There are some events that appear every year on the Malaysian cycling calendar, yet they never get old. For cyclists, some of these events have become keystone annual ‘must do’ rides for them. There are some big names that come to mind, but perhaps one that is just making its entry into that category is the Avillion Coastal Ride, which starts and ends at the Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan.
Now in its third consecutive year, the non-competitive ride offers three categories, namely an easy 30km Fun Ride, a medium difficulty 80km Scenic Ride and a challenging 160km Endurance Ride. The three categories gives cyclists of different levels something to look forward to at the same event. As much as possible, the route will go through the coastal areas of Port Dickson, featuring undulating terrain of rolling hills and beautiful scenery.
For 2019, the name of the event has reverted to the previous year’s to reflect its original coastal focus rather than culture. This is despite the fact that there is much more to see and appreciate on these three routes than the seaside views. As you ride, enjoy the ever changing backdrop of beaches, paddy fields, villages and small towns, featuring contrasting and varied scenes from everyday Malaysian life.
There have been some changes for this year, according to the event manager, Raziff Jaafar, founder of Dr Dagoo One Stop Bike Centre. “This year the ride doesn’t go into Malacca,” he explains. “All three routes will stay in Negeri Sembilan, even the longest endurance category. Because of this, there will be more chances for the riders to explore the scenic areas of the state.” As a prerequisite, the route will be supervised by police marshals and a medical team, and participants will be provided with technical support such as neutral service and water stations.
By the end of the registration period, approximately 2 thousand participants had signed up for the event, the bulk of which have put their names down for the 80km Scenic Ride category. A small portion of cyclists will be tackling the 160km Endurance Ride, which Raziff warns should not be taken lightly. “If you plan to try, make sure you are well prepared for the challenge,” he says. “The great thing about this event is that there are three different categories and difficulty levels, so it all depends on each rider’s intention.”
With the temperatures in coastal areas of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia reaching pretty toasty levels, we had to ask whether Port Dickson might prove too challenging for participants. Raziff believes that any cyclist with a decent fitness and endurance level should be able to handle the climate. Do take the normal pre-ride precautionary measures regardless, like ensuring you have the necessary equipment and supplies to reach the finishing line safely.
While the event organisers are a different team this year, Bank Muamalat returns as the title sponsor, as well as the Avillion Admiral Cove Port Dickson, hence the venue. The seaside resort is definitely in for the long haul, as part of its plans to support cycling and a healthy lifestyle, by backing an international event that will promote sports tourism in Port Dickson. All in all, the ride promises to be a great mini weekend getaway for participants and their families, and is definitely not one to be missed.