Writer Gan Heng Chye (left) with riding buddy Calvin Seak at the DRCC King Of Mountain Challenge 2018. 

Fourth year in a row racing at the DRCC King Of Mountain Challenge from Ipoh to Cameron Highlands, there must be something special about this race that has attracted me four times over.

Fantastic route, perfect weather, well organised, plus riding buddy and family in tow, just perfect!

This round, I had the privilege to ride with my IRONMAN (Triathlon) finisher buddy, Calvin Seak. He is my idol and I always get inspired by his determination to train hard. One of the most important part of any ride is that we have friends around.

Race morning started abuzz with excitement from Symphony Suites Hotel in Ipoh.  The first few kilometres were flat, where we could pace ourselves with some other riders and we take turns to pull in the front.

Upon reaching the start of the climb, we continued our steady pace and reminded ourselves to enjoy the ride while riding hard.

Along the way, some familiar cycling friends surfaced and we managed to chit chat so that we don’t focus so much on the pain. Also, fantastic encouragement along the way!

First water station was just at the right spot when we needed it! Giving a signal to one of the water station support crew, I grabbed the bottle of water and gushed it down my throat. Poured some water over my body to cool down, remembering that cooler body temperature performs better!

As the climb continued, I was able to meet another friend that came all the way from Singapore. He travelled 12 hours the day before, stuck in traffic from Singapore to Ipoh, wow! We also chatted for a bit while keeping the tempo high.

He’s a strong rider given that Singapore’s highest climb might only be about 100m above sea level. I had to put in effort beyond my threshold just to keep up with him, while he was happily filming and photographing us. He was very happy with this ride, perhaps he will return next year too.

Refocusing on the ride, I was hoping to record a better timing than last year. Downing a pack of energy gel every 45 mins helped a lot to maintain the body’s energy supply.

As I reach the last part of the climb, my best support crew drove by! Perfect timing for the boost of encouragement at the crucial moment. 

I pushed myself harder to complete the last km of the ride! Yeah, I’ve done it again! This year I finished a whole ten minutes faster than my previous best result. But most importantly , I managed to finish the ride safely with my friends.

A very satisfying ride indeed and I would highly recommend more friends to do this ride again next year!

View more photos on BaikBike’s Facebook album here.

More about the cyclist

Gan Heng Chye always tries to outdo himself and enjoys success beating his own PRs. He also aspires to be even stronger as a runner and cyclist as his age increases.