Riding at high speeds on a highway closed solely for bicycles, what’s not to love? Saddled upon my TREK Emonda SLR, the most anticipated night cycling event here in Malaysia – the RHB Shimano Highway Ride @Lekas 2018 was exhilarating!

Overall, the well-organized event gathered over 4,496 participants on the LEKAS Highway spanning Kajang to Seremban. A huge inflatable arch with the words, “Shimano” greeted all cyclists at the starting point! With loud and energetic music at the venue, you can’t help but feel euphoric and invincible at the same time. Worth noting that most of the sponsors had a booth there and you could find some pretty good deals there too!

At events like this, it always feels like a gathering among friends and groups, especially seeing friends that I have not met in years! And this meant that it’s time for photos with all my friends I met along the way. But because I took so many photos, I was stuck behind the far back of the starting point when I finally arrived there.

With fervent cycling buddies Heng Chye (left) and Wilson (right) ready to ride full speed!

You can feel the pre-race anxiety grows as the skies darken

The moment the race begins, you can feel the change in atmosphere with the energy from all the cyclists on an all-time high adrenaline. Each pushing through to gain that initial momentum and of course, a head start to the race. Starting from the back meant that I had to find space and catch up with my friends in the front.

Just as I was focused on doing so, I encountered a close-call at a climb. Two riders on my far left had lost control and crashed into one another, causing a pile up to happen.

I was lucky because the person just next to me managed to maintain his balance and pedalled ahead. Had he lost his balance and fell, I am sure I could have crashed as well.

‘Safety first’ flashed through my mind as I’m preparing for my next Triathlon race – IRONMAN Langkawi in November. This time around, I want to come back strong and be in my best state to compete it.

With one of my favourite cycling family, Team Magnum!

What happened next was a mad adrenaline rush for me because I caught up with the front peloton and was chasing the breakaway. Even though there were many rest stops after that, our peloton had no time for drinks, everyone else also had that one goal in mind, that is to finish the race in the best timing possible.

Once it’s closer to the finishing line, the countdown begins with signs on the road indicating the distance left for the race.

As my heart thumped and my legs pedalling even faster, the pressure heightened from the moment the last 500m sign appeared. Everyone was up from their saddles, pushing their best but at this crucial point, a crash happened!

It happened as I was cycling past and I did not have the chance to look and just stayed focused on completing the race.

In the end, I finished 22nd out of 1410 participants in my category, achieving an average speed 38.6kmph throughout the course. It was one of my most exhilarating race in my life and I’m starting to see the fun competing in these road races!

After crossing the finishing line, we claimed our medals and a much welcomed chilled Milo from our favourite Milo truck. There were also coupons for ice-cream, mee hoon, apam balik and satay! This event is perfect for cyclists of all level, regardless of advanced or seasoned or beginners too. Loads of fun, exhilarating moments to remember!

P/S – The organisers of Lekas handled the crashes well. Ambulance was quickly informed and arrived on site as soon as possible. A friend of mine was involved in a crash unfortunately and was taken to the hospital. His bike was in good hands too, because there were proper protocols before they released his bike to anyone who wanted to collect it. We wanted to collect the bicycle on his behalf, but the organisers requested for his photocopied IC and some other details. In the end, we didn’t manage to collect as we couldn’t get in touch with our friend at that point of time.

More about the author

Calvin Seak began cycling because he wanted to join Triathlon races and is now the ambassador for Trek Bikes Malaysia. Cycling has brought him to many wonderful places that he has never imagined and every weekend, he looks forward to explore new routes on his two wheels!