Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Keep it Colonial: Day 2

Sunday: Day 2
The Lakehouse car park saw some tired legs and some full stomachs roll out to descend back down yesterday's mammoth climb.

The pace was pretty slow on the descent so it was a nice opportunity for me to grab some photos on the way down like this abandoned car and these village children: 


A very nice descent on quiet roads at a civilised hour was a good mental break from Hong Kong, where typically we have to stay alert for Mini Buses trying to run us over.

Raynard, our resident 'SIR' Mexican, descending. Bet you don't get too much Mock Tudor in Mexico City.

The views across the Cameron Highlands were quite spectacular. Alas it couldn't last and we were back on the flats and heading for lunch soon enough. Highlights included skirting aorund the outskirts of Proton world. Hopwever, luckily enough for me, the pace had reduced to 'recovery'- just a 36kph average...and we had a tailwind and life was good. Colin served time for talking about how reliable his Mavic wheels were over dinner last night with a broken spoke but even a wobbly wheel couldn't slow him down.

After lunch, Keggy & I jumped on the Colin express and opened up a couple of minutes gap before the next refuel at the petrol station. Coke, caffeine sweets and jelly beans were stuffed in the back pocket and in true SIR spirit I thought 'stuff waiting around for this lot- I'm off'. I was pretty sure that Colin would catch me, but after yesterday's performance I felt like I needed a head start. Of course it's not a race.

Pounding the pedals for the next hour I was feeling good- I'd clocked 20km in the hour, going uphill. Someone's bike computer had recorded 42 degrees in the full midday sun but for once a headwind felt OK, as it had a cooling effect. The problems started when my bottles were running empty and I still had 10km uphill before the next probable water stop. I reached for my phone to see where Ronnie & his van were, but no reception! Next stop was to flag down a car. This being Malaysia and Proton world being just down the road, you can guess what car stopped for me- yes a 20 year old Proton full of locals who'd probably filled up their 2litre bottle with p*ss, I mean tap water. Still- beggars can't be choosers and with no sign of Ronnie I took on some more fluids.

Just before the final 8km kicker where things get steep on Fraser Hill (named after some Scotsman) I was able to swap out my p*ss water for some real stuff- half of which went over the head and then onto the food the woman I bought it from was serving. Never mind- I had one last hill to climb and I was still out front!

To my amazement, my 2hr solo 'breakaway' had succeeded. To celebrate, I ordered a tuna sandwich with chips at the nicest looking place I could find. Turns out I the official post ride meeting venue was just round the corner but to be honest I wasn't really capable of speech anyhow. That was the furthest I've dug myself in many months and I was quite happy to collapse in peace. 

Another day, another classic mock Tudor venue. This time 'The Smokehouse'- built at the turn of the Century by the miltary and probably last seen a coat of paint / menu update in 1980. Still, tea & scones are timeless.

I wrote about 'The Smokehouse' and published a quick sketch in my blog post a day or so ago. I've been thinking one of the things I liked so much about this trip was the couple of hours to myself in the afternoon to recouperate and soak in my surroundings. It's still a hard day's riding but it's not taking the p*ss.

Ok so the chairs are a bit OAP home but hey, that's OK for a night.

Not a bad terrace.

Much of the dinner chat was about how important a good pair of shorts are. Glossoti, who'd been on good form was now walking like John Wayne, and talking about First Aid. To top it off, he'd ripped the brake boss off his Pinarello. One of those days for him.

Still , for me it'd been a great day. And, to top the day off, a Beef Wellington. Well deserved and well digested. I passed on the prawn cocktail starter...

182km covered
6hr ride time
1125m ascended
8900 garmin calories burned
1 obvious conclusion: don't talk about how good your bike is.

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