AUDAX 200km Sept 17, 2016

Blazing Hot & Fast 300km

Having been spoiled lately with cool and overcast weather we were reminded of the challenges that can exist when riding in Malaysia yesterday.  Depending on who you asked, it was either 36 or 38.5 degrees Celsius, but no matter who you asked everybody said it was hot!  As per usual we pushed off from Starbucks at 530am and headed to the border where we met Patrick Williams and his group who were doing a 2ookm ride.   This 300km ride had many ‘300km rookies’ who had yet to test the distance so for many of the riders they would be propelling themselves into new cycling territories.  Yesterday proved to be a challenging and interesting ride that had a good amount of fun, pain and suffering.

Happy at the start, the pain and suffering to come later…

From the very start we lost riders to sleep, sickness and other ‘last minute things’.    20 riders lined up for the full 300km distance that would take us to Johor Bahru, Pekan Nanas, Kluang, Kulai, Singapore and ending at Brewerkz National Stadium.

imageSpinning along with the Patrick Williams 200km crew, we had close to 30 riders for the first 1ooKM of the ride.   From the JB Shell it appeared that a massive storm was coming and it looked like we were all destined to be ‘pounded’ by rain for hours.  Fortunately as we took off from the JB Shell we had a light drizzle that lasted a mere 15 minutes or so and then the sun came out and we were dry for the rest of the day.  The pace was semi sensible for the most part until we hit the first stopping point at Pekan Nanas.  I am not sure what happened after that but after the right turn onto the nice roads the pace picked up to 40km / hour and stayed that way for the next 35km of road.  Steven ‘Commander’ Hon was on the front almost the entire time and he was taking no prisoners.  At the turns where the pace dropped many people mentioned that it was too fast with more than 200km remaining…which everybody agreed  too except for the Commander!  Steven did a tremendous amount of front time which helped the pack complete the distance in a timely manner. In addition, Steven also was caring enough to ride back with some of the broken riders to ensure they got home to Singapore safely.   For those reasons Steven wins the Lundy Worker Award for this AUDAX 300km with the ‘break’em and rescue’em approach‘.  Congratulations Steven!

This AUDAX ride was no different than any other and it is extremely rare that the rides go 100% as planned.  There are mechanical issues, people issues, weather issues and other things that just make them all so unique and interesting.  Well yesterday’s 300km was no different and as a matter of fact it was pretty impressive and incredible all at the same time.   Our first puncture was at Starbucks at KM 0.  Arvid noticed he had a puncture at 5:10am and he slowlyimage examined his tire and thought he may not be able to do the ride on such a flimsy tire.   Stanislav graciously offered him his spare tire which dashed Arvid’s plan to return home to bed.  With his plans dashed, he fixed his tire in 20 minutes to roll with the group.  The next puncture was Patrick William’s at KM 58.  Patrick and the team quickly fixed this up and within 20 minutes were were back on the road.

Punctures may be one thing but this AUDAX 300km witnessed one of the most incredible mechanical failures of all times.  We were almost home and less than 50km to Brewerkz when Andy Bennett (aka Business Class, aka Hamster) approached a rocky area at a traffic light.  A rock here, a rock there, a rock everywhere including his rear derailleur.  The rear derailleur popped off into the road and he could not even find it.  His entire derailleur snapped off into the realm of Malaysia roadways.  With nothing but his chain cutting tool Andy began a Macgyver-like process of converting his bike to a fixie to spin that last 50km home for beers.  Andy’s first attempt at this lasted approximately 50 meters and then his chain was snapping all over the place.  Andy stood aside a busy road to watch all the cyclists pedal ahead to returning safely to Singapore.  With no Uber app and no taxis in sight, Andy once again pulled out his chain tool and began to work on solution two at the fixie conversion.  Removing many more links he tightened up his chain to successfully realize his fixie dream.  It worked, and as Andy pulled into the Shell where the other group was a loud cheer erupted.  We all got our final drinks and headed on the highway for the final stretch into Singapore.  It was great that Andy’s bike was working however his cadence was probably over 120 RPM for the last 50km thus earning him his new name of Hamster.  His aim was to make it to the border and then jump in a taxi.   A number of riders took turns pushing Andy the final 7km to the border….amazing team work!

image

Who needs Macgyver when Andy is around?

After regrouping across the bridge Andy decided to press on further to the emergency beer stop at ESSO (for riders who are out of energy and cannot make it the final 20km home).  It was there that Andy’s ride ended, at 302km, an average speed of 31km/hour and likely an average cadence of 110RPM!  Despite the many opportunities to quit, Andy focused intensely on staying the course and surviving to the emergency beer stop.  Kudos!  Andy wins the JFT AUDAX Spirit Award for showing amazing spirit and making the distance!  Congrats Hamster!

Pain & Soufferin

There was plenty of suffering on this ride.  The heat, lack of food, lack of training and other issues pressured many riders over the 300km of terrain.  Some of the notable comments from yesterday:

‘I bonked twice’

‘This was the hardest ride of my life’

‘I could not keep my lunch down’

‘This is way too fast’

Not surprisingly those comments were all from the same rider! 🙂     Many others felt the same.

The return of the heat, the wrath of Hon, the speed in general and the multiple mechanical issues really weighed on riders.  Despite these challenges and despite having some nutrition challenges of his own, Stanislav Laufik always had a massive smile on his face almost all the time.  He smiled when he finished the Kulai hills, he smiled when he dashed Arvid’s ‘return to bed‘ plans, he smiled as he shared his Clif Bars with shattered riders, and he smiled when he fully recovered to finish the 300km feeling strong.  Stanislav wins the Silk Smile Award for spreading happiness in times of despair!  Congrats!

