Monthly Archives: May 2014

Under the cosh!

It has been a very busy few weeks for me with no letup in sight, so I’m very grateful for the writings of those who have contributed Batam write ups this week.

As I said, a very busy week so a compact edition, but not lacking punch I hope.

This week we have a couple of race reports from the open and cat 2 groups, we have an in depth tutorial of the Champion Systems kit ordering system for those of you eager to get your hands on the new kit. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER FOR THE FIRST BATCH OF KIT SO IF YOU WANT IT FAST, ORDER IT TODAY!

Finally, The Gentleman Cyclist has been coaxed out of his drawing room to give some welcome advice.

Here’s to hoping that the entire night of rain last night bodes well for a dry weekend, I will be up in Kuantan in the blazing Malaysian heat so I’ll bring you a report of what its like racing in a field of 1000+.  Sorry it’s not a race, you get a start gun, a timing chip, a position and prizes, but it’s not a race – go figure!

Above all of course, rain or shine, let’s be careful out there!
Ed.

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Batam 6 Bridges. Cat 2 Report

Ian Burton

There were visions of a literary masterpiece blending the humour of Tim Moore’s French Revolutions, the excitement of Graeme Fife’s Tour de France coverage and the insight of David Walsh’s LA Confidential. Instead, after a destructive work week and a 2 year old who won’t sleep because of a thunderstorm, here are a few cobbled together words about the Tour de Barelang.

It was a big cat 2 team of about 15 riders that lined up on Saturday, after a largely uneventful journey from Harbourfront, for the 135km Tour de Barelang (Batam 6 Bridges). Next time remind me not to sit near the toilets, especially when Kevin McGregor forgets to lock the toilet door whilst changing into his kit….. Unusually we had had some discussions, race simulations and plans before the race rather than simply rocking up on the day. Would this actually help us on race day?
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Pre-race preparation also consisted of studying the entry list- any other team that had an age difference of 36 years between team mates? And who was later accused of being whose father- see any familial resemblances in the photo?

After a last pre-race briefing from our two nominated riders of Steven Wong and Kevin McGregor, the race started uneventfully and socially with the 17km neutralized zone…. Finally arriving at about 24km at the main bridge, cunningly named in the race pack as Bridge 1.

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I would love to say that then the action unfolded, but as it seemed hot and a long way to go, I was in the middle of the peloton, trying to stay out of the wind and having a chat, including admiring a very fine Garmin camera on someone’s handlebars, which was put to good use later. My easy cruise vaguely peering towards the front of the peloton (is that Craig off the front??) was put on ice when I was bollocked for sitting around doing nothing. My protests of ‘nothing’s happening, there’s a long way to go still’ were dismissed (‘we’ve been busy showing the Mavs we mean business’), so off I went to the front. As expected the Mavs were trying the break-away in pairs tactics, which on a hot day and lumpy course at only 50km gone seemed overly ambitious in the style of Jens Voigt. Still, my orders at this point were to chase down and/or go with them so… I ended up at about 50km in a very long break at high speed that was only brought back with great effort by the peloton. Or so it seemed, honest.

At this point, having a rest seemed like a good idea and with a 90 strong field, there were both a lot of places to hide as well as a danger of being isolated a long way back. Figuring that it was better to get good water access, admire the views and avoid the bollocking by being somewhere in the front third, that’s what I settled down to do. I was riding alongside Max at one point who looked like he’d had 10 Peronis the night before and eaten a dodgy prawn pizza. Still, he was cruising along just fine after 60km and I’ve never seen him do a bad Tuesday Changi blast yet. I figured he’d be ok. A quick check and Steve nearby seemed fine; I don’t remember seeing Kev.

As we approached the turn, excitement levels went up a little as the cat 1s came back the other way. After the turn, as expected, those levels went up again. Guillaume Rondy I think was the first to go, riding hard in a break with the Mavs, a JoyRider and a Saxo Markets guy (with the Garmin camera.Great footage at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzFDC4MGPWI&feature=youtu.be).

Clearly some rest the night before in Batam had done Guillaume some good. He stayed away with the break at a high pace for some time. This was more like it- sitting back and letting other teams do the work. The scenery was quite nice and we had a nice enough view of the cat 3s approaching the turn around to enable me to make a mental note to remind Aiyana Currie not to be at the front so early! Eventually Guillaume’s break came back as the workload started to increase, a super effort and apparently with no water as the temperatures seemed to rise.

The Mavs strategy seemed to have been to hold their usual 2 man attacks back until the last third of the race. Richard Paine of the Mavs seemed to feature more prominently, and this seemed like a cue for Stale Grindflek, who had protested of not feeling great earlier, to come up and do some great work to keep things together. When Paine then made a break, John Versfeld was on his wheel like a shot and off they went, together I think with a JoyRider. This was pretty annoying at first, because I had had the prime position of drafting behind John! On the plus side, again we could let other teams do the work at the front.
Unfortunately, at some point we could make out that John got dropped. Damn. Steve was still around, wasn’t sure about Kev, but there seemed to be enough strength in the legs from Russell Jackson, Stale, Guillaume (how??), Nico Las,myself and others to do some chasing and keep the pace up. That seemed to characterise the next 30km, with a sharp rain shower thrown in for good measure, until we got down to the last 3km or so. Somewhere in all this, Vaibhav went down resulting in this body art and a broken frame (check out the You Tube clip at about 20 minutes).

