Before I talk about the cycling event, let me touch on the challenges of travelling in a car on a 4-hour drive with 4 adults and 3 small kids. Due to space constraint, we couldn't bring too much stuff along (or shop a lot). Navigating was surprisingly easy around KL, thanks to Google Map (Offline). We stayed at Miramar Hotel (2-star) for S$100 per night (includes free breakfast). The family room that we got was quite large though the single toilet was a bit of a bummer. But the kids liked the extra space so it was all good. I won't recommend staying there if you don't have your own transport. When driving around Malaysia, get a Touch N Go card with at least RM200 to pay for highway tolls and parking (especially at shopping malls).
OCBC Cycle KL 2016 - Pre-Race (Saturday)
The OCBC Cycle KL was held at Dataran Merdeka, which was just 10 minutes bicycle ride from the hotel. I found that KL is not bicycle friendly (or even wheelchair friendly). While the road quality is ok, safety isn't as the drivers are just too aggressive. The pedestrian pavements at many areas are really in poor condition. They really need to improve their maintenance regime. What's the point of having fancy infrastructures that are not working...
Back to the event, I collected my race pack on a Saturday morning. No queue but the collection area was underwhelming when compared to the Singapore version. No support/participation from local bicycle shops so I couldn't spend my Malaysian Ringgit... I just came, collect and went back to the hotel in just under an hour.
Woke up very early as all cyclists have to report at the starting point by 6am. This was the 2nd time OCBC Cycle was held in KL so the number of participants was rather low at around 1300 riders. I'm riding a Brompton so I am under the Foldable Bike category (the other two being Road and Mountain Bike). There were prizes to be won for the top 3 riders.
The route for this year's edition saw us covering 40km (3 laps of 13 km/lap). There were 2 long ascents to conquer but the rest of the route was fairly flat. I didn't race that hard as I was not familiar with the route, especially the downhill sections.
I finished at 1 hr 35 mins, coming in 20th out 133 riders in the foldable bike category. Not bad for a first timer. Would I go again next year? Probably not. I don't like riding laps around the same route. I did enjoy the uphill challenge and hope the coming Tour de Bintan would provide me more of that!