Saturday, October 29, 2011

Genting Peras - Tribute Ride to TSB

On Deepavali, some of us went out to ride Batu 18 - Genting Peras- Batu 18. This route is not alien to many weekend cyclist and hardcore cyclist alike. We know of one person that rides up this hill hoping to be have a race with a pack of local dogs going uphill.
Genting Peras is the Late Tuan Senang Besar aka Kharis Idris favourite route as well. Touted as a Cat 2 climb in the le Tour le Langkawi, this 10km uphill sure gives the lung and legs a good workout.
Wednesday's ride was a memorial ride for our dear friend TSB that passed away on October 13. His passion for the sports and also for food willl not be forgotten.
The group congregated at  the usual parking space next to the river and it was a huge crowd that showed up.

Batu 18 to the T-junction of Genting Peras/Tekala is a flat 10km that will give sufficient opportunity to warm up before the big climb. It has minimal traffic but one have to watch out for local kampong folks moving about in their motorbikes or cars. They are aware of cyclists presences and are always careful and not rude to be driving at 20km/h until an opportunity for them to overtake arise. Usual warm up speed will be slightly over 25km/h which is over-easy for most cyclists.

The only Rose among the Thorns.
At the T-junction, it is usually the recce point for any group. Turning left will immediately bring you up against a 8degree gradient climb over 500m and going right will be a gentle ride up over a very scenic Semenyih Dam.
The menu for the day was Genting Peras and then rv at Haji Ramli for TSB's favourite Nasi Lemak haunt.
Left side of T-Junction. Taking the road behind will lead you to Tekala.
The climb up Peras is a love-hate relationship for me. The route is 10km from the T-junction all the way to the top where it marks the state border between Selangor and Negeri Sembilan. It takes about 4.5km to touch the first orang asli settlement and from there onwards, it is a winding climb up to the peak. I used to be able to ride up this mountain on big crank and 17 cog behind at 17km/h with PB time of about 40minutes. That is on a good day. On a bad day, you will want to come down and push when you saw the waterfall on your way up. On really really bad day, you will want to skip this and take the less intimidating but longer Tekala route. I used to tell myself not to waste time riding 40km on a weekend - as time is precious and you will want to maximize the available hours before dedicating the rest to the family.
sideway already...
I was averaging 12km/h up the mountain. Struggled i did as my last session on the saddle was during PD Tri - a good 3 months ago.
It was a struggle but what made it easy was that i had TSB in my mind. He won't ride fast - we all know that. I was riding at his pace.
I reached the peak in about an hour and was greeted by the other riders. Battling the aches in my glutes, thigh and calves, i am glad that i made it up without pushing the bike.
A quick rest later, we went down freewheeling at close to 50km/h even on corners as the 10km downhill return to the T-junction was covered in less than 20minutes. The occasional brakes and taking the corner wider were in place to ensure smooth transition into and out of the corner. In motor racing, they call it as "taking the line".
With Bahri behind me, i managed to catch up with him as he cycled in a faster speed (abouve ave 32km/h) returning to Batu 18. The return journey is when most of us will hammer the pedal hard in time-trailist style. Not unusual to be going at close to 45km/h if the pelathon was up to it.
The last 10km was covered in about 30minutes with Bahri heading to Haji Ramli at Sg Congkak to meet up with the rest. I decided to drive there as i wanted to get home immediately after breakfast.
Haji Ramli gained fame when a writer by the name of Hissamuddin Rais wrote about the food exploit available at this unassuming shop by the side of Sg. Congkak.
The speciality here is the Nasi Lemak which i believe uses 100% coconut milk (santan). No funny creamer used to cut cost or to get the results fast. The rice looked normal and not oily and the unmistaken fragrance of the coconut milk covered rice will reminds you of the best home cooked nasi lemak you have tasted. It's humble looking too.
The sambal was not overly spicy with the right tinge of zing to the tongue. instead of hard boiled egg, a portion or omelets was given which was sufficient for the rice.
One will know why TSB call this his favourite Nasi Lemak joint. Those that know him will know why. Wednesday's ride was a tribute to him on the two things he love most (apart from his family, which is first place all the time) - cycling and food. He know best. Unmistaken.
The paper cutting where he introduced the writer Hissamuddin Rais to the greatness of Haji Ramli Nasi Lemak.
Back when he was riding his white Scott. TSB in white, second from left. Article dated October 2007.
The gang rested a bit and had their Nasi Lemak with gusto. The joke and the drinks between chewing of the food would be something TSB would had given two thumbs up - well, that is until he finished his food, take a smoke of his Salem light and goes to check out the bikes that everyone rides. I can almost imagine him say "Kelas", "Best Sial", "Dayem" to these series of bike porns.

It was a good outing. One that i can relate to. One that make us all glad and happy that we are all still very much alive, lucky to be still be around for many more things.
Lets not forget friends that has came past our way. Lets not forget the camaraderie's we all have. Lets continue to ride. And eat.
Rest in Peace Brah.

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