Archives for category: The Big Ride

200ml water left, unpaved road, 3-4km climbing by foot, and squirrel cross the road, i think its not ideal place for road bike. I’ve got more than i bargained for.

It begin in the night before, whenever i ride my car to ride with my mates, or ride my road bike all the way, especially the menu is climbing (maybe 500m). The starting point is way down so i must climb back to home (700m) if i ride my bike. And, i choose to ride my bike all the way, so i can boast to you that i tackle 2 mountains in a row and my story will be look very good.

Then, God of bicycle punish me.

Hell carnival
When i climb back to my home, the ETA should be around 12.30pm, and my legs still have a kick to complete this task until… The road is blockade for village carnival, and from my eyes it is Hell Carnival. And its completely blocked my route.
Every transportation stuck on the road. Motorcycles, cars, and bike (well the only bike is my bike). To further exacerbate situation, it’s hot, and 300ml at my bidons. Not to mentions that i look like a clown ready doing tap dance on the middle of crowds.

There is only one way out. Move around and take road less traveled. The journey begin. From the very start i see the road, i decided…to walk. Hey! dont get me wrong, i have pretty good excuses about this one!

First, the climb is not climb anymore I think the road is straight to heaven, and i am conserve every energy that left in my body and tryin to survive with what i have (remember 300ml in my bidon? Now its 200ml). Second, in the middle of of my journey, around one kilometer the road is really unpaved. Its not ideal for mountain bike, even goats, and that is the stupidiest road i even traveled with my road bike.

Water,give me water
With the water depleted, i try to ask some water from the local home, but i found no one home, worse, its the last home in my sight ahead. But my survival instinct tickle me when i found water taps, Forgive me Lord, i am not ready to meet you now so i refill all my bidons and continue ahead.

I hit the unpaved road and still…i see more climbs, and began to wonder when this torture end? I ask women i met, ask the road and how long. Her answer really tear my hope apart (maybe she saw me very hopeless, walking and pushing my bike), and desperately i continue ahead. Until i see a men who give me the accurate distance (i bet he had garmin in his motorcycle), give me some hope to continue through this way.

Home sweet home
When i see the the sign, i am really relieved. Only one thing bug me. Well… Its descent, and its unpaved. Now i am really have no courage to accept this law of gravity, then try to survive this descent by walking. One slip it will be my grave. What would be my bike without me? We had created memories together, it will rude for her. She take me whenever i want to go, now its my turn to take her lead the way. Enough the drama.

Survived and hit the main road, make me believed that i look like christopher horner steal the red jersey from vincenzo nibali in vuelta i have the power within me, and i can survive whatever mother nature throw ahead on my way. On and off the bike.

MMD still wondered why there is squirel cross his road

From now i am start using english to spread the joy of cycling (and the healthy toxic) but i’ll warn you, my english is not that good especially my tenses. If you find my words little (or really) weird, feel free to correct.

When the post fall in big ride category, it means there is something special happens.
Last post i mention how motivated i am to riding in my group (Surabaya road bike community) after 3 months of hiatus.

Well, the highlights are:
1. Its sprinters day
2. Dropping motorcycle!
3. Crash
4. Milan-San Remo imitating

From the start to checkpoint for regroup, we all ride in reasonably pace, though i know the nature of group ride are either looking for gentle hills or short steep hills, and i am quite confident because i used to be mountain goat due to where i lived (Batu City).

But i was wrong, after we reach checkpoint and some of us -include me-taking ‘nature break’, i found no hill around. And the road captain tell us whoever want to go fast, follow the first group, the other can go with second group. I dont need to tell you which one i choose.

Sky is the limit (i dont mean team SKY) applied here. From the start i am struggled to follow their wheels, and within two or three minutes im ridiculuosly getting dropped! And from this, i gain new perspective when they said fast, then its around 50-60km/hour. Its beyond my capability (right now) and my road bike (forever).

Not so long, there is some teenage girl (young athlete i guess) ride around 45km/h motorpacing draft (maybe her coach or dad). At instant i sit on her wheel to conserve my energy.
And i dont know where it comes, look like my pride (or maybe i’am an idiot) tell me ‘its not fair dude, dropping off another cyclist when you sucked a wheel at motorpacing speed’

And then i charge forward passing the motorcycle! And so on i dropped two other cyclists, only to getting dropped like a stone gracefully with that motorcycle again. Hey! At least i dont cheat right?!

