More gripping race details by our roving racer/reporter BeyKha

Of Pai BeyKhas, Sniffing Sandman & Billy Goat 
Glory at Sungai Buloh Race

We first learnt of this Sungai Buloh race from our ever-ardent race promoter from KL a.k.a. Linda. Apparently, this was going to be a huge event, with prize money ranging from RM500 – RM1500 for each of the 8 categories and international participants coming from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand & Singapore. And being the ‘chicken’ that I am, I had intended not to race, especially after all the pressure mounted by our dear Linda about the trail, competition etc. Believe it or not, she had been practising on that trail nearly every day for the last one month & had embarked on a ‘stone removal program’ to make the trail humanly bike-able. Nonetheless, Sandman & Stefan still decided to participate anyhow & together with Ling (who decided to come along to practice her videography) & Nik (who didn’t know what he was in for), we all made our way to KL.

On race day itself, Sunday 27th August, we once again had to wake up at an unearthly hour of 7 am!!! And guess what? It was a dark & stormy morning……it was so tempting to crawl back into bed, especially since I wasn't going to be racing that day due to the unfortunate injury sustained while practising on the race trail the day before (for the blood thirsty : K.L Chain-ring Massacre). Think Sandman probably thought likewise too, especially when he decided not to take part in the race due to the worsening condition of his flu. And in his dazed form, we could hear him uttering in his sleep, " The Absolutees are going to laugh at me for not racing….". Good grief! Look at what peer (especially Absolut) pressure can do to a poor guy! Anyway BillyGoat (Stefan), being the only one that was going to represent TeamAbsolut in this race, managed to pry all of us out from our beds and at 9am, we arrived at the race site, but not before another hearty breakfast (looks like no injury nor flu can deter any of our appetites…hee!).

While Sandman was busy getting Stefan’s bike ready for the race (hmm…..support crew in the making?) , Ling, Nik & myself decided to amuse ourselves by being the willing stars for Ling’s video. We had a hilarious time filming ourselves, together with some wild chickens and before we know it, we have ‘grouchy’ Sandman joining us as well with his ‘pump’ anecdote.

Sandman in his new role as a wrench Sandman in his old role as a male model
At about 10am, Stefan’s event (junior veteran category) was flagged off together with the senior veteran category. While Ling was filming away, the rest of of us cheered our lungs out. Have to note that Stefan didn’t really have a good start as he slipped while trying to click his shoes in. Due to that, he lost a few position at the beginning but being the Billy Goat that he is, he nonetheless managed to catch up pretty soon at the uphill. After he disappeared our of sight, we all decided to take a morning walk to the first climb to satisfy our sadistic nature of watching riders grimace, swear & suffer while climbing that hill. However, we failed to notice that the walk was pretty far & before long, we were getting bored once again & decided to continue with our filming. With the sounds of helicopters & planes circling above us (Merdeka Day practice), we decided to re-enact the scene of Nam, with us posing as VietCongs running for our dear lives & Ling pretending to be the oh-so-suave videocamera-woman from BBC (BULLshit Broadcasting Corporation) who would risk her life for a good story.
No! I will not stick this into their front tires... Get ready, here comes the next victim of the umbrella in the front wheel Got teh tarik at the top of the hill or not? No. Why go up then?
The next time Billy Goat came by, we saw that he had managed to move up to 3rd position in his category! We got all excited and started cheering him with all our might. At the last lap, we could see that he was really tired out but continued to push on anyway to retain his position. When he finally came in 3rd through the finish line, we all congratulated him heartily. However, he went on to tell us that he nearly lost his position as the guy behind him actually tried to cheat by taking a short cut near to the end & ended up in front of Billy Goat. In order to fight for what was rightfully his, our Silent Swiss caught up with the ‘cheater’ & ordered him to stay behind or else the ‘crime’ would be reported & the latter would be disqualified instead. Luckily the ‘cheater’ agreed without putting on a fight whatsoever. Good for you, Stefan!! Guess that’s the ugly side of competition…..sigh!
Billy Goat on the podium 
(showing us how much he lost by..)
Now for a brief report on how our counterparts from Malaysia stand. Tom, our gracious host from Belgium, came in 10th in the Senior Men’s category. His was a rather sad but comical story. He was initially holding strong at the 7th position but on the second lap, while negotiating a downhill, he saw a pretty gal (not me!) cheering for him at the side and being distracted, totally lost his line & did a spectacular endo in front of the TV camera crew! Well, that cost him to lose about 3 positions, not to mention some embarrassment and he is still kicking himself to this very day. Men! What can I say???? J

The Ladies Elite (notice the word ‘elite’ and that’s why I’m not taking part) came next. Representing us are Ai Ling & Linda. There was a total of 30 participants in this category, a far cry from the measly 4-5 at any Singapore races. And out of the total, 25 of them were all national riders. The Vietnamese & Thai team looked really tough and I must say that I had a lot of difficulty determining if some of the ‘ladies’ are in the correct category (Beef, their muscles put you to shame, man!). However, due to the scorching sun at that time, a lot of the riders suffered from heat stroke after the first lap and had to pull out from the race. Despite that, Ai Ling came in 8th & Linda came in 9th in their category! Congratulations!!!! And to think they entered the race just hoping not to be lapped & be disqualified from the race!

For all of us there, it was indeed a major event not to be missed and for those of us who didn’t get to race, I’m sure we felt a twinge of regret to miss out on all the fun! Well, next time then……..

Comments or criticism can be send to BeyKha@teamabsolut.net


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