The Pajam Connection

I missed cycling last weekend. Saturday was a false alarm and on Sunday I got wasted.  I missed yesterday's ride due to a domestic problem and today, again it was a close call but managed to ride, yeah!

The Wasted Weekend
Last weekend was a complete mess. It was really cloudy and the ride was called off. A few minutes later, the morning suddenly turned  bright and sunny but it was too late to start cycling.  To make mater worst I went fishing that night and finished at around 3.30am, yes empty handed, the baits were intact. I got home at around 4am and the rest was history.

Man on a Mission...
After a no show yesterday, I was adamant that I'm not going to miss my Sunday ride. I was hoping that the gang would pick a short route like Sungai Long because my fitness sucks.  Missing few rides and my "get-back-that-damn-fitness" was all but so-so thus far were just not going to cut it for long range ride.

When Zaha texted me the ride plan, I was a bit glad but still uncomfortable. It was Pajam. I was glad becuase it was not Mantin. Uncomfortable because Mantin was just 5 Km away from Pajam. It was still a 50-50 plan because it might rain on Sunday and there might not be enough take-ups. I don't know who were the ride crews other than Zaha.

The Gloomy Sunday Morning
The sky was gloomy. Dark clouds hovered over the horizon. I quickly texted Zaha and asked if the ride was cancelled. To my astonishment he replied the ride was on. It would only be cancelled if it actually rained. Looking at the condition, I'd bet my last dollar that it would surely rain anytime soon. Regardless, I thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.

There was no body at the Sungai Balak Toll Plaza when I reached there. Honestly I had no idea who'd joined this ride. This was like a secret mission to Pajam and you'd only now the whole gang at the 2nd RV point (LEKAS's Kajang Selatan toll plaza). For a minute there I thought Zaha had gone "Mission Impossible" on us. He's like the Operator and we were on a need to now basis.

Thinking that I was already late and the guys had left me, I cycled alone through the SILK highway headed towards the Semenih exit under the dark and gloomy sky. It was cold and slightly windy. The route from Sungai Ramal until Bukit Kajang was wet, it had rained here earlier.  I continued to cycle casually at around 28Km/H trying to buy some time, hoping that Zaha would call the ride off. When the phone beeped, I anxiously stopped and took my phone out to check the message. Damn it, it was a CELCOM text message informing me that my prepaid validity was extended for another week. That was not the news I was hoping for.  Regardless, I stayed the course and continued cycling casually until the Kajang Selatan RV point.

The odd thing was the route from the Semenyih exit until the 2nd RV point was dry. It was indeed a close call.

Zaha, Shaleh and Azmi were at the 2nd RV when I reached there. Not along after that Zam Besar made the entrance followed by Najib. This was the Pajam crew and the mission was to find a nice breakfast at Pajam.

A group if cyclists passed by us escorted by couple of motorbikes. We realised that it was Uncle Joo Ngan as he honked us. Well I was glad we decided not to follow that group. Maybe some other time but not this ride.

After the customary group photo, we hit the road to Pajam.

One of the advantages of cycling in a group is the ability to draft. A lone cyclist can be battered to a standstill.  Drafting is an important technique in road biking and especially in road racing. You can gain an advantage by following your team's bike and move into the wind behind him. The low pressure behind the bike infront of you moves you forward and the eddies push you forward. You'll be able to conserve energy and this is very important for long distance rides.

This has to be done carefully because to be effective in drafting, a cyclist needs to be as close as possible to the bicycle in front of him. The shorter the distance the larger the decrease in wind resistance. While drafting is fun, rotating the point man is important too. The keyword is "Wonder Pets", teamwork.

We were divided into two groups when Zaha, Najib and I started to crank up and maintain the speed between 28- 30Km/H. The rest cycled at their "comfort speed" which was not a problem at all.  We've always emphasize that the ride is not a race but a casual one. From time to time we will crank up the our pace but not everyone can keep up. So from time to time we'd slow down to regroup and recuperate.

We made a quick stop at the Pajam toll plaza for bio-breaks and continued the ride in search of a nice Joint that served good and tasty breakfast while taking a break. A few minutes down the Pajam road we found the spot and got ourselves the much needed rest and replenish the depleted carbs.

What's with Iced Lychee?
The thing about this route,  I mean be it Mantin or Pajam via LEKAS, the break must not be more than 20 minutes if we want complete the ride to-and-fro before 12 noon. After the break we quickly went back to the highway and headed towards the Kajang Selatan RV point.

It usually took us a few minutes to warm up after the break to get up to speed but this time a round someone had a boost.  Zam Besar cranked up the pedal and cycle at 36Km/H as soon as we passed by Pajam 's tool booth and he was "up there" for about a few minutes.

Zam didn't take anything while we were having a break but he did ordered something rather unusual, an iced lychee. Yes, that must be the secret, there's something in that drink that gave him the turbo boost.  Ok guys, lets order the same drink next time around.

The Ride Back: Gaban, Hero or Chicken route?
We were fortunate the LEKAS hell (headwinds) were not so bad while we cowered and drafted behind Zam's bike. The temperature level was raising by the minute as we plough through our way back to the last checkpoint at the Kajang Selatan toll plaza.

We regrouped here and discussed which route to take. After much deliberation we decided to take the Hero route (via Kajang Perdana and the 3 hills). This was the shortest route among the three but we had to endure the Kajang Perdana hills, busy traffics and terrible (x3) road conditions. We also had to be careful with pot holes, sand traps, huge sand lorries, asshole car and lorry drivers and bunch of road kills.

My total ride time was 2 hours and 50 minutes through out the 65 Km to-and-fro ride to Pajam. I spent 0h18m19s on Heart-rate Zone, 1h08m42s on Fitness Zone and 1h19m14s on the Power Zone. Not bad but my fitness still sucks.

Apart from the tormenting last miles ride, I enjoyed the The Pajam Connection ride. Good Ride Everyone!


Video: Part 1/2

Video: Part 2/2

This one might take some time before its converted to HD. Thanks to unique Vimeo business model, it might take whatever it takes to be HD.

Pictures: Sorry can't help it with the angles. Not much of a choice when holding a camera with one hand while cycling.

Here's some picture taken during the ride (Videos will come in later):

Solo ride to Kajang Selatan, It was cloudy all the way.
Taking the Kajang Perdana clover leaf heading to LEKAS
LEKAS Toll Plaza from a far
1st group

Uncle Joo Ngan team
Group photo

I wonder when will the hanging fly-over bridge be completed?
This is one of the wonders of LEKAS.

False flats...only "flat" people trying to "curi ayam" hahahaha...
Climbing the Beranang hill
Hey we did an interstate! Welcome to Negri Sembilan folks!
Entering Pajam
Pajam road
Still searching for illusive breakfast...
The joint

Pajam Toll Booth



sero said...

sori aku lambat semalam... ingatkan aku awal, heh

Faizol said...

Better late than never bro. Lychee Power!

sero said...

zam besor is "Lalacici Power"

Shaleh said...

next time, perlu minum lychee for energy boost~hehe