Woke up fresh. Not a single strain felt.
Was it a dream that I did the 160km yesterday? Oh yeah, you made the 1/3 brudder. Today is the crunch. The dreaded 190km. I was mentally prepared all right for the onslaught. I aint gonna torment myself with silly & uninspiring thoughts. I’ll tackle it a kilo at a time.
On this cool wet morning & some feelin stiff from last nite - Shahrom powerman made sure that we stretched ourselves to the max for this tuff route.
Mornin surf was beatin lazily onto the beach. The sun peeked & winked to the riders between the trees as we rolled by & bid adieu to Kuala Terengganu. Don’t be fooled by her cynical expressions, coz I know her too well. She’ll fry us to kingdom come.
50 km & at out first refuel area, the soreness on my left shoulder just wouldn’t go away. And so I had no choice but to morph myself into the Hunchback of Notre Dame yet again. Being half horse half human (Sagittarius), within a blink of an eye – I shoved 2 ice packs up my shoulders. It felt numb almost immediately by the stinging ice but I’d rather be frostbitten than be crooked-headed for the rest of the ride.
The Ice packs of Not so Dame...
AJ & Anuar Manan leadin the clan
Rollin it was. Much of a roller coaster I would say the terrain was. As times it seems unthinkable to be able to keep up with the pace. The mounts were almost endless but the down hills were merciful too.
"I made it so far..." Farid Reds Payed
Roughly 20 km before lunch we were told to stop even though there was much fuel left in our muscles. We came to an abrupt stop – the aroma of driying "keropok" was too inviting. Apparently lunch isn’t ready as yet so we had to settle for some finger food.
Fiesta came to town & the air was alive with sweaty humanoids jostled for the "Keropok lekor". This power stick was the talk of the town.
The phallic resembling crackers were snapped up within minutes but I don’t wanna spoil my appetite. I had a hunch that lunch is gonna be special. So I liquidated myself wit 2 helpings of ice-cooled Len Chi Kang. RM1.50 a bowl – so bloody cheap.
This ol' skool was too cool to let by...
Barely an hour in our ride, we were ushered into this “E-Rup E-Sup” loosely meaning “To drink the soup”.
My predictions & premonition was true. We were served with the best soup in town. Never mind the slightly late lunch. I was well earned. Belief me people I always had great precognition. My future sight is always right. What a glutton we had become. A mountain of rice & uncountable bowls of soup. I can still taste it in my buds.
So "Gelojoh" we were...
Some of us even had “Tuak” - The sap derived from incising the flower clusters of the coconut is drunk as “Tuak/Nira”, or fermented to produce palm wine, also known as "Toddy" or, in Malaysia, the sap can be reduced by boiling to create a sweet syrup or candy, too. A by-product, sweet honey-like syrup used as a creamy sugar for desserts.
Do you know that coconut nectar is an extract from the young bud is reputed to have energetic powers? Believe me, too much of it can also make you high & woozy - just like toddy!
Stylo-mylo babe...He he he
We were all geared up for the uphill task to reach our destination – Red Earth = Tanah Merah. As red as the earth, our sweat shall be drenched with blood…but I wasn’t meant to be. Sensing the tough terrain, the organizers decided to take us thru shorter & less steep hills.
Already we had endless rolling ones all the way from Pasir Putih. Its kinda ok for the legs coz you get to rest a little while goin downhill but some bloke made a sprint up the hills & whatdayya expect huh? We made a dash & followed the leaders. No doubt we were maintaining the 28kph regime but sometimes. It just felt good to have some KOM sprints once in a while. Psyche you up a bit as it might get too monotonous at certain times.
We ended up stopping again for another much needed break. Bikes sandwiched into one another. Not even a camel on this parched landscape can tolerate the arid surface, but it produced such intriguing shots.
Hunched "Camels" on two wheels.
A small reflection of me is a big part of you.
You now know why I wore white today. With a dark reddish tan, spotted cumulus clouds & deep blue sky, we refueled with more eye popping melons & juices. Some even had time to skin a cow, probably for the BBQ tonite. Be patient boys, we aint carnivores.
Fresh meat anyone? Ah..I could sip the dripping blood...Take a number & wait till your turn comes please.
Otai's - Pak Hamid & A Rahim Anuar
View from the bridge.
Even then, sol didn’t give any leeway to us. She kept shining & a mirage of deep cool oasis was playing tricks to my squinting eyes. We were herded again for the last 20km or so. No frenzy & fancy ridin but just paced enuff to get everybody excited as we entered Tanah Merah.