Day 1 Genting Sempah and Bukit Tinggi
Words by Mario
It was my first overseas cycling trip with Anza and it was an absolutely great trip. Great mountains, great roads, great team and great organisation. Thank you, Mike and all who contributed.
Being in Singapore for more than 10 years and having cycled the Kranji route more than 500 times, I decided to join the KL Climbing Challenge: Day 1 was 135 Km with 2500 m of altitude gain.
As you know well, Singapore is flat, really flat, and to enjoy a new and different ride and to survive the unaccustomed climbing experience, as I thought good preparation is crucial. I started with Yoga sessions, some mental preparation, and obviously I also tuned my bike by changing the chain ring in the front to 36 dents, mounted a light wheel set, got sleeves extenders and a skull cap to block the burning sun (layer one for people with less hair). Finally, I bought the Transition Bag for going by bike from home to the bus station. The Transition Bag was the subject for the entire bus ride to KL.
We left Singapore sharp at 2pm from West Coast Park and after a few hours bus ride with a lot of fun and some philosophical discussions about said “Transition Bags”, finally we all arrived happily in KL. After a quick carb and protein loading we all went early to sleep, the alarm clock was set at 5:45am.
Day One: Saturday morning, after the team photos were taken, we waited for Andrew, he decided to sleep longer and eventually catught up later. We also had a concise briefing from Mike (Mike: “it is all in the emails – didn’t you read your emails!”), we started with a delay of 20 min…
We had split the tour into a few sections.
The first section was a 15 km easy warm up, flat ride through KL. We had little traffic as the city was still asleep. It started very nice, people waving and showing thumbs up when our 21 well-dressed Anza team members passed through the roads.
The 2nd section got slowly but surely serious, it was a 15km climb up Genting Sempah, still an agreeable steady climbing with about 3 – 4% ascent. The nice panorama views and the considerate companionship helped me to reach on the top of the Genting Hill where the faster ones waiting and motivating others to reach the top.
“La Voiture Balai” (English: supporting vehicle) with food, drinks and spares was already waiting on the top of the hill.
A quick break, refill bottles, took few photos and we jumped into a downhill slope going for the tough 3rd section, the master piece, climbing up to the famous Bukit Tinggi (English: high mountain).
An 8-10% end-less climb, one serpentine curve after the other, sweating, with muscles hurting, cramping… and then finally, the reward of this trip: a French village appeared in front of us on the summit of the climb.
With impressive half-timbered houses and a castle from King Louis 14th. Wow. So nice. While re-grouping, we noticed that some of our strong riders decided, unintentionally, to make an extra round as they overshot on the downhill slope and missed the important left turn to Bukit Tinggi.
Chicken was on the menu for lunch, few more photos were taken and then we started the return section. People got quiet, stopped talking as full concentration was required to manage a very steep climb of 14% ascent – only deep breathing was echoed in the valley.
For the return, we split the team in fast and semi-fast riders, the first ones added an extra loop of 20km and the others going home directly guided by Laura, who knew the way back with a stop at the ice cream shop for a Magnum. Yummy.
And the last section, a 15 km flat ride through the rush hour back into KL, smiles on all the faces when we reached the Park Royal Hotel Lobby. A big breath and “we did it” faces could be seen all over. After this exhausting day, with empty water bottles and still very thirsty we went straight to the hotel bar for a fresh cold pint of Carlsberg followed by some yoga, and a shower, the bike cleaning could wait.
I copied Jacob’s message who joined the tour as well. Quote:” Hello Mike, I speak on behalf of everyone in the KL team. Thank you very much for your leadership and organisation. It really made for a safe, fun and excruciating experience. I also want to thank everyone who participated. The team dynamic, consideration for other’s well-being, and positive attitude exemplified by everybody was fantastic.”
You love cycling? Join us next time!
Day 2 Genting Perez
Words by Joanne
The second day of the ANZA KL riding trip was always going to be a bit of a challenge for most of us. For most it was because we had already put 135km or so on our bodies the day before. For others it was that plus the combination of dubious rehydration strategies the night before!
It certainly felt hotter than yesterday and more humid as we rolled out around 7:30am. Luckily the plan was to ride a “mere” 94km compared to the previous day. Three big climbs in there still and with the sun coming out from behind the clouds much earlier than yesterday, it certainly added to the pain.
There was an optional 7km out and back which took us a nice “easy” undulation up Genting Peras before we could roll back nicely down and continue our trip back which I’m pretty sure we all took. The last climb of the day was in the full heat of the sun which certainly made it feel a lot tougher than what it was and I’m pretty sure that by the time we got back to the hotel around 12:30pm we were all very, very happy people!
A quick wash up and we finished off the weekend with lunch by the pool and recounts of the weekend through various experiences. No doubt there were more stories added on the bus ride back!!! A fantastic weekend and very well organised. As a complete outsider, I’m very, very glad I took the risk to join in on the fun.