Bear in mind that I am more of a leisure cyclist, so having to train for a fast-paced long distance ride at the inaugural RHB Langkawi Ride 2019 was really challenging!
Held on the majestic island of Langkawi which I call home, I had less than a month to train for the 100km ride. Therefore, I requested for the 72km ride and thankfully, the organisers agreed to my request.
Luckily for me, I had a team of strong women cyclists whom I could train with or tried to train with. Most of the time, I was left behind way, way back!
The big day arrived and my oh my, I have never seen so many cyclists here in Langkawi before, like a sea of more than a thousand blue jerseys!
The 100km cyclists flagged off first and after 15 minutes, it was our turn on the 72km route.
I was a bit nervous about the three big hills around Gunung Raya at the start of the ride. Actually, I was more scared of the downhill than the uphill!
I thought I had a good plan…. which was to follow other cyclists who were riding with the same pace as me. But as luck would have it, I was mostly left cycling by myself. So much for my brilliant plan!
There were times when a group of cyclists just whisked past me and I tried to follow, sometimes I could, other times…..oh well. I truly enjoyed the times when I could follow the group. It was so much fun and so much easier for me to cruise behind them! If only I didn’t have to stop at the water stations!
My favourite part of the route was on the northwest part of the island. Although the road was slightly winding, it was shady and cool because of the thick jungle on both sides. It offered a very picturesque view for those who rode along this road. So green and refreshing!
Towards the last 12km, I was ready to give up! It was getting hot and I was getting tired.
I kept asking myself “Why am I doing this?” Then another voice told me “You can do this, Sandra….you are almost reaching the finishing line!”
Suddenly, a cyclist appeared out of nowhere and I recognised him! I called out his name and he was surprised to see me. We started chatting and he drafted me towards the finishing line! Thank you, Universe!
When I got my results, I was pleasantly surprised that I actually finished within my targeted time, which was under 3 hours! But seriously, it was all because of my friend, Sam that I managed to finish on time.
Overall, it was a fantastic and exciting opportunity to ride in the first ever RHB cycling event here in Langkawi! I love the jersey, as it’s so light and cool. I would recommend this event to others, and I myself, will hope to do better next year.
More about the cyclistSandra Loh loves cycling, from mountain biking to touring. An accidental author, after her book “Pedalling Around The Peninsula – A Malaysian Girl’s Two Wheeled Adventures” got published in 2012.
She now runs cycling tours in Langkawi and enjoys bringing cyclists to explore the backroads of both Langkawi and Tuba island!