"Will rocked up at the spritely hour of 0410 for a day of fun and sun. We put the bikes on the back and off we headed to JJ's to pack our bikes up and drive to KB to the start. John was there very soon after, and by then the bikes were all packed up, driver was there and were ready to go for a our planned 0445 departure. One problem, we were missing 2, Moza and Fakhrul had over slept and JJ made the call.
Jimmy drove us down to KB. Why he would volunteer a day off to drive JJ and his mates to KB in the orange bus I am not sure, but thanks. After a small delay to the schedule we were outbound.
We tried to catch up on some sleep on the way down, but it wasn't much good. Liyana had very graciously made us some cheese and tomato sandwiches that morning. Wah hey! Thank you Liyana.
In KB we rushed to unpack bikes, check tire pressures, sync cadence and HR monitors (there were a few Garmins around so things were getting a little confused) and down to the start line.
Will, John and I decided to blend nearer the front whilst JJ and his domestiques were happy to sit it out near the back. Pehin tooted the horn and led us off. We mooched out of KB and onto the highway heading up the coast to our first stop 40km away.
(John, and my shoulder..!)
It took us some time to catch up to Andy Scholar, he obviously tried to set up some early KOM (King of the Mountain) points. But we teamed up with him before our first stop and the chatting joking continued.
First stop was at Soon Lee, S. Liang, to top up the water bottles, take a bathroom break and John to be reacquainted with his old jibbing buddy from last years ride, Pehin Yahya. Funny how he remembers, "that orang putih" John!
From there the next stop was only 30km away but the sun was starting to tell. It was a beautifully clear day, but that meant the sun was out in force. Hot day.
The pace continued at a sub 25km/h very easy for anyone to maintain. Once at Taman Sungai Basong another pitstop and lunch! Well received and gladly eaten.
With bottles topped up were were ready for the next 30km to HSBC Jerudong. On the second to last "hill" of the day Andy launched an attack to secure the KOM crown. He left the pelaton standing and blistered up the hill. He was caught just after the summit, but the damage was done and Andy could now relax with the KOM crown firmly in his pocket. Good effort mountain man!
After a period Will and I had curiously noted that the marshals at the front were inclined to go faster up the hills than they were down. This led to the poor souls behind us having to break at the bottom of the hill then use extra effort to get up them again.
Once at Jerudong HSBC there was some last minute top ups and we collected the kids and 8km challengers. The last 8km was a bit spread out, but the marshals and police did a fantastic job of keeping all the children and other riders safe. The traffic was very calm and I thank all the traffic we met from KB to HSBC Sengkurong for the patience and considerate driving. Thank you.
We didn't collect any prizes, but we had completed our 108km. It was a very long day in the sun, but it was fantastic to be out with 400+ other cyclists in Brunei all the way from KB to BSB. A little cloud cover might have aided but it was better than the constant rain that hung over BSB the day before. (I now have tan lines on the end of my fingers from where my cycling gloves stop!)
After the prize giving we had to return to JJs about 8km away to collect the car and return home. JJ came whizzing past John, Will and I and told us to keep the pace up. He pulled his time at the front and then promptly fell off the back! Will got caught out waiting for JJ to slot in and missed John's wheel. JJ made an appearance once the shoes were off and bikes dismantled, but his new Giant did look very smart.
Thanks guys, had a great day. I look forward to riding with you again soon and hopefully next year HSBC might be able to organize the event as more of a timed challenge!"