The Sungai Merab Aftermath

Ever heard of this phrase, for every action there’s a reaction? There’s always a flip side of things. Some have heard about it but couldn’t really fathom what it really meant. It’s just a phrase, what does this make any sense? Well it made sense to me after the Sungai Merab Ride not so distance ago.

I’ve underestimated me and the Terror hill. My TREK 5900 has a 53/39 chain set with 11-28 cassette. Out of better judgement I tried to climb the 11-12% steep hill using 39/19 gearing combination. Not only that it didn’t work, it nearly got my knees popped. I had trouble walking for a couple of days due to strained muscle calf and thigh.

I’ve climbed this hill before with much ease and pleasure before. So what did I do wrong?

I realized that I used to be able climb this hill and the rest of the rolling hills because back then I was in a much more better physical condition. I forgot that I had a long break and I need to build back my fitness. I tried to outdo my self and didn’t listen to my body.Halfway climbing the hill I struggled to maintain a sustainable rhythm.

Climbing should always be done in comfort zone. I should have climbed the hill on my own pace.

Here’s what I failed to do. I didn’t use the right gears and shift early to balance the work of my muscles and aerobic system. I made the mistake of pushing my muscles until I over exerted myself, maybe up to the tipping point. When I realized that I could barely pushed the paddle and decided to shift to an easier gear, it was too damn late. My muscles were exhausted, I was anaerobic and pedaling in pain due to build up of lactic acids in the muscles.

Interesting enough a colleague of mine just started cycling. I rode with him once. We cycled from Cyberjaya through Putrajaya and back through the Persiaran Selatan and climbed the Wawasan Hill. He’d always asked me for steeper hills to climb. It reminded me when I started cycling. Always wanting to challenge myself.

Recently I bumped into him and asked him if he wanted to join me for a light ride around Cyberjaya. I wanted to do my recovery ride and it be nice to have a company. I tried to not cycle alone as much as possible. It’s even better if you are cycling in a larger group. Apparently he just did a ride to Port Dickson from Subang Jaya during the recent Chinese New Year break and it was a torment for him. The ride broke him down, both mentally and physically. I could see it from his facial expression when I asked him to join me. As if he was literally saying that he’d thrown the bike down the bridge at this very moment and gave up cycling for good.

I know he’ll come around. He just needed time to recover and get pull himself together. He must have had a grueling time during the ride. One should always know his or her limit. Listen to your body. It’s not an easy thing to ride through a long distance route. You need to be mentally and physically ready if you want to really enjoy cycling through the terrains.

Your team plays an important part too. Every team member needs to support each other. The strong should support the not so strong. It’s not a show of strength. It’s not a competition. It’s enjoying weekend cycling. It’s will be a lot more meaningful to see everyone in the team help each other to improve their performance, health, fitness and at the same time have a lot of fun and a good time. This is what Cycling Addicts is all about, to have fun cycling together, on open roads.

Skipping Weekend Ride:
Due to strained muscles, I had to skip last weekend’s cycling. It was a hard decision to make but a necessary one. Remember, listen to your body. If my body needs longer time to recover, so be it. Don't push it.

There’s a lot more to cycling than just sitting on the bike and pedal hard. There’s technique and tactics efficiency . You’d just have to find the right ones that fits your physical attributes. Climbing is all about power to weight ratio. I need to lose some pounds and at the same time  improve cadence.

Happy cycling ya all!