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Anyway, you can see the results and the photos- who did well and who had some finishing style for the photos. Overall, I think we felt pretty pleased. We had 3 places in the top 10, felt like we worked together as a racing team and were active in the race. Our remaining protected rider was positioned ok for the finish, our sprinter had a pretty good tilt at the line. It was a better team result than Nongsa, even if the highest individual placing wasn’t so good. Clearly having a big team is beneficial, but also did work against us (‘come on ANZA, you go and chase’).

I was frankly buggered and looking forwards to talking rubbish about the race, eating some food, cleaning up and resting. Lucky I stayed around chatting for a while though, or else I wouldn’t have heard someone ask Kev if he was Nathaniel’s father- wtf? You look at the team photo and decide!

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A torrential downpour resulted in a cosy tent arrangement as everyone huddled underneath to avoid the rain. Prize giving was cancelled and bike loading was delayed. As luck would have it, we were near the wine in the ice box and the enterprising locals flogging beer at $3 a can. (Kev- ‘Nate you’re too young to drink!’). A few cans later, the rain relented and off we went to the coaches back to the ferry.Swiss army back packs, semi-pro cycle racing and rowing were some topics of conversation, but they took second place to Pharrell Williams on the iPhone and a rugby tour like regime of drinking on the back seat – Kev had had sufficient foresight to liberate some plastic cups and Aiyanna seemed determinedly thirsty!
Once we got to the ferry terminal, the impact of the heavy rain was keenly felt- passport distribution had not happened and we found out who the natural auctioneers (or school teachers) were as the passports slowly made their way out to their correct owners.
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Off to the ferry terminal for a chance of more drinking, gossiping and greasy food before departure. And for John to discover that he was a boarding pass short of a return trip to Singapore- not that he wouldn’t rather have stayed on in Batam than holiday in the Maldives this week.Finally a lovely sunset over the scenic sights of Jurong before a hassle free disembarkation at Harbourfront. All in all, not too much sunburn, a long day, fun, pretty successful and tiring. Thanks to all the ANZA Cat 2s and those who have helped make us a little better as a racing team. Of course a bigthanks also to all the Cycosports team, including volunteers, who put on another great show and had to work hard in the pouring rain at the end to get us back safe and sound.

Cycosports Batam 6 Bridges. Open Cat

In theory, B6B should have been a good race for me. It’s a hilly course & – as pointed out by Alan Grant – avoids my eternal nemesis in that it has no corners!

However, based on recent form I wasn’t going in with confidence. A rest week following ToF hadn’t had the desired results and I’d found myself unable to get close to recapturing my Thailand form again.

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It didn’t go unnoticed that the cycling gods seemed to be smiling on me for the event. First, I was awarded the super auspicious bib #8 & more importantly Pacific Rim was the movie showing on the ferry to the race. Giant robots fighting giant monsters always hits the mark for mindless bubblegum violence to get me in the mood.

B6B is a 134km race out on the Berelang Highway which runs the length of Batam, Indonesia. 18km neutral zone followed by an out and back on continuously rolling terrain. As per all Indonesian racing, the extreme temperatures also play a large part in deciding the outcome.

For the 1st time in aeons, we arrived with a strong team and were feeling confident. Open consisted of 40 riders – 8 Direct Asia ANZA, 9 Mavs (+1 undercover on probation) and 4-5 each from Joyriders, Cannasia and local pros ISSI.

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We split the DA team in 2 sections with 3 of us given duties to stir things up on the 1st half of the race to the u-turn.

Straight from the gun, Pete Bennett fulfilled his part of the plan and immediately went on the attack – to be joined by Mark Cook. This lasted about 5km before being reeled back in.

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I got off the front a couple of times with first Ben Arnott and then later a Cannasia but nothing stuck more than a few minutes. Eventually Mark Cook went again & escaped with Chris Nyonyintono and an ISSI national team rider. The race agreed that this was a fine selection and we settled down to Gran Fondo pace for the next 30km. These were interesting times as the pressure was on Joyriders and Cannasia to chase and there was clearly some dispute as to the best way to achieve this… We sat on the front behind the chasers and enjoyed the armchair ride whilst it lasted.

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The last 10km before and after the uturn are the hardest part of the race due to increasing size and frequency of the hills. I’d been feeling dodgy for around 30 mins with an upset stomach, thumping headache, first whispers of cramp & cold chills – brought on I’d guess by the sun and quickly started fading. On the last hill before the u-turn, I slipped out the back and the game quickly turned to one of survival rather than winning.

