Friday, 27 December 2013

Ride4Sight : Kuala Lumpur - Singapore On Bicycle

Day 1 – KL Ampang to Alor Gajah, Melaka. 176km with 2 major climbs.
The ride started at Flamingo Hotel in Ampang. The riders were flagged off at 7am in 15 minutes intervals for each group. Group 2 (my group consist of 8 riders) set-off at 7:45am and we made our way through the morning traffic congestion. Each group had a motorcyclist who provided directions and alerting us of potholes along the way. There was a support car for each group as well.
Starting out at Flamingo
The 1st short climb started at Hulu Langat. Total 4km of uphill and followed by another major 10km major climb known as Genting Perez. It was my first time riding this route. The group split at this point and my “partner in climb” of the day was Teik. The rest of the guys were all far in front. We regrouped at the summit (km41) with Group 3 to rehydrate.

It started to rain cats and dogs at about 110km. I remembered during the briefing that we are to find shelter if it rains. I was with Ethan, Clement, Chun Wei and Ray. Danny, Pascal and Teik was about 2km behind us. The rain was so heavy that I couldn’t see the road properly. Ethan was leading the pack. I was hoping that he would find a shelter to stop. We then stopped at a bus stop where Group 1 was. The rain stopped after a while and we went for lunch at Kuala Pilah (km132). Lunch menu was all high carbs food. As we were all soaking wet from the rain, we asked the waitress to turn off the aircond. 

We took off immediately after lunch and arrived at A’Famosa resort in Alor Gajah at 4pm. I was with Ray the last few kms. He is a 60 years old grandfather but he was very energetic and strong. I was panting to trying to keep up with him. Ethan, Clement and Chun Wei were in front. Day 1 ended at the resort and we had our rest and refueling before Day 2 starts.

Day 2 – Alor Gajah to Pontian, Johor 222km
It was a long day on the saddle. While Day 1 was ridden partly in rain, Day 2 saw the sun shining down on us. The organizer told us that the Day 2 route will be FLAT. It turned out to be rolling hills. The moment I was going downhill, I saw a long 45 degrees climb in front of me. My chain dropped twice. Ethan had to stop to help me. I was hoping that the rolling hill route was going to end soon. We stopped at every 40-45km for refilling. Lunch was at 147km but we stopped at 80km to have some bread and peanut butter. We finally arrived at Batu Pahat for lunch at 1:45pm. We were overjoyed that we arrived before Group 1. We then found out Group 1 started about 40mins after us instead of 15minutes due to 2 sleeping beauties in their group ;-)
NOT the sleeping beauties ;-), Just Beauties.
We continued the journey. There were few kms of rolling and followed by the flat road all the way to Pontian. Ethan, Clement and Chun Wei were taking turn to pull us. Pascal and Teik was dropped at the last 10km, they told us to carry on and not to wait for them. We arrived at Pontian Hotel at 5pm. The hotel does not have a lift; luckily our rooms are at level 1. We were told that Group 2 team work amazed others. I felt proud to have the most sensible (and hardworking) team mates. J

Day 3 – 103km Pontian to Singapore
All groups started together at 8am with police escort. It was drizzling and the pot-holes were endless. I shouted “hole” countless times! We were told to ride at the speed of 25-26kmph so that the slower group could keep up. The marshal riders did not allow us to pedal any faster than 26kmph. Gosh, it was not easy to cycle at a control speed. :P

We rode slowly into Johor Bahru and arrived at the custom at about 10:30am. It was my first time crossing the Malaysia – Singapore border on a bicycle. Lunch was at Poison Ivy in Kranji. The food was awesome! After lunch, we head towards Marina Bay Financial Center (MBFC). We passed by Lim Chu Kang, Boon Lay and the West Coast Highway. To my surprised, the drivers in Singapore are not so friendly compare to Malaysia. I heard some foreign riders praising the Malaysian drivers once we were at the 1st traffic lights in Singapore. I felt proud as a Malaysian. J
Get Set...GO!
We arrived at Six Battery Road to regroup and took some group photos before riding to the finish line at MBFC. The ride ended with a big celebration party at our head office in Singapore. The cyclists were reunited with friends and family.
Besides of raising fund and awareness, I had a splendid cycling tour around the places that many of us will never drive there. I had a blast. I had the best team mates ever. We also received the best team award and Ethan received the “super domestique” award in recognition of his selfless support of others.

The Singapore Ride for Sight 2013 raised more than USD 270,000 including bank matching the amount we raised dollar to dollar.

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