Despite being a beautiful day the AUDAX 200km this past weekend had one of the highest failure rates ever! Ran out of tubes, food poisoning, ran out of energy, ran into Wes Hughes…you name it, the reasons were plentiful. More than 50 riders lined up for the ride on Saturday and it looks like almost 20 did not finish. The preliminary results will be out soon.
The border crossing took a bit longer than usual which meant that the group was split almost immediately in JB. The first group set off at a moderate pace in order to train for C-P (Chiang Mai – Phuket) which is happening in late March. Keeping the moderate pace of 32km/hour meant that they would keep their breaks short and not be blown to shreds by the end of the ride. That was the plan. We rode along with the idea that the Integrated Riders team surely would sweep us up within the first 70km. Surprisingly we only got caught at the 108km at the Shell station. The IR team and a few others pulled into Shell with half of the group looking very worn out trying to keep up with the faster paced riders. To quote one of the riders from Yorkshire upon his arrival at Shell 108km- ‘bloody ‘ell’!!. The IR led group had an average pace of 35km/hour at KM 108. Fast!
The C-P group and the IR group kind of merged at this point so the C-P pace seemed to go out the window. Some of the C-P group stayed true and others were tempted of the earlier arrival home in Singapore on the IR Train. At the turnoff to the Kulai rollers I went home as was suffering from food poisoning. The only thing worse than food poisoning was the condition of the roads from Kulai on the way back to Singapore. Holes, cracks and crazy drivers all provided for a nerve racking experience. I finally cracked and got in a taxi the last 15km in Malaysia and the taxi driver’s driving skills provided another nerve racking experience. 12 km over the border it was time for an Uber to Brewerkz to greet the riders at the end.
For those who managed to be on the first group the average speed was 35.5 km/ hour according to Marcus. He showed up first at Brewerkz looking absolutely wrecked. Marcus wins the Lundy Worker Award for absolutely shredding himself and doing some serious front time with the fast group. Marcus had more salt on his jersey than the fries at Brewerkz! Following Marcus was none other than the man from Yorkshire, who once again said ‘bloody ‘ell!!’. After one beer he seemed to return to normal though. At 60 years of age, he crushed a 34 km/hour average over 200km! Congratulations Andrew Woodcock for winning the JFT Singapore AUDAX award for this ride. Andrew and Marcus both finished strong but there were no smiles until the 2nd round of beers. Almar Cabato joined for his first AUDAX ride this weekend. Despite a quick time of 8:32 minutes he showed up at Brewerkz with some of the quicker guys, he realized how accomplished he felt and was smiling from ear-to-ear. Almar wins the Silk Smile Award for showing that you can go fast and still smile along the way! Congrats to all of the winners…you guessed it, you all win a pair of Singapore AUDAX socks.
There were plenty of new faces out this weekend which was great. The next ride is the AUDAX 300km. The first 108km is the same but after that you go in the other direction towards the lovely city of Kluang. The 50km from Shell to Kluang is hilly and scenic with quiet roads and nice views. At KM 160 you will arrive in Kluang which has a good variety of food for lunch before powering the final 140km. Due to construction the AUDAX 300km ride will finish at Brewerkz National Stadium.