Event: Melaka International Century Ride 2016 – Update

Another blow from the Melaka Century Ride organizer. 1st, the event was cancelled then they told us to collect the jersey during the collection day. Within days time, they changed their mind again and said it will deliver to us if we provide them the mailing address. Again within weeks time, they told us to pay additional RM10 to deliver it to us. This is clearly telling me they are out there to rob us clean. I will vow not to take part in any event under Azmar AB Hamid or Myskillmedia. See the message below from XIRCOLO.

STATEMENT FROM XIRCOLO

Greetings to all riders,

We, XIRCOLO as the event supplier is concerned about what has happened due to the cancellation of the MICR event. Together with the participants, XIRCOLO similarly has incurred a lot of losses in terms of money, manpower, time and other preparations for this event.

After further discussion with MICR Management, few events organisers, cycling experts, event suppliers and some riders, include from Singapore together with XIRCOLO Management, we have agreed to give away the jerseys and medals to the participants with the postage and processing fees.

Please be informed that jerseys and medals distribution is not the work of XIRCOLO the supplier, but base on our sporting spirit, we reluctantly will do so.

Please provide :
1) Name of participant and MICR registration no :
2) Delivery address to :
3) Postage of Rm15/per participant to :
Nurhidayat Ahmad Jalil
Maybank account no : 151605096149
4) Bank payment receipt as proof for the above STRICTLY via
WHATSAPP to hp no : +60137042554
5) a) Only Singapore participants , please contact via WHATSAPP
to hp no : +601126739290 (Eddie)
b) Processing fees S$10/per participant

XIRCOLO will not entertain any queries or claims concerning jerseys and medals pertaining to MICR event after 7 days from the date of this announcement. Parcels processing period will probably take about 14 – 30 days.

Thank you,
XIRCOLO Management
11th November 2016

 

Event: Melaka International Century Ride 2016

The Melaka Century Ride or MCR was organized by Myskillmedia Sdn Bhd and this year was their 3rd year organizing this event. The 1st 2 events were quite successful and routes were quite challenging. This was my 1st time to register for a century ride. I was quite hesitated to enroll as I was quite lazy to train or busy with my schedule but I did enroll due to their reputed event.

The event was supposed to hold on Oct 30th which was just few days ago. But unfortunately, the event was cancelled 5 days prior to the start date. Moreover, there was no refunds given to the participants. This caused an uproar among all the cyclists. There were few police reports being logged to the organizer and I am sure there is nothing the police can do about it. There were fine prints in the enrollment form clearly stated no refunds shall be given back to participants if event is cancelled. The reason they gave was the event cost was not sufficient to cover all expenses. With about 3000 people registered and each person paid RM130 that was RM390,000. Well, with RM390,000 and sponsors still not able to cover the cost? How much profits do they want?

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Though the event was cancelled but they will still ship the jersey and medal to us. What is the point of having the jersey and medal when we did not even ride the route?

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The Myskillmedia is also the organizer for Selangor Plus Century Ride which is on November 27. A lot of my friends were registered for this but fortunately the event money collected by CyclingEvents has yet to distribute back to the organizer. CyclingEvents was deeply regretted with their actions and they are willing to refund to those who had registered for Selangor Plus Century Ride. They will bare all the financial and handling charges also.

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I am sure this event organizer was to gain people trust for first 2 events and by 3rd one, they will just take the money and make a quick buck out of it. This posted me a question on whether I should join any event in future. For sure I won’t be joining anything that is related to Myskillmedia or Azmar Hamid.

Event: CFAL 2016 8th Edition

This was the 8th year they organized this ride and this time the start and end point were different too. This year they held at Youth Park. There are always bound to have good and bad of each event. It is how they pick up and improve or maintain it. The route was longer compared with last year. Based on my Strava tracking, it was increased from 77km to 85km this year.

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Youth Park is a great location and I will say quite sufficient parking spaces for cars. The only setback was the narrow road getting into and out of Youth Park was crazy. Imagine you have thousands of cyclists squeezed in a single car lane before joined to the main road. Also, during the end of the event there were cyclists rode against the traffic on a small 1 way street. This posted danger to other road users too.

As mentioned, they had changed the route for this year. It was not only longer and they were no longer passing through Esplanade as the usual route but passed by Georgetown area. I wasn’t sure if they want to promote the Penang Heritage site but I quite sure they missed out taking Penang traffic into account. You have buses, motorbikes and cars came from all directions. This could be scary scene.

