Author Archives: Patrick Williams


IMG_2023Shortly after midnight, October 29th 2016, fourteen riders set off from the Starbucks at Scotts Road and Orchard Rd for a 400km ride, which would be the last official Singapore Audax ride of the year. In past years, the ride began at 5am with approximately 300km in Malaysia followed by 100km in Singapore. This time we did the 100km in Singapore first and then headed to Malaysia for the final 300, hoping to maximize nighttime riding and therefore minimize time in the afternoon heat.

As anticipated, the pace started off high (for a 400 at least) and didn’t let up—by 3:00am we had already covered 100km and two riders had gone back home to seek the comfort of their pillows. We stopped in Jurong West around 3:20am for an early breakfast before heading through Kranji and into Malaysia. As we prepared to hit the road, I found I had broken a rear spoke. Luckily we were only 3km from my house and so I pedaled home as quickly as possible to swap wheelsets while the rest of group slowly headed up the road to a quickly-planned rendezvous. With only about a 10-15 minute delay, we were back on the road as a group and headed into the Malaysia. Unfortunately the high pace caught out two more riders who were not feeling their best. We lost one just before the border and the another about 25km into Malaysia, just before the sun came up.

Down to 10 riders, we formed a rolling pace line at anything from 34-42km/h for the next few hours, until we hit the hills at the 240km mark. Once in the hills we began spreading out on the road and somehow lost two riders, who made it back to Singapore on their own. Of the remaining 8, we broke up into two groups of four after our lunch break at 300km. Each group worked well together and everybody was back in Singapore by 5pm.

Ask around for nominations for awards. Wes pulled a lot but I think he’s won Lundy already. Again nobody was smiling…. :-\

AUDAX 200km SEP 17

IMG_1418Ride report – by Patrick Williams
Singapore Audax 200
17 Sept. 2016

It was a group of 30 that set out from Novena for the penultimate 200 of the year under the tutelage of Jeff Paine, the fearless rider leading the pack across the border into Malaysia. Unfortunately, Jeff’s Di2 battery—ignored the previous couple of weeks as Jeff built a vintage steel bike—chose its moment for revenge and left him unable to continue past the Malaysian border-side checkpoint. Boosting the group of Audax regulars was the Integrated Riding racing team, many of them taking on the 200 route for the first time. The ride started with some scattered showers in Singapore, but by the time everyone had crossed the border the skies had cleared. Luckily the clouds returned by about 9am, leaving the air quite humid but blessedly free from both sun and rain.


Customs line when you come back at 7am

We headed into Malaysia as day dawned, quickly settling into a 40+ km/h rolling pace led by IR’s Wes Hughes and RAAM tough guy Alan Bradley. Notwithstanding a couple of punctures early on, almost all the riders were still together at the 70km refueling station. However, it was an atypical pace for an Audax ride and I cautioned a few people not to ride over their heads. A few of the more seasoned Audax riders kept the stop very short and headed out onto the road again, only to be picked up a half-hour later by a hard-charging train, still headed by Wes. By the time we hit the 110km refueling station, more than a few riders had slowed down to manage themselves, while nearly 20 were still barreling on with nearly a 35km/h average. Again a few Audax riders including myself kept the break short and hit the rode relatively quickly, and again we were overhauled by the IR-dominated group. By then we had two riders relying on polymer ringgit banknotes to keep their tubes inside their tires, and another person riding with a broken-spoke wheel—a wheel which looked certain to taco at any moment during the last 2 hours but somehow functioned till the end.

The next hour was routine: pedal, stay in the slipstream, try not to get dropped in the hills. Amazingly, the coconut stand—abandoned since about 2010—was open for business at the 155km mark. A few riders seemed hesitant, but I and a couple others quickly ordered coconut juice for 1 ringgit, which was delicious (and I experienced no negative effects later on). We had shed another handful of riders in the hills and only later did I learn it was due to a puncture at the back of the group that I hadn’t known about. From the coconut stand, the front group took the traditional pre-2016 route back to Singapore, while later riders stayed on the 2016 route. The distances are nearly the same and converge at the border. From there I headed back home rather than to the official end of the route at Clark Quay since I had over 200km already. As far as I know, Leader Paine was there with a beer in-hand, ready to receive the finishers.

Ride reports aren’t necessarily soapboxes, but I want to take a minute to express my disappointment at the few riders I saw throwing empty plastic bottles and gel packets on the road during the ride. Jerseys typically come with 3 pockets and every bottle and packet discarded came out of one of those pockets. It is a very simple matter to stick those things back into your pocket until you can find an appropriate place to discard your waste. [I usually fold my used gel packets and slip then into the bottom of my bib shorts until the next stop to avoid getting anything in my pockets sticky.] Littering is an irresponsible habit and I hope riders will both take responsibility for keeping their own litter off the roads and help educate those they see littering in order to ensure we can have beautiful roads and scenery for years to come.

The Lundy Worker Award, given to the person who supports the group the best, goes to Wes Hughes. Even with a shredded tire at the half-way mark, and what looked like shredded legs by the end, Wes stayed out front until the end. ‘Nuff said.

JFT AUDAX Spirit Award, given to the person who exudes the AUDAX spirit and promotes long distance cycling, goes to Matt Latham.  Matt soloed a large amount of the ride and made it to Brewerkz for some much needed food.

The Silk Smile Award was not won by anybody as the pace was too fast for any smiles.

All award winners win a pair of AUDAX socks.

Next AUDAX 200km is October 8th!



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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