As the 160km Perak Century Ride drew near, the excitement grew in me, as I would get to test my performance on this training ground of mine.
The route for the race, turned out to be most of my regular route. Started out from the RTC PERAK in Gopeng, and headed towards the infamous historical landmark, Kellie’s Castle, onwards through idyllic ex-mining towns like Batu Gajah, Lumut, Kampung Gajah, Chendrong, Tanjung Tualang, Gopeng and back to RTC Perak.
I arrived just in time for the flagoff, so warmed up during the rolling start to Batu Gajah instead.
I was surprised when the Mountain Bike riders started the race together with the Road Bike riders, as they are usually separated for safety purposes.
Furthermore, Time Trial (TT) bikes and aerobars were not restricted either. This must be the first Malaysian event where I managed to spot four or five Cervelo P5X TT bikes in a Century Ride.
In terms of the route, it was pure bliss with 160km worth of high-speed flats and very little rolling hills. All you need to do, is just to manage strong headwinds and the searing heat.
Highly recommended for century newbies as it is a very scenic route, relatively smooth roads through paddy fields, villages with families and kids cheering you on by the road side.
Petrol stations and shops were in abundance along the way too, in case you need extra supplies.
Personally, I stuck to my nutrition plan and played according to my race strategy. I prevented myself from falling into temptation (of following other people’s speed) and came back with a Personal Best (PB) under 5 hours, more than an hour’s improvement compared to my previous Century Ride here last year.
I was really expecting to finish within 5- 5.5 hours today, which would be enough to make me happy.
During the race, I even managed to pull the peloton a number of times, got them in order and taught them to rotate as reluctant as they were.
Teamwork is really the most important element in such endurance races.
I’ve been training with RC Coaching’s program and it’s given me the knowledge and training to pull out my guns whenever they’re needed.
Overall, in my opinion, this event was a success.
Improvements are surely needed to grow the sport, but the feeling of making friends with random riders, the teamwork of everyone working in a peloton and the scenery has won me over.
- Sufficient traffic control to say the least.
- Had 2 cops on bikes marshalling my peloton the whole way which was really good. Felt like as it I was in Le Tour de Langkawi.
- Sufficient water stations.
- Timing chip was flimsy and fragile so many people had theirs torn off, mine was barely hanging on. Propose to use reusable timing chips more environmentally friendly.
- MTB category should have a separate start time to improve on safety.
- Aerobars and TT Bikes were allowed on course. They pose a safety hazard as many of them draft in pelotons in aero position which delays their ability to brake on time if needed, and their bars are an impaling hazard when the bike is on the ground.
Photos provided by Chris Khoo.
More about the cyclistChris Khoo, an ex-coach at zero2hero and mountain bike lover. He’s a newbie Triathlete now finding his way to sustainable fitness. Always passionate about learning and sharing knowledge with everyone.