With some groupetto (the ones who getting dropped by fast group) we regroup until finish point, and surprised by someone who crashed with blood and torn jersey. I feel sympaty to him (and the bike because i know its not the cheap one like mine), and hope he gets better.
Well, sometimes shit happens.

In the way back, i hear someone say we ride at ‘peace’ pace. Peace pace your eyes. At 35-40km/h constant speed and getting higher with some attack at corners really divided peleton into two groups. Its look like milan-san remo spring classic imitation, except its hot.

I in the first group and trying to sit on the group all the time. Until one corner i lost my moment and then struggling to chasing ahead..and then getting dropped. One minute, i realize the second group chasing down, and then i sit on back of the groups until finish. Because riding in the peleton is the safest way in the traffic (my group have special polices to open the road ahead).

I am really getting excited when after hard times, around 100km in three hours (including rest and regroup), one of the member SRBC, which is Azrul Ananda, treat all of us to eat!
Based on others talk, I think its really rare one eating together after club ride.

What should i say?
I got my day, and its really great one!


Aku tidak tahu harus bangga atau malu. Menaklukkan tanjakan termaut yang dari malang ke batu dan satu2nya korbanku orang tua dengan umur 64 tahun (hampir 2.5x umurku) memakai mountain bike.

Rencana awal, naik ke pujon lalu turun ke pertigaan pendem untuk naik lagi ke batu tetapi melewati tanjakan yang biasa kulewati.

Tanjakan ke empat mencatat waktu 19 menit… Sigh*… Kurasa harus bersabar untuk menembus waktu dibawah 15 menit.

Lalu aku turun ke pertigaan pendem dan disanalah bertemu dengan Bapak A. Having chit-chat, dan tujuan kita sama2 ke batu. Sampai di persimpangan antara melewati tanjakan biasanya, atau menuju neraka… Bapak A mengatakan dia sudah biasa lewat sana lalu mengajakku lewat sana juga.

Ego-meterku naik ke titik tertingi dan tanpa pikir panjang aku mengiyakan. Berpikir sebelum bertindak memang peribahasa yang sangat bijaksana.

Tanpa berlama-lama aku menyalip bapak A di awal dan kutinggalkan dia sangat jauh dibelakangku… I feel sorry for him…dimana 10 menit kemudian, i feel really sorry to myself…my legs and my heart especially…

Ciri tanjakannya tidak terlalu curam di awal, ditengah biasa-biasa saja, 500 meter terakhir sangat brutal.

Setelah meninggalkan bapak A di awal-awal, aku berpikir mungkin saya berkesempatan diterima di tim Pro, kemudian ngedrop chris froome* dan memenangi Mont Ventoux** di perancis. Sampai kulihat tanjakan 500 meter terakhir, dan waktu akan memindah gear… Ternyata aku sudah berada di gear teringan. I am doomed.

Sungguh, menonton tour de france dari TV dan melihat mereka menderita di tanjakan jauh lebih enak.

Speedku drop, kakiku serasa dilindas truk, dan jantungku dah pingin keluar. Setiap teknik yang kupunya sudah kuaplikasikan, entah itu benar atau salah.

Candence*** 60rpm, pedalling in circle, ignore the pain. Realitanya membuat candence 40 saja sudah bagus. Pedalling in circle? Sepertinya membentuk segitiga. Ignore the pain? What a stupid advice!…yang tersisa hanyalah harga diri yang berkata ” move your ass, you weak, wimpy little creature!”.

Aku pernah berpikir waktu melalui tanjakan ini (dengan mobil tentunya), bahwa hanya pro cyclist yang bisa menaklukkan tanjakan ini. Sekarang setelah menyelesaikannya, kupikir menjadi shopkeeper lebih enak daripada jadi pro cyclist. Cukup mereka yang menderita saja.

Setidaknya dengan menaklukkan tanjakan terberat ke batu, memberikan kepercayaan diri dalam melintasi setiap tanjakan. Dan untuk 2 minggu kedepan aku akan menjadi flatlander….what a holiday.

Bagi yang ingin menderita juga, nama jalannya jalan hasanudin. Ini jalur alternatif untuk menuju ke BNS dari pertigaan Pendem. Bis2 sering lewat jalur ini.


* tour de france 2013 general classification winner
** salah satu stage pegunungan di perancis
*** putaran pedal per menit