B6B – 28th February 2016
Batam 6 Bridges; also known as Tour de Balerang
Brief history, I raced here on the 24th May 2014 with Team Integrated Riding.
Clocked a moving time of 4:03:37 (non-stop), total distance: 133.5 and average speed of 32.9kph. This was the race where one of my team mates came in Third for the race. Then I was ready, I was physically fit and mentally prepared for the event. It was good, it was great, it was one hell of a race!
That was then and what about this time round…
For the past three months since November 2015, I have only clocked a miserable 977.9km worth of rides and it was on a steady declining trend to the month of February 2016. Doing mainly leisure rides… a friend asked if I would be keen to do B6B with friends I have not met for a long time and it was said to be a social ride.
“Why not (which I later regretted so badly)?” Lesson learnt… Next time I shall rephrase the question to myself differently before taking on such challenges.
It was to be on a Sunday which I so happened to be free. Went for it knowing that I will suffer (but not expecting to be hurting so badly).
From the beginning to the end of the day, I encountered a few unfortunate events (not something that I’m particularly proud of).
- While avoiding a collision with my friend who suddenly uncleat her shoe on our way out of the ferry terminal carpark, I swerved right and was knocked by a flimsy swing arm barrier (it was already severely degraded and has multiple “band-aids” in the form of masking tape and cable ties), my little knock got the swing arm dislodged somewhat from its pivot and it got the guard so enraged that he came confronting me in an aggressive manner and then later pulled the whole swing arm out.
- A slight tumble off my bike during a very slow climb to a photo taking spot as I put in a bit more effort to try to uncleat while on a climb which raised the front wheel off. HAHAHA newbie mistake…
- Both calves seizing up from 30km (knowing that after this, I will be in a whole lot of pain)
- Realized a lack of food/nutrition during the ride
- Lack of sunscreen; exposed legs were literally crackling under the scorching sun
- Double mechanical issues; second mechanical had me riding on a smaller chainring which eventually ended my ride
Rolled out at about 9am (Indo time) with a few stops to refuel, recharge and regroup. The most memorable stop was for lunch (mid-point). This was at the end of the island where a solo tree stands in the middle of the itsy bitsy roundabout more than 3 hours before we got to the mid-point.
On the return leg, the wind was relentless… It was the first time that I had to “battle” the wind with my bike. The wind was so strong that it was literally gently pushing us away from our lines. Battling the wind during the climbs was no easy feat. Gosh, this was a very slow and painful ride. As we were rushing back to catch our ferry scheduled at 5.35pm, we had shorter breaks in between. Due to the heat and the wind, the speed was hampered further. It was not easy even for some season riders in the group.
My ride ended after the second mechanical, the islanders also tried to help me with the bike and eventually ended up having to flag for a transport send me back to the Ferry Terminal and I didn’t want to hold up the others as it was quickly approaching the 5pm mark with more than 20km left to go.
When my “personal” transport caught up with the rest of the group at the first bridge, they informed me to help reschedule the ferry tickets from 5.35 to a later slot. And we only got back to Singapore at about 10.30pm.
Clocked a moving time of 4:53:21(multiple stops), total distance: 131 (DNF) and average speed of 26.8kph.
It was a long and memorable day. Ride was painful but enjoyable with the group. Many of them EPIC Riders (completing 1000km in 4 days for KDF Singapore), a few IRONMAN triathletes and numerous strong riders… Well I on the other hand was on the different end of the spectrum, weak, untrained, and so not ready. HAHAHA
On a positive note, I was able to soak in the scenery that the place had to offer and got myself a lot of nice photographs which I would never be able to do so during a race, made new friend and rekindled old friendships. Priceless really.
Note to self; Train and be physically and mentally ready for such rides in the future…