As the club trip organizer, I thought it only fair to rally two newbies to the Fraser’s Hill Club Trip – to put their thoughts down on paper, on their personal experience of the trip. With over 25 ANZA members joining us in KL – either by club supported Coach, self fly and self drive – needless to say an epic and enjoyable trip was had by all.
Fraser’s Hill | Day 1
By Jonathan Hooper (aka Hoops)
The trip to Kuala Lumpur has grown in popularity with ANZA riders over the last couple of years and this trip proved it with an outstanding 25 ANZA riders making the trip from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. The trip was also extremely popular as it was being organised by the infamous Gordo Getaways. With numbers exceeding the usual bus capacity and a continual wait-list, many people had to make their own travel arrangements to Kuala Lumpur.
The great thing about this trip is that it caters for all club members ranging from Krangi 28 Riders to Krangi 36 +. It is a gruelling two day ride but everyone is up for the challenge and supports each other. It definitely beats doing a Krangi Loop for the 30th time.
We are all kindly hosted at the Parky Royal Hotel by former ANZA member Mark Losi who is also the hotels General Manager. The service we receive is remarkable and makes the trip very trouble free.
Day 1 is a tough 200km return journey North of Kuala Lumpur through the Selangor State Park up to Frasers Hill (Bukit Fraser) with has an elevation of 1280m. Frasers Hill is located on the Titiwangsa Ridge in Pahang, Malaysia and is rich in biodiversity. This is a beautiful but also tough ride.
The ride started at 7am outside the Park Royal Hotel. A couple of stray riders showed up and unfortunately they would lead us on a detour later on in the day. We were escorted trouble free as a single group out of Kuala Lumpur by one of our two support vehicles.
After the 20km escort we faced the first climb of the day, which is a small 1km ascent. It is a punchy little climb, which separated the group. The next regroup point is at the 30km mark, which is at the top of the second climb. The second climb is called Evian and is a mild 5km climb. With fresh legs and the lure of the first drink stop at the summit we all easily reach the top. It is this climb on the way back after 160km, which proved to be many peoples nemesis.
At the top of Evian the group split into two. The first group descended down Evian through Uli Yam and along a 15km flat section to Kuala Kubu Bharu known by locals as KKB. It is along this flat section where we were taken on a slight detour by the two strays we picked up back at the Park Royal. Lucky enough the end point is the same and we stopped at KKB refuel before the 40km ascent to Bukit Fraser.
After a quick stop we hit the road with a tidy group of around 10 riders. The pace was set pretty high over the first 10km, which is a reasonably flat section of exposed road around a dam. Once we left the dam and entered the Selangor State Park the ascent begun. It is a relatively steady climb, something like South Buona Vista for about 30km. We kept the pace reasonably high with everyone taking their turn on the front. After the first 10km the numbers started to dwindle and soon there was only a group of three of us: myself, Adam Nelson, and Victor Michel. We kept rotating smoothly until 8km to go where the road pitched a bit more. We separated here and headed to the summit on our own, with Victor taking first honours.
At the summit we all grab lunch, share our stories of the ride so far and welcome fellow riders when reaching the top. This marked the halfway point of the trip and with the prediction of rain many riders decided to add on a few extra layers for the decent with Victor Michel and Glen Kenny even going to the extent of arm warmers and fleece jackets.
The decent is a bit technical and with slippery mossy patches you really have to pay attention. I managed to overshoot a corner and ended up in the drain. Luckily it wasn’t any worse than that. The sun was out and it was a nice and warm decent compared to the expected rain forecast. We all managed to make it down safely with only those that wore arm warmers and fleece jackets feeling as if they just descended in a personal sauna.
We all stopped to regroup at KKB and then headed back through Uli Yam to ascend the backside of Evian. It is a gruelling 5km climb and after 160km of riding this is by far the toughest part of the day. The group split quite early but many riders kept those in front of them in sight and made steady gains. There were a couple of small attacks most notably Craig Cameron’s attack at about 2.5km from the top. He hung on to Victors wheel for a short period of time but then seemed to be going backwards very fast. Victor once again took top honours with Adam following in second.
Everyone was pretty relieved to reach the summit of Evian. It truly is a tough climb after 160km. From the summit of Evian it is a simple decent with a short climb back over the wall and then back through the city to the hotel where cold beers await.
All in all it was a great trip and it is highly recommended to all ANZA members. Make sure you sign up for the next trip. Thank you to ANZA, Mark Losi and the Park Royal and special thanks to Gordo Getaways for organising the trip.
Genting Sempah | Day 2
By Adam Nelson
Day two of Gordon’s Getaways KL getaway and the peloton rolled out (eventually) at 7.45 for the day’s short stage to Genting Sempah. 70 k in total with 15k out and back climb through beautiful forest canopy on the outskirts of KL.
Discussion that morning was still focussed around the fall out from the Gin-gate scandal and the team hotel was surrounded by paparazzi (Peter H and Macca), keen not just to catch a glimpse of the leaders but also to see if there was any comment from the riders implicated in the scandal. Not since Festina had they seen such controversy.
Yet the gin-plications of that incident were not the only upset of the morning. When Craig Cameron eventually surfaced from the team hotel following a minor delay (that has been claimed had nothing to do with the previous nights events) he realised he was part of the worst kit disaster since Castorama ’94 Yes, C Cameron and ‘Sultan of the Bukits’ (SoB) Victor were dressed in the same jersey.
Once the crowd had settled, our host and the days ride captain, Mark Losi led the bunch through the neutralised sector of central KL.
L.Gordon herself was notably hanging near the back if the pack, recovering from a Frozen Margarita related injury from the previous days (Night, surely?) action.
As the Anza-ton rolled towards the foot of a hill, it seemed they were not the only cycling ‘event’ on Genting Sempah. Unlike a lone Matador and a handful from Geylang Cycling Club, Anza were the only people who were not there to race up the hill. A group of 1200 riding in an actually neutralised pack (with proper van and everything) were chased down as they headed towards the foot of the climb
A small group took off to get ahead of the knobbly-wheeled racers – and quickly became smaller when one member suffered a puncture. Hoops’, who as well as showing himself a talented coiner of French neologisms (verb. Fr ‘ooperer’ – to wheelsuck unfalteringly up a climb- example usage – il a ‘ooperé tout la jour hier ) also proved a true patron of the peleton, stopping for one whinging, punctured pom.
The bunch all completed the course, with most overtaking a vast number of resentful mountain bikers, apart from the one guy who was gassing it through everyone on a fatbike, he looked like he was loving life
Anza regrouped at the top for the descent, with Peter Hewitt kindly offering cool-down bidon showers for anyone overheating from the ride, on what would be his final Anza outing. He also helped boot this whinging poms tyre after a blow-out on the descent proving once more that he is not just a grade-A wind up merchant but also an all round top bloke – you will be sorely missed.
The roll back into town included the obligatory ice cream stop for all, but one escapee, determined to take the final ‘points’ on the line… Obviously the ice-cream eaters were the real winner.
The hospitality of Mark and the Park royal extended to wonderful poolside lunch where some of us took the ‘poolside’ dress code more seriously than others.
Beer was consumed and both tales and hills became increasingly taller before we all waddled to the bus, where both ‘Heads Up’ on iPad and ‘Hey Ruth’ occupied the long drive and the longer queue for Singapore Passport control.
Thanks Laura, thanks Mark, thanks ANZA. Ace trip when’s the next?