Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keep It Colonial: Day 3

Day 3: Monday

Greated by morning mist at the top of Fraser's Hill we descended the first single track 8 km of yesterday's final climb with plenty of caution. Tropical tarmac does have it's hazards.

As the sun came up and the gradient eased we were then treated to a further 30km of road bike descending heaven. A nice easy gradient, a good surface, swooping corners, very little braking required and virtually no traffic. I'd rank this descent up there with some of the best I've ridden.

All good things must come to an end, however. And soon enough we were back on the flats heading for our final climb of the holiday: Genting.

Genting is the usually the decider on the Tour of Langkawi and has cracked many a European who isn't used to extreme heat, ridiculous gradients and 25km climbs. Brutal is not the word on this one. Everyone who'd ridden it before was banging on about how steep the final 8km were. But they forgot to mention the long stretches of 10-12% to beat you into submission in the 17km leading up to it. Soon enough it was a war of attrition as one by one each of us dropped off the pace setter- Glossoti. That was until Colin came steaming past, having taken a few minutes out to remove his brake blocks from his wobbly wheel. I wish I'd stopped to take a photo of the horrific resort visible from the base of the mountain, emerging from the mist. But I was worried I'd get dropped...

By the time the fabled final 8km came it was just me and Glossoti, with Colin well gone up the road. A little dig in a bid not to fall over backwards on the 17% gradients unhitched Glossoti and we crawled up the remaining kms seperated by a constant 50m. Dripping in sweat we found the coffee shop with Colin tucking into a muffin. We followed suit as the other guys rolled in. Pain is temporary, having climbed that hill is forever!

Of course we cannot forget the First World Hotel, even more horrific in the flesh that I thought.

But look the other way and for all the Chinese tourists gambling in the mini Macau on a mountain, Genting is still a beautiful place. Not a match for Cameron or Fraser but a hill that had to be climbed. Just the 90km covered today but a great way to round off a superb trip before it was time to pack the bikes, grab some lunch and jump back in a van and head off to KL International. 3 days, 3 hills with 7 great guys / SIRs. Something to remember.

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