Along with a fellow Cannasia straggler, we started the long 60km grind back through the hills – managing a reasonable pace. My stomach was increasingly bad and I was nervously eyeing the ditch next to the road for a quick bowel break when we managed to pick up another rider. By the time, we’d picked up one of my DA teammates there was an air of optimism in the grupetto with the immortal “come on boys, we’ll win this yet!” uttered by a Cannasia. I would have laughed but was dangerously close to sharting my bibs!

Upfront in the break, Chris Nyonynintono popped and the Mavs went on a charge to pull the break back. Pierre & Dave Christenson tried to stir things up but were nullified through some heavy marking by the field.  Hardcore mentalist Mark Cook went on another flyer – after having been in the last break for 70km but it was snuffed out.

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About 20km out, an Indo SSI attacked and got a gap with a Mav. Despite the entire pack going full gas – including a massive death pull from PA – the ISSI seemed to maintain the gap. Absolutely nothing to do with the SUV team car that was 10m in front of him though….

Despite a superhuman chase effort, the ISSI stayed out and the day ended in a sprint. DA Paulo Caputo got 4th, Dave Christenson 8th and Mark Scoular 9th. The team rode well as a unit and we were happy with our performance – if not the final result and the way it was achieved.

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The usual Cycosports excellent support was waiting at the end. We had some beers with the team whilst the Karaoke belted out some Skidrow and Bad English classics. The shame of the team missing the podium was then literally washed away when the heavens opened up and a biblical flood (ok – 2 inches of water) came along. Ceremony cancelled – we headed back to the ferry and our own version of the ark filled with carbon beasts.

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A quick game of passport bingo ended the day up nicely. The Cycosports boys did another fine job!

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The Gentleman Cyclist – Manning Up

Gentleman Cyclist

It has been a while since we have needed the wise words of The Gentleman Cyclist, however earlier in the week  we heard the sound of a letter drop onto the door mat and we rushed to see what it brought.  We considered ignoring it as TGC was upstairs in the drawing room in dressing gown and slippers, smoking his pipe and enjoying a fine after dinner glass of Port.  [Yes I know letter come in the morning, and dinner is in the evening, but this one was delivered by DHL who seem to work 24/7 here in steamy Singapore] He had left strict instructions not to be bothered unless there was something serious, and this cry for help seemed to meet the bill, so we slipped the letter under the door, coughed and knocked on the door, then ran for cover like schoolboys in case he was displeased.  To our relief, a few hours later the response was brought downstairs by his butler.

Dear RTI

I have read keenly the lessons from The Gentleman Cyclist in the past and tried to apply them to my current situation, but, alas, both previous examples were written by lady members about treatment they received at the hands of the men, and my situation is the exact reverse.  Last Saturday on the 6am Rats ride, I turned up expecting a great performance from the legs, but unfortunately even by the time I had reached Rats I was already feeling somewhat disconcerted as the guns simply were not firing on all cylinders.

Anyway, we set off at a fair old pace and I noticed that once again we had a solitary lady in the group.  “Thank goodness I secretly thought to myself, I can just slow down under the disguise of ‘taking care’ of my female club mate and making sure she doesn’t end up having to finish the ride alone like has happened in the past”.

As expected, as the group rotated, this lady came closer to the front and once her turn came, I was looking forward the the rest I fully needed.  HANG ON!  WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? was all I could think as she proceeded to drive up the pace to the point that I thought my lungs would bust.  Heart rate off the scale, sweat running down my face, not the way I wanted to start the gentle warm up ride before the Food Canopy.

Anyway RTI, to my question, what is the right etiquette here, is it ok for a guy to shout steady up to a lady, and more importantly given the 6am is a no drop ride, is it ok for the lady to drop them men?

I wait eagerly for your reply
Confused and Emasculated

Dear Confused and Emasculated

I fully understand your situation and I believe that the youth of today refer to this strange phenomenon as ‘being chicked’.  To paraphrase a great moving picture starring one John Travolta, I am not sure if I am more concerned that somebody has been chicked or that it happens so often that we need to have a term for it!

I am often taking a leisurely ride out enjoying the weather when red faced ladies pass my on their cycles going about their business of shopping and running around after the children and so it is important to note that under no circumstances should you give away that you have been bested by one of the fairer sex, there are always reasons why you have been passed or left behind.  Here are some simple rules that you need to follow in these situations:

1. It is never, I repeat, never, acceptable to shout ‘steady up’ to a lady cyclist.  Man up, grit your teeth, grimace and bear it.  When it’s your turn at the front you can drop the pace under the guise of keeping the group together but you must not divulge that she is putting you under so much pressure that you felt the need to call a halt to proceedings.

2. If you do get ‘chicked’ it is never, I repeat, never, because she is a better rider than you.  Look down, there is a wealth of technical gadgetry that you can blame for the problem, none of which she will understand. “Sorry I need to stop, the top sprocket of the rear fandango has momentarily become detached from the chain splicer”  Get a few technical terms in there and you are home and away.

