The 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.
Many people ask questions about medallions, PBP and what it means to be a Super Randonneur. Firstly, the medallions are used to represent a way of remembering you completed a certain distance. There are finisher medallions for 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km in every AUDAX year. If you are able to complete all four of these distances in one year you also qualify for the status of ‘Super Randonneur’ for which there is also a medallion. In addition, Paris Brest Paris has a medallion for completion. I believe they have medallions for 1000km rides but I have never seen one and not sure if I ever want one. I framed my medallions but you really can do anything you want with them. After the last 300km on April 9th, Liuyang Wan had already started asking questions about PBP. The next PBP is in 2019. Similar to other years, you need to complete the 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km in the preceding 12 months prior to PBP to qualify. The earlier the better as it seems the demand for PBP has skyrocketed from 5000 riders in 2011 to 6000 in 2015. So while this is not a ‘PBP year’ you can still aspire to become a Super Randonneur. It may not land you a job, get you a date, or make you more money, yet you can definitely be confident that you have overcome some tough mental and physical challenges to do all these distances. Patrick Williams is designing a nice new 600km route for this June which will take us through Rompin National Park and include more hills than the pancake flat ride to Melaka and back. Thanks again Patrick! On a sad note I do not believe they have a Hotel Super Cowboy on the new route….but I am pretty confident we can find a quality hotel in most of Malaysia. For those who want to achieve SR status this year please note the calendar as it is likely we will only have the one 600km this year versus three last year (PBP year). Disclaimer: cycling long distances is highly addictive and last year we had two guys going from maximum rides of 160km to doing every qualifier and entering PBP!
Last but not least, I ask that you register early this week for the 300km/400km this upcoming weekend as I am not able to be here and Steven Hon has agreed to lead the ride. The 300km route we did last time https://www.strava.com/activities/540136025 PLUS 100km to be determined by Steven Hon is the route for the 400km. If you only fancy doing 300km that is also fine…just record your time and send me a PM. We typically try to do the final 100km in Singapore for safety reasons. Thank you Steven for managing the ride this weekend….so to all please register early so I can get the list to Steven SIGN UP HERE
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.