Wanted to end the year on a high note, so decided to finally do that solo Audax 300 loop I’ve been thinking about. With a non-cyclist wife and small child the time away was the main obstacle. Thankfully, got permission from the wife for a long ride so I prepared my kit and some food, checked the bike, then hit the sack early. I woke up at 2:00am for a 3:00am start.
So I hit the road. As always, once I started pedaling I thought,
“Hmmm… I could just do a loop around the island.”
And the closer to the border I got,
“Do I really want to do this?”
But the thought of doing some crazy shit like this and the reaction I would get was just too juicy to pass up. I knew I wanted to break that damn Rapha Festive 500, so there was a goal in mind too. Because of that I knew that an Audax 300 loop alone would not be enough so I headed out around Kranji for some extra k’s. I contemplated a reverse Changi, but thought I could get enough with a Kranji and maybe one home too.
Once I got close to the border I got chills on the spine, I knew then there was no turning back. I went over to Jahore around 4:15am and just plowed out to Danga Bay and then up to Kluang.
First stop destination was the gas station in Bukit Botok before the Loyang turn. This is the traditional first Audax stop. The station has been renovated so the bathroom is tolerable. Traffic was meager on the way there, but some sections of the road were absolutely pitch black. Thanks to my Ayup’s for getting me through. It really was blackest before the dawn. In some parts I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. Ok. 100k done.
So how do I look?
Now time to eat! First stop breakfast on the curb consisted of rice cake, Tongkat Ali coffee and Wrigley’s gum for dessert:
The highlight of this meal was the Alan Lim rice cake. This is damn good home cooked food that really gave me a boost. I’ll be having one of these on every long ride from now on. Here’s before:
And after licking that baby clean:
I didn’t dilly dally. No reason to sit on the ground at a gas station longer then necessary. Only 51k until Kluang!
Dawn was breaking now so the ride through Loyang Loyang promised to see the sun rise. I wasn’t disappointed.
Traffic was very accommodating. I nearly always received a wide berth with some waves and shouts of encouragement. As well as some amazed faces from the motorbike riders. The road was smooth for the most part and the views were amazing. It was still morning so it was cool – perfect riding weather!
After reaching Kluang around 8:30am I headed over to the traditional Audax prata stop for a Masala Dosa. Yummy!
After eating I was feeling pretty good. I stretched out and then hit the road for the beautiful resort city of Kota Tinggi.
After Kluang the sun came out to play and it started to heat up. There were occasional sections where the clouds would give some respite but I was mostly cooking out there. That said, the trip between Kluang and Kota Tinggi is about 90k with some amazing views. It was still morning so the heat wasn’t so bad and I could really enjoy the scenery.
But you can still see me cooking as I’m gazing at the view.
Before the turn onto 94 towards Kota Tinggi I made a pit stop at a gas station to get some water.
There you go. Almost 200k done.
Back on the road to some more amazing views.
Reaching Kota Tingi I made the obligatory stop at what used to be our prata stand. Now it’s a Malay dishes stall – I had rice and chicken – and an ice coffee!
I stayed in Kota Tinggi for about 30 minutes, washed up and re-charged the Garmin while I ate and got myself in general order. The next push would suck as its all rollers and hills. Save the best for last!
After knocking out the Highway 94 Rollers and the Kulai Hills I made one last stop at a gas station before the border. I couldn’t resist the Popsicle. It was freakin’ hot!
I was super happy to be leaving Malaysia. I was headed back to Singapore and it was only 3:00PM!
And 301k done! Only 59k to go to finish the Rapha Festive 500!
Once I got into Singapore it was obvious I couldn’t ride straight home. Even with 320k in my legs. I then headed to Kranji and noodled around the flower plantations to pick up a few more k’s. By now I was totally wired – probably could have done 400+ k’s without a problem. BUT – I couldn’t just arrive home and die! I had to go to a New Year’s Eve party!
I think the look on my face says it all. And here is the machine that got the job done. Beautiful.
I did eat a huge plate of pasta immediately upon arriving home. I had it pre-prepared for my recovery. Then it was just a shower – no nap! And New Year’s Eve was great!
I ‘partied’ with family and my three year old daughter until about 1:30am – and then into bed I went! Habits die hard though – I was up again at 6am.
So when do we do it again?