Lance’s cool new video

No matter what you think of Lance Armstrong, you must admit he makes amazing videos!  This is one of the best I have seen.


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‘Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever’ Lance Armstrong


That phrase was running through my mind over 100 times yesterday (Aug 15th) as a group of 18 of us took on the AUDAX 300km brevet.   After a while however I started to think of my own version of this quotation:

Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever, death is forever. –  Jeff Paine

Wow what a day.  As always it was great to ride with such a dedicated group of riders who were embarking on a 300+km ride into Malaysia from Singapore.  AUDAX rides are always exciting and there are always interesting things that happen on these rides.  Today was Dave Lundberg’s first venture into Malaysia and also Winston’s first 300k AUDAX ride.  David Pan was also on the roster along with a number of AUDAX regulars.

It all started at 5am at the Longhouse eating house, the usual starting spot.  After a quick ride brief and registration, we all set off on what was sure to be a fun day.  The border crossing was fairly quick and in no time we were all in Johor Bahru where the real ride begins. This ride would take us to Kluang, Kota Tinggi, Kulai and then back to Singapore.




Winston and Dave – before the ride.





Back to the pain. I thought of amending Lance’s famous quote after I had hit my boundaries numerous times along various points in the ride.   I was in complete pain all day long despite taking every conceivable form of energy possible. Clif bars, gels, Gu, peanuts coffee, prata, chips, copius amounts of 100 Plus, water, Clif Blocks, etc.  Normally these things give me the necessary strength to carry out long rides.  Today was a different story however.  My thoughts of ‘sweating out’ the remnants of my cold were quickly dissolved after around 50km.  Having done long rides before, I was carefully managing my eating and drinking very carefully to ensure that I had enough supplies to last for the entire ride.  At kilometre 220 in Kota Tinggi, we stopped for roti prata to fuel us up for the last leg of the trip through Kulai. I had my regular order of prata, and had two gels to spare for the remaining kilometres. I thought I would be ok:  one gel to get me to Kulai, one gel to get me over Kulai, then an easy coast home.   Good idea, but not the way it turned out. I ended up eating both of my remaining gels just to get me to Kulai!  Kulai is a hilly finish to many of the rides we do in Malaysia and typically a place where you need some energy to get you over the big rolling hills and the ‘3 witches’, three sharp hills.   I was dead.  At kilometre 240 I was suffering and Winston took a look at me and said ‘hey are you ok?’.  I cannot even remember what my response was but the real answer was no.   We finally made it to Kulai and I was pretty well out of food and water.  Only 10 km to go until I could replenish so I grumpily pushed on.




The Roti Prata King in Kota Tinggi




We refueled at the final stop of the day and had only 50km to go to get back to our start point. Every AUDAX ride finishes where it begins which in some cases means you end up doing more than the official amount. Today’s 300km ride was actually 338km and it is amazing how hard those kilometres can be once you cross the official amount.  Overall it was a great day. I learned a lot of things such as don’t ride when you are not feeling 100%.  Thanks Gareth, Peter, Jeff and Bryan for dragging me home to Longhouse…without you guys I am sure I would be lying in some bush on the side of the road in Johor! 🙂

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What a great trip


  Here is a quick video sharing some photos and video clips from our recent trip to Italy.  Once again the Italian Cycling Center provided superb rides, food and company.  A special thanks to Lucinda and Andrew for making this trip so much fun!   (and George too!)




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Kim Conquers Passo Rolle


Today was Passo Rolle day.  A great 26km climb in the Dolomites mountain range in Italy and one of the most scenic places I have seen.   We did this climb last year however Kim did not go on this ride.  Today she gave it a try and managed to finish it with only a few stops along the way.  This was much more challenging than I remembered the climb but the sheer beauty of this place is amazing.   This climb was also featured in this years Tour of Italy (Giro d’Italia) and pros like Lance Armstrong did this climb in May of this year. (albeit slightly faster than our group)


Andrew did a great job tackling the climb without stopping.  This was great given that my review of the ride the night before mentioned gradients of 6-8 percent but today I realized there were a number of sections hitting 15-17%.  Despite my miscalculations (think Bintan and Pinarello Gran Fondo and now today) he climbed to the top without a stop.  I did stop for a cappuccino and to take in some scenery (which is ok as I did this ride last year without stopping : )  Andrew was the only soul to brave the descent as we were all too lazy to do it 🙂 


Kim’s celebratory hug for making the climb.


My bike at the cappuccino stop


Climbing up to Passo Rolle


In Borso del Grappo before we head to the Dolomites



Once again this was the best day of the trip so far.   We arrived back to the Italian Cycling Center and put our bikes away given we begin our voyage back to Singapore tomorrow morning.  It was a great trip but maybe a bit on the short side.   Guess we are back on Mt. Faber and Mandai Road starting on Sunday.

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Off to Passo Rolle


We are heading to Passo Rolle, a 21km climb in the Dolomites mountain range.  I took this photo last year when we did the climb but this year Kim is also going to give it a try.   There are only four riders today (Kim, Lucy, Andrew and me) but it will be fun no doubt.  Today is our last day of riding as we are heading to Milan first thing in the morning tomorrow and then heading to Singapore. 😦

Passo Rolle, here we come!


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Memories of the Gran Fondo

Now that I have had some time to recover I thought about how great the Pinarello Gran Fondo was.  I came in 1066th place which is not too bad….I guess.  As I mentioned before this was much tougher than I expected.  When we started yesterday’s ride I noticed my saddle bag was of the casualties of the bumpy ride.  Good thing I did not have any flats I guess.  I did remember hearing some things bouncing around on some bumpy descents however I was too focused on staying upright to check anything out.  The other thing that was interesting was the funny feeling I had in my ankle at kilometre 120.  I was on a descent and it felt like my ankle was on fire….now normally your ankles don’t catch on fire but I was wearing an electronic race trip which is used to measure the amount of time it takes to do the race.  Anyhow I quickly glanced down to ensure my burning ankle was not burning my Prince of Spain bike and noticed (with relief) that I was not on fire but was under attack by a bumble bee.  Too afraid to remove my hands from the handlebars I had to sit patiently flying down this hill while the bee proceeded to sting me.  It hurt and actually still hurts as my ankle has swollen which makes for tough riding.



Kim before the Pinrello Gran Fondo








Kim after the Pinarello Gran Fondo

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Almond Cookie Ride


Awesome ride today.  Lots of climbing and a fun descent which is pictured above.  Today we did a magical climb in Marostica as part of what is called the Almond Cookie Ride.  We tried this ride last year however we never managed to finish as one of the guys disappeared and we had to go look for him.  This year we were determined to go and get some cookies.  


Start of the Climb – Marositica

We are here at the Italian Cycling Center with our friends Andrew and Lucinda.  The day before this ride I described the climb as relatively easy with gradients of 5-7 percent.  Since we all live in flat Singapore it is sometimes tough to get practice climbing.   When we arrived I noticed that the gradients were hitting 10-11 percent and was wondering if anybody was cursing me for my somewhat inaccurate description of the climb in my ride summary the day before….reminded me of a recent experience in Bintan Indonesia : )

P7210851This year we did not lose anybody which means we made it up the approximately 14km climb for some some almond cookies.  We ate these up pretty quickly and then started down a descent of 17km into Bassano. Bassano is 10km from the ICC where we are staying and a very beautiful place. 







We crossed this old bridge on our way to the Lake Ride. 

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