As posted in my earlier blog that I wasn’t registered for this event and it was out of last minute thing that I joined. This year Kedah Century Ride is held in Alor Star and the route started from Alor Star -> Gurun -> Yan -> back to Alor Star.
Before I am jumping into the routes or ride condition, I would like to briefly mention about the organizer. So, in any future event you all can judge to join the event or not.
Sports Events House was the event organizer and I have to say they are doing a good job. Of course, they sure have some minor hiccups here and there but I would consider minor. For example, the front peloton took a wrong turn and they have to cycle additional a few kilometers. The good thing was they ensured all the cyclists safety which they have police, marshal and Rela (voluntary policing) covered all the traffic lights and junctions until the end of the event. Overall, they did have 3 water stations only with 1st station (~60km) just served water. The 2nd station (~90km) did serve water and Gatorade but a lot of people missed the Gatorade. The last station (~120km) served bananas and water only. I feel that they should provide bananas in all stations.
The route was pretty much flat all the way until we reached Gurun to Yan which we saw lots of rolling. There are at least about 40km of rolling with the last hill climb at Yan was steeped. I would say 15-20 degree gradient but very short distance. May be ~50m? The overall ride was pleasant except during the beginning of the route as the road was damaged from the tractor tracks. That caused a lot of vibration to our hands and it can be fatigued if you are not used to it.
As I had only a small bun in the morning and at 80km I was out of energy to ride anymore. Luckily I had Snicker in my pocket that my friend gave to me but that doesn’t last me long as I was out of energy again at about 100km after went through all the rolling. The difficult part was just from 60-100km stretch as all was about rolling.
I thought my nightmare was over until I hit the last 40km of the journey. It was only about 11am and the sun was scorching hot. It was a dry and windy day. The worst part was this 40km were an open padi field. So, there was no cover from the sun or the wind. It was totally a mental challenge and I nearly gave up at about 120km until a met a small group which we all pulled each other spirit to complete.
With the BONT shoe I had didn’t give me comfort at all. Our feet do expand when we cycle for long hours and the hot weather didn’t help either. My feet were burning inside and each stroke I pedal down, my feet were like screaming inside if they can talk. At the last water station, I basically had to take off my shoes and let my feet rest before I continued.
After 5hrs 31mins I finally completed the journey. It was really a relieved when I reached the final line. I have learnt a lot from this race and I will need to prepare well in my next race. You can read about how to prepare for century ride from my earlier post – Century Ride Race Experience.
Enjoy your century ride…