[Or as I like to think of it To Di or not to Di that is the question”]
By Jonathan Hooper
Over the weekend a group of 19 ANZA riders embarked on a two day return trip from Singapore to Mersing along with 4 ANZA Audax members who were completing the return trip all in one go
We all met at Changi Point ferry terminal at 6:30am on Saturday morning and made the short boat ride across to Pengerang, Malaysia. We met our support vehicle at the carpark, loaded our day packs inside and prepared ourselves for the 180km journey to Mersing.
The ride started of pretty steady with the group deciding to stay together for the first 50km to Desaru. It was not long till the first technical was called and it was no other than Andrew Cherriman with a faulty Di2 rear derailleur. With the front derailleur still working Churdy soldiered on with only the option of two gears. A very tough effort to complete the ride on those grounds. Well done.
At the point of the technical we split into two groups and continued onto Desaru. The pace was set pretty high at the start by The Flying Moa aka (Kahu) and it was going to be tough to manage for the remaining 130km. We managed to keep the pace pretty high and understandably the audax guys decided to ease up a bit as they had another 260km ahead of them. Though there was rumour that a taxi was involved at Kotta Tinggi during the night.
The heat and the rollers were getting to everyone but we all reached Mersing with no major hiccups, just aching bodies and a quenching thirst for some cold beers.
If you ever attend and ANZA trip please be sure you keep an eye on your phone at all times. The most dangerous person could be a fellow member posting on your FB profile. Just as well she didn’t fire up tinder and take a few swipes. But unfortunately the damage had already been done.
There is absolutely nothing to do in mersing and there is definitely nothing to do in mersing during ramadan. We managed to find a local chinese restaurant to load up on some beers and some exquisite chinese cuisine. After dinner we strolled back to the hotel to get a good nights rest before the mornings return journey.
At breakfast in the morning it was discussed that Trent had his Tinder range set at 15km and was getting absolutely no hits. Highlighting the fact that we needed to get back to Singapore quickly.
The return journey started of smoothly with everyone riding together. Just before the 15k mark Andrew Cherriman unfortunately struck a rock while exchanging bottles and went off road ending rubber side up. His rear derailleur snapped off and he acquired some nasty looking grazes. While being fixed up a few of the boys on the side of the road were clearly not amused my Cherrimans performance so we quickly bundled him up in John’s towel and he enjoyed a calm relaxing ride in the support vehicle.
At the concern of some team members, Cherriman was spotted later in the day at one of the rest stops wandering around in the bushes taking photos of trees and leaves. It was later established that he is a very keen dendrologist [Have no idea what you’re talking about, was taking photos of the second group as they rode in. Ed.].
After Cherrimans off road excursion we split into similar groups as the day before and headed back to Singapore via Johor Bahru. It was just as hot as the day before and the road presented a large number of rollers that seemed to go on forever. On a few occasions the call of ‘horses’ was made from within the group and having not seen a horse at all over the last two days and with no horses in sight it made for some puzzled faces across the group. It was soon realised that actually ‘horses’ was Victor trying to say ‘holes’ and there were definitely plenty of them.
With a slight head wind and some tired bodies it was a frustrating return journey and I’m sure everyone was glad to make speedy trip through immigration and home.
A big thank you to Andrew and Neridah for organising the trip. As smooth as always and I’m sure we are all looking forward to the next one.