3. Show your softer side, at the point your lungs are about to burst, announce that you just want to stop to admire the scenery.  Not only do you get a rest, but she will be impressed that you have so much energy that you were able to look around you and notice what was going on.  Don’t worry if the scenery is in fact a container port, this gives you another opportunity to bring in some techno babble and demonstrate you softer side and your grasp of the technological elements of commerce.

4. If none of the above works, you need to refer to some residual fatigue that you can blame on a heroic ride you did a few days ago. “I’m sorry, my legs a still a little heavy following the Paris – Nice ride I did last week”  If this final recourse does not have this lady simply swooning into your arms, then I’m afraid you just have to admit you are uglier than Bernie Ecclestone without the benefit of his wallet.

Do not despair Confused and Emasculated, it happens to the best of us, but the important thing is to make sure the ladies do not know.  You may get a nod and a wink from a compatriot but we must stay strong lest the women begin to waver.  Lastly, of course, if none of the above works, then quietly and gracefully slip out the back of the group, making sure one of the men knows that you have an errand to run.

I hope this insight has helped and will ensure that even though you may remain confused, you are no longer emasculated.

TGC

Navigating the ANZA Kit Ordering Process

For those that have somehow managed to miss it, the kit is now on sale via the CS webpage – if you haven’t already got your hands on it, our first order closes at the end of the month (Saturday evening) for production – so if you were one of those previously interested in some winter gear for Etape or to keep you warm on a “Summer” holiday in EU, winter jackets, gillets, gloves and a new cap design are all online now and ready for purchase for delivery mid/late June. The prices are good, the quality is high and if you miss this order, you will need to wait until mid July to receive the next order.
Some background and explanation behind the changes made:
Once this order is closed, each month a new order will open and be compiled for delivery between 2 and 4 weeks later. To get this system up and running has taken an undue amount of time we admit, but the committee has taken a few hard decisions this past year to try and improve how things work into the future for kit and sponsorship arrangements. This online kit sale portal is the first of those for 2 main reasons, firstly to prevent the club being stuck with excess stock each year – typically this has been our greatest single expense annually and a drain on club resources. Secondly, to allow us to have perpetually available kit – now the site is up, when a new design comes in, the online store simply updates, the old design is removed and the new one appears as an option. How a new kit launch night will be conducted is yet to be defined, but we have 7-8 months to worry about that!
The second big decision is the proposal put to the upcoming EGM to change the operational year from roughly the calendar year to beginning in June and finishing in June the following year – this has massive advantages in terms of having a committee in place with 7-8 months to sort out sponsorships and new kit design (far and away the biggest jobs of the year) instead of the current scenario where the committee is newly formed and expected to complete all the necessary tasks within the first month or so of their tenure during the Christmas/New Year season. Its possible, but difficult to make things happen quickly when many people travel and factories shut for manufacturing.
More on this at the meeting – please make sure your details are up to date and get along to enjoy a beer and some food with your club members at the new Picotin bukit timah!
(All current members are invited and you should have received emails on the topic.  If you haven’t, and you’re a member of both ANZA andANZA Cycling, drop a quick line to cyclingmembership@anza.org.sg or cyclingsecretary@anza.org.sgand we will update your contact details. )
Entering the CS Direct Order site
  1. To access, log in to: http://custom.champ-sys.com.au/Login/en-AU/in.aspx
  2. Use ‘anzasing’ for both the username and password when first entering the site. You can then establish your individual account/login.

Ordering

  • Go crazy. Order away.
  • A myriad of items await your purchase, including winter-weight gear, wind vests, tri-kit, gloves, those silly little caps and much more!
  • FYI if you are looking for the standard club jersey, it is listed as “CS Air short-sleeve jersey – club cut”.
  • Here is a quick description of the jersey types/fabric weights etc.

CS TECH – most basic CS jersey – ‘standard’ fabric weight
CS AIR – same as the initial club launch (mesh side panels and all over use of the super lightweight CS AIR fabric)
CS AIR EDGE – as above with flatlock seams (black thread all over, no raised seams on the inside)
AIR PRO – as above but with lycra sleeves
RAZOR – bit nicer fabrics, narrowest cut (more ‘euro’, favoured by the ultra-fast racing members)
FLEECE – winter gear

  • ‘Club cut’ is the standard, more generous cut, ‘race cut’ is slimmer and tighter.
  • Please check the sizing charts. You may need a tape measure…
  • If unsure how to use a tape measure, visit BikePlus to try the fit-kit they keep in store.

Payment

  • Please note that this is the Australian site and all transactions are in AUD.
  • Don’t worry about AU GST. The good people at CS have already removed it, as it is not applicable on goods leaving Australia.
  • Even better… You will not be charged a shipping fee.
  • And while there is a 5% surcharge for the credit card facility (which will become apparent when the payment page appears), CS has already put a fairly hefty discount on our items.

