The route: Genting Sempah -> Bentong (downhill, yeeaayy!!) -> Tranum -> Fraser's Gap (climb) -> Tranum -> Bentong (climb) -> Genting Sempah.
I had done the 200km version of this ride in January with Arif, Senn, Adeline, and some others who were training for Ironman 2010. It included two additional climbs - HOA to Genting Sempah and McD Hill. I completed the ride with no major problems, and it gave me a confidence boost that I was able to handle endurance rides. So, feeling pretty confident with myself, I showed up all cheery and ready to rumble on Sunday morning. I had however, the night before, slept on the couch in a not so good position, which caused some minor discomfort in my lower back. Not that I realized it until much later into the ride.
The descend from Genting Sempah to Bentong was fairly uneventful in the beginning. As our second peloton started to pick up speed on the second half of the journey to Bentong, I found myself in front with a couple of others pulling the peloton at about 33-35kmph. Took turns till OJ came out and offered to pull...at 41kmph!! :S About 10km to Bentong, OJ and I spotted the first peloton in the distance and started to up the speed to chase them down. Which we did eventually. :D It was all very fun and I felt good and couldn't stop smiling :D :D
After regrouping, the first peloton sped off again towards Tranum. And I was found myself in their smoke. Until Uncle Patrick saved us! :D I've always enjoyed Unc Patrick's draft. Like a nice big tree in front of me :D Hehe. When we reached Tranum, we went further down to have a good breakfast at the local stalls. Time got the better of us, and our group was the last to leave Tranum to climb up Fraser's.
I've never been able to climb Fraser's well. Maybe its just my heavy bum. All in all, every ride I did up to Fraser's Gap was either tiring, painful, or I 'died' halfway up. This was one of them. After the endless climbing and sighing and calculating how many more km's to go, Vong and I reached the Gap. Fuh. Last group to leave Tranum, and the last group to reach the Gap. Oh well. As much as I dont like climbing up to the Gap, I absolutely LOVED the descend. There is a section of the descend where you can soak in the gorgeousness of the lakeview, sky, and greenery while having the wind in your hair! Simply beautiful.
The second part of the ride was not good for me. Somehow, even with my legs still energetic, my core and back was tired. So tired that I had to slow down and adjust my position many times during the ride. Vong taught me how to stretch, and that helped. He was with me all the way, and I really appreciated that. And so, with the most grueling 7kms of my life, I reached the final destination. Yay!! 170kms. With no cramps, strong legs, but achy back and exhausted core. Lessons learned? Well for one, I need to go easy on my core workouts at the gym before a long ride. And I should never ever sleep in a bad position on the couch before such rides!
This is the last long ride before PCC Interstate. This Sunday's ride will be a short one to Ijok and back from Centrepoint, Bandar Utama. And then, Interstate! Yay! Looking forward to a long weekend of fun under the sun!