For very 1st time, I have another person going to write in my blog. We used to ride together until he joined as an air steward and it was a pleasure for me to ride with him again last weekend. After the ride, I saw him posted this in his Facebook and I find it very interesting and a good write up. So, I borrow his article and post it here. Of course, with his permission. So, let me present you Hafiz Feroz…
Never have I ever felt this lethargic before. Came back for cycling with P2W team to Pulau Betong and back using Batu Ferringhi hilly and winding road. Was so exited for this morning ride as it has been awhile since I last cycled with a large group. Leading the group whole way from Island Plaza till Teluk Bahang. Once reach the dam, I was planning to turn back and head home as I started to feel fatigue on both legs from those hilly climbs. My team mates motivate me and push me so that I’ll follow them all the way to Pulau Betong and back. Feeling heavy hearted, I did follow them with my half fatigue legs.
There’s about 8km straight road before reaching Pulau Betong and most Penangites will know this part as the only place in Penang island where you can push as fast as you want without worrying any traffic lights ahead. The moment we entered that road, the team start to place themselves in one straight line which is commonly known as “drafting”. At that time I was in the second group which consist of 6 to 8 riders and most are them are tri-bike cyclists. The first group is 1km ahead of us and most of them are road bikers. As my team started to cruise along the straight village road, I look down on my speedometer and we were cruising around 41 to 43km per hour and that’s quite fast considering that I haven’t touch my bike for nearly 6 months. I know deep inside myself that I’m gonna bonk halfway but I try to maintain with my group until we reach Pulau Betong and back.
There is this coffee shop at the foot of Balik Pulau hill which is commonly known as Aik Joo cafe among cyclists in Penang. We stop there to refuel, not refuel our bike but refuel ourselves with “milo peng”, “swee kam peng” and 100 plus. At that time I was silent most of the time, tried to calm myself down from the agonizing pain on my legs. Tried to rest my legs as much as I can before cycling back up to the Balik Pulau Hill peak, which is also known as 800. This was the long last climb before we reach Batu Feringghi. So we started cycle up the hill and I was the last guy at the back of the group. The only thing that motivated me slowly to pedal up was just my trance songs in my iPhone. Head banging and singing to the songs kinda help me to forget the pain on my legs.
It was a never ending climb for me until I reach 800. At that time, the whole group was waiting for me to reach the top before we decent together. That was the only best part because I can just relax my legs and let gravity take over my speed. It was a smooth and relax ride till we reach Hard Rock Hotel. I started to notice a few riders in my group cranked up their gear and pushed the pace. I was left with two choices at that time, either draft with them or cycle alone and suffer from the headwind. It was a tough decision as I can’t feel both my legs then and I can’t even stand and sprint with my bike because at the moment I tried to stand and cycle, I can feel both of my quads cramped. At that point, just left 5km more till we reach our resting point. Well, it was consider as a resting point for me and a finished point for others. So I just hang on with the group, trying my best to draft with them. It was the most painful moment that I have ever had in my cycling life. Both legs screaming for me to stop.
Hung on as much as I can till we reached our resting point. This is one of the usual coffee shop that we used to hangout before. Usually I will have my light breakfast here before cycling back another 10km to my house. I guess this was the first time I didn’t eat anything at that shop, only drinking two glasses of “swee kam peng”. Too tired until I don’t have the appetite to eat.
After finish refueled ourselves, we slowly headed back home. Once I reached home, opened the door and my legs gave up and I stumbled onto the carpet. Stumbled really hard. My dad gotta picked me up and laid me down properly as I can’t even stand at that time. I was laying flat for almost 30 mins till I try to stand back on my own legs. I can’t really walk properly at that time and all I can do was slowly walk to my room and laid down on my bed. My upper body was perfectly fine but my lower body was totally numbed. Laid down on my bed and slept for nearly two hours. Didn’t even manage to shower.
It was a bitter sweet moment for me as I finally get to cycle with my team mates and to see them improved so much from the past 6 months was incredible. Time to rest my legs and fly back to KL. Will be back on 14th with the hope that my legs will fully recover to cycle back with them.