All award winners win a pair of AUDAX socks.   The awards were challenging this time as so many people showed great class and spirit on this ride.  It truly was a great ride.  Congratulations to all that completed the ride.

The next AUDAX is the AUDAX 200km on September 17, 2016.

 SIGN UP HERE

AUDAX 300km AUG 20

fixing flats

Tired of riding in Singapore? It is that time again…AUDAX 300km.  Once again we will be taking the new 2016 Patrick Williams Route.  The New 300km route for 2016

Start Place
As usual, we will start at the Starbucks at United Square. The ride briefing will be at 5am and we roll sharply at 0530.  The ride must be completed within the 20 hour time limit to qualify for homologation.

Starbucks at Novena/United Square is open 24 hours, has plenty of seating, and there is a 7-11 there which is also open 24 hours….so this is the closest place that holds lots of bodies and has decent food/drink for early birds.  United Square – 101 Thomson Road #01-01 United Square Singapore 307591

The ride will end at Brewerkz at Riverside Point.

There are a variety of places to eat lunch at KM 160 in Kluang.    Remember to bring your passport, EP, PR, or whatever it takes to cross the border into Malaysia.  Also bring Ringgit for drinks and food along the way.  It is best to wear sunblock and bring plenty of nutrition.

Please register here Ride Sign Up

See you next week!

Insure YOURSELF!

Sharing a blog post from 2014….same principles apply today!

Cycling in Asia Is Great, but Be Prepared

The cycling scene is Singapore is great. There are a large number of cyclists in different groups at varying skill levels. The roads are some of the best in the world and finding a pothole here can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Despite all the wonders of cycling in Singapore, it becomes an inevitable desire to see other great cycling destinations around Asia. There are so many good choices that you could keep yourself busy for years choosing new destinations. Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam all have exciting cycling opportunities for the Singapore based cyclist. Like most things, these opportunities come along with risks. While it is important to plan and prepare for overseas cycling adventures, it is advisable to plan for the risks along with all the fun parts of your cycling travels.

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AUDAX 400km

fixing flatsThe 400km ride, held on April 23-24, was be many accounts a great experience. We were lucky have partly- to mostly-cloudy skies throughout the day and even enjoyed a short rain shower after 2pm to cool us off.

 

With Jeff Paine out of town for the weekend, Steven Hon took over organizational responsibilities and got the group of 11 riders on the road from Novena at 5:30am. By 6:30 the group was through customs on the road in Malaysia. It was agreed at the outset that we would stay together as a single group while in Malaysia. This worked until about 10am, when some of the faster riders quit looking over their shoulders as often and we ended up splitting into two groups until Kluang. By Kluang we had lost Terence Lee, but heard from him that he had slowed and was doing his own thing. After lunch in Kluang, the group did indeed stay together, with four riders continuing to do most of the front time in service to the group. The weather enabled us to keep a solid pace and, notwithstanding Ken Ng’s newfound love for punctures, we arrived back in Singapore with a 31 average at 6pm. From there, we headed around Admiralty to Yishun, where Steven identified a great food court that was spacious and surprisingly not crowded for a Saturday evening. All present agreed that this should become our official dinner stop for future 400s. After fried rice with egg, cereal prawn with broccoli, and assorted beverages, we hit the road around 7:30pm to complete the last 100 km. We all benefitted from following Steven and Dimitry Kabelyan, who selflessly traded the lead over and over again from Seletar around Changi to the CBD to bring us home in good time. Three and half hours later, most of us were done.

 

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300km or 400km

On April 23, 2016 there will be both a 300km and a 400km AUDAX ride.  The 300km will be the exactly same route we took last weekend The New 300km route for 2016 and the 400km will be the 300km PLUS 100km in Singapore.   This way there should be more riders for the majority of the ride and safer in Malaysia.  We try to come back here before dark as it is generally more safe to ride in Singapore than in JB at night time.

Please sign up for either the 300km or the 400km here SIGN UP

Steven Hon will be managing the ride!  Thank you Steven…more information to come but just wanted to get the message out about the 300km or 400km option.  One thing to consider is that if you plan on achieving the Super Randonneur Status you may want to do the 400km.   To become a Super Randonneur in 2016 you need to complete a 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km.   Patrick Williams has already designed a very nice looking 600km route!  Stay tuned for more information about the rides on April 23rd.

 

July 16 200KM AUDAX

Roadside Meal stop

Roadside Meal stop

The next AUDAX 200km is on Saturday July 16, 2016. We will once again take the new route that Patrick Williams designed as it was very well received by the riders this year. In addition, we will continue to start at United Square Starbucks and finish at Brewerkz on Riverside Point.  Please sign up here Sign Up

This 200km will start as per usual with a ride briefing at 0500 and rolling at 0530 from United Square Starbucks.  Please note that the registration process will be as usual however Patrick Williams and I will both be overseas.

Address: 101 Thomson Road, #01-01 United Square, 307591

You will have a total time of 13 hours to complete the ride.  Ride registration starts at 0500 and we roll at 5:30 sharp.   Bring your passport, EP, PR, or anything else you need to cross the border into Malaysia.

You can find the route on this link below and download the .gpx file for your Garmin.