This AUDAX 200km ride was the biggest in Singapore AUDAX history. On Friday night we had more than 70 people registered for the ride. As usual, we lost some of them due to injuries, illness, alcohol-related issues, or other reasons. More than 60 people started the ride early Saturday morning as we set off to Malaysia for the first ride in 2017. The weather was cooperative most of the day and the pace was slower as many were recovering from a hectic holiday season. The results will be in next week.
Leaving the JB Shell the fast guys set off with Brian Johnsen while the more conservative riders formed a massive second group. The pace was smart but somewhat influenced by Ben Farnsworth who did a massive amount of front time to try to catch the fast group that left without him. We arrived in good shape at the petrol station before Pekan Nanas. The section between Pekan Nanas and Bukit Batu is the nicest section of the ride. Quiet rolling roads with low traffic volumes was a nice change from the highway in JB. The second group coasted through this entire section at 35-40km/ hour on the efforts of Stanislav, Andy Bennett and Marcus towing the entire group at a swift and steady pace. As we approached the next rest stop a few people were starting to suffer due to the pace and rising temperatures. Ben luckily caught up with Brian and the others in Group One which now had split into two groups. Now all the fast guys were gone and group two could relax a bit…..so we thought.
In a big group, it is important to realize when people are starting to suffer and to take the necessary steps to ensure they all finish safely and in good shape. Julian Doyle did just that as we approached the second petrol station and he decided to ease back a bit to support a group of riders who were starting to feel the pain. Julian led a group of riders through the final 90km to success despite pleas for ‘never again’, ‘I can’t do this’ and ‘Uber!!’…this is not an easy task. The Julian Group finished at Brewerkz to celebrate a tough ride and it is likely they are all extremely happy the pushed on and finished. Julian wins the Lundy Worker Award for guiding this group home safely. Congrats Julian!
Not all the riders who do AUDAX speed through the ride to get home faster. Some riders take the time to enjoy the scenery, enjoy lunch, enjoy the ride. These riders are usually nice people who smile a lot and enjoy the scenery, food and the experience of the full ride. The Silk Smile Award goes to Koh Ling Ling. Ling Ling was smiling even before registration and it continued on to the very end! Ling Ling is a long distance champion who has done every AUDAX distance and no matter how long she rides she always has a smile on her face. Congrats Ling Ling!
This AUDAX ride also had many new faces in the crowd which means there may have been people who had no idea where to go. (Actually…most people don’t know where they are going and hope that someone else loaded the .gpx file into their Garmin). One of the youngest riders on Saturday was 21 year old Kaela who recently moved to Singapore from Hawaii. Kaela joined a speedy group at the beginning and seemed to disappear before the JB Shell. Many assumed she went home and skipped the journey into Malaysia. It turned out that Kaela made the ride and caught up with Jerome Limozin in Bukit Batu. A true gentleman, Jerome made the trip to Brewekz to guide Kaela to a well-deserved beer. Jerome wins the JFT AUDAX Spirit Award for being such a gentleman. Congrats Jerome!
All the award winners win a pair of Singapore AUDAX socks!
All photos taken by others…thank you for them.
Finally, special thanks to Kimberly Norman who wakes up early to register the riders and keeps us all organized! See you February 11th for the next AUDAX 200km….sure to be easier.