Shortly after midnight, October 29th 2016, fourteen riders set off from the Starbucks at Scotts Road and Orchard Rd for a 400km ride, which would be the last official Singapore Audax ride of the year. In past years, the ride began at 5am with approximately 300km in Malaysia followed by 100km in Singapore. This time we did the 100km in Singapore first and then headed to Malaysia for the final 300, hoping to maximize nighttime riding and therefore minimize time in the afternoon heat.
As anticipated, the pace started off high (for a 400 at least) and didn’t let up—by 3:00am we had already covered 100km and two riders had gone back home to seek the comfort of their pillows. We stopped in Jurong West around 3:20am for an early breakfast before heading through Kranji and into Malaysia. As we prepared to hit the road, I found I had broken a rear spoke. Luckily we were only 3km from my house and so I pedaled home as quickly as possible to swap wheelsets while the rest of group slowly headed up the road to a quickly-planned rendezvous. With only about a 10-15 minute delay, we were back on the road as a group and headed into the Malaysia. Unfortunately the high pace caught out two more riders who were not feeling their best. We lost one just before the border and the another about 25km into Malaysia, just before the sun came up.
Down to 10 riders, we formed a rolling pace line at anything from 34-42km/h for the next few hours, until we hit the hills at the 240km mark. Once in the hills we began spreading out on the road and somehow lost two riders, who made it back to Singapore on their own. Of the remaining 8, we broke up into two groups of four after our lunch break at 300km. Each group worked well together and everybody was back in Singapore by 5pm.
Ask around for nominations for awards. Wes pulled a lot but I think he’s won Lundy already. Again nobody was smiling…. :-\