I first heard about the formation of Terengganu ProAsia Cycling Team from a few cyclist friends in Kuantan a couple months back. According to them Anuar Manan will be setting up the team, and they, the cyclists from Kuantan are in full support of this. I did not anticipate the scale of this new team my friends were buzzing about until I attended a ride organized by LeTua Cycling Team on the 16th January 2011 at Bukit Jelutong, Selangor, Malaysia. In fact I never took detail if not great interest in cycling teams, and only getting updates from the news or from watching the live broadcast of Jelajah Malaysia/LTDL. I did however, on 2 occasions was lucky enough to watch the KL stage for LTDL a couple of years back and one of the stage start of Jelajah Malaysia 2010. Still the interest to know more about local teams did not exist.
This all change after I got more involved in cycling events – not triathlon or duathlon, starting late last year. I participated in a few MALAKOFF rides ; the Gap ride in 2009, MAD Charity Ride to Kluang last year, as well as the MALAKOFF Interstate Charity Ride recently. The only standalone cycling ‘race’ which I participated was years ago – Putrajaya Cycling Fest. Boy, it wasn’t easy. It is unlike running where you can afford to rest whenever you like, and plan your pace with great flexibility. There was no technical need to know what frame size, tube length, or which type of wheels and tyres are suitable and best for you involved. The main sciences for running are many ; from the running technique, training schedule, sports nutrition and pacing – but they are deemed less complicated to any other sports that I know of. What you see is what you get, a sweaty runner, who is striding away, trying to control his breathing, and perhaps the heart-rate monitor tucked neatly under the cycling vest. I have been ‘too indulged’ with my running escapades whether road or off-road. Running to me, is by feel but knowing what to feel (and when to feel it) and how to react when going through a course of hills and flats. Knowledge is as important – so applying what I have learnt from my reading also helped me to enjoy the sports that I love more.
Then the mind shifts to cycling. What I mean by cycling here is not the regular and casual riding you see around your neighbourhood or at parks. And definitely not the old-school 1955 steel bike you see the macha/apek riding around on. Think Tour de France. Think UCI Track World Cup. On homeground, think LTdL and Jelajah Malaysia. And on the multisports facet, think the cycling leg of Ironman and also Powerman. My introduction to triathlon was pretty simple. I didn’t have a road bike then, so I loaned one. It was ‘nearly’ my size, did a simple bike fitting at the entrance of my friend’s house – my friend did the fitting. All I had to do was sit on the bike and doing as asked by my friend. ‘Okay, rotate your foot to 6 oçlock, then 3 o’clock’. Now get off the bike’ *adjusts the seat post* then, ‘ok, go on the bike again’.. I did not bother to ask what exactly was measured nor did I ask what the significance was. All I knew (until now) was that the bike should ‘fit’ me, I am comfortable on the bike *no back pain!* Too comfortable with the simplicity of running and trying to engage the run by feel into cycling. ‘Cycle by feel’.
Well, it can work only up to a certain level. You still need to feel, anticipate and predict the wheres, whens and hows. Again, nothing too technical here. I have been training and racing without any techy gadgets wether simple or complicated – I have a Suunto heart rate which I don’t really use.. My speed meter on the bike is almost never on the bike – i took it out. During Ironman Langkawi, meter shows ‘sleep’. Uhmm what else, I can’t answer most numerical technical questions about bicycles – if posed with any [as much as I can’t ask any]. You don’t have to be a pro to being knowing all this. These are the basic questions which you need to know the answer so that your cycling becomes more significant.
I am missing a lot here.. miss the ‘knowing’. It is time missjewelz… time to know, time to learn.. I should not stop running or cycling by feel. But what I can do to improve is to know the basic ‘technical stuffs’ regarding cycling. J But again, too many theory and knowledge if not put into practice, well , is similar to not knowing anything. So…put your knowledge to practise ! Don’t just keep it in your hard disk ! J
Follow my journey to getting to know more about cycling. LOL.. I have been cycling all this while and know so little. Let’s unwrap this onion bit by bit ! I will use the post title ‘Spinning Jewelz’ in the next part.
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