They have improved the water stations area also. This year both the water stations were on the left side, so no one needs to cross the road. As normal, people still complained as they did not provide enough water stations. The 1st water station was at ~35km and 2nd water stations was at 60km. The last station was at end zone where they served food and drinks. I am sure it is hard to please everyone.

Safety wise, this year they did a very good job as they make sure every junctions or traffic lights they have traffic police or RELA (People’s Volunteer Corps) to take care of the traffic. Even we were very slow and near to the cutoff time, they were still there to stop any traffic. I remembered last year we have to take care of our own safety when we reached late.

Overall, I think they have improved a lot this year even with more participants. Kudos! I am not sure will there be another CFAL next year because last year they said were the last and this year they said the same. So, cross your fingers and hope that there will be another CFAL if you do plan to join them. Good luck…

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Trail: KL Car Free Day

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This is mainly for recreational or fun ride, so it is very suitable for family outings. Part of the KL city center is closed for 2 hours (7-9am) from traffic for people to enjoy the outdoor outing. They used to hold it once a month and always on the 1st Sunday of the month. Now, it is twice a month and on the 1st and 3rd Sunday. You can get additional info here: http://www.klcarfreemorning.com/index.asp. The loop covers about 7km long so you can do about 2-3 loops of leisure ride.

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Don’t want to ride? Well, you can join a bunch of joggers or you can walk also. Basically it is opened to all people except for motorized vehicle. But I saw a bunch of noisy motorized scooters. I guessed it is allowed.

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As said, this is fun ride for families. Therefore, you can’t ride your bike fast here as there are people jogging in the middle of the lane, slow cyclists or some will just stop in the middle of the road without giving any warnings. You will need to be alerted at all times or ride at the most outer lane.

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The route covers the iconic Petronas Twin Tower (KLCC) and Menara KL (KL Tower). Lots of people (including me) stopped for photos. So, do watch out for those people. If you do stop, please stop at the side of the road.

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Do remember to stop for pictures at the Merdeka Square.

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Hungry? Food trucks are ready to serve you.

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If you are staying around the area and don’t feel like driving out, then this is a place to bring your children to ride. I would consider quite safe if your speed is slow. Or, if you are a tourist and wanted to join the crowd, the OCBC bank has donated some bikes that you can borrow it for free. Just don’t expect they are giving you Trek, Speicalized or Cannondale bikes. They are rideable but some are in bad condition. So, be there early to choose your bike and have fun.

Event: Campaign For A Lane (CFAL)

This is one of the largest cycling event in Malaysia or it is better known as CFAL (pronounce as C-FAL). This year was the 7th year they hold this event and the number of participants grew exponentially. There were people coming from all over the place, so it was not only Penangnites who joined. The number of participants this year was 4500 and the event fee was RM100/person which was raised from RM80 last year.

This year route was cut short by 4-5km due to the road construction at Batu Maung area. Total distance was 76.8km based on my Strava record.

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As usual, with that kind number of people in the tiny island with tiny roads, there were bounds to be congested and caused accidents. I saw it with my own eyes there were cyclists fell down or inside the ambulance being taken care of. Safety is no longer there and I was nearly knocked down by a cyclist too. He was too engrossed with his conversation and out of sudden cut into my lane. I had to brake hard as there was no space for me to avoid him. I felt that the event organizer is getting worse each year and they were no longer care about the welfare of the cyclists than just taking profit. I heard that they will increase the number of participants next year. I can’t imagine with that kind of people on the road next time.

There weren’t many water stations for people who needed to refill. As I counted there were only 3 and the 3rd one was at the finishing line. So, there were actually 2 only and 1 of them was hidden somewhere. There wasn’t any banner or direction lead to that water station which was inside a school. Also, the location was dangerous picked as one has to cross the road with incoming traffic from opposite lane. Not only that, that person had to cycle for another 1km to the water station.

I felt the organizer is badly planned and hope that they will do a better job next year. RM450,000 was a lot of money they have taken.

The starting line was too congested and people were waiting along the side road.

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Road was too congested that cyclists had to get down and pushed bike.

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It was only clear after going up hill.

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Waiting for lucky draw.

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Our bikes.

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Event: Beach To Beach Charity Ride

Well, as promised my next post wasn’t about Air Itam Dam anymore…

Not long ago I accompanied a friend mine for a charity ride in Butterworth. The event was organized by Lions Club of Bagan and Kelab Berbasikal Butterworth (KBB). This was the 1st time I joined an event that was held in Butterworth and I can say my 1st to ride to this route too.