Delivery

  1. Take note of the ‘last order’ date. Orders placed before this date will be grouped for delivery to Singapore 3-4 weeks from this date.
  2. You will be notified when your order has arrived at BikePlus.
  3. You’ll need to show your receipt for collection – the email receipt/confirmation on your phone should do the trick.

Enjoy!

NB. Access to club kit should really be the reserve of bonafide Club Members. If you are not a club member but would like some kit, please do the right thing and join up as a member first. To do so, first Join ANZA. Then when your ANZA membership is active, Join ANZA Cycling.
 
 
safe riding,


Glen
President, ANZA Cycling

How come it never rains. (it only pours)

Readers of a certain age might remember the title above from 80s cult rockers Dogs D’Amour. It seems to have been a song on endless loop in my head over the past week with both Saturday and Sunday bringing biblical rain. The Fast Kranji went full gas down LCK only to achieve a 26km avg in the 2 inch deep flood. I’m sure countless ANZA members were scanning their Garmin T&Cs to see if water damage is covered (hint – it’s not). I’ll never complain about the dry spells or choking haze again.

Batam Racing Weekend
This weekend brings the Cycosports Batam 6 Bridges and the Wheels for Change charity ride for UNICEF. Good luck to riders in all categories. We look forward to hearing some stories from each of the cats in next weeks RTI.

SBH

Singapore Bike Hash
One of our members asked me to advertise a special Singapore Bike Hash event.  If anybody  knows what a bike hash is, please let me know but apparently they are great fun.  If you don’t know what a bike hash is, then visiting  www.singaporebikehash.com might give you the information you need.

Anyway, back to the event.  It’s on June 1st and there is a nice prize on offer of a Niner MTB reputed to be worth up to $3,500.  So for anybody who was planning on going to Kuantan, perhaps this should be the event for you.  Go on, smash it, bring home the prize for ANZA Cycling and write me a report so that we all might know what a bike hash is.

Fill Yer Boots with ANZA Cycling Kit!
The online kit ordering is up and running, get going and order your kit today so you’re in the first batch.  Instructions have been posted on the ANZA facebook page by Megan or you can try to navigate yourself with http://custom.champ-sys.com.au/Login/en-AU/in.aspx by using ‘anzasing’ as the user name and password.

Committee Elections
There seems to be a lot of shy potential committee members out there, so Don and I thought we’d get the ball rolling with our manifestos.  We hope a few more will come forward and let you all know what they want to get done for the club in the next 12 months

Monster Multilingual Mersing Write-up
I thought it wasn’t going to come on time but just before we went to press the write-up from last weekend’s Mersing trip arrived on my doormat. Its a good one.

For those of you not racing this weekend, I’ll see you at 6am at Rats Corner or 7am at the Food Canopy, I assume you have all worked out where it is by now.

So with that, have a good read, and as always…..

Let’s be careful out there!

The Meander to Mersing

[Have you noticed how many French there are in ANZA Cycling these days?  There are so many that we heard a rumour that the committee had a serious discussion about changing the name to F-ANZA Cycling, but then thought better of it.  Anyway we are ever grateful to our French contingent who seem as adept at orginising things as they are at riding their bikes.  So, we thought it only right that after all his hard work organising the trip Nico be allowed to write up The Meander to Mersing from last weekend in his native language.  We have of course, at great expense, had it translated so that you all might understand, and as Nico said, now we know how much of our jokes and Banter he gets on a ride 😉 Ed.]

“Many kilometers later, on the second day of the Mersing ride, as we faced the grey wall of rain coming towards us, we were to remember that distant moment when Barry said this would be a badass ride. Rule #9, we all exhibited a large smile.”

Nine of us of ANZA cycling met at Changi Point Ferry Terminal on Saturday before dawn. We were all excited to take part in this trip to Malaysia, that would start with a one hour bumboat journey to Pengerang. Most of us were also fearful of the long road ahead, that promised to bring it’s share of pain, and that would offer no bail out option. Only Raoul, in a pretty good shape that allowed him to do well in the Tour of Friendship, was confident enough to add 30 clicks to the day by riding to the meeting point.

Relaxing in the only space left

Relaxing in the only space left

The bumboat was full of bikes so we stayed outside on the deck, watching a large cloud flushing over Singapore. We thought of our friends on the Changi ride. The cloud went north and we never saw the rain again on that day. Here is my account of the ride, and it is in French so it is a good exercise for those of you travelling in July to a place where English is not always spoken!

– The Google Translate version [See below for our expensive translation Ed.] gives you an idea of what I get of your jokes during rides

Our trusty trip organiser
Our trusty trip organiser

Depart vers l’est le long de la cote, avec une jolie vue sur une flotte de bateaux a l’ancre, comme a Singapour. Mais pas le temps de faire du tourisme, les costauds imposent le train, et la route est pleine de trous. On signale et on maintient des ecarts. Pas un bon jour pour les suceurs de roue. Au bout de dix bornes je me dis que si la route est dans cet etat jusqu’a Mersing, ca va nous gacher le voyage, mais heureusement ca s’arrange, et on peut mettre du braquet. Au premier arret les avis sont partages. Certains roulent facile et sont contents d’avoir deja avale 50 kilometre. D’autres se demandent s’ils vont tenir a ce rythme jusqu’a Mersing.

