|Group photo, missing out Saito and Michael|
|"Copy me, Claudine!'|
|Copy fail.....Thanks Khan, for inducting me into the Hall of Fame, Team Ultraman|
Now, what keeps drawing us back to Sedenak? There's hills to play with, a good supply of greenery, clear crystal streams, railway crossings.....counting road kills, etc. While some will vote for the nature ride, many will vouch for the food!
This morning sees many riders returning to Huo Guo Shan for a value added ride! Sue had named the ride Tour de Wantan Mee and Chui Kueh for good reasons.
While everyone were gearing up their roadbikes, VT unloaded his steel horse, Komplete Horse Shit to the amusement of others. You see, Horse Shit is nothing more than a small foldable "pony" with 20 inch tyres. But this little pony has travelled to many countries; through air, sea and land passage.
We flagged off as soon as an orange backhoe rumbled past. Upon Leo's suggestion, we all took off behind the vehicle. Voon was the first to grab the free ride. Keng Guan, again on fixie and Wen Chong were quickly by his side enjoying a good exchange before Claudine caught up.
As the first group crossed the railway line Leo, Khan, Agnes, Andy and Jolin quickly caught up. We were all happily following the orange machine when it suddenly reduced speed, going through a bumpy crossing with a raised boom gate and security checks. Everyone quickly jammed the brakes to prevent a pile up.
Saying goodbye to our ride, we left. We cruised along the palm oil estate road before hitting our first mean climb. Voon, Keng Guan and Wen Chong were leading by 20 feet, when suddenly, Khan shouted, "Attack!!!"
Leo, swung an apologetic look at Agnes and Claudine, turned and propelled forward. We see the boys disappear around the corner in a split second.
Meanwhile, Andy who was riding ahead of Claudine, stalled. He beckoned Claudine to move forward, wanting to assume sweeper role. Instead, she waved him ahead assuring him that VT was still behind. Knowing all will be accounted for, Andy effortlessly caught up with the boys.
Now, the only one left within sight is Little Red Riding Hood, trotting some 20 feet ahead of Claudine. Both girls rode together in the dark, gloomy plantation, the sunlight barely peeking through the thick, lush palm leaves.
As Claudine was huffing and puffing up yet another slope, an orange figure loomed beside her. It flashes its big sharp teeth!!! Then, it cooed cunningly at her, "Why are you riding so fast today, Claudma?"
Jitters!!! Claudine diverted its attention to the rider ahead.
With a smile, Tigger "attacked" Little Red Riding Hood!!!
"Take 2, start rolling....." called the director!
Truth is Jolin was riding between the 2 girls all the way through the palm oil estates, making sure that they were alright!!! Now, as they escaped the dark plantation, they now faced rolling hills. Up and down the trio attacked the hills.
They passed the stinking Lew Peng chicken farm....
They crossed the 3 rivers, now almost dry by El Niño effect....
Throughout all this, Claudine was chased by dogs, not once but twice!!!
After the rolling hills, Agnes was rolling more slowly. Claudine quietly caught up behind her and then, overtook her with glee!!! However, our lady captain will not accept defeat so easily. She regained her lead within minutes.
As they were approaching Layang-layang, a rider overtook Claudine, catching her by surprise. Michael who had arrived late, was still gearing up when the group took off. Like a trusting bull, he had raced all the way from behind, overtaking each rider, one by one!
We all made it to our first pitstop at the 7 Eleven store. The men in black were finishing their drinks when the second batch of riders arrived. Andy though faithfully waited at the junction to direct everyone to the stop!
We saw Hea and YL come in not long after the second batch. Bob tailed behind with his metasprint flag, numbered 1604 from last week's competition. Then, slightly later, Sue, who was escorted by Saito. Finally, we saw Thomas and the two Madcat father and son team.
Meanwhile, VT who was riding alone, found himself drafting behind our orange backhoe till they hit the hills. Then the grind began and the shortcomings of a foldie unfolded itself. With only 9 back gears to play with, VT found himself running out of gears to change! Also the upright seating position was not very aerodynamic, thus he could not speed downhills fast enough to propel himself up the next hill. Having a small 20 inch wheels was not helping much too.
After a labourious ride, VT finally arrived at Guang Fatt Wantan Mee. He enjoyed his meal before riding back to base with a cooler bag filled with takeaways. They were neatly tucked in his pannier that was hooked to the rear rack.
As the second leg began, Jolin was first to ride out, followed by Claudine. Leaving the town, Claudine heard "hee, hee, hee, hee..." Only a girl could pant like that!
Sue called out, "Let's overtake Jolin!" As Claudine's legs will not move as told, Sue politely overtook her.
Coming to an open road, Agnes called out, "Get in line!" The little black figures crowded around Claudine. One by one, Leo and Khan tapped on her shoulder playfully. "Someone" even threatened to pull at her granny panties!!! Slowly the tease(s) left her behind.
Then, another set of rolling hills began. Again, the boys were nowhere in sight. Again, Agnes was leading. This time, Andy was looking after the girls. This time, Sue was playing catch with Claudine!
Sue will race up a hill, only to loose steam halfway. Claudine will steadily climb and overtake her midway. However, on downhills, Sue will overtake Claudine again! Mass does matter!!!
And the same story repeats itself on the next hill, and the next hill, and the next hill.....
With 2 km more to Renggam, Agnes was seen stopping in the middle of a steep slope. Andy was with her. Twice she tried to get back on her bike and twice, her chains failed to turn!
Taking this opportunity, Claudine overtook them and raced past yet another set of railway tracks to the second pitstop. Within minutes, Agnes, Andy and Sue rolled in. Then Hea, followed much later by Thomas and the Madcat father and son team. While Bob was behind earlier, he had gotten a hang of the hills and rolled in together with the men in black.
We took a short rest and rode back again, in anticipation of our Wantan Mee. We returned with almost the same of chain of events. Jolin will lead, followed closely by Claudine...
Soon, Agnes will call out, "Get in line". The little black figures will disappear...
Claudine and Sue continue to race on the hills....
When Claudine finally got back to Guang Fatt, much to her chagrin, the black team together with Bob and Andy were already tossing their Wantan Mee with their chopsticks! Sue trailed behind minutes later. Again, followed by Hea and Saito. And much later Thomas and the Madcats.
We all enjoyed a good meal and a good fellowship before heading out. Sue though had some secret training with Jolin. The duo stayed behind.
Meanwhile, Thomas enjoyed another cigarette while the father and son team accompanied him. They too, stayed behind.
We were informed Keng Guan and Wen Chong had gone on another route and will not be returning with us.
Claudine forgot to pay the bill! She stopped, Andy stopped, YL slowed down.... With a smug look YL exclaimed he had paid on her behalf!!!
But by then, the leading team had gone! Claudine found herself riding with Andy and with very little motivation. The return leg seems steeper, the climbs harder.
When they came upon the railway tracks, Claudine was surprised to see Team JEC goofing around. They had made Agnes lead them while they sang and joked. Then they had taken a long break posing for Cycling weekly magazine!
Mayday!!! Hea had suffered bad cramps 10 km after Layang-layang. Sue and Jolin were in secret training when they chanced upon him. While Sue sent distressed calls to almost everyone, Jolin massaged his legs! Finally, VT was summoned to pick him up.
Back at Hua Gua Shan, VT said Bob was first to arrive. While, Claudine had no recollections of YL's performance earlier, he came in second. In due time, everyone rolled in.
While some packed to leave in a hurry, others enjoyed some drinks at the temple. There were some who even took the extra mile to turn off at Kelapa Sawit for their famed Chui Kueh.... on motorized vehicle of course!!!