Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Keep It Colonial: Day 1

Saturday: Day 1

Seven SIRs made the annual (ish) pilgramige to the Malaysian Highlands to sample some epic climbs, sweat off some XMas kilos and most importantly, drink tea and eat scones on the terraces of some fabulous colonial hill top retreats.

Having flown into KL and made the transfer to Genting the night before, we started with a descent down to the valley, the mist just clearing off some beautiful hilltops that we shall re-visit on Day 3.

As the morning went on the temperature went up, so did the pace. We got a good taste of how the next few day's riding would pan out, with Colin off the front and the rest of us battling not to fall off the back. As I started to shake off my jet lag legs I made the mistake of joining Colin for some 40+kph pace line action that soon degenerated into a 2 man time trial before lunch. The prospect of a 40km climb after lunch had somehow slipped my memory.

Refueling from Ronnie's van for the afternoon ahead, there was a sense of trepidation at the prospect ahead- everyone said the climb into Cameron wasn't too steep but I don't think there's such a thing as an easy 40km climb. Not when you've got 130km in your legs already.

A rare photo of Colin (left) actually riding with us.

Winding up the climb the pace started to rise as some of those who'd been quietly absent in the morning turned the screw. I hung on for around 20kms in the hope that if I got my camera out they might slow down. They didn't and I cracked, putting it into 'reverse' for the remaining kms in an effort to save a little energy for the following day. Funnily enough, now I wasn't breathing out of every orifice I could sit back, enjoy the scenery and suffer in silence.

I passed a village where the Mk.1 Land Rover is still the vehicle of choice, which prepped the nostalgia buttons just nicely for what was to appear around the following corner. Like an apparition, I could now see our accomodation for the evening, overlooking the lake. You can just make it out in the photo beneath.

'The Lakehouse' makes quite the place to sit down in sweaty lycra and enjoy a post ride snack. In this case, bring on the tea (locally grown) and serve me those scones! Have either of these ever tasted as good as when you've covered 172km and you've climbed a hill from hell?

A nice soak in a rolltop bathtub and I was ready to go and have another sit down and some more scones. This time in front of the log fire. It was down to 20 degrees after all!

Some bike chat over roast beef and yorkshire pudding, swilled down with a few glasses of anti-oxidants and the day was over. A fantastic day's riding followed up by an equally relaxing late afternoon / early evening. Like the UK only without the rubbish bits (chavs, rude staff and bad weather).

173km covered
5hrs48mins ride time
1050m ascended
9000 garmin calories burned
1 obvious conclusion: keep it colonial.

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