Cycle Asia KL 2015 – The Show Must Go On!
This year will be the 4th edition of this regional cycling event which is organised by Spectrum from Singapore. In the previous 3 years, under the OCBC title sponsorship, as many as 6,000 riders would sign-up for it . However, with the lack of a big title sponsor for this year, the number of participants fell below 4,000; out of which approximately 1,000 riders will take part in the main event of The Challenge (48km) category, and another 2,000 riders, including our cycling KL Mayor, Datuk Ahmad Phesal, will riding in the Community Ride (24km). on Sunday. Saturday is reserved for the kiddie’s. In Singapore’s case, Spectrum cancelled their 2015 event two weeks before the event because of no sponsor replacement for OCBC. Luckily for us, the KL leg will continue despite not finding a major sponsor right now. Who knows maybe in the future, a major sponsor like Maybank may step-up to the plate, and inject the funds required to put the glitter back into this annual cycling event, and attract back the big crowd that KL city & Klang Valley cyclists deserve.
My first & only OCBC Asia Cycle was the KLCC edition in 2013. Having the world-famous twin towers looming over the race venue is a tough act to follow. At that time, the race kit collection kit was at the glitzy Intermark Hotel on Jalan Tun Razak, and there were good vibes in the air as the many vendor stalls were offering all kinds of promotions for bike stuff.
Today, the dreary collection venue was The Underground in Dataran Merdeka, and it consisted only of 8 registration/collection counters; and there were no merchandisers present at all. When I asked one of the race official about it, she explained that the vendor’s booths will only be present at the padang on Sunday. Well, I am expecting a good carnival atmosphere at the historic Dataran Merdeka venue on Sunday – let us see what happens!
Inside the racekit, there is a sky-blue cycling jersey for the 48km riders, and the rest will receive an event t-shirt in their official sling-bags. All riders will have their unique numbers for their bibs, helmets, and bikes. Only the 48km riders will have a timing chip embedded in their bibs.
After reading the official Event Guidebook, I like it’s clarity and the many safety measures in place to reduce the risk of cycling accidents, mishaps and disappointments. I did notice that there were no water stations marked on the route map. When I asked a race official about it, I was told that there will be one water station along Jalan Parliament after the 12km looping point.
On paper everything looks set for a smooth ride. However, like any other cycling event, it only takes one over-zealous or careless rider to cause a crash, and spoil the fun for others. There is really no need to risk your life & limb for the same medal which will be presented to all participants regardless of their timing or position. Although, this is not a race, I know many competitive cyclists who will ride very hard for bragging rights. I hope everyone will adhere to the event guidelines because, at the end of the day, it is all about having fun with our friends, as well as being able to appreciate the beautiful scenery of Kuala Lumpur on two-wheels without any annoying motorists in the way!
7 Hot Tips For A Trouble-Free Ride
Here are my TOP TIPS for riders, particularly rookies, who will take on The Challenge (48km) and want a trouble-free ride to the finish line.
1. On event eve, stick to your usual diet & avoid experimenting with unfamiliar or spicy foods in order to avoid unwanted stomach aches. If possible, carbo-load on pasta, and eating extra portions of veggies & fruits is advisable.
2. Start drinking more water one day before the event, and continue drinking water during and after the ride to keep hydrated & to accelerate recovery.
3. Familiarise yourself with the route map, and where & when you have to be on race day.
4. Carry-out a checklist to ensure that your bike is in order and all your cycling gears and number in bibs are ready the night before the big day.
5. It is recommended that you carry on board a spare tire & a portable pump in case of unexpected punctures.
6. Sleep early the night before.
7. Bring along a water bottle so that you do not have to waste time stopping at the water stations.
8. On race morning, have a light breakfast no later than 1.5 hours before flag-off. Bring along a snack bar or a soft bun, if you think you will get hungry or need an energy boost during the latter part of the ride.
9. Being a good rider is not only about riding fast; it is also equally important that you respect the race officials and follow their instructions, and share the road with the other riders to ensure a harmonious ride for all.
10. If you are feeling dizzy or nauseous or your heart-beat is too fast at anytime during the race, slow down to a stop at the far left & rest. If your discomfort persist, then call the emergency helpline provided in the guidebook or get the attention of nearby race official.
Good Luck & Have A Blast !!
About The Author: Gus Ghani is a qualified Senior High-Intensity Interval Training Coach. His ambition is to promote an active & healthy lifestyle in order to help people live life to the fullest. In his spare time, he likes to participate in endurance sports and play with his pet cats.
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