Monday, April 20, 2009

Back to Bike Racing - This was fun

Nick Flyger - race organiser

Last week I got wind of a bike race series being launched on Saturday. Nick Flyger of the National Sports Institute (ISN) had decided to do something about the lack of amateur bike races in Malaysia. See KL Cycle Racing.

Nick says that this is a none profit set up, in fact there are no entry fees, no sponsorship and no prizes. The idea is to get something going for the love of the sport and the love of racing - Nick says that this is purely selfish - I beg to differ though, Nick has put time into this and no doubt will continue to do so - the series is in its embryonic stage but what a great initiative and Nick deserves a tremendous amount of kudos, support and thanks for launching this.

The first race was in Putrajaya and as it was only about 25k from my house I decided to ride there. What I hadn't planned is that the night before I attended two functions back to back and although I thought I'd moderated my drinking I still managed a bottle of wine and a few beers - this resulting in the inevitable hangover. I really am a lightweight these days when it comes to drinking and staying up late!

By the time I got there I felt marginally better but still rough as a dog. There seemed to be a reasonable turnout but none of the big guns that I'd have expected. That was until the P2K squad turned up in matching livery and all looking very psyched for the morning's fun - oh dear. In all a fantastic turnout of 50+ riders were there - this number will no doubt escalate as time goes by.

My plan was simple, draft at the back of the pack but concentrating on not getting dropped if there was a surge or a weak link in front of me. My goal was solely to contest the sprint finish - placing didn't matter as I hadn't done an "intense" pack ride for a couple of years and I was a numty for having turned up with a handover (not the first time either).

All went according to the script and I only had to bridge a couple of dangerous gaps while P2K were controlling the race (and doing much of the work too, to their credit). With less than two K's to go I'd identified on the earlier loops that there was a slight hill which was likely to be an attack point for the finish. I moved up into the front pack and BANG! as they hit the hill the attacks started. PAIN PAIN PAIN. I had to somehow stay with them otherwise the real sprint finish was already lost. Bikes were whizzing past me on both sides, I just didn't have the legs to accelerate with them.

Somehow I hung on to the last wheel and then it was a case of who was prepared to suffer the most pain the longest. That's a department I am good at - forget skill, power, technique, I just work on the basis of bloody-mindedness and suffering.

With 100 metres to go I was in third place, P2K first and second. Then to my right another P2K blue and white shirt came into view - boy oh boy was he hammering (and hurting) - great job dude and nothing I could do - I settled for 4th place and was stoked with that result. See the official write up HERE

There had been a suggestion that some riders might do a bit of training afterwards so I asked around and tried to raise a posse but there were no takers - everyone headed home except me. I headed off for a much needed ride. The race I guess was about 50k so all in all I put in about 130k in a round trip back via the airport and Salak - nice!

Once again Nick, awesome job and thanks.

There's another race scheduled for this Sunday at 8a.m. if anyone is up for it. Trust me, you don't need to be a "racer" per se, just confident at riding in a pack and prepared to hurt a bit at the end. See News and Next Race HERE It'll be on the same circuit which isn't technical nor hilly, come and try it out - I promise it'll be fun.


yipwt said...

hi simon,

Did you use a TT bike or roadie?

sounds interesting...

Simon said...

I used my roadie but there were guys there on their TT bikes and I used to race on Thursday nights with my TT. Also Nick informs me today that he will allow full aero set ups when the TT races come around - he'll just create a seperate division. Come and try it out - it really is a buzz - something different if you've not done it before.

yipwt said...

TT race...woot...that'll be fast n furious...

Keat Seong said...

i'm game for the TT race :P