Is it really that tough? Weeks before Broga, I was handling quite a heavy load. Juggling between my full time job chasing in the quarter end sales, training and racing Kenyir Tri, joining MTB challenges, and exploring my MBA options. And in the back of my mind, i was trying to justify how I would be able to finish strong for Broga - Well, if I can complete the 200km ride from Genting Sempah to Fraser's Hill and back in February, Broga shouldnt be a problem - that is, if I dont push it and take care of my nutrition.
The Route (115km)
Tekala -> Semenyih -> Broga (Climb)-> Lenggeng -> Bukit Tangga (Climb)-> Klawang -> Titi -> Perez (Major Climb)-> Semenyih Dam -> Tekala
So what's so tough about a mere 115km? Well for one, as predictable as it sounds, the climbs.
Climb 1 - Broga
Climb 2 - Bukit Tangga
Climb 3 - Perez
Now, match those climbs to that on the elevation & distance chart above respectively. Add in the time factor, where its about 8am during Climb 1, 10am during Climb 2, and 12pm during Climb 3 and what do you get? Insanely scorching heat from the sun above u, from the ground below you, and from the wind around you.
Upon reaching the Petronas before Broga climb, I wasn't happy. I didn't take care of my food intake at the previous regroup at Semenyih. My tummy was growling and I felt the energy waning away and we were still 10km from the regroup point. And most athletes do know, that when your tummy is growling for food, its too late. If you dont fill up quick, you bonk. So when I found out that the regroup is at Petronas, it didnt do much to lift my mood. Yuck, Petronas! No real food. Hungry. Grumpy. Hmph. Settled for peanut butter & strawberry waffle, soymilk, and a pizza bun. Beggars can't be choosers. Or rather, Hungry Cyclists cant be Choosers. So off we went after a very long break at Petronas. We were the last group to leave in fact.
The Broga & Bukit Tangga climbs came and went. Not too bad. Then came the Perez Climb. OMG. Hot. Long. Steep. Hotter. Longer. Steeper. Argh! No choice. Vong and I stopped midway for a break for me, and Dennis happened to be driving by and swung us a bottle of water! Ah, bliss! Dunked some water over myself, just in time for a cool breeze! :D :D Once Kwan, Per-Li, Chin and Thiru arrived, we went on. Climb climb climb. Neverending. Until...Finally! The peak of Perez - the border between Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.
And so, we silly masochistic sadistic amateur cyclists who crave pain and suffering, descend back down towards Tekala. Over yet? No. One toasty Semenyih Dam coming right up! Dayem~~the dam!
Now, at this point, you do a sanity check : 4 hours ago, you climbed Broga in the mid-morning sun. THEN got a hunger attack on the way to Lenggeng. THEN climbed Bukit Tangga in the insane 11am heat. THEN zombied through Klawang and Titi, which can't even be recalled in the process of writing this blog entry. THEN climb Perez that mother **** of all climbs, THEN Semenyih Dam. And you realize, you are bloomin' blimey MAD! And you throw a temper tantrum at your boyfriend (or it could have been anyone unfortunate enough to be riding with you at this point in time) and keep asking "Are we there yet?".
Yes. We are not only a determined and disciplined bunch, but also mad. Get to know us, you'll love us :D
The return to Tekala was what I can only recall as 'pristine'. Yes, I know pristine is actually an adjective and you can't really use that as a noun to describe a feeling. But I'm crazy, remember, so I felt 'pristinely' upon reaching Tekala. So fresh was the sudden feeling in my body, that I had the strongest desire to put on my running shoes and run right after getting off the bike. And I would have, had I not left my running shoes at home :(
Would I do it again? Oh yes. Give it to me. Broga reverse, broga pondan, or broga classic! Bring it on - but after interstate only lah, ok?