|Huo Guo Shan temple in Sedenak|
|Someone once said there are 15 hills from Sedenak to Layang-layang|
|I am finally here!!! Simpang Renggam|
Lately, a human resource issue on the home front is causing a major setback to Claudine's riding plans. She can only be on standby most weekends. So, when a free day opens up on the eleventh hour, she jumped on it immediately.
However, with many riders on serious training for the upcoming Melaka Century Ride, finding suitable leisure groups to ride with is difficult. More so, if one decided to hit the road on the last possible moment. Thankfully, Bob was gracious enough to invite the Ad Hocs to join him on his usual training route, Sedenak to Renggam.
On the morning of the ride, 5 riders pushed off from Hua Guo Shan temple. They reached Layang-Layang in a little less than an hour. After a short water break, they rolled out again towards Renggam.
At Renggam railway station and bus depot, the remaining 4 riders had a quick meal of yong tau foo with noodles. Meanwhile, VT who preferred a relaxing ride dined alone at Guang Fatt Wantan Mee in Layang-layang. It was pre-arranged for him to return to base on his own.
As Bob was adamant to complete his training ride to Simpang Renggam, the other three were eventually convinced to go as well. It was arranged for Zoe to give Claudine a lift home, hence relieving VT off his duty to wait . Everything was arranged in a matter of minutes and with that the ride continued to Simpang Renggam.
Simpang Renggam is a new destination for Zoe and Claudine. It was fascinating to note that beyond the railway station lies a major trunk road with wide road shoulders. Besides the usual palm oil estates, coming into town is a huge police station, just opposite the Simpang Renggam prison.
The route from Renggam to Simpang Renggam is a beautiful but noisy one, with cars and lorries plying the road. The gradient continues to be one of rolling hills but more gentle and gradual. Riding down a hill, one could slingshot oneself up the next hill with little effort.
The town came quickly but we did not ventured beyond Rohaizat Mall which stood at a busy T-junction. Still fresh and triumphant, we left quickly, heading back to Renggam.
At Renggam, Jolin was getting a bit worried for the ladies. He suggested refueling from some shops in the area but everyone's water bottle was still full. It was thus agreed that we will refuel at Layang-layang instead.
We pushed off again and the rolling hills continued. All this while, Zoe will draft behind Claudine for 5 km or so before falling back on her own. All this while, the men were 5 minutes ahead of the ladies.
At Layang-layang's 7 Eleven, the cashier cheerily welcomed the riders' return. Zoe had the good sense to get a large bottle of 100 plus for all to top up. This after thought will be very much appreciated on the final segment!
As the finishing run began, Zoe was first to lead! However, it did not take Jolin long to overtake her. Together, they rode ahead with Zoe drafting behind him. However, after quite a few climbs, she lost the advantage. This allows Claudine to overtake her!
Everytime, during a push off, Bob has a tendency to give everyone a good headstart. Nobody can see him for miles and miles behind when suddenly he will appear out of nowhere, overtakes and disappears!!!
The final segment was an agony for Claudine. The shoulders start to ache, the wrists start to feel numb, the back starts to scream! Every 500 meters or so, she had to change her position on the handlebar to find relief!
It was a mind over matter challenge. The 100 plus in the bottle cage kept rattling, asking her to take a swig while it is still cold. She finally grinded to a stop in the middle of a palm oil estate to take a drink and to stretch. Not willing for Zoe to catch up, she pushed herself onwards, inches by inches, slowly stretching them into yards and miles!!!
When the roadworks came as forewarned by VT, a flush of hope came! It signifies the railway crossing is close by and with that the end is near! As she struggled past the tracks, she was startled to see Bob and Jolin waiting by the warung! This time though, the men even had time for coffee!!!
Zoe arrived soon enough, screaming for mercy! The ladies have never done so much hills in a day and today's ride is both mentally and physically challenging! Even Bob's bottle cap popped out from all the pressure built by the constantly shaken 100 plus!!!
In higher spirits, we finished the final 5 km to find VT waiting with victory drinks for all. We recorded a 100 km distance over a 1044 m in elevation gain. While everyone loaded their bikes, Claudine was grateful her husband had faithfully waited for her. Forget the wine and dine, forget the whispers of sweet nothings....sometimes, we ourselves forget that all these small little gestures mean a lot more!!!