On leve un peu la pedale au debut de la deuxieme section pour garder tout le monde en un seul groupe. Surtout que ca commence a onduler et que notre peloton s’etire un peu plus a chaque bosse. Le soleil de midi tape bien, meme a travers un voile nuageux. Deuxieme puis troisieme arret, les visages se marquent. Je realise que j’ai oublie de mettre de la creme solaire au depart (j’etais occupe a prendre des photos). Je me tartine mais trop tard, mes bras sont crames.

 

Refueling
Niels Refueling

Sur la derniere section Raoul, Macca et Russell chatouillent les pedales et ne montrent pas encore de signe de fatigue. D’autres commencent a piocher derriere. Finalement sur une montee un peu longue, le groupe explose. Je suis tente de rejoindre les autres devant et de rouler, mais je doute de pouvoir tenir longtemps. Et puis cela risque de disseminer le grupetto et d’isoler les plus fatigues. Alors je joue au Saint Bernard, et avec Barry nous nous relayons pour mouliner devant les attardes. Ces longs relais nous obligent a garder un rythme de pedalage tres regulier. C’est dur mais c’est bon. Les 20 derniers kilometres me paraissent en montee continue alors que nous sommes sur du plat. Finalement c’est Niels qui gagne le sprint, il ne connait pas la regle 67, mais Andrew la lui explique rapidement. Tout le monde est content d’etre arrive, sans incident ni meme une crevaison.

Seriously Nico! You didn’t arrange a taxi home?

Seriously Nico! You didn’t arrange a taxi home?

Mersing est moche donc le seul objectif c’est de prendre une douche rapide pour aller vite au restaurant. Tout le monde a faim. A part le gateau au chocolat de Barry et des bananes nous n’avons mange que des gels et des pastilles de sel toute la journee. Du riz! Du poulet! Et a boire!

Une trentaine de bieres plus tard, au lit. Pas de giro pour nous. Ca ne passe pas a la tele et tout le monde dort bien avant.

Le lendemain apres un petit dejeuner fadasse sauf pour ceux qui sont alles chercher des pancakes au KFC (FFS!), nous attaquons la route avec le sentiment que ce sera plus facile puisque plus court. Au debut la route est belle et les camions sont nos amis. Nous prenons un rythme plus tranquille que la veille, qui convient a tous. Les kilometres se suivent. Deja 250 depuis hier. Et la en deux virages nous sommes sous la pluie. Bien sur tout le monde sourit et baisse la tete. Une vingtaine de moto-cross nous depassent en wheelie et nous felicitent parce que nous sommes des durs. Barry avait raison.

Wet
Wetter than when we started

Finalement c’est l’orage qui a raison de nous et nous nous abritons dans une station service, jusqu’a prendre froid… La derniere section du weekend a l’approche de Johor est la plus dure. Nous sommes au milieu des bagnoles sur l’autoroute. Nous avancons bien mais les changements de voie sont risques. Heureusement que nous roulons toute l’annee en formation. Le mieux serait quand meme d’approcher Johor par une plus petite route.

Nous quittons notre chauffeur un peu avant les checkpoints. Il a ete parfait. Je suis content d’entrer a Singapour par le Causeway, en velo. Les deux checkpoints sont des pieges a velo avec des grilles dans le sens de la route, du beton et des plaques metalliques glissants, des motos de tous les cotes, et nos sacs sur le dos. Personne ne tombe.

Nous nous separons en plusieurs groupe et je me retrouve sur Mandai et Thomson avec Russell qui ecrase les derniers kilometres sans sourciller.

A bientot pour une sortie facile ; )

Nico

* Need help? Ask Google:

Departing eastward along the coast , with a nice view on a fleet of ships at anchor , like Singapore. But no time to go sightseeing , Huskies needed the train, and the road is full of holes. Is reported and deviation is maintained . Not a good day for sucking wheel. After ten pin I think that if the road is in this state until Mersing , we gonna spoil the trip, but fortunately ca arranges , and you can put the gear ratio . At the first stop notices are shared . Some roll easy and are happy to have already swallows 50 km . Others wonder if they keep up this pace has Mersing .

 

Craig on his new steed
Craig on his new steed

Regulator is a little pedal at the beginning of the second section to keep everyone in one group. Especially as it starts to undulate and our platoon etire a little more each bump. The midday sun tape well , even through a cloudy veil. Second and third stop , faces mark . I realized that I forgot to put the sunscreen departing ( I was busy taking pictures .) I slice too late, my arms are Crames .

Barry and Nico - Super Domestiques
Barry and Nico – Super Domestiques
Big, Bigger, Biggest?
Big, Bigger, Biggest?

