There is always a first time in anything that we do. I did my first duathlon, triathlon, Ironman, towerthon ! Last month I took my first cable car ride up Genting, first bike ride up to Frasers, and..last week, my first mountain bike event ! Took part in the Kencana SIC Bikeathon (Jamboree) — and was certainly tricked by the word ‘jamboree’. So a jamboree it was, turned race. I thought of old uncles and big aunties, easy trails. But no, dekat (near) the start line, the riders looked like they’re all set for a rally instead of jamboreed. No loose t-shirts. With their cycling jerseys, shorts and Oakleys. Whoaa.. But I came half-prepared, better than nothing. Had my Scott Contessa mountain bike, my Salomon trail shoes on (since I have not tried mountain biking with clip shoes before), helmet, old Oakleys and uhmm, no gloves..
So it was a 45km course. We had to do 3 loops of 15km with each loop consisting of 10km trail and 5km road. So 3 loops of a trail and course which I have no idea what its like. First loop was my ‘test loop’ — since I have not checked out the trail and did not actually bother to look at the course profile uploaded at the event’s website. Second loop ‘getting warmed up’ loop, and third loop ‘home run’ loop, that’s when you give all you can (of what’s left of course).
I had a bottle of endurance drink with me, 2 Powerbar gels. I had my driving license tucked beneath my cycling shorts as I got it ‘returned’ by the organizers who took the riders I.C.. in exchange of the transponder. I have this thing against people taking my I.C. Usually I will give them my driving license. So it was kind of weird that the organizer at Kencana SIC was collecting riders I.C. when by actual right, they should have not. A deposit of RM30 would have been better.
Was too lazy to keep the license back in the car, so I tucked in my shorts as it was tight enough ! Anyways..There were less than 10 lady riders in the jamboree out of the 200++ rides. Lydia was one of them. She has much more mountain biking experience than me. But again, ni kan jamboree. Bukan race, so I thought. LOL.. First loop was packed, I mean the distance between the riders were close that I couldn’t go fast enough and I still had to keep the distance to make sure I don’t land into any oncoming obstacles ahead of me that may be ‘invisible’ since there were simply so many of us in the not so narrow trail. The course took us from the F1 track to the palm oil estate adjacent to the track parted by a 2 wide lane road both ways.
Of Hills and Grannies
First hill was not a killer. Around 100m or so before we hit the dirt track. Then into the estate, a flat, then a gentle drop. The rest of the course were fairly flat. So no problem right there. Then we hit another long climb. THE only long climb which was not that challenging. Used the second front sprocket for most of the climbs and the 2-3 lightest for the back. It was only challenging when the trail is packed and you gotta keep your legs spinning to ensure that the bike don’t stop. I manage to bike around 30% up the hill before surrendering to pushing the bike as there was no way I could bike with so many riders ahead of me. Second loop, I made it up all the way as there were less riders. And on my third loop, I made it up all the way, well, nearly. Front wheel got halted by a medium sized rock and I was not fast enough to react to keep the bike going. Only another 10m to the peak !
Anyways, the 5km on the F1 Track was fun. Would have been more fun if I was on my road bike. Overall I had fun on the course. Began slow but started overtaking riders on the climb. I was given the advice that on the climb I should take it easy but push hard on the descend. Tried and tested. It worked.
From novice to novice
This technique can be used also (like duh..) in your road cycling. Whenever you see a hill ahead, build up the momentum to climb, and when climbing, there’s no need to crank it up. Just maintain a steady cadence without increasing your heart rate any further. Once you hit the peak you’ll be surprised to feel that you have a lot more energy that you can gear up for a fast down hill. Compare this to to cranking it up (and heavy) up the hill, huffing and puffing your chest, straining em calves and quadriceps. By the time you get to the peak (even though you are the first to reach it) you will free rather exhausted. What would have been followed by a fast downhill turns to a steady free wheel which is not as fast compared to the rider who was on the climb, behind you. And as you go for more climbs and descend, you energy level drops while you try to maximize it with the increasing heart rate.
Okay, back to the ‘jamboree’. I was on my second loop when I saw Haziq Azmen from UPNM sitting at the edge of the trail. Apparently Haziq fell into a drop which he missed due to trailing to close to the rider ahead of him. When the rider avoided it suddenly, Haziq couldn’t react as they were going at a very fast pace. No serious injury except for a dislocated right shoulder. *ouch* As for myself, I nearly went over a wide longkang (drain), but luckily I manage to swerve on time. The rider which I over took during one of the climbs decided to overtake me during the descent (at a corner!) ‘pushing’ me to the left missing the drain by inches. But other than that, my ride was okay. I didn’t fall !
Cepat lah sikit ada lembu la !!
Drama : I bumped into a cow on my 3rd loop ! I halted as soon as I saw it. It looked at me, and I looked back. I was not sure whether to go ahead and cycle or turn back. If I went ahead (it was a downhill) it might chase and out run me (then the organizer should consider opening a ‘COW-tegory’). The thing is much heavier than me I didn’t dare to budge. Tick tock.. nearly 40seconds passed.. The cow moved a bit..and I wasn’t feeling too good.. In my mind.., where are the other riders ?! 4-5 riders were behind me on the last climb.. I looked back and shouted ‘Cepat la sikit, and lembu ni laaa!!!’ (Hurry up, there’s a cow here !!!). A few seconds later the cow trotted away, into the bushes.. *phew*. Apa lagi, cycle terus.. haha.. reminds me of my Kiara experience when I came across a group of monkeys. And I was alone !!
Continued cycling and actually grinned in delight to be finishing the last loop, without any fall and injury. Crossed the finish line. Mission accomplished. Completed my first ‘jamboree’.
Partial results now available at the event’s Facebook
Kencana SIC 2011 photos that you can view from Facebook
KENCANA-SIC 2011/ KRITERIUM RACE by Hiroshi Meyoress
SIC Bikeathon Criterium 2011 by Nizam Esmann
KENCANA – SIC 2011 by Athar Ali
jamboree – Kencana – SIC – by Megat Asyraf
[the above albums are in Facebook. So, pandai2 cari. Jangan lupa kasi salam kat Tuan punya album. Official photos/videos takde lagi (kot..)].
Video links from KENCANA-SIC 2011 by missjewelz [click on link to view]