For those who have not been on the Maju Expressway (MEX) before, let us tell you it won’t be an easy day on the inaugural MEX Ride on August 12th. With undulating ascents and descents, the MEX Ride is not for the faint-hearted. According to technical director Yunus Ibrahim, the reason why they chose the route was because they wanted to challenge the riders’ abilities.
“The way we plotted the route gives everybody a chance to test themselves on the MEX, which is usually full of fast cars. With closed roads and support available throughout the ride, it gives riders a sense of safety and security from threats such as speeding vehicles,” said Yunus.
“The MEX is quite hilly and this will challenge everyone's climbing ability. Due to its straight road which may seem like it is a never ending ride, it will also put a rider’s mental strength to the test. There are five hills to tackle with the most difficult one being near kilometre 20 and 40. As soon as you see the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, be prepared for it,” said Yunus.
To prepare for the ride, Yunus suggests practicing a route and terrain that is similar to the MEX. “Riding on MEX can be a bit dangerous when the roads are not closed so I would suggest using other routes which are safer to ride on. Since I am from Negeri Sembilan, I know plenty of routes there that are full of ascents and descents. Choose a route that you know is full of these attributes and practice there.
“The day before the race, riders should also have plenty of rest and have their bikes prepared for a morning of racing fun. Make sure the gears are tuned, oiled and obviously have at least one spare tube just in case you get a puncture. On the day, if you do feel tired, stop and take a rest. The best place for you to do so is near a water station, but please do not rest right in front of the water kiosk.
“The organisers have prepared sweeper vehicles which can help you get back to the start/finish line if you do not feel like you can complete the ride.” When we asked about the average speed we can expect, he said it should be around 39km/h for regular cyclists and 41mk/h for those who are on the faster side.
Yunus is the Vice President and Chairman for Competition and Tournament of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation as well as Technical Director for Junior Cycling Malaysia. He has over 20 years of experience in the sport.
Images courtesy of Maju Expressway http://www.mex.com.my/