On the last section Raoul , Macca and Russell tickle the pedals and still show no signs of fatigue. Others begin to draw behind . Finally a buildup a bit long , the group explodes. I’m trying to join the other and roll , but I doubt that you can take time. And it may disseminate grupetto and isolate the most fatigue. So I play Saint Bernard , and we take turns to Barry before cranking linger . These long runs require us to keep pace CADENCE very regular . It’s hard but it’s good . The last 20 km I consider continuous buildup while we’re on the dish. Niels is finally wins the sprint, he does not know the rule 67, but Andrew said to him quickly. Everyone is happy to be coming without incident or even a puncture.

Mersing is ugly so the only goal is to take a quick shower to go fast at the restaurant. Everyone is hungry. Apart from the chocolate cake and bananas Barry we did eat as gels and salt tablets all day . Rice ! Chicken ! And drink!

Thirty beers later, in bed. No giro for us. It does not go to the TV and everyone is asleep before .

Why have the 2 who have been here before gone to KFC for breakfast?
Why have the 2 who have been here before gone to KFC for breakfast?

The next day after breakfast but a little dull for those who are looking alles pancakes KFC ( FFS! ) , we attack the road with the feeling that it will be easier since shorter. At the beginning the road is beautiful and trucks are our friends. We take a more tranquil than the day before, that suits all rhythm. The follow kilometers . Deja 250 since yesterday. And two turns we in the rain. Of course everyone smiled and lowered his head. Twenty motocross wheelie past us and we very pleased about because we are hard . Barry was right.

Ultimately it is the storm is right on us and we take shelter in a gas station, take up cold … The last section of the weekend was approaching Johor is the hardest . We are in the middle of Disney Princess on the highway. We are doing well but lane changes are risks. Fortunately we ride all year in training. It would be best to approach anyway Johor by a smaller road.

We leave our driver just before the checkpoints. It was perfect. I’m glad to enter Singapore by Causeway by bicycle . The two checkpoints are trapped by bicycle with grids in the direction of the road, slippery concrete and metal plates , motorcycles of all odds , and our bags on the back. Nobody falls .

We split into several groups and I find myself on Mandai and Thomson with Russell crushes the last kilometer stride.

See you soon for an easy way out ; )

[See the gallery for the pictures, I’ll try to tidy up and add captions when I have a few minutes. Ed.]

The Race Across America – Aussie

By Neridah Lock

On June 14th at 1200 (noon), I, along with 3 other Aussie cyclists, our trusty crew of 10 and help from our fantastic sponsors (Champion System, Rocktape, Compressport, Athlete Lab – Singapore, Turbo Studio – Sydney, Interactive Systems Availability, and Watergrass Hill Contracting), will leave Oceanside Pier in California to pedal our way across America. With Annapolis as our final destination we will cover 3000 miles, tackle 170,000 feet of vertical climbing, cross 12 states, pass through 88 counties and 350 communities. We will have a maximum of nine days to complete this race but we are aiming to finish in about seven and a half days.

To do this, the team will endure extreme heat (especially in Arizona and Death Valley), wind (through Kansas), thunderstorms, tornados (possibly), altitude sickness, the dark of night, animals (elk, deer and snakes), fatigue and sleep deprivation as we cross all the major rivers, oh….and several major mountain ranges along the way. To give you an idea of the climbs I have listed some of my favorite ‘snippets’ from this year’s Route Book that I can’t wait to tackle………..said no female ANZA rider EVER:

