What a great weekend for an AUDAX 200km…..while there were some AUDAX computer issues and we thought there were only zero people joining the ride, it turned out it was a computer user error and the group was quite big. This was the first time we had the full 200km all inside of Singapore. We will try this again in the next season but we will also keep Malaysia in the mix as it will be important for the longer 300, 400 and 600km rides.
For this 200km we also tried to run a couple of options; one at night time starting at 8pm and the other usual version starting at 4:30am from United Square Starbucks. Next year we will add a night option for one of the rides.
Night Ride – by Patrick Williams
In addition to the normal early-Saturday morning start for Audax rides, a smaller group of ten riders tried out a night version, beginning at West Coast Park at 8:30pm and ending at West Coast Park as well. It would have been eleven riders, but Andy “Business Class” Bennett suffered two mechanicals on this way to WCP and was unable to start. The route was different from the Saturday morning ride (https://www.strava.com/routes/10624506) as we assess the possibilities of trying this again next year.
Most of the riders were well matched as we started immediately with a climb through NUS and then headed down to Mt. Faber and Sentosa before starting an extended RTI. As expected, traffic plus hill during the first hour kept things sedate, but once we head out West Coast Road to Tuas, half the riders took up pulling duties and we made steady progress to our first of two stops, in Jurong West at 75km. After losing one to illness, the rest continued with an NTU loop and then over to Bukit Batok and Chua Chu Kang before heading through Kranji and around Admiralty to Seletar.
By the time we hit Woodlands, we had dropped three riders. Steven “The Commando” Hon dropped back to find them while the rest of us slowed our pace. Within 45 minutes, Steven had pulled the dropped ride back to the main group, and we arrived together at our second stop, the popular Punggol Shell, at 140km. This left only 65km for the final leg, which again was taken up by four riders on the front: myself, Vlad Todorovic, The Commando, and Roger Allingham from ANZA. Two riders suffered mechanicals on the East Coast and were forced to retire, while the remaining seven stuck together and slogged through Changi head and crosswinds to arrive back at West Coast Park at 4am. Most of us were satisfied to call it a night, but Steven Hon said something about looking for the morning group to start another 200km….
Overall the night ride was well-received. The cool temperatures and empty roads were a true delight, but certainly riding all night after a week of work is not for everyone. Still, for those planning on doing the longer 1,000km rides at some point, the training of all-night riders should not be underestimated. Special commendations to Steven Hon and newcomer Roger Allingham, who took most of the responsibility for keeping the pace going going during the second half of the ride. Without these two, the rest of us would have been a bit slower to arrive home.
As mentioned this group was very large with many new faces in the crowd. There were plenty of fast racers from Matador and Integrated Riding teams which resulted in one of the fasted 200km times ever in Singapore AUDAX history. The first guys finished before Brewerkz was even open. There were also a number of newbies who were attempting 200km as their longest rides for the first time. Congratulations to all the finishers!
Super impressed with the ride by Audrey Gentry. Audrey mentioned that she had not ridden in months yet she still saddled up and tackled the full 200km in 11h20m. She also had severe Strava issues, no Garmin and needed to stop at Starbucks for more coffee to get the job done. She made it to Brewerkz though and managed to grab an ice cold beer to reward herself for an amazing effort. Good job Audrey!
The next AUDAX 200km is October 7th and this will be the final one for this year. This one will follow the Patrick Williams Way 200 in Malaysia and will start at 430am again. The early start makes it easier to clear the border and it is well worth it. More details will be out later this week. The AUDAX 2018 year starts in November and the new calendar will be out soon. The calendar is tentatively set up as follows:
- November 18, 2017 AUDAX 200km
- December 9, 2017 AUDAX 200km
- January 20, 2018 AUDAX 300km
- February 10, 2018 AUDAX 200km
- March 17, 2018 AUDAX 400km
- April 21, 2018 AUDAX 200km
- May 19, 2018 AUDAX 300km
- June 9-10, 2018 AUDAX 600km
- July 21, 2018 AUDAX 200km
- August 18, 2018 AUDAX 400km
- September 22-23, 2018 AUDAX 600km
- October 20, 2018 AUDAX 200km
The September 23 preliminary results are here so please check and let me know if there are any omissions or errors ASAP.
As usual, thank you to Kim Norman who gets up early to do all the registration and preparation to get the ride data safely to ACP in Paris.