Yesterday was probably the ‘smartest’ long distance ride in recent memory as everybody was restrained while tackling the 400km distance. The entire group stayed together for 112km until the first stop at Petronas where the rolling hills started on the road to Kluang. After the break, three groups formed and most met back in Kluang at the luncheon venues – McDonalds or the new bakery. After some discussion over some fresh OJ and veggie fried rice, we determined that breaking into two groups seemed like the sensible thing to do on the 90km spin to Kota Tinggi. The weather was much better than last week and the riders were stronger, smarter and more determined than ever.
Thanks to Carmela Serina and Colin Pearson from AUDAX Philippines for coming down to enjoy the 400km ride with the gang. Good job and solid finish! Look forward to seeing you both at PBP!
The XXX Award….as we were awaiting our food at Jerry’s BBQ for more than an hour we started thinking about creating a grumpy rider award…..no comment on who could have won that one. Think we may name it after Gareth Cooper though….
The Lundy Worker Award was a tough one to call with such great riders showing up. It is amazing to have a group of long distance cyclists who have completed RAAM, PBP, PAP, TME and other long distance crazy rides. In group 1 both Wes and Phil (aka Wolfman) both did tremendous amounts of work to pull the group of seven back to Singapore before 6pm. Wes, Wolfman and Steven Hon powered all over the place to ensure their Garmins crossed the magical 400km mark before embarking on some beers at Boomarang. Kudos! Group 2, the biggest group, had a number of strong workers with Patrick and Mat Lock taking massive pulls at the front according to many sources. In the words of one rider from Tennessee who was commenting on Mat Lock’s on-road performance – ‘that guy pulled all of us god-knows-how-far.’ Kudos! Given that Mat was supporting the majority of the biggest group- he gets the Lundy Worker Award. Congrats Mat.
Who is Lundy? For those new to AUDAX Lundy is a long distance strongman who did incredible amounts of work on mostly every ride. He would pull, he would sing, he would do anything to get the group safely home in one piece. He once did a Bintan loop and pulled at the front for most likely 100+km and humbly pulled back and asked ‘can I borrow 1/2 a gel?’ He was a super considerate machine who was fuelled by coffee and pure power. (and 1/2 a gel)
Despite this being a 400km distance and only a week after the 300km, it was amazing to see so many smiling faces on this ride. Part of this was due to the sane pace most of us kept, but part of it was due to the excitement of having new and keen randonneurs like Andrew Philippou and Adam Brooks on board. These machines both did the 300km last weekend and the 400km this weekend. Impressive. Andrew was smiling even when he punctured and after he dropped his water bottle. The Silk Smile Award goes to the rider that can smile in the hardest of times…during this ride after crossing the 300km mark it was Wolfman still beaming a big smile….perhaps he was thinking of Jerry’s BBQ or beers at Boomarang…or perhaps he was thinking he needed some socks as he did the whole ride without socks. Congrats Phil…great riding yesterday and keep on smiling.
The last award is the JFT Audax Spirit Award which is given to the rider that exudes the AUDAX spirt the most. Once again there were many tough choices as there were so many instances of sharing, caring and supporting the riders it was not funny. Waiting for people is a massive thing on these long rides. When people have to stop they need to work harder to catch up and that adds to the toll of them covering the long distance. On this ride there was a rider who stopped to wait for Andrew during his flat, for Andrew during his water bottle dropping moment, for Steven when he dropped a Co2 that he lent to Andrew…..and I am sure for many other things. Neridah Lock was there through thick and thin….showcasing the true AUDAX spirit. Congrats Neridah.
It is always to see how these rides end. I was happy to see photos posted from Kelvin on Facebook, seeing a message from Terrence Lee at 3:30am saying ‘done’. Congratulations to all the finishers and the next 300km/400km combo is on March 21st. If you missed the 300km come and join the 300/400 combo as it will be a nice pace and you will get to have a nice lunch in Kluang! Oh yeah…and Kolpak is back!