Saturday, June 5, 2010


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I did it! Broke the 100 km barrier yesterday. Needless to say, I am so happy and satisfied. One year and seven months ago I was 104 kg, and the most I could do was walking for 7 - 10 minutes. Tu pun dah mengah giler, lidah terjelir sampai perut. High blood pressure, borderline diabetes, a high cholesterol level of 7.8, gout etc, etc were all lingering around then. Alhamdulillah, beat all that just with regular exercises.

I never thought I could ride for more than 100 km.


This time I chose the France's side of Lake Geneva to conquer since I am very familiar with the route here in the Swiss side. My goals were to;

i. Check out the lake route there since I am planning to ride the whole length of Lake Geneva.
ii. Break the 1ookm barrier. The furthest I rode was 60 km.

I was nervous the whole day on Friday just thinking about he ride. I don't know whether I have the stamina, endurance and the will to do it. I prepared myself by drinking a lot of water and ate high protein and carbohydrate food. Strictly no cili api.

Things that I brought along.

i. Passport
ii. ID
iii. Spare Tube
iv. Pump
v. Multi Tools
vi. Power Bar
vii. Water Bottles
viii. GPS
ix. Ipod
x. Camera

I retired early to bed to make sure I had enough rest.


I set the alarm at 5.00 am, since I wanted to leave at 6.00 am, but somehow woke up at 4.30 am. Tried to sleep a little bit more but then decided to get up and went through all the stuff again. After a quick shower, started my ride at 5.40 am. Here, the sun rise before 6 am during this time of the year.

Rode through Geneva to get the other side of the lake. It was really quite except for the occasional traffic and the early morning public city workers. Did not see other cyclist.

Evian-Les-Baines lies 44.5 km away. I rode on normal speed, bearing in mind I had a long way to go. The road was clear, and once in a while a car passed me by. No big hills to take on except for a few low mounds. Arrived at the Swiss/ France border after the Swiss town of Maison Neuves, which is about 12.3 km from Geneva.

Entering France, I found out that the road condition was quite bad. It worries me a bit and I had to look out for pot holes. The uneven surface slowed down my progress and pace. Traffic was still light. The day was getting warm and I stopped near Filly to take off my windbreaker since I was sweating profusely. I have been riding for almost one hour. On both side of the road, farmlands stretch for miles. Theres a lot of farming machines lying around the farms, some with weird shapes and quite huge. I continued the ride towards Thonon, about 11 km away.

In Thonon, riding through the town, I lost my bearing and was not sure which way to continue. I asked an old man who was just about to get into his car, "Monsieur, Evian?" with my right hand pointing down the road. He was startled but quickly recovered and said "Oui, oui". I guess that meant I was on the right track. And sure enough after a few kilometres, I saw the road sign to Evian. Good.

I arrived at Evian at around 7.50 am. I headed out to the Evian lake front and took a rest. The first leg from Geneva to Evian took me about 2 hours and 10 minutes of the 44.5 km route, more or less. Ate 2 power bars for breakfast. Evian seems to me like a standard tourist town with a lot of hotels by the lake. Saw a lot of tourist buses. It was still early. Not too many people around the park where I stopped. And yes, this is the place where the world famous Evian mineral water came from. A friend of mine told me to visit the place where I can get free mineral water, straight out of its source, but I decided not too, since I dont have a lot of time to search for it.


This leg consist of a long climb since the road was cut at the very foot of Chablais Alps.

After a 20 - 30 minutes break, I left Evian for Le Bouveret, Switzerland. The road started its ascend immediately and this continued until I arrived in small village of St Gingolph. Its not to too difficult to cycle but keeping my neck comfortable was the real challenge and it started to get stiff and sore. It bothered me a lot. Met a lot of other cyclist along this stretch of the route, but they were heading in the opposite direction. Perhaps it made much more sense, since the road was downhill the other way. Argggghhhhh!

Nevertheless, climbed all the way to St Gingolph. The view was breathtaking and I could see the other shores of Lake Geneva, running parallel with the road I was cycling on. The France and Switzerland borderline cuts through right in the middle of St Gingolph village, dividing the sovereignty and to a certain extend I guess, its people's loyalty. Interesting.

I left France and entered back into Switzerland in St Gingolph and proceeded to Le Bouveret. A few more kilometres and I will arrived in Villeneuve, the next stop. I rode through the farmlands there, stopped to take some photo of the Chablais Alps I just left behind before crossing the river Rhone. The Rhone emptied into Lake Geneva before continuing its course again at Geneva to the Mediterranean.

Arrived in Villeneuve for a well deserved break. Its been a long 28.8 kilometres. Neck hurt like hell!


I rested for about 30 minutes in a park at Villeneuve lakefront. Called and confirmed with a friend was going to pick me up in Vevey, the final destination of this whole ride.

Again, my neck was hurting badly, while other parts of my anatomy seems in good condition. A little sore on my behind as expected after a long period on the saddle. Did some stretching to loosen up the muscles. Applied muscles pain reliever cream to the back of my neck to temporarily relief the pain. Ate another 2 power bars to boost the withering energy and drank a lot of water to avoid dehydration.

Posted an update in the Facebook. My Iphone battery was dead and so did the Cyclometer, the Iphone GPS application to track and record the ride progress. From here on, I would have to depend on the Cateyes to tell me about distance and ride time. Made a mental note on my head, to check out Garmin GPS, which has a reputable battery usage of 15 hours.

I push on to Montreux, 4.9 kilometres away. En route, there was one small hill to conquer, and I continued to ride to Vevey.

What I didnt know, a friend who live in Vevey read my update in the Facebook and he decided to look for me and joined in. I was concentrating to take on the hill near Vevey when he found me and yelled "WOI!" from the other side of the road on the opposite direction. I told him Vevey was my final stop to which he replied "Lets ride until Lausanne. Its only about 2o kilometres away. And you could break the 100 km barrier". Total distance at Vevey was 89 km and seriously, I was tempted to continue riding to Lausanne. We went to Starbuck and discussed the ride plan. After much thought, and a high sugar content drink (cant remember what it was) I decided to push for Lausanne, with painful neck and all.


Applied some more of that muscle pain reliever cream to block the pain and proceeded slowly to Lausanne. The friend was already an veteran rider and he rode slowly to accommodate my tired pace. Its already in the afternoon and the day was getting really hot. I glanced over to the France's side of Lake Geneva shore that I rode earlier in the morning and realized it has been a very long way. 10 kilometres into the ride I noticed that the Cateyes has clocked over 100 kilometres, Yelled at the top of my voice "WOHOOO! YES!, YES! YES! A CENTURY! I DID IT!" Upon hearing this, my friend joined me in celebrating the achievement by chorusing similar kind of excitement much to the amusement of the people on the road side.

After 18.4 kilometres we finally arrived in Lausanne and headed out to the Olympic Park, where another friend was waiting to pick me up.


Total Distance : 108.47 km

Time : 4 hours 43 minutes and 54 seconds.

2 bottles of water.
4 power bar.
1 Starbuck drink of I dont know what.
7-8 sticks of Dunhill
A lot of under the breath mutterings of " I CAN DO THIS, I CAN DO THIS!"
2 friends.


I am 41 years old, was 104 kg a year 7 months ago, AND I JUST CYCLED 108 KILOMETRES.


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