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The distance wasn’t short for a fun ride as it covered 70km and took us 3 hours to complete. Though it was 70km but it was also completely a flat route. So, with some physical fitness and practices, anyone can do it. It took us that long as there were 2 compulsory stops for regroup, water refilling or grabbed a banana. Also, my friend average speed wasn’t that fast. 🙂

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This 70km route went thru a lot of villages, padi field and some plantation. Also, it was couple with early rain that clears the sky and brought cool weather. It was really a nice ride with beautiful scenery.

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It was drizzling morning but still a rideable condition and I would give the organizer 2 thumbs up. There were enough marshals along the way and all the traffic lights were well taken care of. Also, I keep hearing them communicate thru walkie-talkie to ensure no one was left behind.

If you ask me to ride here again, I will definitely come back for another personal ride but I will look for longer distance and some hill climbing. This route is just too flat. Or, I will borrow a foldie to ride here. 🙂 (oh… wait… I don’t do slow ride… hahaha)

Event: Kedah Century Ride

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.

KCR Map

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.

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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.

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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…

Health: Century Ride Race Experience

I didn’t sign up for this event and I never thought of joining too due to personal commitment. After I learnt that my whole cycling group was going which got me more excited to join but registration was closed. So, I thought of letting it go until one of the guys found a bib # for me and another guy offered to drive me there (~2hrs drive). Now, I have no choice but to go since they have put so much effort for me.

This was my 1st race experience and cycled 160km without stopping for food or rest but not my 1st century ride. So, I didn’t know what to expect along the race. Also, I was only decided to go a day before the race day so I didn’t prepare any of stuff that is needed during race day. I am letting the history repeat by itself again… which I missed out the food part (click here for another blog about importance of food intake and hydration).

I didn’t sleep well as I was afraid of overslept, I didn’t have breakfast because we left 3am in the morning which I was still full from dinner, I didn’t get much food throughout the race day too. IT WAS BAD IDEA!!! What am I thinking? I was survived by a bun, a Snickers bar and a pack of power gel which are all contributed by my friends. Without them I wouldn’t have made it.

At about 100km, I had to stop to buy 2 bottles of sport drinks to replenish the salt I have lost and I was gladded that I did. I didn’t have any cramp throughout the ride but there were 1-2 occasions I nearly got them and I pulled through. Almost all my friends who didn’t stop for the salt replenishment and they got cramped.

The lesson I learnt here is, during any long ride or race day we must have all these items as there is no time to stop or prepare.

  • Must have breakfast (click here about what to eat before ride)
  • Prepare some ORS packet or Electrolyte pills (prevent cramps)
  • Get sufficient power gels or power bars (replenish calories burnt)
  • If one have to travel more than 1.5 hours journey, put a night at a hotel near the race place. This is to ensure you get enough rest.
  • Get a comfortable shoe as your feet will expand during long rides. This is to avoid burning feet syndrome.
  • Train and train and train for long rides. You need them if you have not done any long rides.

Event: CFAL or Campaign For A Lane

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This is the 6th time they have run this event and it is endorsed by Penang State government. The intention was to bring awareness to the public to watch out for cyclists when driving. It was also campaigning for a dedicated bike lane.

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I feel this is a good cause. As a rider, I can feel how people drives 6 years ago comparing with how people drives today. They are more aware I am being there and as a road user also.

The route covers about 82km around the Penang Island. It wasn’t that difficult if it is a slow ride. Majority is flat road with 2 climbs. 1 that is 141m tall and another is 222m tall but there is a stretch with lots of rolling.

The event planning was quite good with at least 3-4 water stations and quite a number of police and marshal managing the major junctions. I am not sure if that’s the case for people behind though.

The event is getting very popular and way over crowded. I believe they have increased the participant lists yearly but the roads are not widening yearly. There are quite a number of slow riders that created bottom neck at narrow roads. By the time you wanted to catch up with any peloton will be too late. Once you are able to catch up with a smaller peloton, then you will have some inconsiderate riders came and cut/pushed you in. Since this is a fun ride I don’t want to fall down and create an accident. So, I let them in. The problem is, they cannot maintain the speed with peloton and dropped back. And, I have to chase up with the peloton again and again. End up I am burnt.

Since there were way too many bikes on the road, some cars and heavy vehicles got frustrated waiting for their turns to come out from a junction and made a hasty turn. Almost create a few near accidents. Sigh…

I believe this is my 1st and last CFAL ride. Next time, I rather ride with my own group. Sorry… I would said so-so event and bad riders. 😦