The combo 300-400km AUDAX ride went well this weekend and cooperative weather prevented any perverse sunburns and delivered smiling riders back into Singapore before 6pm. Once again we deployed the ‘smart’ pace which enabled short rest stops and overall quicker times. The 400km gang was done before 10pm, a full hour faster than the earlier 400km on March 7th. There were also a group of riders who joined for the first 112km before heading back to Singapore which added some firepower to the group.
Arran Pearson easily takes the JFT Audax Spirit Award after conquering the 300km. Despite the lure of heading back to Singapore with a small group of riders at the 112km spot, Arran stayed on plan and hammered out the full 300km ride. This was not easy given the fact that the guys who did turn back were heading back for exotic family lunches, air conditioned rooms and resting for big sailing outings….the easy life. The look on Arran’s face (pictured left) is the sitting on the fence look….half of him was thinking about air conditioned facilities with cold beverages and half of him was thinking of the treacherous stretch from Kluang to Kota Tinggi…..thinking, thinking, thinking….’ok I am in’. Excellent job Arran.
Andy Bennett also easily took the Silk Smile Award for the 300km. In addition to being a pleasant chap and a fellow who is always got a smile on his face, he brought many laughs and smiles to others describing his riding patterns. ‘I ride around 300-400km per month, usually in one day’….hilarious.
Wesley Hughes must have had a lunch date in Kluang before noon or something because he pulled the gang almost the entire way from 112km to our favourite new restaurant. That section is a very tough terrain and he did almost all the front work which was definitely appreciated by the 400km crew. Good job Wesley on taking the Lundy Worker Award on the AUDAX 300km!
The Kluang-Kota Tinggi stretch was very manageable this weekend with favourable weather and solid and consistent riding. Overcast weather, a tailwind and a light rain were delightful. A quick stop at the petrol station in Kota Tinggi and we were on our way back home. The traffic was light and things were almost perfect until we hit the downpour of rain 16km from JB. It was actually cold. We crossed the border and were at the bus stop at 5:30pm…pretty amazing time.
After crossing the border the 300km guys went home to eat and drink and the 400km riders rode on to Spizza pizza for much needed dinner. One beer each and one pizza each was almost the standard order…..I think Terrence opted for juice. Terrence Lee did the AUDAX 400km on March 7, 2015 and finished at 3:30am doing most of the ride solo. This time, he stayed with the 400km group and knocked five hours off of his finishing time. Solid riding Terrence and congrats on winning the JFT Audax Spirit Award.
With the group whittled down to only eight riders and only 80km to go we all felt good. But 80km is actually a lot after you have already done 320km! Numerous tactics were deployed to keep rider interest high: beers @ Boomarang, getting home, going out partying? etc….unfortunately we arrived at Boomarang and there was a rugby game on and not a seat in the house. We scoured the area for another beer place and finally found one…some of the guys from Ponggol rode home and the rest of us had a few beers. There were many guys who said this was their longest one day ride in their lives including Peter Whitfield who takes the 400km Lundy Worker Award. In addition to doing lots of work in Malaysia, Peter also came through during clutch moments pulling the entire gang down CCR (at 35km/hour) and was on the front almost the entire final 50km. If you ever ride with Peter you will also notice he is almost 100% in his big gears…grinding away. Peter’s Garmin died at 373km and he needed to get the satisfaction of crossing the 400km mark…so after a few beers he decided to extend the loop and even managed a loop of Mount Faber…in his big gears! Congrats on the big ride and hope to see you on the 600km.
Hartmut Hofmann was seeking smiles as he was armed with his GoPro and made a fancy movie. He would regularly sprint off and then jump off his bike to capture some images of the group speeding along. Hartmut can now smile in his new socks as he is the lucky winner of the Silk Smile Award for the 400km. Keep on smiling and good ride.
Overall a great ride…next weekend is the 200km which should be a breeze after all the long ones completed recently. It is good to keep the distances up ahead of the 600km in mid-April. At time of writing we have 28 people signed up for that…should be big and fun and with speeds that cater to almost every rider.