  • Conditions get drier and hotter. The flora changes from trees to cactus in first third
of this section. 9% climb. The “Glass Elevator” decent into desert (mile 19) has spectacular views. 8% downgrade – caution dangerous descent.
  • Two major climbs take us out of the low desert. The Yarnell grade climbs 1800 feet in 7 miles. From mile 27.5 in Wilhoit until you get to Prescott mountain driving will be treacherous! Averaging more than 130 feet per mile this is the most difficult climbing west of Maryland. Really!
  • After leaving Prescott Valley the route winds and climbs to 7000 feet crossing the mountains just to drop to 5000 feet passing through the quaint historic mountainside town of Jerome.
  • Averaging more than 128 feet of climbing per mile, this is the toughest section west of the Mississippi River
  • The route is now getting into the serious climbing of the Rocky Mountains. Here live some of the best, most skillful, and fastest automobile drivers in the country.
At night they will see your unusual lights and perhaps give you extra room while wondering what you are up to. At dusk, dawn, and during rush hours they are less likely to see you before blowing by too close for comfort. Crews protect your racers
  • This entire section is either climbing to or descending from Wolf Creek Pass on US 160. For two miles around the summit the racers will be over two miles high. There are two well lighted tunnels on the descent.
  • This section is dominated by the second of the high Colorado Rockies passes. La Veta Pass is not nearly as steep as Wolf Creek Pass, but still a challenge.
  • Once past Nevada you’ll know you’re not in Kansas anymore! The route will stop seeming to be one dimensional, straight ahead and flat forever, but will begin to wander in all three. If you recall Colorado drivers in the mountains, here the scale is less grand but curves more abrupt, climbs and descents short but steeper, and traffic may seem a lot faster in these closer quarters often with little opportunity to get out of the way. From here to the Mississippi the local folks seem determined to get where they’re going without delay. Don’t let a train collect behind your racer. Not only is it dangerous but it’s also against RAAM rules. Look out for yourself and your racer’s safety as if someone’s life hangs in the balance.
  • After Jefferson City, there are very few services prior to Time Station 34. This section follows the Missouri River with several difficult forays into the neighboring bluffs over seriously steep and winding roads. We cross the Missouri River twice in this section.
  • The terrain moderates for the rest of Ohio but once into West Virginia and past Parkersburg the most difficult climbing in RAAM begins. The altitude doesn’t approach that of the Rocky Mountains but the climbs are relentless. There is more elevation gained in this section than between any other consecutive time stations anywhere from coast to coast. In fact this and the next two sections are the three with the most climbing. But the most difficult measured in feet of climbing per mile ridden is still ahead between Cumberland and Hancock all in the mountains of…. Maryland!
  • A treacherous two-lane road with long steep climbs. Some precipitous drops if you go over a guardrail.
  • The four major climbs in this section are tough. The last climb (up Sideling Hill) could be a walker. In Hancock the route is 2 blocks from the Potomac River. The river has dropped 1900 feet in the 90 miles since we crossed the North Branch in Gormania!
  • This is the most difficult section of RAAM, measured in feet of climbing per mile. Fortunately there is a bit more downhill than uphill.

Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Am I nuts? Are we nuts? Probably!

For those who have never heard of RAAM before it is considered one the toughest, respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world and was recently voted one of the world’s 10 most extreme challenges!. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well. It has a very rich history, going back to 1982 when the first RAAM was held. During this year four individuals raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. Covered by national television, the race captivated the public’s imagination. Teams were added in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. Relay team racing made the event accessible to any reasonably fit cyclist. The 2014 race will be the 33rd edition of RAAM.

And just so you know – there is no other race in the world like RAAM. The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it – racer, crew, staff and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and fun! There is no race that matches the distance, terrain and weather, no other event that tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end.

RAAM is a race! But unlike the three great European Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, similar to a time trial. Once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time allowed for the Tour.
More importantly, RAAM is not limited to professional cyclists. RAAM is open to professional and amateur athletes alike.

So please follow us on this journey by logging on to the official RAAM website: http://www.raceacrossamerica.org where you can track our progress along the way or by liking’ our Facebook ).

I can guarantee our crew will capture the emotional and physical breakdowns (which will no doubt be hilarious), late-night strategy sessions, great moments of personal triumph, tears, blood, sweat, the occasional (or frequent) EIT’s (Endurance Induced Tourette’s), and all the laughs and smiles ……in intimate detail!

So fellow ANZA riders…..don your lyrca, set up your wind trainer, pull on your compression wear because this is a race you won’t want to miss!

Standing For Vice President

DSC_3166 Andrew Cherriman for VP!

Many of you will know me better as the co-editor of this blog along with Don, so you may already have read some of my cycling history as Dr RoadRash.  The important bits, I guess, are that I’ve been in Singapore and a member of ANZA Cycling for almost six years and have a passion for cycling and a passion for helping to make this club better than it already is.  I hope many of you have seen this through the time I invest in RTI, or through the Bintan Cat 3 training rides I have organised over the last 3 years, or the trips away that I have either helped organise or taken part in.

I believe most people want a club that encourages and supports the members in doing what they love most, and that is riding their bikes.

I believe we live in one of the best places in the world for variety of riding opportunities, and that our club should help us take advantage of that, not just financially but through knowledge and the collective experience of those who have been here a while and know how and where to get things done.

I believe that the members should be told what the committee is discussing and the decisions made, and that the members should be invited to contribute to the committee agenda and discussion.

Most of all though I believe that the committee is there to help facilitate getting us, the members who make this club what it is, together to ride our bikes, to socialise, to make new friends, to have fun in what is, for many of us, a brief time that we spend here.

For those reasons I’m standing for Vice President and below are some of the things I would like to try to get done in the first year:

  • Provide more support for the beginners and less experienced riders to help build their skills and confidence on the bike and on the roads.
  • Provide a calendar of social events, whether they are pub quizzes or BBQs on the east or west coasts.
  • Enlist some of you, the members, to create a diary of club trips away from Singapore’s shores, whether those are Bintan, Batam, Mersing, Kota Tinggi.  But with a focus on ensuring we can cater for a variety of levels.
  • And sometimes, the simplest things are the hardest to do, I want to help get you all more involved in decisions around the club kit and to fix the problems we seem to have with getting that kit to you.

DSCN1390If those sound like things you would like for your club, then let me have your vote in the EGM on June 12th and if you can’t attend in person don’t forget to send in your vote to the club secretary.