Well this weekend was the final 200 and 300km rides for the 2018 AUDAX season. It was also one of the best of the year. We had more than 30 people line up and fight through a grueling day of heat and hills. We were extremely fortunate with the border crossings going both directions with wait times of less than 10 minutes. The heat was unbearable at times and definitely took its toll on some of the riders.
The group started off mostly conservatively arriving at the first Shell stop at KM 68 with an average pace of 35km /hour. Smarter minds prevailed and the pace slowed somewhat on the way to the next stop.
The weather was perfect early on and what looked like thunder showers turned into a nice and cool sunny morning. The fast group shed a few riders who eventually joined up with some ‘smart paced’ riders. By the time we hit the Shell at KM 109 the fast group had an average speed of 33.5km / hour. It was at this Shell that the 300km and 200km riders would go opposite directions. The 300km riders off to tackle the hilly route to Kluang whereas the 200km riders headed south towards the rocky roads of Kulai. The heat was ramping up at this point which would coincide with the J94 rollers and then the fun and fabulous Kulai hills. At this point the group had split into a few groups for the 200km distance.
This ride was very much like the AUDAX rides when they first started in Singapore. There were people who were suffering, people who felt strong, people who were lost and people who you met for the first time and bonded with as the kilometers ticked away. As usual, there were people who had enough food and supplies to ride 600km (Jerome), people who did not have enough of anything (me). As we move into 2019 with a PBP year it was a great final AUDAX to end the season.
This ride had so many award-winning performances it was a tough call. The JFT AUDAX Spirit Award goes to Alan Bradley. Alan was doing the 300km route and despite pulling the group for the first 110km he went on to finish the 300km route in just over 12 hours! Just to do it with distinction he continued riding into Singapore finishing the day with a whopping 365km distance. Congratulations Alan…you win a pair of AUDAX socks.
With the heat blazing as hot as it was there were plenty of opportunities to earn the Lundy Worker Award. This award had two winners who helped to contribute getting riders across the border back home safely. Julian Doyle and Daryl Chan both win a pair of Singapore AUDAX socks for their heroic efforts on the road! Julian was instrumental at fixing punctures, providing gels, magic pills and words of inspiration to get some of the suffering riders over the finish line. An especially nice touch was for Julian to avoid all of the flyovers back in Singapore on the way home as worn out riders searched for some much needed food and beverage. Daryl also helped fixing punctures and managed the entire ride on a Brompton bicycle.
Ben Achirn who was on his first ever AUDAX ride wins the Silk Smile Award. Not all AUDAX rides with this level of intense heat have anybody smiling. Ben was smiling all the time and made the ride look like a piece of cake. In his own words Ben had this to say: Thanks for the ride, it was very enjoyable riding as strangers, finishing off as friends and am looking forward to the next edition. Audax riding is refreshing from the usual hammer fests and testosterone-charged weekend rides in SG. 🙂
Let’s hope that Ben still says this after the next 200km 🙂
Congratulations to all the award winners.
For all the riders who completed the 200km and the 300km please email the elapsed time to firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2019 calendar can be found here
More information about the rides will be posted usually 1-2 weeks before the actual ride date. We may start the 2019 year with an all-in-Singapore AUDAX 200km. Stay tuned.