Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Round the Island Ride - 20 Mar 08

Lala had been bugging me to join him for rides. Finally there was one that i was available for, though it also meant i have to give up on SGRunners' Prata run, what would have been a better choice for the events that i have planned to participate in.
Anyhow, took leave from work that day and ensured that i had enough sleep. By 7pm, i was all geared up with Zoots Bike sleeveless jersey and Bike tights. Checked on Scott AFD and to my horror, the rear tyre was flat. Spent the next 10mins trying to solve the problem but the tyre just wouldn't inflate. Desperate situation calls for desperate measures, i decided to take a cab to the startpoint. So i grabbed Red Specialised helmet and put on Shimano TR-30 on the right foot and Asics Cumulus on the left.
This ride was facilitated by L & T Bike shop, somewhere at Tampines Street 44. Managed to get to startpoint just before 8. A large group had formed, in a mixture of roadies and MTB. I got the shop machanic to fix the rear wheel's problem for $7 and bought a new pair of gloves since i forgotten to bring one.
All set to go. Wan and Raja gave a briefing before i caught up with Alex Hong from Trifam with his uber cool Triton carbon bike. Before long, the ride started and I kept to the tail of the group.
The route will takes us from Tampines Street 44 - Loyang Rd - Changi Village - Coastal Rd - ECP - Fort Rd - Guillemard Rd - Nicoll Highway - Shenton Way - Keppel Rd - Telok Blangah Rd - Pasir panjang Rd - West Coast - Jurong West - Lim Chu Kang - Neo Tiew - Kranji - Mandai - Seletar - Sengkang - Hougang - Tampines, estimated to be 120km in total.
I was supposed to accompany Lala as sweeper but found him nowhere in sight by the time we left. I assumed the sweeper's role and accompanied a MTB from Loyang till we regrouped with the front pack at the entrance to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal Rd.
With Lala around, i joined the front pack, mainly made up of MTBs. We cruised our way through ECP and regrouped again at Fort Rd. Soon, the roadies caught up with us. From here, the next pit stop will be at Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market. We let the MTB proceed first and moved off after about 5mins. The roadies started slow but by the time we got to Nicoll Highway it was fast and furious time. My speedo recorded about 32-35km/h at this stretch.
As we left Keppel Rd, it was even faster, since there were no traffic. Speedo captured 37-39km/h at this stretch as i drafted behind, overtook, led and then drafted again behind fellow roadies. To my disappointment, there was no eatable read food served at the rest point so i had to settle for kaya toast and 3 cans of 100plus.
We moved off to the next Pit Stop, supposedly at Kranji Kopitiam. The group was spreadout pretty thinly and i was determined not to be among the last. As i passed Lala at Pandan Reservoir, i knew that i was not and after a couple of red lights, i caught up with the pack of MTBs and some roadies.
Lim Chu Kang Cemetary was the location for the next regroup point and as we waited for Lala the sweeper, i tested out Alex's Triton. Very responsive bike. Started to feel cramps creeping on right thigh so i did some stretching.
We then moved as a pack through Neo Tiew and stopped at Kranji Rd Kopi Tiam, where the other half of roadies seemed to have waited for sometime. Another dose of 100plus and a spray of deep heat later, i was ready to move off, until someone reminded me that i have forgotten to put on my helmet. Realised that i left it outside the toilet, the group left and i was among the last by the time i move off.
A couple of traffic light stops and the group got stretched even more thinly. As i entered Mandai Rd, i braced myself for the long upslope climb. I was probably down to my lightest gear and concentrated on continuously cycling my way up the slope. A lady MTB drafted behind and we finally got to the top of the slope after the entrance to Singapore Zoo.
A few riders were ahead and we motioned to ride as a pack as we caught up with them. At the junction of Seletar Rd, a police car attended to a road traffic accident involving 2 badly damaged cars. We proceeded on and rode across Lentor Ave to make our way to Yishum/Seletar Dam.
Looked like most of the riders were waiting for us as we arrived at the Dam. The place seemed to be a hangout for many bengs and mats racers. The police were there too. Raja mentioned that we have 10km to go to surpass 100km. My butt hurts.
We left via the road surrounding Seletar Airport and passed by Jalan Kayu. I would loved to have a plate of 2 prata kosong but wanted to finish the ride. We went through Fernvale, then Anchorvale and Compassvale before i led the group to Tampines Rd via my old playground at Hougang.
We regrouped for the last time at Tampines Rd and as soon as the group got bigger, we left for Tampines. I cycled-standing for most of the route by then, butt was sore real bad. Finally got to Tampines and i was contemplating on heading straight home but the promise of prata was too much to give up. Reached end point just before 4am.
The kopi shop ran out of prata but it was an enjoyable ride nonetheless. 120km in total, an increase of 30km from my last max of 90km at Desaru LD Tri.
Distance: 120km

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