+, had the last powergel and push on for the last 40km. Maybe I had a rest, some water and knowing I got only 40km left on the ride, I gain the confidence that I can actually finish the ride.
So, the entire mindset changed, now I was telling myself, if they want to stop my ride and get me on the bus, I already had the speech for them, "f**k you!!! I am going to finish it!!!" :)
The last 40km was long and tough and damn boring. I was practically alone for most of the journey. Occasionally saw another 1-2 rider, overtaking them or got overtaken, was ask to tag along (draft) behind a pair of rider which make it more interesting, not really the drafting part, which I suck at, but chasing the pair and ride together with others, that took away the boredom.
Well, here is where the embarrassing moment happen. At the traffic light, it turned red when I was approaching it. At the exact moment, both legs got cramps and I just lost balanced and fell in front of all the car at the light. Those drivers and passengers in the cars will have plenty of story to tell when they got home.
Ride on approaching the finishing line, just like in the running race, I saw many riders with their bike secured on the car and going home while I still had about 5km to go. Motivating? demotivating? You tell me.
At the finishing line, I had no feeling at all, happy, sad, ecstatic? Nothing. Just glad I did this, without injury.
Doing it again next year? possibly, but need training. Lots and lots of them.
One side effect from this ride, I lost confidence in climbing. Now I have fear even going up GS. Which is a pity.
I still have the tan line to show. :)
I FINISHED 168KM of bike ride!!!! YAY!!!!