I’m regularly riding my Merida hardtail since we moved back to the Lion City in 2012. Regularly means one to two times a week, recently closer to three times a week, each ride is in the 35 km (+/- 15 km) distance range. The tri-weekly bike hash adds some high level cardio to it, when I (often unsuccessfully) try to keep up with the semi-pros in the group.
The point is: I’m not training any multi-day riding, hence any multi-stage event, no matter how easy or difficult it might be, appears too much of a challenge. So where to start – with the ambition in mind – to join a multi-stage event in the near (or far) future?
The 2016 Phuket Interbike Hash is a good opportunity to test stamina and endurance and find a yardstick for my body’s ability to recover overnight in a reasonably demanding environment (AKA the bloody heat..). The organisers in Phuket promised ample supply of drinking water and opportunities to short-cut the ride. Head over to the “Schnitzeljagd” post for an unbiased introduction into “hashing”.
The ride on day one leads over app 27 km through dry fields and forests, a few single trails, past some angry buffalos, a few detours and not much climbing, i.e. a nice warm-up. Hydration and hydration is the mantra of the day. I feel good after the ride, the legs not too tired. The circle takes close to two hours, luckily the dinner buffet is fixed at 20:00, otherwise the show would have continued for another few hours. Apparently their record is a six hours circle.
Day two leads us through villages, over asphalt roads (a particular pleasure in the plain afternoon heat) into a forest, back on a road, where I overlook a left turn and end up doing 2 km extra. A second oversight of an obvious sign leads me into another dead end and back, all chances of riding with the fast&furious are gone by now.
I’m on my own, just riding at my own speed, cruising through forest and villages, grinding through a few very steep climbs, which I manage to ride and Gopro-ing good chunks of it.
Down to the beach, remnants of the 2004 Tsunami are still visible, another five kilometres over asphalt and through a few backyards bring me back to the hotel.
Two hours twenty pure riding time for 37.8 km. Legs are tired, I’m sweaty and dusty, but not overly exhausted.
PS1: Needless to say that the Singapore extremist’s contingent claimed to be the first ones back at the hotel in well under two hours – always must be kiasu 😉
PS2: Endless circle, dinner buffet, by 22:00 I rest my legs.
PS3: A short video is here.
PS4: more about bike hashing here.