|With JB Riders at the kampung|
|With Singapore Riders at Marlborough College|
|Verrene's maiden ride, supported by Kenneth and friends|
|Finally met Basil and JM Lew|
|It was Jancy's birthday!!!|
|One helluva team!|
As day breaks, a huge crowd had gathered outside Khass Bicycles. Jolin and Matt were observing the spinning of their bike wheels when Claudine arrived with blinking front and rear lights having started from home when it was pitch dark. While she started a long discussion with Jolin over some career moves, Kevin and Ronan rolled in to greet their ex-teacher.
It was a long time before we started rolling with the ball being passed around on who is to lead the ride. With Capt Leo on sitter duty, the helm was passed to Voon, his first officer who reluctantly assumed responsibility!
Everyone adhered to the stipulated average speed of 25kph, no overtaking and no surging rules for the first 5 km. While Dr Chu, Andy and BG were on mtbs, self-enforcing rolling limitations on themselves, today's speed was not enough to sustain them!!! Turning off to Lebuh Kota Iskandar, they pumped the pedals hard, overtaking Voon, who also gave chase!!!
At Marlborough College, Voon ushered everyone to enter the kampung while he remained as marker. This time, Claudine took the lead but in just two strides, Basil was up beside her! Realizing she was no match for him, they chatted all the way to the jetty only to see See Chiang, Jeff, Loh and a few friends on their way out!
The stop at Kg Sg Melayu was longer than usual as Thomas Moy had a puncture to attend to. But then again, we had an equally long stop at Puteri Harbour which sees Basil's new S Works crashing to the ground over a case of physics and imbalance.
With CNY just around the corner, everyone were in a festive mood. Nobody really wanted to train and thus it was decided that while the rest will ride back to base, Claudine will return to Kg Sg Melayu on her own to meet Philip Sim and his Singapore entourage.
As the team escorted her out, it became apparent that Verrene badly needed a lesson on Bicycle 101!!! By then, her right calf was coated with grease from the chainring!!! Eager to ride, she had bought riding gears BUT had no bike. Thankfully, her buddy Kenneth managed to borrow one for her on the eleventh hour!
Entering the kampung once again, Claudine saw the same familiar faces she met earlier. Some were waiting by the labourer's quarters for their friends who were seen pushing their bikes on the final climb. The friendly folks exchanged greetings with Claudine while affirming her friends' entry into the labyrinth.
Coincidentally, she bumped into Lucas, Thomas Tai and their 2 other friends just before she came into contact with Philip's team. Both groups were to go on the same route later, meeting again at Sunway Iskandar!
Time was running out for Philip after Sunway's show office. While Kai was eager to introduce Pendas Hill to everyone, Philip wanted to feed the hungry group before riding back to the city. He made a U-turn just before the knoll ordering everyone to head for Puteri Harbour.
Crestfallen, Robert's request for a 5 minute detour was denied. Taking note of his eagerness, Claudine offered to go with him knowing she could guide him to Puteri Harbour herself. Their disobedience was followed by Tony, Koh and Kai.
It was a brief detour, true to their words. As they rode to catch up with the lead team, they collected Jancy at the foot of the hill and some others along the Sunway stretch.
Waiting to regroup at the traffic lights, BJ and Ian were taking a long time to arrive. The sun was beginning to shine and everyone were worried about BJ. Doubting BJ's resilience, Kai decided to abandon Puteri Harbour.
Even with new world technology, some phones will still go unanswered. Unable to contact Philip, Kai's group made a last minute decision to slog on to Puteri Harbour.
They left Medini One with drinks and beer only to arrive at the marina to receive a long lecture by the Commander! It seems Jon was the only one smiling happily while Philip berated. After all, he was cradling a beer in one hand!!!
Heading back, we said goodbye to Kai at Horizon Hills. By then, Claudine had decided to assume sweeper duty.
Philip led everyone to Yong Yong Desserts for a quick recharge and to sit out the scorching sun. Little did we know, we will actually sit out the sun!!! It rained from noon onwards and continued to do so for the next 2 days bringing floods to Thomson Road, Singapore and many parts of Malaysia!!!
|Jayson helping out with the tyre change|
The day was not without bike troubles. Jon needed a tyre change in the morning while Koh had a puncture right after Yong Yong. BJ, Ian and Claudine who needed a headstart, rode to Crown Istana while everyone waited for the tube change. The trio seeked refuge at Tadika Kastil when the sky decided to break!
Finally regrouped, Philip's promise of a sumptuous lunch was fulfilled. We ate at one of the oldest duck restaurants in JB which also served good Assam Fish.
It was still drizzling when our friends continued on with ice-creams. By then, Claudine had clocked 93 km and knowing home is an additional 18 km, she decided to circle Kota Iskandar until she hit 140 km, a feat meant for the day with Andy which both eventually cancelled. Little did she know, she will be riding in rain for 3 hours, making brief stops under the Bukit Indah flyover and at Sunway Iskandar to check on her Strava. She returned home triumphing at 156 km, her 3rd bird to kill!!!