Friday, May 20, 2011


Like in any race, the dream is always to win. However, for me, i founded that completing a race is just as glorious as winning it. What matters most is you complete it. Recently, my riding buddies and i had participated in Malakoff Inter-state Fellowship Ride 2010 in Penang. This is my first experience paddling in such race. Over 2000 cyclists from around Malaysia were rushed the 238 km race covering the three states of Penang, Perak and Kedah. The two-day Ride spans over 31 December 2010 and 1 January 2011, covering challenging terrains of 171 km and 67 km, respectively.
The Ride is organised by The Penang State Government, Penang Sports Council, Knight of the Round Table (KOTRT) and Malakoff Corporation Berhad (Malakoff). Through this Ride, Malakoff aims to combine sports and healthy living with community outreach. While the participants paddle into the dawn of 2011 traversing the scenic 13-km Penang Bridge with a reinforced commitment to healthy lifestyles, they also aim to raise fund for charity organisations that was announced during the event launch.
First day race, as i waited for the flag off at Youth Park in George Town Penang, i never thought the climbs race will be as daunting as it sounded by my buddy. This 67km hilly route was really inciting me, the hills felt long and endless. More than anything else, the race was a more of a mental test with a torture machine. The climbs aim to Balik Pulau was mentally crestfallen especially when i had just completed one and see another one coming. But everything was pay back when i was seized the hill and stand on the Water Station 1, at Jalan Permatang Pasir. Water and bananas was provided here. My riding buddies and i got some refreshment there. “The pleasing of refreshment after the climbing is nearly as pleasant as making a love” my buddy said. What a felling, oh my god, so i have to get married right after this race! Ha ha ha.
Race continues with extremely downhill. It was mentally exhilarating when you ride through the 30 degree nosedive in open bent. It’s hard to describe the feeling. Sometimes i feel not comfortable with the sleek tyres with chasm by my side. It was as impressive as the speed nearly 70 km per hour as i remembered. “From Balik Pulau with love” there was a memorable place for my riding buddy as he was schooling there.
After that we are heading to the second hill aim to Air Terjun Titi Kerawang. Climbs start again, but this one the road was little bit small than BP’s and sheeting lichen some parts on it. It was also 100 percents shadow. As we were climbing, there were numerous calls of riders riding into each other especially at broken roads, sharp and slow corners. This is a road sense that i have learnt from other cyclist. We climb slowly and steady while realized how beautiful the scenic was. Finally we reach the top and take a rest, and captured some picture on the other hand.
Of course after the climb is always ride down. Ones again i was facing an extremely downhill, but this time the bent was so close and it was done with 50 km per hour average speed i think. Around 10 am we arrived at Water Station 2 at Teluk Bahang Dam and we get some refreshment with 100 plus and bananas there. We continue the joyful ride aim to Tanjung Tokong, Batu Feringghi, and non-stop to Youth Park. No more climbs in this cycleway. As i crossed the finishing line, i was ecstatic. The feeling of accomplishment after all the hard work is nearly as sweet as winning the race. This 67km route was leaving me beaming with pride and bragging rights after completing it. After that, the entire cyclists were queue up at designated counter and show their ride number to sign out. Participant jersey and goodies had been given as we sign out. Lunch was served at Youth Park and there was launching opening ceremony.
Overall the ride was fun. The routes were scenic. However, the organizers could have done a better job by providing the riders proper information such as confirming the actual distance and routes of the race. The usual safety precautions were taken. An ambulance was at hand and sweepers in truck were on standby to sweep up all of the cyclist who were not going to make the cut off time. If you are planning to go to Penang for ride, there’s a seaside you might want to check out. There’s also a waterfall on the way up to Titi Kerawang and other scenic spots for photography along the way.


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