Monday, July 09, 2012

The Lure Of Genting Peras

Peres, Perez; name it whichever way you want and the 9.5km uphill stretch with two "flat" section will give any season cyclists or newbies some excitement. Many will usually start their ride at Batu 14 Ulu Langat. But my favourite would be at Batu 18 due to lighter traffic. Those 4Miles differences between Batu 14 and Batu 18, traffic wise, is like 10 cars to 1 car situation. 
Photo taken from Ultra Yip's Blog. I always remember this as he was running Ultra even before this word became the norm for many of us. 
Anyway, my date on that morning of July 1, 2012 was with Mac. I had not been cycling and has been concentrating on running to build my base endurance. I believe that running is always the basic of many other exercises. Over the months of dedicated running, i am starting to see the results and i am very happy with how it is progressing for the slow me. 181km on running alone in June - that got to be a record of some sort for myself.
July started with 40km bike and 5km run. Gonna be tough to beat the 181km PURE running mileage
With PD Tri less than a week (on July 7, 2012), i have to take the bike out and to ensure that it is functioning as it should. At the very least, no mechanical problems. 
My Italian Girlfriend
It has been almost a year since i rode the bike. I feel awkward but at the same time, at home, on the bike. But the fear of falling off by failure to un-clip the SPD was there. Would not be graceful if that happened.
With Mac watching my back - in a good way
 In fact, i wore the Livestrong jersey/bib that wifey got for me last year, which i only managed to wear it once. With the weight loss, the jersey was 2 sizes too big for me. It was loose.
Man On the Loose wearing Loose Clothing
 It was also an opportunity for me to use the "multisports" function in the Garmin Forerunner 910XT with the Quick Release Kit. It worked awesome. By the way, if you are using 910XT, there is a new firmware 2.5 for the 910XT that will solve a few issues experienced by some users. 
Possible while riding up Peras...
The first 10km was done in leisure warm up pace. That was with the PCC group blasting past us earlier and the National Junior team under Coach Joo Ngan performing blistering TT pace along the quaint Batu 18 to T-junction. Once there, it was turning up towards Genting Peras - another 10km up the hill with elevation gain of about 400m from the T-junction. Spread over 10km, it is hardly "tough" and for some, considered just a "bump". I used to ride up this hill on big crank and hammering it at close to 20km/h, completing the whole ordeal in less than 30minutes. But since being complacent and what not, it pretty much went downhill (in the uphill way). I only managed an average 12km/h up that hill - completing the climb in a slow 48minutes.
Speed, Elevation, Time Split of Batu18-Peras-Batu18
Riding up Genting Peras offers a superb view if you look left over your shoulder midway. The always cloud and mist shrouded hill is a sight for sore eyes. The cooling temperature takes some heat away from the cycling up, and if you are at the right corner at the right time, you get sun beam breaking through the trees and the mist. Fresh air too (provided you are not smoked by lorries going up the hill)
Last Corner of Climb
In fact, i got so engrossed with the sight i stopped almost 5 minutes to take the pic above and allowed PCC bikers to pass me, so i get to frame the sight better.
Pedal Hard!
Reaching the top and crossing the Selangor-Negeri Sembilan border is like an achievement for the newbies - and a benchmark for the seasoned rider to check if they rode up Peras faster than the last time. One can always wish. The PCC group lead by Shang-The-Man-Leong (also known as Shang-pion) certainly looked at ease at the top of Peras.
All in a day's "work".
Superbly so, i caught up with an old buddy, Chris. :) Did not know he was riding, else i would had paced with him and catch up.
Shang-pion (behind in red) and Chris (in front).
The return journey down to T-junction was fast. In fact, i lost confidence in riding down. When i was 85kg, the weight i had gave me extra momentum. That day, i had to pedal just to keep the speed close to 55km/h.
Alas, i did a 53.2km/h (recorded on the GPS).
53.2km/h? My Granma would had done better...if only she cycle.
The last 10km down from T-junction back to Batu 18 was blistering fast. I joked about Shang leading the train in "no less than 45km/h". He took it literally. The group of fast PCC riders went for it. I managed to hold on for 5km at 39.5km/h average and lost out in the last 5km averaging only 31.3km/h. Much work to do there Stupe!
Immediately after the ride, i packed the bike, took off the cycling shoes and went for a 5km run - barefoot. The wonder of bare-footing is that one need not worry of bringing shoes, or waste time wearing shoes. My "Transition 1" was done in quick 3minutes, despite having to lock the bike, lock the car etc etc. Mac arrived soon after and told him "i'll be back in 30minutes".
It was a good run. In fact, i was surprised that i managed to hold off a sub 6:00 pace - something really NOT possible in all my years of triathlon after T2 (bike-run). BRICK as they called it - Bike+Run=ICK. I believe those mileage i put in over the past months has come into play. I was very happy. In fact, the only thing stopping me from running beyond 5km that day was that i had to go home to be with the family.
5:56 pace for 5km. Barefoot.
I concluded that day with a total of 45km workout that was as good as any other days I have trained to push myself a bit more. Funnily, i realised i pushed myself way more at training - perhaps during training it is myself against me. On race day, there are many more friends and that is the time to take things easy. :)
Me, Myself, I and the road.
The Lure of Peras is such that it brings the best out of you. Let you face your fear and allow you to improve at the same time. If makes you feel good with the flats and punish you on the climb. 48minutes is the time to beat in the next round. Watch me go.

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